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Google, Facebook & Twitter unite with StopBadware to fight 'bad ads'

Facebook, Google, Twitter, AOL, and other technology players are joining in the fight against 'bad ads.'

Activist website StopBadware announced today the launch of the Ads Integrity Alliance, an initiative intended to protect users from bad ads and maintain trust in the online advertising ecosystem, a press release said.

Eric Davis, Google's global public policy manager, wrote in a company blog post that the new alliance will develop industry policy recommendations and practices, distribute information about violators, and share relevant trends with policymakers and law enforcement agencies.

StopBadware is comprised of ad industry leaders who have been working to protect users from ads that deliver malware, scam users, or try to sell counterfeit goods. The Ads Integrity Alliance is a natural extension of the nonprofit organisation's mission, StopBadware executive director Maxim Weinstein said in a statement.

"We believe that the Ads Integrity Alliance can make a similarly important contribution to the goal of identifying and removing bad ads from all corners of the web," Davis said.

Weinstein admitted that no one can address Internet-scale threats on their own, despite Google having disabled more than 130 million ads and 800,000 marketers in violation of the company's ad policies just last year, according to its blog.

"So we're bringing together industry leading organisations to tackle the problem collaboratively," Weinstein said.

Last month, Google pledged to warn users whose computers or home routers appear to be infected with the DNSChanger malware. Google first started adding malware warnings to search results last summer after it noticed some unusual activity on its network while conducting routine data center maintenance. Google said in May that that effort resulted in warnings for 1 million of its users.

Google's own app malware blocker, dubbed Bouncer, was hacked recently by security analysts who claimed their bypass allowed access to Android apps, even with a Bouncer scan.

"Bad ads reduce trust in the web and in online advertising," Google's Davis wrote on the blog. "The web puts the world's information at your fingertips and has given everyone a platform to speak, listen, engage, and unite."