As you all know, advertising is an important source of revenue for Stack Overflow and it helps us support all the sites across the Stack Exchange Network and the resources that go into maintaining and improving the experience on the platform. We are going to be introducing middle sidebar ads, which have been on the main Stack Overflow site for years, to some of the tech sites including Information Security.

The middle sidebar ads have the same standards as any other ads on the platform. Ads are non-intrusive and static. Ads go through a vetting process to ensure they are appropriate for the communities on Stack Exchange. If you see an ad that may not follow our established standards and guidelines, you can let us know by using the "report this ad" functionality. Here is a mockup of what these will look like when two ads are showed (the existing ad placement and the new middle sidebar ad placement):

sample of ads on the middle side bar of the site

This ad space won’t be available for display until May 10 because we wanted to give you a heads-up before you started seeing them. Ads are an essential line of business for us and we’re committed to giving you advanced notice whenever we introduce a new form of advertising on the network sites. If you have any questions or concerns, please let us know.

2 Answers 2


Staff have investigated a previous report of hardware fingerprinting in ads and had agreed that it was not acceptable, but later decided that such ads are to be permitted anyway as they break no laws.

Will the sidebar ads that we are getting be using these hardware fingerprinting techniques?

Does "static" mean simply that the ad is not animated, or also that it does not run any JavaScript?


In answer to Forest’s question.

We remain committed to user privacy and do not use hardware fingerprinting internally. We have been very transparent about our use of Google as an analytics/ads partner and have taken measures to ensure that restrictive personal data processing configurations are in place. If you have any concerns about specific data points or specific companies, you can always email [email protected].

Static ads do indeed mean that they aren’t animated. We don’t use Flash ads.

  • 1
    A company that is "committed to user privacy" does not use Google ads.
    – user264392
    May 27, 2023 at 5:27

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