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https://www.duolingo.com/profile/gaggi_kaler

Inappropriate ads in duolingo

I support the idea of showing ads in the duolingo app to support the website. But yesterday when my 10 year old nephew completed his lesson, he was shown an ad named UC news with images and headlines suggesting sex. You have chosen adchoices as an advertising partner. It means you no control over the ads that are being shown. It does not bother me as I am an adult. But you are focusing on teaching duolingo in schools. There should be some kind of check on the ads being displayed.

February 2, 2017

34 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CarolinaViking

I think you'll need to report this directly to them rather than here.

Try here: https://support.duolingo.com/hc/en-us/articles/205101500-How-do-I-report-abuse-


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jimnicholson

They have said that ads won't be shown to school children - I have always assumed that if you are in a Duolingo classroom, then you won't see the ads. Though children in general (not in a Duolingo classroom) would, since the software doesn't know you are a child.

Is your nephew in a Duolingo classroom?

[Note: By classroom I mean the feature within the schools part of the Duolingo]


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/iToochPlayer

I'm not in a classroom on Duolingo and I use the app, but I haven't seen any ads.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jimnicholson

It is an A/B test on Android. So you would have to be in a test group and using the app on Android.

Additionally, I assumed that anyone in a classroom would be excluded, but I'm not sure.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Enzfj2
  • 1255

I see ads on my iPad after the last update, which I had made more than 1 month ago. Probably you hadn't updated your app.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jimnicholson

Interesting - I'd not heard of an iOS user seeing ads before. If they have ported them, I guess this means they are here to stay.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/gaggi_kaler

No, there is no provision of that here. I suggested him to use this app on his mom's phone to brush up his English. Can I become a teacher and add his account as a student? Will the ads stop? I don't think so.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Helge.

Yes this is what you should do. Open a classroom and add him as a student.
Please report back if he's still getting ads.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/gaggi_kaler

Ads are still on. I created a classroom and added him as a student. I double checked all the settings regarding the course. I have uninstalled the app. The website is good but I don't know if he will get used to it.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Helge.

Let's hope that someone who belongs to the staff of Domingo reads this.
This is not what Luis von Ahn promised. But then he also promised that duolingo will never have ads...

(or it takes some time for the servers to synchronize and the ads will disappear later on?)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/vivisaurus

Please send this comment along with usernames to our teachers@duolingo.com email.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/procode200

Just install an adblocker


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/gaggi_kaler

May be a new account created by me in the classroom without an email address would not have ads.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jarno.L

Aren't the adds targeted to the user by hes profile (what google search he did, what he browsed and so on)? At least I constantly get adds that are very related to what I have searched and browsed daily. I doubt it randomly prompts me adds about programmer job recruitment sites or other programming related merchandise. If this is the case I would suggest to try monitor what your nephew does with hes phone.

But whatever the case is Duolingo has now to face the big downside of putting adds in their app and thus loosing control about what their app might display to the users. Why there is no possibility to buy an add-free version of the app for a moderate low price?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jimnicholson

There is a test ongoing of a paid option to opt out of ads. I think it was mentioned in the AMA.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MissCamden

as someone that doesn't use my mobile browser AT ALL, the ads i see are not tailored to me, which i like, because i find this kind of tracking super creepy. the ads do bother me & i hope the option to get rid of them gets here soon.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Luscinda

People are being propositioned by these ads now?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Helge.

I just googled "UC News" and it says it is "UC News - Trending Hindi News ". And the site has one article about "CCB Bust High-tech Prostitution Racket in Heart of the City" but that is still news. What kind of sexual content did you see?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sie00

Headlines suggesting sex? What does that mean?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/gaggi_kaler

Haha! I am not a native speaker. So, I am not really good at expressing my thoughts with right words and correct grammar. I meant the news headlines shown in the ad were suggesting sex crimes. And the images were suggestive too. I didn't say that the ads were some kind of porn advertisement. Still inappropriate for a child.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sie00

Ah yes. I can see that interpretation of the word suggest. But also suggesting sex could mean that those ads were offering and trying persuade users to have sex or join a sex site.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/IVIatjam

For me, I have seen no ads at all on this website. A few months ago, Duolingo said they were going to add ads to Duolingo, but I never got them, probably because I use the online version. For the people that do have this pop up, I would suggest telling Duolingo about this through the Report abuse guide in the Guidelines.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/zyxwvutsrqpo

Nah it's a good thing, might force some parents to give their kids some sexual education instead of pretending like sex doesn't exist like way too many parents do. The latter being more damaging. Sooner or later they'll find out anyway...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/-K_F_C-

You know yours ads are based on your search history right


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Michael425495

This isn’t true and others have experience the same thing. I go onto news and sports but I don’t see anything from that.... also the ad was sexually explicit where it showed naked bodies.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jani245857

Indeed! All I ever see are ads for clothes and shoes! I'm cold busted for that!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/iSamuelHoffman

I don't like seeing ANY ads, because you never know what can show up. For example, I play a safe, appropriate game made by EA, and I can end up with a very inappropriate ad of another game made by EA. So I have adblockers to keep even myself from seeing something I cannot un-see. I never get any ads now (Unless I purposely click "Watch Ad" so I can get extra things, but almost always, I get a black box that vanishes in half a second). I'm on iOS, so I use AdBlock, ADmosphere, and Weblock.

Although having those are great, that is besides the point. I agree with you, if there are going to be ads, they should be safe ads. I know some kids that use Duolingo to learn, they find it fun and they learn so much. I don't want them to see something like that.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JenniferLayne

Exactly. Protect the children.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ffionevans

Agreed, some of the ads are highly inappropriate and I am frankly disgusted that Duolingo would cheapen it’s quality service with this crap.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Michael425495

Today I saw inappropriate ads as well. They were both for erectile dysfunction and in one of them, it actually showed a naked penis. Then the other one was sexually suggestive.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rykerhou1

everyone who sees sex on duolingo: WHATTTTTTTTT me: interesting


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dorwiegido

It would be nice if Duolingo sorted it’s ads for different audiences. In order to do so, Duolingo should let people select their age ranges. (Such as Younger Child(elementary level- or ages 0-10), Older Child (Middle School- or Junior High- or ages 11-13), Youth (High School- or ages 14-17), Adult (ages 18-60) and Senior (ages 60+).)

I hope by sorting ads, it would help appropriatize ads for everyone. Also, I would suggest Duolingo to pre-watch the ads before releasing them to age groups for safety reasons.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dorwiegido

This is just a suggestion. Dear Duo, it is perfectly okay to edit the age ranges but I only posted those as examples.

I suggested age ranges due to the fact that Duolingo is generally a safe place to learn languages without the feeling of it’s users being stalked and being robbed by their information.

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