Duolingo should not be advertising services for cheats

I got an ad for Ivory Towers "academic essay writing service" today. This is a company that enables students to lie and cheat to get marks they didn't earn. I was very surprised to see this advertised by a app whose mission is in support of education!

December 6, 2018


I am like 90% sure duolingo has no control over the ads, powered by google or who ever and that the ads are based on your searches, interests and location.

So I search for clothes and get ads for clothes.

I search for computers, I get ads for a computer store.

December 6, 2018

No control as in not deciding which ones to display: probably, but I'm also quite confident that they can block whichever one they choose.

December 6, 2018

haha. Well, they have to pay the bills somehow. Anyway, I don't mind the ads. Especially if they keep the service free for me.

Some ads are very amusing. I often get one for a gay cruise line. It's memorable and immediately recognizable because it has three smiling, well-endowed, scantily-clad, winsome young men beckoning me toward a well-appointed ship.

It seems a little strange because the marketing for other websites is highly sophisticated. For example, on-line newspapers spam me with ads for scuba gear. That makes sense because I buy scuba gear on line They also put up lots of ads for resorts in the tropics. That makes sense because we book tropical resorts on line. But I have no recollection of searching for a gay cruise line. I guess the duolingo ads aren't particularly specific.

December 6, 2018

Yea. I can't complain because this site is amazing and free. Which you don't see often. Most language learning site cost money monthly. Not everyone wants to be a big spender.

I don't even pay attention to the ads. Who does really? It's just there and it's not really in a noticeable place for me. If a ad showed a site about cheats, wouldn't bother me. At least it's not something highly inappropriate.

Your right about if you search for certain things, you will get ads with something you might be interested or similar. It can show things your not interested as well.

December 8, 2018

Ads based on your Internet viewing. Duolingo does not force you to go to those sites. I moved to a country so I would not have ads in my language learning pursuit and you know what? I am woken up to ads: working people chanting what foods they have for sale up and down the street early in the morning. Nothing like being woken up by a language lesson ad live.

December 7, 2018

I used to believe that too, but I get all sorts of weird stuff. right now I have an ad for Cubo storage systems. (Why would I search for a storage space? We already have more bedrooms than we have people in our house. and there's still lots of room in the basement.) And earlier UPS was trying to recruit me into a delivery job. (seriously? Our house consists of two middle-aged, white collar professionals with stable employment and an eighth-grader, none of whom is cruising the want ads looking for a job.) These are definitely not highly-targeted ads.

Still, I think youze guys should stop complaining. Well except maybe the PLUS users are justified, but for the rest of us, it's free. If you don't want to buy a term paper or a gay cruise or a self-storage block, then don't buy it. No reason to get offended at people offering their products in a free market. Speaking of free, duolingo is free. Did I mention that? Don't look a gift cheval in the bouche.

Also, at least the ads don't show up in the middle of a column, like they do in news articles. Duolingo has the decency to keep them on the right. Except for the times when I see threads about them, such as this one, I really don't pay much attention to them.

December 7, 2018
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