The Curious Case of Disqus Ads on your Website (Again)

curious case disqus ads

Unlike those tens of looser publishers who are mistakenly convinced that user comments are best handled on social media, you don’t buy into Facebook’s bullshit. You are convinced that having users engaged on your site is best for your business. You use Disqus, the popular, though imperfect, comments plugin. And one fine morning, you wake up to see your readers being shown “discovered content” you never discovered! Everything from Viagra to fat-loss scams to flights by Richard Branson. Disqus ads arrived overnight. Hello, nightmare!

Disqus Ads: Always Crashing the Party Without Invitation

disqus ads like joker crashing your party
Joker crashing your party is not a pleasant experience

Disqus has a long history of pissing off its users. Unsuspecting bloggers and publishers have earlier been subjected to their bait and switch tactics.

Unpleasant Disqus ads disguised as “discovery” would appear on your website and then expect you to opt-out. And, when several irate bloggers questioned their unethical stunts, the founder Daniel Ha repeatedly refused to call a cat a cat. He would rather use euphemisms like “discovery” for advertising and never explained why Disqus ads are not opt-in.

Disqus Ads Trespass yet Again on your Property

disqus ads in comments section

In February 2017, they outdid the Joker. Not only did they trespass, they refused to go away unless you give them money (blackmail, anyone?). Disqus switched on shitty adverts in their comments box on your pages, without the slightest communication. And when website owners wanted to switch off the ads, Disqus gave their balls a gentle squeeze and wanted them to cough up $10. Every month. A decent price for a decent software? But, now comes the most surreal part of the nightmare, you had to email them and then receive a link to pay! Are we really in 2017?

Apparently, Disqus wants to charge only “big” publishers for switching off advertising. They claim that their basic plan will remain free for 95% websites. And they expect you to trust them yet again. That you will continue to be categorized as “small” and your readers will be spared watching shady ads. Good luck remaining in the bottom 95%!

WordPress Publishers Hate Disqus Ads

I have used Disqus on my websites before and the user experience is far from okay. They have been found to be bad for public discourse. Disqus makes it super easy for stalkers and trolls to silence commenters they disagree with. User sign-in sucks so bad that some commenters don’t even bother leaving a comment on Disqus anywhere. Some website owners have sworn off Disqus forever. And now, with Livefyre shutting down shop, are scrambling to find a viable alternative. Something which doesn’t suck so much.

As long as Disqus is getting paid for comment and ad spam, they are fine with it

Matt Mullenweg, WordPress Creator

You have seen plenty of evidence of Disqus’ notoriety among WordPress users and publishers. Here is what Matt Mullenweg, creator of WordPress, has to say about Disqus spam ads.

Alternative to Disqus Ads: Clean Opt-in Ads from Vuukle or still Free Forever

Just removing Disqus, seems to increase user comments. In case studies, where we have replaced Disqus by Vuukle, user comments have invariably increased. Sometimes by more than 50% immediately and by more than 300% over time. User engagement gets compounded very fast and if you are not tapping into this exponential user engagement growth, things could turn bleak for you.

disqus ads clearly dont speak english
Jules expects everyone to speak English

More importantly, we speak English. Ads are not “discovered content”. Ads are ads. Period. We hate “evil” as much as you do. That said, we need to make a living and, yes, we have a revenue sharing advertisement program for publishers. But your readers will know a Vuukle ad when they see one. Please drop a mail to with subject “Bye Disqus” and we will help you migrate to Vuukle for free.

A version of this post was first published on Vuukle blog.