Malicious Design in the Age of Ads

Griffin Kao
Aug 28, 2020 · 6 min read

A generation growing up in an addictive and attention-hungry world can thank a tech-enabled advertising industry, but believe it or not, the internet was once advertisement free. Both the Advanced Research Projects Agency Network (ARPANET) and the National Science Foundation Network (NSFNET), early iterations of the modern internet, had policies that banned commercial use by companies on their networks.

However, with the advent of email, marketers found a way around the acceptable use policies and began sending what would later become known as “spam.” Not long after, in…