Google product designer develops a simple method for spotting native advertising

You might not be one of them, but countless people have read an article online without realizing it's an advertisement. Making the distinction can be difficult sometimes, but thanks to a brand new browser plug-in called AdDetector, native advertising might soon have nowhere left to hide. When you visit sites such as BuzzFeed, The Atlantic, or the New York Times, the plug-in will stick a big red banner at the top of the page to let you know you're reading sponsored content.

Not all news providers are the same, with some clearly marking sponsored content, and others displaying just enough to avoid legal complications. Terminology can change depending on which site you visit as well. Created by by Google product engineer Ian Webster in his spare time, AdDetector wants to simplify things by letting you know about integrated advertising using the same method – regardless of which site you happen to be on.

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