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Identify Ads Masquerading as Real Headlines With the ‘NoDisguisedAdsAnymore’ Chrome Extension


Image: Brendan Hesse

Anyone who has spent enough time on the internet knows not to believe everything you read. But scroll through Google search results and you’ll find yourself confronted with ads masquerading as news articles or other official content. These results are usually tagged with an “Ad” icon that most users will easily spot, but we all know someone who might need a little more help sorting ads from real content (and maybe even real news from fake news, while we’re at it). For those people in our lives who need help identifying ads, we suggest a browser extension like NoDisguisedAdsAnymore.

NoDisguisedAdsAnymore is a simple Chrome add-on that identifies ads pretending to be organic content and dims them out from search results on Google, Reddit, and other sites. They’re still clickable, but dimming out ads makes them easier to recognize (and ignore) which should help diminish the likelihood of them being clicked on or mistaken for real headlines.

How to add NoDisguisedAdsAnymore to Chrome

You or the person you’re installing the add-on for will need to be running Chrome, obviously, but adding the NoDisguisedAdsAnymore extension to your browser takes just a couple clicks, so it should be easy to guide friends or family who might not be familiar with browser add-ons. Here’s how:

An example of how ads in Google search results appear with NoDisguisedAdsAnymore installed.
Screenshot: Brendan Hesse
  1. Open the NoDisguisedAdsAnymore extension page in Chrome.
  2. Click “Add to Chrome.”
  3. Click “Add extension” in the pop-up window.
  4. Installation should complete almost instantaneously, and the changes take effect the next time you search on Google or load up Reddit—no browser restart or settings configurations necessary.

Now, as Ghacks points out, NoDisguisedAdsAnymore is superfluous for users who already have ad- or content-blocking extensions installed, since they remove ads altogether rather than just make them less noticeable. But while ad-blocking add-ons may be more effective for removing and reducing ads entirely, NoDisguisedAdsAnymore is still a worthwhile education tool since it could help users realize just how easily ad content can be slipped into search results or content feeds.



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