How to Report Pop-Ups, Redirects, and Other Inappropriate Ads

Last Updated: April 22, 2011

Network Ads on DeviantArt

First, some information about how ad networks function:

  • An advertiser contacts an ad network or exchange and submits an advertisement.
  • Ad is approved/declined via an automated system. Approved ads enter the advertising network's "rotation".
  • Ads from the rotation are shown randomly on DeviantArt.

The rotation can contain tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of ads at any one time. We have very little to do with the selection of ads for our site. We have, however, specified that auto-play audio, rollover to expand, or adult content ads are banned and our networks have filtered that content to prevent it from reaching DeviantArt. Some advertisers do not indicate that their ads contain audio or adult content when submitting to the rotation; this is why some creep through every now and then.

Reporting Bad Advertisements

This post is to reassure the community that DeviantArt continues strong policy against popups, redirects, and other inappropriate ads. If you are experiencing this on our site, please be sure that your computer isn't already infected with the pop-up/spyware/malware by running anti-spyware programs. Also, please be sure that you are experiencing them from DeviantArt and not some other site you are browsing at the time before you contact the Help Desk.

Clearly, we want to remove these "bad ads" as much as you want them gone, but there are far too many ads to search through manually. In order to help us figure out which network is responsible for the problem we will need you to contact the Help Desk where a member of the Help Desk Team will link you to a special form to fill out. The form will require you to provide the following information below. By providing as much detail as you can this will help our Advertising Department in being able to locate and eliminate these issues from happening.

Information we need from you:

  • Help Desk Ticket # (required)
  • Issue Type (Inappropriate Content, Auto-playing Audio, Malicious Redirect, Virus/Worm, Pop-up/Pop-under, Automatic Download) (required)
  • Date & Time of Incident (required)
  • Country
  • Operating System
  • Browser
  • deviantART URL (the page it happened on)
  • Advertiser URL(not required but is extremely helpful)
    • For non-flash ads, all this takes is right-clicking the ad, selecting "Copy Image Location", and pasting the URL into the email. For Flash ads, this is a little more difficult.
    • Firefox - With Firefox, you can do this by going into Tools > Page Info and clicking the "Media" tab. Look for anything with "Embed" on the right (those are the Flash files), right click on the URL and select "copy". 
    • Safari - Safari users, meanwhile, can either use Safari Dev Tools to debug code or just open the Activity Window, expand everything, and screenshot that.
    • Internet Explorer - Right click on the ad and click properties. Copy ad URL. Hint: You can click on the URL and press "CTRL-A" to get the whole thing at once
  • Screenshot (not required but is extremely helpful)
  • Firebug/Fiddler/Safari Log (not required but is extremely helpful)

How to use Firebug, Fiddler, and Developer Tools to retrieve debug code

These instructions require users to have a moderate understanding of HTML.

Using Firebug (Firefox)

Downloading and Install Firebug

  1. Go to
  2. Click "Install Firebug" and then follow the instructions in the following pages.
  3. Click "Restart Firefox"
  4. Go to Tools > Firebug > Enable (or) Double click the grey circle to enable.

You will know it’s on and working when you see the Firebug logo (in older version of Firebug, it was a green check box) in the right bottom-hand corner of your browser. (NOTE: If you use Firefox 3, instead of the green check you’ll see the Firebug logo in the lower right corner. If it is black and white, Firebug is NOT running; if it’s colored it IS running.)

What should you look for?

  • The ad size that matches the problem ad size (i.e. leaderboard, 728x90, 300x250, etc.)
  • A network tag being called (i.e. Real Media,, Google, etc)
  • Type “Fella” into the search window if all else fails

Next Steps:

1. Take a screenshot of the problem ad

2. Mouse near the ad (or over it)

3. Right click and select "Inspect Element". This will show you the Firebug ad call

4. Click the "Inspect" tab (see below) (Make sure you are inspecting HTML, not CSS, Script, DOM or Net)

5. Mouse over the ad (part of the ad will highlight) then click on the ad to lock it in.

Screen shot 2010-04-06 at 4.54.39 PM.jpg

6. Either take a screenshot of the firebug code (full screen) or right-click the <HTML> tag and select “copy HTML”, and paste the copied code into a text file.

7. Submit the screenshot of the ad and the ad code to us for investigation.

Using Fiddle (Internet Explorer)

We do not have information on how to do this at this time.

Using Web Inspector (Safari) or Developer Tools (Google Chrome)

  1. Go to Safari > Preferences... > Advanced
    • Check "Show Develop menu in menu bar"
  2. When you're on a page that contains an ad you'd like to report, right-click on an open area on the page and select "Inspect Element"
  3. In the search box, type in "fella"
  4. In the code, find <div class="ad-blocking-makes-fella-confused"...> and expand the code by clicking the arrow on the left next to that line.
  5. Expand <div class="ch-ctrl"...> and <table> underneath.
  6. Find and confirm the div id in the source code with the correct dimensions (e.g. <div id= "google_ads_div_atf_top_728x90_v6_deviations...">) and expand code again.
  7. You will find an <iframe> tag. Right click on the "src" attribute and select "copy link".  Paste that into a text doc and send it over to us so we can contact the culprit.

It will look something like the highlighted code in the screenshot below:


Picture 161.jpg
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  • 0

    We are currently updating this post with information on how to use debuggers to help with reporting bad advertisements. If you would like to stay up to date on this topic please make sure to click the subscribe button at the top of the this post's page.


    We'd like to thank all of those who have already subscribed to our new Status Forum as well as to any individual posts.

  • 0

    In addition to this reporting method we now have a tool available for everyone who is using Firefox. For information on this please see this HQ Blog.

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