ads on my vimeo pages - ugh

Note: this post was originally titled "Amazon Fire puts ads on my Vimeo pages." It took me several emails to Vimeo customer service to determine that Vimeo is actually the source of the ads. See Update 2 below.

amazon_fire_ad_on_vimeo_page

Pardon the bad photo but this was eyebrow-raising. I've been using an Amazon Fire tablet (given to me as a gift) in order to test the responsiveness of my page layouts on a mobile device.*
I popped over to my Vimeo account and discovered obnoxious ads on pages with my "art" videos. I thought with a Vimeo Plus account ($7 a month) this wasn't supposed to be happening. I've gotten conflicting responses from Vimeo customer support. Kaitlin F. says that, yes, "...we do have limited display advertising below the player on some vimeo.com pages. As a Plus member, you won’t see display ads when you’re logged in to your account. However, Basic members and logged-out viewers will see display ads on your page." I asked how long they'd been doing this and got a reply from Bri W.:

Vimeo never displays ads on any part of our platform. It sounds as though you are visiting your video page via the web browser within Amazon Fire, which is the most likely source of the ad placement.

A friend has suggested that Amazon has some backdoor deal with Vimeo, where Vimeo allows them a certain amount of screen real estate, which Amazon uses to send me targeted ads on my Fire tablet. This way both entities have plausible deniability as to who is serving me ads.

Is it possible for the Fire to inject ads on pages of companies they don't have a licensing arrangement with? Anyone familiar with the dark arts of web development and marketing, please drop me a line if you know.

I find this all pretty disgusting.

*i.e., pages of this blahg are supposed to change size and shape depending on what type of screen they're viewed on

Update: Customer support person "Rachel" continues the straight talk:

I can confirm that Kaitlin's previous message is correct, and there is a slight misunderstanding with our last email to you. We do have limited display advertising on Vimeo, however as a Plus member, when you are logged in viewing your own videos or any other videos, you won't see display ads on your page.

Our last message meant to explain that we don't display any third party ads within the Vimeo platform.

If a viewer is on a Basic membership or are logged out, they will see display ads from Vimeo on your page. If you are looking to remove the Vimeo ads on your video page for viewers, our Pro membership offers this.

My increasingly frustrated reply:

Please see the attached photo. (It's an ad for "sidestage.com" placed within my list of personal videos.)

Is this a "display ad"? Is it being served by Vimeo?

I don't understand the distinction you are making between a "display ad" and a "third party ad."

Isn't the ad for sidestage.com both a display ad and a third party ad?

In either case I don't like seeing it and don't think I should have to pay more to get rid of it.

I'll ask my original question -- when did you start doing this? I've never seen ads before on my pages.

Update 2: More straight talk from Customer Support person "Jess":

I think the confusion lies more with the distinction between a Vimeo page and the Vimeo Platform.

We never display advertising of any type on videos in our player (within the Vimeo platform), however as we mentioned Basic members may see display ads on a Vimeo page.

OK, It's pretty clear that Vimeo shows ads to anyone who isn't a member, unless a member, who doesn't want his audience to see ads, pays more than I'm currently paying. This has nothing to do with Amazon. Vimeo doesn't like to admit they're doing this, hence all the bafflegab about "the distinction between a Vimeo page and the Vimeo Platform." Staff claims that serving ads is not a recent practice but they "don't have an exact date of when this started."

around the web (election edition)

Left-leaning commentator Benjamin Studebaker makes the case against Biden in the general.

Along similar lines, Chris Hedges' rant from 2016 on Democracy Now! is airtight (then and now). [YT - starts at 1:37] Jimmy Dore cuts it off after his speech so I don't know if Amy Goodman replied. She was later a Russiagate scammer so am guessing she was flabbergasted by so much unvarnished truth pouring out of one person's mouth.

James Howard Kunstler is so mad about the Russiagate scams and Democratic incompetence (such as engineering the nomination of a right-wing near-vegetable), he's actually going to vote Trump. JHK's to my right on race and immigration issues but he writes as a lifelong Democrat fed up with the mendacity.

Economics prof Michael Hudson explains how debt jubilees worked in ancient societies (pre-Roman Empire) and why something like that would help to get us out of our present mess.

"cancel culture" letter (cry me a river)

Mondoweiss:

An open letter published by Harper’s magazine, and signed by 150 prominent writers and public figures, has focused attention on the apparent dangers of what has been termed a new "cancel culture."

The letter brings together an unlikely alliance of genuine leftists, such as Noam Chomsky and Matt Karp, centrists such as J K Rowling and Ian Buruma, and neoconservatives such as David Frum and Bari Weiss, all speaking out in defence of free speech.

But, Mondoweiss notes:

...the rightwingers and the centrists... are interested in free speech for themselves and those like them. They care about protecting free speech only in so far as it allows them to continue dominating the public space with their views -- something they were only too used to until a few years ago, before social media started to level the playing field a little.

Max Blumenthal believes that such centrists and rightwingers

[are] part of a growing establishment “hyper-liberal” cancel culture that sidelines vital issues including class struggle; promotes reactionary projects like Russiagate by co-opting righteous causes [e.g., Kamala Harris claiming Colin Kaepernick was a Russian tool --tm]; and supports the cancellation of foreign countries via aggressive U.S. foreign policy.

Blumenthal gives examples of the cancel culture letter's signatories' previous efforts to "cancel" the careers of critical voices such as Joseph Massad, Steven Salaita and Matt Taibbi by interfering with their livelihoods. The term cancel culture itself is a minty fresh neologism and everyone has their definition right now but clearly, for the letter writers it means "cancellation for thee but not for me."

For various reasons, Mondoweiss thinks

[Noam] Chomsky might have been better advised not to have added his name [to the letter], however much he agrees with its vague, ostensibly pro-free speech sentiments.

That's all you need to know.