Ads for Major Brands are Appearing on AI-generated Spam Sites

NewsGuard flagged as one of the AI spam sites after ads for major brands started appearing on its homepage. According to a report shared by NewsGuard, the website was filled with low-quality, spammy content likely generated by AI tools. Surprisingly, it is not the only such website. The study was first conducted by MIT Technology Review which included brands such as Citigroup and Subaru.

Ads for Major Brands are Appearing on AI-generated Spam Sites

In its report, NewsGuard highlighted that more than 141 brands were being advertised on unreliable AI-generated news websites in May and June 2023. It noted that hundreds of ads appeared on these websites through the programmatic Google ads, a system that automatically places the ads on a website and doesn’t require advertisers to pick and manually place them. This allows AI-built websites to earn profits by simply running ads.

Some of the websites that were investigated were publishing around 1200 stories a week, for example, included copied and pasted articles from the New York Times. Many stories on the website simply read, “Sorry, I am an AI language model and I cannot rewrite the given title as it is not clear and is not a recognizable language. Please provide a clear and readable title.” Similarly, visitors were met with grave health misinformation on websites like, which included advertisers like Subaru, Citigroup, and GNC.

Google took note of the incident has stated that it has removed ads many of these ads from the listed websites. However, ads remain on others. The company also stated that it is working to address the issue, and has updated its policies to prohibit ads from appearing on sites that are “primarily generated by automated means.”

The issue has some serious implications for the credibility of AI technology. People today are greatly dependent on the internet, and while the grey line between fake and authentic content has always remained a subject of extensive debate, the recent advancements in AI technology and its integration to the day to day life has only raised eyebrows.

As ads for major brands are appearing on AI-generated spam sites, it is not clear how many more such websites exist and how many will be created in the future. The recent issue has questioned the future of AI-generated content and also highlights the need for strict measures to regulate low-quality and plagiarized content.

Source: MIT Technology Review, NewsGuard Report

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