Publishers reconsider sponsored links

Media outlets are growing tired of sponsored links. The main reason is that in a time when more people than ever doubt the media’s legitimacy, the links can sometimes lead to incorrect or even offensive articles.

Sponsored links are shown below an outlet’s content, typically headlined with something like “Around the Web” or “You Might Also Like.”

The problem is that often the links take readers to questionable sites that are essentially just more ads or contain incorrect information. Sometimes sponsored links are just downright unethical, like a link about Hollywood stars’ bikini bodies shown below an article on eating disorders.

While some outlets still use the links, Slate and The New Yorker have abandoned them. Keith Hernandez, Slate’s president, told the New York Times the ads are “built on a premise for publishers to maximize revenue — it’s not built on a premise of finding the next great things for your readers to do.”

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