A digital media pioneer, liberal news and commentary site Salon launched in November 1995 just as online news was starting to get its teeth. This was back when the internet was still ramping up. Publishers and advertisers had a simpler relationship then.
Despite its wonders, the internet has made advertising models increasingly complicated. Where advertisers and publishers once had a one-on-one relationship, today’s ads go through a series of intermediaries before they reach their target audience. This opens the door to high-tech fraudsters who do things like siphon money away from advertisers by spoofing them with fake impressions. The problem has gotten so bad that, by some estimates, one third of paid-programming impressions are not viewed by actual people.