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What if sponsored tumblr posts — or anything of its ilk, such as advertisements on videos and stuff elsewhere on the internet — had a “shut up” button?

Like, it wouldn’t even need to do anything too special. For video ads, it could function like a skip button if they allow for that option or a statement that an advertisement isn’t relevant to you or whatever. For Tumblr, maybe it could hide the sponsored post or maybe it could just log the response and change nothing.

Either way, so long as it was an additional response instead of a replacement of an existing option, it would be a way for users to communicate that they had a negative response to something.

And BAM, you’d have a new metric for the website and the advertisers to use.

Since there’d be a baseline amount of “shut up” responses for most ads and stuff, they’d be able to see what users found more or less objectionable than the average. Advertisers could get feedback to help them avoid alienating potential customers and the people running sites would be motivated to disincentivise ads and the like that users particularly dislike so as to avoid alienating their userbase.
Then the users — gradually, collectively — would benefit from a reduction is particularly obnoxious crap. And it would feel good to get to tell things you didn’t ask for and actively disliked to shut up, too.

Additionally, it might even help with better targeting ads and recommended posts and crap for users so that they’ll — on average — find what’s getting shoved in their faces less objectionable in its intrusions.

It’s a thought, at least.

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