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Ask Ubuntu quotes Alphabet's misleading ad blurb about ajax.googleapis.com, as if Ask Ubuntu doesn't know that ajax.googleapis.com is an open door to tracking. ajax.googleapis.com passes user data to google-analytics.com, googletagmanager.com, and gstatic.com, all of which communicate with Alphabet.

We can't see what Alphabet does with these data, but unless we live in a cave or if we use Alphabet's ad targeting/tracking services, we know exactly what they do with them. In addition, you must fully disable ad blocking, and when you do, Google will use this back door to place trackers on your system. google.com and accounts.google.com place cookies on your system, as do Ask Ubuntu and SourceForge. Ask Ubuntu is sleeping with the enemy.

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    It seems a sensible question after all the distracting tinfoil-hat nonsense is stripped away. I would lower the level of hyperbole and paranoia if you want the question to be taken seriously. For example, you may indeed have real enemies somewhere who want to locate you and harm you...but they are unlikely to be the folks buying Alphabet data to determine the population of good prospects for a new mattress cover. So don't accuse the AskUbuntu community of being among those enemies when trying to open a discussion.
    – user535733
    Apr 19 at 22:41
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    Why do you need to disable ad/tracker blocking? I don't, and AskUbuntu works well. Have Firefox protections, UO, privacyBadger all on.
    – crip659
    Apr 19 at 23:05
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    Knowing that all Stack Exchange sites are powered by (Google) ads, let me ask a counterquestion. How would you propose that the operating costs of Stack Exchange are covered? Would you be willing to pay monthly to access Ask Ubuntu? Wouldn't forcing users to pay for the site dramatically reduce engagement? Less engagement means fewer questions and fewer answers. Most people who answer questions here are volunteers. Do you think they would continue doing so if they had to pay? And would you be comfortable giving the same kinds of data to PayPal/Visa/MasterCard/Discover/AMEX?
    – Nmath
    Apr 19 at 23:05
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    @Nmath SE is dishonestly claiming that tracking cookies are "essential". That is a bare faced lie, and many people are rightly angered by it. The ad revenue is negligible to the company, this has been discussed quite a few times in various blog posts: the main source of income are the paid products like Stack Overflow for Teams. The public Q&A sites bring very, very little money to the company, so your point is moot.
    – terdon
    Apr 20 at 10:14
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  • The meta discussion that terdon linked has been answered by SE staff now.
    – Andrew T.
    May 3 at 22:19

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