Of Cookies and Caches: Why @DailyKos Must Respond to the Racist “Spics” Ad On Its Site

Mar 8, 2012
10:47 PM

UPDATE, 1pm EST, March 9: Daily Kos founder @Markos has told us (click on link) that Cafepress will be blocked and he thanked us for bringing this to their attention.

Before we updating you about what our editors saw tonight on a Ron Paul story written by The Daily Kos, there are a few things you should note about us:

  • We are independent journalists, editors, and bloggers that cover issues pertaining to the US Latino world. When we come across images and content that we feel demeans US Latinos, we write about it. We cover the story as does any independent journalist, with evidence, with sources and with actual reporting.
  • Although we are a political site, we try to cover different points of view, and let our readers decide what is news and what is not.

Which leads us to the curious tale of The Daily Kos, one of the country's top web political pages. The site proudly claims the following:

Daily Kos is [sic] largest online political community with over 350,000 progressive activists reaching over 3 million people each month, which makes us the #1 place to find liberals online. We have the second most engaged audience of any news and information site and we were one of two sites instrumental in driving and sustaining the viral process of political information.

A lot of the principles that the Daily Kos promotes actually mesh with a lot of what the Rebeldes do. We love politics and we love independent journalism. We also think the new media is exactly what the Kos does, although there are times when they might get a bit too partisan or maybe too "engaging" on their social media sites (we know the feeling). Still, in the grand scheme of categorizing popular political websites, the Daily Kos is what it is: a liberal site.

And that is why we were surprised (no, make that outraged) to see the following CafePress products on their site (three times) tonight:

Yes, we know that online ads are auto-generated and yes there is a Google Ad Network, and we also know that even after you clean up a cache and clear your cookies, ads might change, and yes, we also know that the SPICS product shifted from the top right corner the first time we saw it to the bottom left corner the third time we visited the page. To the two Twitter profiles that were trying to offering us an explanation about auto ads and how ads populate on a site and why it is all about "scripts" and "servers," we thank you. We kind of knew that already, and in fact, that is one of the biggest reasons why the Rebeldes don't use auto ads, Google Ad Networks, and scripting. You lose control of your content and you run the risk of having an ad say SPICS and GO BACK TO MEXICO on your site.

The question is not about whether we cleared our cache or deleted our cookies or whether The Daily Kos fixed their ad scripts or whether they turned their ads to Google Ad Network, the questions for us are very very simple:

Why was the ad even there in the first place? 

Who agreed to have this ad appear on The Daily Kos site?

If you own the content to your page, why aren't you worrying about the ads that appear there?

Why aren't you maniacal about making sure that the ads you place on a site actually match the tastes of your "liberal" audience?

In the end, is all your talk about being "progressive" jus about money? (which is fine, but maybe be more transparent about it?)

In addition, Daily Kos founder @markos, who is quite active on Twitter, so far has not answered our tweets tonight and we even tweeted our our real email to him, which we never do. We would love to connect with him and find out how such a racist ad appeared on this site and why was it even there in the first place?