The Guy Who Invented Pop-Up Ads
Back in 1995, a man almost ruined the Internet before it became the wonder it is today. He was attempting to do something nice, but his creation went nuts, took over the world, and made visiting a common website in the early, Wild West days of the Internet a truly terrifying prospect. That man is Ethan Zuckerman, and he recently apologized for creating pop-up ads.
And by "creating," I mean he spilled the contents of an ad executive's head onto the Internet.
In a lengthy article in The Atlantic about the state of modern Internet advertising, Zuckerman outed himself as the man responsible for making sure that every website is basically a digital landmine that explodes with ads for dick-expanding drugs from the moment you land on it.
Advertising is intensely pervasive, yet there was a time when it could be ignored. So what did you do, Zuckerman? You created a form of advertising that abandons the placid, mostly ignorable ubiquity of traditional advertising and replaces it with commercials that explode onto eyeballs like poorly aimed cumshots. Your grand advertising scheme was to take the thing we all already thought was annoying and ram it into our heads like a demented older brother trying to touch a sibling with a finger covered in snot.
Difference is, you can't tell mom why all the pop-ups have boobs and vaginas.