eli5 what the end goal of a fake X on a mobile ad

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I literally cannot think of any reason, if someone does know why could you explain? Id assume pissing everyone off would turn people _away_ from your product

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Sites get paid for clicks sometimes. You tap it and that is another interaction they get credit for.

Clicking the fake x means you click on the ad and open its link to whatever it’s an ad for.

It doesn’t matter that it pisses you off, or that you don’t actually buy anything, because it’s too late. You’ve clicked on the ad, and the ad-seller is charging the ad-buyer by the number of clicks generated.

Think about the people who design the ad. They are not the people who actually make and sell the product. They are an ad agency working for those people. The ad agency wants to look relevant. They want to make it seem like the ad matters. The way they do this, on the web, is to try to get you to click on the ad, by any means necessary — including fake close buttons.

If you’re the sort of person who just wants to get rid of the ad, then you’re not actually likely to buy the product. The people who actually make the product do not want to pay for your attention, because *you’re not going to buy the product.* But they’re *tricked* into paying for your attention — stolen from you by fraud — because they don’t know how to actually review the technical details of the ad agency’s work.

Basically, when you see a really shitty and inappropriate ad, it usually means the ad contractor is ripping everyone off. Even though the ad makes you *hate* the product rather than *buy* the product, the product maker is being billed for your attention. In the long run, we can think of this as a *systemic fraud* that harms both the makers of products *and* the people who view unnecessary ads.

It’s *possible* to have online ads that aren’t full of fraud. However, it requires a bunch of attention that most service owners aren’t willing to to pay.

Many apps are sold in an ad-free premium version. So pissing you off is a great incentive to make you buy the premium version.