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IRCTC Or User? Who Is Actually Responsible For 'obscene And Vulgar' Ads Appearing On IRCTC Website

Written By Tanmay Patange | Mumbai | Published:


  • The IRCTC official responded to a complaint that "obscene and vulgar" ads appeared on IRCTC's ticket booking app
  • The IRCTC official asked the user to delete his internet search history on Twitter

A recent conversation between IRCTC user and Indian railways passengers support on Twitter has gone viral after the user who complained of seeing ‘vulgar’ ads on IRCTC website got a 'now viral' reply from the IRCTC official. Responding to a complaint that "obscene and vulgar" ads appeared on IRCTC's ticket booking app, the IRCTC official asked the user to delete his internet search history on Twitter.

“Obscene and vulgar ads are very frequently appearing on the IRCTC ticket booking app. This is very embarrassing and irritating @RailMinIndia @IRCTCofficial @PiyushGoyalOffc kindly look into,” IRCTC user said on Twitter.

Responding to his Tweet, this is what the IRCTC official had to say:

“IRCTC uses Google’s ad serving tool ADX for serving ads. These ads use cookies to target the user. Based on user history and browsing behaviour ads are shown. Please clean and delete all browser cookies and history to avoid such ads.”

VIRAL | User complains of 'vulgar' ads to IRCTC, gets epic advice in return from official handle

Soon enough, IRCTC’s response went viral across the microblogging platform and social media users across the country started trolling the user over his “internet browsing history” as pointed by the IRCTC official.

IRCTC pointed out (quite rightly) that users’ internet browsing history causes specific ads to appear on websites they visit. However, the user could have reported or blocked those ads if he wanted. Google shows users ads based on several factors: For example, search queries, previous search activity and interactions with ads.

Should IRCTC block the Ad?

Google gives publishers complete control over the ads that appear on their app or website and there are several ways publishers can block ads. In some cases, advertisers may also target certain keywords that may not necessarily be related directly to the ad being shown to website or app visitors.

Nitin Agarwal, Founder of media & advertising firm, Sprouts Media said the ad serving algorithm is based on a variety of factors:

"The ad serving mechanism or algorithm works keeping a lot of factors in consideration. Those ads were from an online shopping website, which usually, display their ads based on the user’s browsing history. But again, if the user is not happy with the ad, he/she can always block or report it via “Ad Choice” tool available on the top right corner of every display ad," said Agarwal.

Google on its support page mentions, "Some kinds of adult-oriented ads and destinations are allowed if they comply with the policies below and don't target minors, but they will only show in limited scenarios based on user search queries, user age, and local laws where the ad is being served."

So there you go, there would have been no story viral or otherwise if both parties knew how to deal with unwanted ads.