How do you feel about the political ads on QRZ.Com?

If you use QRZ.Com at all, you’ve probably noticed that they’ve started running a lot of political ads, namely ad criticizing President Obama. Now, I don’t have any insight into AA7BQ’s financial status, but I think running any kind of political ads on a ham radio site is just plain wrong. I’ve donated to QRZ.Com in the past, but I think if these political ads continue to run, I’m not going to contribute in the future.

What do you think?


  1. It took me a while to realize that QRZ is not exactly the ARRL, and very much a private enterprise, run their way.
    I honestly thought QRZ was some kind of benevolent Ham Radio Association, maybe even an ARRL site.

  2. I think it’s fine for them to post the ads of their choice. I definately support your right to not chose to use their services. I would hope you would endorse the choice of others to increase their support.

    How will you feel if the Government mandates that you must support that site or have to pay a fine, err, tax? I’m curious.

  3. I’m not usually one to defend, but the non-radio ads are displayed by a third-party provider. QRZ does not get to choose to exclude these types of ads, unless they choose to terminate their relationship with the third-party provider.

  4. A more pertinent question, for me at least, is “How do you feel about” The site’s political forums are a troll wasteland. The amateur radio forums are frequented by mode bigots, tin foil hat-wearing hams stocking up on food and ammo in preparation for the upcoming zombie apocalypse, and egotistical fact-challenged know-it-alls, overseen by moderators who jump into the fray like professional wrestlers. Years ago QRZ capitalized on the code/no code debate to the point where it seemed like blatant web views whoring. Frankly, political ads are just icing on the cake for this land of misfit toys. But I digress.

  5. There are ads on

    Adblock extension here.

    I would find any tasteless ads reason to contact the webmaster and express my feelings about their choice of revenue.

  6. I hadn’t noticed because I use AdBlock, which makes the web not only more pleasant/calm, but also more reliable and faster. It’s great software, can’t recommend it enough.

    (As for the ads: he should be able to choose filters for that sort of thing with his ad network. It looks like it’s adsense, which dealt with this in 2008:

  7. Adam S. KF5TCU says:

    I just ignore them. Depending on the season you’ll start seeing some anti-bain ads soon.

  8. I do not support any political ads on the QRZ site. However, as most (not all) American radio amateurs are right-wing conservatives, placing anti-Obama ads is rather like preaching to the choir.

  9. If the QRZ owners are specifically choosing those ads, that might bother me a little.

    But what might be happening is that the ads are being served-up to viewers based on the viewers’ browsing habits via the ad provider’s algorithms. (like Google Adsense) So you and I might see very different ads. I looks at watches and fountain pens on various sites. So So I often see ads for both on various sites.

  10. Dan KB6NU says:

    I can understand that QRZ.Com may not be able to select specific ads, but shouldn’t they still be responsible for what runs on their site?

    Also, I’ve gotten some comments on Twitter that the ads are not really political ads, but ads trying to blame the President for the poor economic conditions and sell some kind of investments. I should have actually clicked on the ad and read what it was all about. Even so, those ads don’t seem appropriate for a ham radio website.

  11. Dan,

    >> “I can understand that QRZ.Com may not be able to select specific ads, but shouldn’t they still be responsible for what runs on their site?”

    Yes, I agree that they are ultimately responsible for what ads are being shown.

    And I think with AdSense (don’t know if that’s what they use) you can opt-out of specific ad types or advertisers.

    Is it political-related ads in general you don’t care for? Or specifically the ones being shown? Just curious.

    For what it’s worth, I’m with you, when I’m on a non-political site I would prefer non-political ads. They get old pretty fast imho.

  12. Political ads are definitely inappropriate on QRZ. And as to whether or not they can control the ads, of course they can; every ‘ad service’ that I know of allows you to accept or deny categories of ads (seen an porn ads on QRZ?).

  13. David Brodbeck says:

    I consider it unsurprising. Hams as a group skew older, which means they probably are majority conservative. Also, there’s a LOT of conservative cash washing around right now looking for places to buy ads, because of the current free-for-all state of campaign finance law.

  14. John Pawlicki (K8AG) says:

    Are political ads any worse than some of the other ads? But then QRZ is somewhat a monopoly. Pretty much if there is a call sign look-up on a site it is based on QRZ not the FCC data. If the were the FCC with political ads I would be right there complaining. But QRZ is a private company and abridging speech just seems far worse than some ads I don’t care for.

    FWIW. My 2 cents.

    73, JP, K8AG

  15. Elwood Downey, WB0OEW says:

    If you do or don’t like something on Fred’s sight, tell him. I don’t see the point of chewing on it here.

  16. I like QRZ, but they will not allow you to talk about Politics there. I have had very good threads going there that got clamped (shut down) because the conversation turned just the slightest bit political.
    It seems pretty hypocritical of QRZ to even allow political ads, when politics are taboo to even talk about there.

  17. “If you do or don’t like something on Fred’s sight, tell him.”

    Nuke the political forums, ban for life a short list of people (some who are subscribers), fire a few moderators, put some rules in place to stop vitriolic and political signatures and avatars, and stop deleting amateurs from the database as a way to smite them. That will go over like a lead balloon.

    “But then QRZ is somewhat a monopoly. Pretty much if there is a call sign look-up on a site it is based on QRZ not the FCC data.”

    There are other choices like HamQTH and QRZCQ, but unfortunately de facto standards in amateur radio are created by whoever shows up first and then they’re etched in stone. It’s too bad our software authors haven’t supported other choices beyond QRZ or Hamcall or insist on some open standard that would support a cloud-based community maintained database not controlled by one person.

    “Are political ads any worse than some of the other ads?”

    Yes. This is amateur radio. I come to amateur radio in my leisure time to escape the madness of the world and political wingnuttery is part of that madness. As others have mentioned, US amateurs are mostly conservative, and from what I’ve seen they’re quite entrenched in their beliefs. Political ads on QRZ will likely have little effect on them, and it certainly doesn’t sway someone like me who abhors the intrusion of politics into amateur radio. I’m sure there is a way for the site administrator to have political ads excluded from the Google feed. Frankly, I would prefer porn ads with hot chicks.

    “Depending on the season you’ll start seeing some anti-bain ads soon.”

    Be sure to watch what happens on the QRZ forums if this happens :-)

  18. If campaigns and/or PACs help support a sight with ad revenue so be it. Amateur radio is not excluded from everyday commerce (like ads).

  19. I have no problem with political or any other type Ads on QRZ. These Ad support QRZ and Ham Radio. Would you like QRZ to be a paid only member site? I wouldn’t.

  20. Mark Hadley says:

    I am fine with it, I am also pro freedom and pro second amendment. Our country is supposed to be a representative
    republic, not a dictatorship.

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