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This tragedy was brought to you by…

By Tom Chatfield  

It’s a topic I’ve (obliquely) blogged on before, but it continues to astonish me that quite respectable websites can allow key-word-led advertising to become a kind of macabre, ironical commentary on their content.

Take the website of the Daily Mail—a responsible and respectable national newspaper with hundreds of thousands of users. Now, type in a couple of words to perform a search for any one of the habitual horrors that pass through the news: “dead horses,” perhaps, for the Mail‘s excellent coverage of the hundreds of neglected animals recently found on a farm in Amersham; or “child killed” for the…

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