Have you ever met any of those brainwashed advertising people who believe that regular people like their ads and see them as content and are dying to see more?
Whoever added these arrows to AdSense is one of those people.
Someone involved with this truly believed that enough people want to see even more of these incredibly relevant ads on the blogs they’re trying to read to make it worth the overhead of being in one of the most widespread interfaces on the internet.
You can’t really blame them. A portion of Google’s business depends on the delusion that their “AdSense for Content” ads (the ones you see on blogs, not Google’s search results) are good most of the time. The rest of the internet knows that they’re usually crap, but at least Google’s employees and leaders need to believe in them.
Similarly, whenever Facebook or Google introduce a privacy-invading (or at least alarming) new feature, they will almost never make it opt-out by default. Doing so would be an implicit admission that most people really wouldn’t enable this if given the choice. Their business growth depends on them never admitting this, and likely not believing it themselves.
As long as we maintain a profile and actively use these types of services, we’ll need to be on high alert if we want to maintain reasonable privacy standards, going in and adjusting the settings to disable any creepy new features whenever they’re added. It’s a lot of work, and it’s not always going to be effective — not every creepy feature will have a setting to disable it.
The alternative is to delete our profiles and stop using these services, but do enough of us really value our privacy enough to go without them?
And that’s why they’ll continue to do what they do.