In 2016, I want to see if I can use the Internet as if it is not powered by ads. For other posts in the series, click here.

The New York Times has a great story on lead gens. Lead gens use the advertising ecosystem to flood search results with ads for fake businesses that subcontract your service requests to contractors. The lead gens give low estimates and use contractors that then show up and try to get as much money as possible.
This is all made possible by, and driven by, the automated ad-driven Internet. (I don’t, for example, have this issue when searching for providers on Angie’s List, which uses a different model.)