Is there anything that’s more universally despised on the Internet than pop-up ads? Probably not but now The Atlantic has published an essay written by the creator of these hideous little bits of code and he says he’s sorry for what he’s done. Ethan Zuckerman, who now heads up the Center for Civic Media at MIT, says that he first wrote the code for what would become the pop-up ad in the mid-’90s. Zuckerman says that the pop-up ad was designed with benevolent intentions as a way to help advertisers separate their brands from whatever wild and seedy content just happened to be on someone’s homepage.
I’m sorry. Our intentions were good.
pop-up ad code writer Ethan Zuckerman