What are your thoughts on Ad-Blocker software?

But how is one to know that viewing the ads is a condition of visiting your site? Other sites which use ads don’t consider viewing them to be a condition. They may suggest enabling ads, but they don’t make it a condition.

So it appears to me that the onus is on you, as the site owner, to make it clear that viewing the ads is a condition of viewing the site, and leave potential visitors to decide whether or not they then wish to enter the site. Repeatedly stating that visitors are “thieves” and acting “illegally” if they have ads disabled is neither accurate nor constructive. Yes, you have the right to set the conditions for use of your site - but you need to inform visitors of those conditions, so they can choose to comply or leave.

(Advertising is what pays for commercial TV channels, but I’ve never seen a suggestion that anybody watching a programme is obliged to sit through those advertisements to avoid “illegally” accessing the content. Even the TV companies know many folk use the ad breaks to boil the kettle, feed the cat or whatever, and I’ve never heard them complain about it.)


Until the advent of adblockers, it was a de facto condition. Technically, I think it still is, in the same way that television ads are. You’re required to view a thing with commercials in it. What you can do on your own prerogative is remove those ads - by switching channels, getting up to walk away, or in this case, installing an ad blocker. You aren’t opting into ads, you’re opting out of them.

One key difference, I might add, is that in traditional TV advertising, there have never been metrics on how many people actually see the ads. It’s incalculable. They can come a lot closer to calculating the views of online ads, though - it’s definitely not perfect, and they don’t know if you took in any information, etc - but it’s much, much closer to accurate - and those impressions (and clicks) are what drive ad revenue. If I walk away from my TV set, I don’t deprive The Coolest TV Show 2 of revenue. Technically, by ad blocking, I may be depriving The Coolest Web Site 5 of a tiny fraction of their revenue. I know that’s not the point you’re making but I feel compelled to say it, because when people compare the two, in a legitimate way, then people reading it often equate them as the same thing - and they’re not the same thing.

Your point makes perfect sense. As Internet users, creators, developers, we are all aware of the sort of social contract implied by ads. Clearly the ads are there to make the owners money and, in theory, support the creation of the content that you are consuming. Clearly if you disable them, you are harming that process. But no one has said that you can’t remove them. The site owner will have to enforce that.

I hate those. Or the gimmicky news sites that want you to read a paragraph at a time, then click next, only the next button is not the first next button (ad) and the story drags on for 10 pages. I often will just google the subject and find another article to read when I run into those.

I think (I hope) that everyone is just misunderstanding each other there. The actual term “public domain” refers to material that is publicly available, without copyright, to be used and reprinted and modified at will with no issues. That term does not apply to content you put online, just because you put it online.

What people are saying (I think) is that once you put it online, it’s “out there” - now people are going to take your well crafted content and poach it, alter it, re-post it (illegally or not), download it and share with friends, etc. To some degree you have to accept that. Even billion dollar businesses in the media and the like have to accept it. The question there, I guess, is how easy you allow it to be for people to take stuff. But that’s another issue.[quote=“Noppy, post:31, topic:216931, full:true”]
i guess if we remove the security/tracking element then the question is do i have the right to pick and choose what i want to see in my browser or should i be forced to accept any advert that the site owner chooses to put on a website. Given that any information being put on a website is in the public domain on the ‘free’ and open internet, surely i can choose what i want. If it is locked behind a paywall fair enough.

However i do see the security/tracking element as being quite important and is?/will be one of the reasons more and more people ad block. I linked to a recent story about major trusted sites such as the bbc who allowed ransomeware to be propagated from their adverts. The more virus’s are spread from ads the more i am likely to block them.

I do disagree there. You’re on someone else’s website, they can show whatever they want on it - we certainly can’t dictate that. We can simply choose to leave (the old “vote with your dollars” mentality, only it’s with your… views? sales? whatever?). If you go to the site, you’re absolutely forced to accept whatever they offer - unless you choose to block them. But we have no say in what is on the page, period, we can only choose whether to [try] to block parts of it and stay on the page.

The tracking stuff is interesting, but usually has nothing to do with the site owner, as far as ads go. “Personalized” ads are a controversy, that as I was saying, needs to go in another thread, as it has little to do in my opinion with block/don’t block ads. Those are different things. I am not sure I have a solid opinion on the pros and cons of personalized ads, yet. Privacy vs relevant content and all…

And for what it’s worth, I’ve never gotten a virus/malware (to my knowledge) from an ad. I don’t click on ads, unless I can be reasonably sure they’re reputable AND interest me.

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If i read it correctly you are saying if you go onto the internet you should expect to have to view adverts and you should load the page exactly as the site owner intended. But there is no law that says i have to. I can load what parts i want as long as i don’t steal someones content or hack my way past security measures, i can choose to view a site in size 22 bright pink font with no images or javascript loaded if i want, otherwise my browser wouldn’t offer such features.

You cannot know what is on a page until you have loaded it, by which time you may already have downloaded a load of extra MBs (a cost to the visitor if you are on a data plan that costs per/MB), you have left yourself open to tracking (if the advert does that) and you have no control what the advert may contain.

Sorry disagree i would consider this to be one of my main reasons to ad block. I don’t want to be tracked.

http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/mar/16/major-sites-new-york-times-bbc-ransomware-malvertising which becomes hard when people exploit trusted website… It’s on the ‘new york times’ website it must be safe! Remember we are (hopefully) computer savvy people, unlike a lot of people i know who will click on anything that tells them too… oh dear now you have to pay to unlock all of your files.

We’ll have to agree to disagree if you literally mean what I’m understanding you to. Websites are created a specific way for a specific reason. You have no inherent rights to modify the content. You can to some degree. But you can’t complain that those rights are being removed when you never had them. Complaining that we can’t personalize ads to match what we want is just… nonsensical. I’m not saying at all that you can’t remove them. I’m not even saying that you shouldn’t remove them. Just saying that when people sort of platform and say that their rights are infringed when they can’t block, or can’t alter ads to fit their own ideas - that’s the silly part. I perfectly agree with you that you have the ability to block ads, or display text differently. :smile:

Yeah, but you’re arguing against a subset of ads, when arguing about personalized ads. You’re not discussing ads, in general, and ad blockers. You’re discussing specifically your dislike of personalized ads and tracking, and combating that. It’s a much more micro topic, and the subject of ads and adblockers in general is a macro type of topic. that may be your reason for wanting ad blockers, and that’s good to know, but what I’m saying is that we could all have a much more in depth conversation on personal ad tracking, and it would be better suited else where where it doesn’t divert this conversation.

That’s not my position on anything, or yours, it’s just good forums behavior :smiley: keeping things neat.

I agree totally. I don’t base my decision on where the ad is displayed, though, I base it on the ad itself. If I don’t recognize the brand/domain/etc I tend to not click it. If it really made me interested, I Google it. And since I understand how ad tracking works, if I respect both the site it was placed on and the product I’m interested in now, I’ll go back and click their ad :wink:

I understand that isn’t normal user behavior, any of it. Good point. But I think that condemning the entire ad industry due to malware is a bit over the top. Are you going to condemn the entirety of email? Facebook? Websites in general? You can get malware by clicking things in any of those, and people do so regularly.

So this article may show some ideas for changing the ad industry and how (and when, and if) we block http://www.sitepoint.com/interview-brendan-eich-ceo-brave/


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