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Show HN: FuckFuckAdblock (github.com)
353 points by mechazawa on Dec 14, 2015 | hide | past | web | favorite | 298 comments



As far as I'm concerned advertisers had their chance but they totally abused their chance turning the internet into an ad-laden hellhole and now I just block everything I possible can. If a site decides it doesn't like this then it's literally no use to me.

They had their chance, they abused it beyond all possible tolerance. I hate advertising on the internet now so much that if anything does manage to get past my blocks I make a conscious attempt to avoid buying anything from the scumbag organisation that thinks forcing their crap on my is anyway acceptable.


Internet ads are the equivalent of someone pointing a gun at your face and saying "Hey stupid.. give me all your attention if you want to browse this site".

If you play along then, occasionally it just slaps you in the face with an add popup. Meanwhile it's just dancing around the edges of the content you're browsing or odiously slips between the lines of texte whil scrolling.

What's the best response to this type of behaviour ? Obliterate the fucker !! AdBlocks does this on my behalf. Thank you AdBlock, protector of my most valuable resource!


My thoughts exactly!


When exactly did you "give ads a chance"?


For me it was approximately until the never ending popup era. You know, when you closed that popup, and another one came one, And then another one. And then another.

Then I got some popup blocker, then some other stuff, then AdBlock, then AdBlock plus, and I started white listing site that didn't abuse their users.


Plenty of people mentioned "a while ago" so I'll refrain from that but I'll add something: I give them a chance whenever I accidentally open Edge/IE or find myself using a computer that doesn't have ublock installed (I love you mom!). It's amazing how much shit they ad to most websites that gets blocked. Every single time it's a cringe moment of rushing to close the window or installing an adblocker.


I'm curious as to what sites you visit that cause such a reaction.

I too use adblock, but I use it in blacklist mode by default. I only ever add a site that I feel is very intrusive (funny enough it's usually mainstream news sites that are) And as of writing this comment, 24,893 different pieces of content which makes up 0% of all that I've viewed (according to uBlock Origin)

http://imgur.com/wgjXhe5

I rarely ever have any issues with ads on sites unless I visit some pretty horrific sites, and trust me, I've visited some horrific sites. I come from the adult industry, an industry whom's advertisements are so bad that they actively attempt to make their ads look like content, so that you click them. Then realize it's not the content, close the window, click next. Repeat.


Back when there were some default 'banner sizes' sites used to exchange ads. I remember 468 x 60 being one of the more prominent ones. It was just a static image or an animated gif.


Probably from the late 90s to the mid to late 2000s? And probably whenever she sits at a computer for the first time and hasn't get installed the blocker of her choice?


In the years of internet use before I started to use ad blockers.


Enjoy your future of pay walls!


I will.

I will also enjoy watching a large amount of "content" find out exactly how much they were actually worth.


There's definitely a shakeout coming among publishers and I won't deny that's a good thing, especially with all the clickbait out there now. It's just a shame the bad players have ruined free content for everyone else by slathering bad advertising everywhere.


The clickbait sites will do fine. The folks reading these sites on a regular basis are going to keep reading these site because they like the material. And these same people don't run ad blockers. These are the people that click on the first thing that comes up in google because it's the first thing that shows up. They don't know, than after being told, don't care that the first thing that comes up is an ad. And they are the majority of the population.


I consider paywalls to be a good solution. I'd rather pay with my money than having to see ads. I even think it is more sane for websites as they are not reliants on the companies provding the ads, avoiding some corruption.


I don't know man, I visit sometimes hundreds of sites a day, if I had to pay even $1/day to visit a site, I'd be paying hundreds of dollars a day. I'd rather view an ad. I already pay out the ass for internet. I don't need to pay to view content on the internet too.


The value of your view is closer to 0.1 cents. So 100 web clicks a day would cost about a dime to remove ads.


You could pay for some websites and be limited by a paywall for the others.

And the content on the internet has nothing to do with your ISP so I have somme difficulty understanding your argument "I don't need to pay to view content on the internet too.".


Meaning, a paywall everywhere is not a smart thing to do. Yes I know content is independent of ISP, that's why I accept ads. Because that's how content producers afford to give you content without charging you.


"pay out the a" is an odd expression.

It seems what you are paying isn't worth very much (i.e. a pile of worthless s)


It isn't. I pay $65/mo for "up to 50Mbps" internet. I am paying no less than $1.3/mo per Mbps.


> Enjoy your future of pay walls!

I love how people say "I will!"

For starters, most won't. These are people who tend to be ideological and naive kids who probably still have their parents paying their bills. Or they don't really fully understand what the implications are. Also, subscription models have proven to be poor solutions and don't work very well at best, and at worst, completely fail taking the website with it.

Another thing, what about poor people? We talk about how people "are happy to pay for content they like!" Only, there are going to be a massive amount of people who simply can't afford to use the internet that way. If the entire internet turned into "pay as you go", the poor & working class are screwed. They're the ones who are going to be the hardest hit. Not just poor people in the U.S but what about all that traffic from other countries? And there is a lot of it... That's a lot of people who used to be able to keep up with current events, study science, math, history (educate themselves), chat on forums, make new friends, play games who now can't, because they can't afford it. To me, that's a shame. A travesty even if you take into account the educational aspect.

I feel like the people who push for the paywall & a la carte type solutions don't really consider the full implications of their suggestions. I mean, I thought about it myself the last time it came up on hackernews for weeks, no, months and I still have no clue how the internet would evolve as a result. And what little I did conclude wasn't good. Yet these people seem to be so certain...


I've already addressed your claims in this thread, but as for these new arguments:

> most won't

This is an unsubstantiated claim.

> subscription models have proven to be poor solutions

Really? I guess you haven't seen the people that have moved from youtube to twitch.tv (because of the subscriptions) and patreon.

> what about poor people?

Not only is this a cheap emotional gambit, it pre-supposes that they are currently getting content for free. As we have repeatedly discussed on HN, if it's free, you are the product[1]. Moving to explicit payments - or other forms of funding - is a huge improvement over taking advantage of the ignorance most people have about what they are paying for "free" content.

> study science, math, history (educate themselves)

Do academic websites have ads in your world? Does wikipedia?

You seem to have a very inaccurate view of what is available on the internet.

[1] https://projectbullrun.org/surveillance/2015/video-2015.html...


I mostly agree with you, but ...

> Not only is this a cheap emotional gambit, it pre-supposes that they are currently getting content for free.

I don't think it does.

The poorer you are, the more money is worth to you relative to other things. (Because as you get more money, what you spend it on is in rough order of priority, which means the things you buy when richer are less valuable to you per dollar than the things you buy when poorer.) In particular, other things being equal, money is worth more to you relative to attention when you are poorer. Therefore, "cheaper internet but more ads" is a better tradeoff for richer people than for poorer people. So it's at least credible that relatively-well-off people agitating for more expensive internet but fewer ads might, if successful, make life worse overall for poorer people.

(This is far from watertight. For instance, if being poor makes ads more harmful to you or reduces the total amount of attention you can bestow on things -- for both of which I can at least imagine possible mechanisms -- then more-ads-more-money might not after all be a better tradeoff for poorer people than richer people even though X more-X-more-money is for most bad things X.)


> Not only is this a cheap emotional gambit

Are you really suggesting or implying that the poor won't be affected by this? This is a huge issue and trying to claim the concern isn't valid by calling it "a cheap emotional gambit" is shockingly dishonest and disingenuous. Quite the contrary, it's a massive concern. It's reminds me of the whole idiotic & naive "flat tax" ideology. Millionaires love the idea because it hurts the poor the most. They're the ones most directly impacted.

> it pre-supposes that they are currently getting content for free.

They are. Practically the entire internet is free. Do you have to pay to use youtube, facebook or reddit? Do you pay when you go to carforums.com and chat with other people about cars? Or video game forums to chat about the latest Call of duty game? If you instead had to pay a $5 per month subscription to youtube, or reddit or facebook, the entire internet changes overnight. The fact you don't see this pretty much solidifies my idea that you really haven't thought this through.

> Do academic websites have ads in your world? Does wikipedia?

Are you suggesting people only educate themselves on wikipedia and academic websites? Because I've learned considerably more from non-academic sites. Sites like Reddit's /r/Askscience, /r/TodayIlearned or /r/Askhistory. Or sites that popularize learning & education, like Mentafloss, Zidbits or even Cracked.com

> You seem to have a very inaccurate view of what is available on the internet.

No, quite the opposite. You haven't really began to comprehend just how much of an impact the changes you suggest would be. And how it would eventually directly & indirectly effect everything else. You haven't fully connected all the dots yet.

Do you know how I know you haven't connected all the dots yet? Because nobody has. Nobody can predict the outcome of something like that, though we can make some educated guesses about some things. I think that's the difference between our opinions; I freely admit that I have no idea, while you claim to know everything and have an answer for everything. Only, that's impossible. Nobody is omniscient.


> Are you really suggesting or implying that the poor won't be affected by this?

Due to some unfortunate medical issues, I currently live just barely above the poverty line (SSDI). I have about $100/year that I can spend on "fun" things like my fastmail account. I will be able to afford very few paywalls, if any.

The people I know personally that currently live below the poverty line are sick of being taken advantage of by supposedly "free" services.

Don't you dare try to tell me how you think the poor will be affected by any of this.

> Practically the entire internet is free

Some of it, like wikipedia, is free because it is funded by the community (a funding model that you seem very reluctant to acknowledge).

As for the youtube/etc, I already covered that in a previous reply[1].

The rest... is not free. Services like google or facebook may not cost money, but only a naive fool would describe their services as free. If, by some chance, you are actually ignorant of how their business model actually works, you should watch Aral Balkan's very good overview of how you are the product[2].

> Because I've learned considerably more from non-academic sites.

I can tell. You might want to consider studying better sources. I have nothing against those places, but there are significantly better educational sources available on the internet.

> You haven't fully connected all the dots yet.

I never claimed I had. I only know what I've seen, and I've seen the internet slowly crumble. NAT ruined the power to publish freely[3], and advertising became a perverse incentive working against actual journalism and creativity.

On the other hand, you seem unable to acknowledge that advertising is only one type of funding model, and you seem very naive regarding the actual costs that model exacts on society.

Explore more of the internet, and think of creative ways to approach the question of funding. If you are observant, you may notice that there are quite a few successful creative endeavors that exist outside of the world of advertising.

[1] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=10730416

[2] https://projectbullrun.org/surveillance/2015/video-2015.html...

[3] https://www.fourmilab.ch/documents/digital-imprimatur/


Wikipedia does have a large, irritating begging banner though, so kinda. I guess.


That banner is directly from the service itself, which means the product is still Wikipedia, not its users. Very important distinction.


It isn't there for 11 months of the year.


> there are going to be a massive amount of people who simply can't afford to use the internet that way

In that case, they probably can't really afford to buy all the things targeted advertising is pushing on them either.


Majority of people aren't blocking ads and considering how low ad revenues are while the amount of ads blocked might seem high it doesn't really affect the revenue as much as advertisers like to suggest.


The problem for both creators and consumers isn't advertising, it is poor quality advertising.

Pages get filled with crap because ad rates are pitifully low. The default method of ad selling online is directly equivalent to what traditional publishers do with remnant ad space that they can't sell themselves. Online advertising has been systematically devalued by poor sales practice and an over-reliance on algorithmic methods. Advertising is treated as an afterthought to be tacked on rather than an integral part of the business.

Savvy web publishers don't fear adblockers. An adblocker can't detect product placement in a video, it can't detect a podcaster reading an ad for Squarespace, it can't detect branded content.

Better ad sales practice is a win-win-win situation - content creators increase their revenues, advertisers get better value and users get a less intrusive experience.

Buzzfeed are a good example of a web publisher with a deep understanding of the right way to sell ads. They carry no traditional advertising. Their branded content is genuinely valuable to their audience, so delivers much better engagement for their advertisers.

There is also a great deal of space in online publishing for business models that aren't reliant on advertising. A large proportion of the content creators I care about are predominantly reliant on patronage. Subscription is a perfectly sensible model for publishers who serve a niche market with highly valuable content.


> I feel like the people who push for the paywall & a la carte type solutions don't really consider the full implications of their suggestions.

This sounds ironic, considering that with cookie- and tracker-supported content, people also don't and can't know the full implications of their online transactions. If there were terms of service I had to agree to for every single business who was going to view or handle my data for every single ad I loaded before the ad loaded, then I'd be considering the full implications of the ad-based model.


There was lots of fun stuff to read on the web before advertising and paywalls came along, and there will still be lots of fun stuff to read on the web should those awkward business models finally wither away. I'm not worried about it.


That's only a scary threat to people who are afraid of spending money.


It's scary to people who are uncomfortable spending money sight-unseen on non-refundable goods with no guarantee of fitness-for-purpose and insufficient information to make educated estimations of the value of said goods.

That should be just about everyone who hasn't money to burn.

It's also scary to anyone considering breaking into the market. I certainly wouldn't pay to read content written by someone I've never heard of, published by a company I've never heard of, without a very compelling reason, such as a strong recommendation from someone whom I trust to have appropriate opinions on that specific kind of content.

It's also scary to anyone who hopes that the Internet could help to break the echo chamber effect. If my online reading is confined to what I'm willing to pay for (and indeed, to what I'm willing the author/publisher to be paid for, which is a subtly different thing), then my exposure to conflicting views is going to be restricted.


Or anyone under 18 years old.

I learned so much on the internet, forum, learning website, etc... theses were living out of ads, they still do and in fact there multiple one that I was using when I was young that are now real enterprise and make quite a bit of money from theses ads.

Now that I'm an adult, I'm happy to pay for content but that wasn't possible for me younger.


I think that would also imply a reduction in clickbait so I will!


It´s not about pay walls. For example:

I want to rent a flat and I´m ready to spend 30% of my mothly net salary so I go online and what do I see? 6 different irrelevant ads. And this is a site, where the the landlords have to pay for placing their adverts.

I want to go to the cinema and check out online the program. What do I see? 2 irrelevant ads on the site, one more before the trailer and if I buy a ticket I get in the cinema 30-40 mins of bullshit ads before the movie begins.

This is really distracting.


Oh god, I really hate the cinema ads. I've already paid for the damn thing! Obviously I didn't pay enough, or I wouldn't be seeing ads, but it's still frustrating. I guess it was either ads or a price increase. Those are easy to block, though, just arrive 8 minutes late.


Content optimized to generate revenue through direct payments will be of higher quality than content optimized to generate ad revenue. For example a paid search engine would display the most accurate results instead of those results that are quasi accurate but most likely to generate ad revenue.

Also.on such an internet it would be easier to get users to pay for content because there would be infrastructure in.place and it would be the norm.


For me, precise and binding terms of service are what's at issue. When people start forking over dollars, they will be more sensitized to precisely what's being exchanged. They way the deal is structured now, they're implicitly agreeing, usually without knowing about it in the first place, to give over an unspecified amount and type of information to an unspecified set of businesses who will be licensed to use it in unspecified ways for an unspecified period of time. That's just stupid. I'd be all for an advertising-based model if there were precise terms of service that would be binding for both parties. Until then, I cannot prove that I'm not being screwed now or later by someone completely unrelated to the content I'm trying to read.


I paid for my TV channel and it still shows me ads!


That's exactly the point, i rather see nothing at all (if i don't have the budget to pay for something) rather than getting drained by all the advertising distractions, and i suspect many people feel the same.


A while ago, Internet was about people sharing things, freely. And it was an interesting place!

Not all the content has to be written by professional writers and a lot of code is actually written for free by volunteers...


The good way to avoid the future of pay walls is to share content. Users must bankrupt major copyright holders and media monopolies to stop them influencing laws and technology.



And if everyone shares all content for free and all copyright goes away, how do you expect independent authors and artists to get enough money to, y'know, live?


A basic income that's going to need to exist for most of the population regardless?


That will require a socialist restructuring of America, which while greatly needed, is never going to happen.


Except that a large majority of the US population is already moving towards Social Security and Medicare. As more of the population is covered by them, it becomes trivial to cover the remaining populace not on them.


Advertisers did not make the web like this. Web developers did and consumers did.


The thing is, that's not really true. Developers made it possible for advertisers to insert their adverts into web resources. Advertisers decided to use that power to track users through cookies, tracking pixels, localStorage and various Javascript tricks. Yes, there were no doubt a few developers working for the ad companies, but they are far outweighed by the mass of developers that work for content sites.


Marketers did not build the tracking systems. Developers built them and then website owners decided they were happy to deploy them. Everyone had to accept the proposal at least implicitly for us to get to where we are today.

You could say that Google, specifically, has so much power in web-advertising that no content site could walk away from them if they don't like how they behave but I don't think this is the case.


Web _advertisement_ developers did.

Also, to get money back for hosting content, ads was pretty much the only way, as a lot of people rather not pay a sub fee.

Patreon or similar options are the best I think.


The humanity has its chance. And then came Hitler. I am now travelling to Centauris Alpha.


I would not mind ads at all but ads are not really ads: they are trackers, beacons, analytics, and privacy busting cookies with none of the above asking for permission. I am blocking about 2,000 different versions of all of the above according to Ghostery. EFF's Privacy Badger is blocking a bunch to. We are being digitally assaulted. We need this stuff!


Most deep tracking done these days are not by means of ads being served, as the advertisers themselves lack the means of doing any meaningful analysis and don't have the reach, but rather tracking is done much more efficiently by very common utilities, like by Google Analytics, or the Facebook Like, Twitter's Tweet, or Google's +1 buttons. Heck, any third-party service can be a very good tracker. Are you also blocking Gravatar and Disqus? Because you should.

And nowadays you've got an "advertising ID" being exposed by the operating systems themselves, an ID that all apps can use to track your behavior across the net. I know of at least Windows 10, iOS and Android that do this. And this is actually a step up, as before the "advertising ID" apps were using much more persistent forms of identification.

And I'm all for being privacy conscious, personally I'm downright paranoid. But lets be honest, ad-blocking isn't about being privacy conscious.


> ad-blocking isn't about being privacy conscious

There are two kinds of readers in this world: those who can read with a bunch of gyrating monkeys, dancing squirrels or flashing crap in the sidebar, and those who can't. I'm one who can't. If the ads behaved themselves better, I might be able to tolerate them. As it is, I block all of them. It's quite jarring to use the web on a browser which doesn't block ads - I find it unusable, for page load-speed and composition reasons (ads constantly muscling in on the body text as they get dragged in).


> Heck, any third-party service can be a very good tracker. Are you also blocking Gravatar and Disqus?

GP mentioned Ghostery. AFAIK it does block these and many other non-ad third-party requests in its default configuration.


OK, I wrote that comment and I'm not a Ghostery user, so I don't know what it does by default. I'm not a Ghostery user because I do not trust it. Don't know the latest state of affairs, but the company developing Ghostery seemed fishy. I can trust either projects developed by non-profits committed to my interests, such as EFF or Mozilla, or projects developed by enthusiasts on GitHub.

Depending on the device, I am using Privacy Badger from EFF, Mozilla's Focus for iOS, or uBlock with the EasyPrivacy list. Was using AdBlock Plus in Firefox for Android, but it lacks the option to subscribe to third-party filter lists, an almost 2 year old ticket that still hasn't been fixed.


You may want to try ad-away for Android.


> But lets be honest, ad-blocking isn't about being privacy conscious.

Let's be honest, advertising is what pays for the whole menagerie of creepy snoops, therefore ad-blocking hurts even those creeps who track without ads of their own.


> tracking is done much more efficiently by very common utilities, like by Google Analytics, or the Facebook Like, Twitter's Tweet, or Google's +1 buttons

That's why Ghostery is blocking those for me.


I am sure that he meant these tools too, most if not all of which are on the adblocking lists.


> ... as the advertisers themselves lack the means of doing any meaningful analysis ...

What information/data do you have do back this claim in regard to the 'meaningful' analytics?


But adds are reason for the spying. There is no reason to collect all the data if they cannot monetize them. Currently there is no other way than adds.


WOW! Very insightful - I never knew I had an Advertising ID


Does this mean that you support Apple's iAd platform? It's basically what you want: Apple serves the ads themselves to the devices they already know about, and the third parties don't get to know a thing about those devices. (They just have to trust Apple to e.g. actually be matching their inventory to the demographics they request.)


This is how most advertising platforms work. Google and Facebook, for example, serve the ads themselves and don't give your information to the advertisers because that'd help the advertisers target you better without the help of Google. It still means they all collect and store a whole bunch of incredibly intrusive tracking information; for example, if I recall correctly iAd tracks and stores your GPS location to target you with ads.


I don't wont any single actor to have that much data about me. I block as much as possible. including stuff like Disqus or Gravatar.


Isn't it in-app advertising? If so then it's even worse. My understanding is that cookies are not shared across apps, so the advertiser on app1 cannot correlate your identity with the one on app2, defeating cross-app tracking (the app equivalent of cross-website tracking). If you make it a central, Appled owned (i.e. access to much more information) then you re-enable cross-apps tracking.


However since at least 3 majors versions of iOS, iAd have an opt-out switch to allegedly prevent any tracking. I even think this opt-ou switch is now an explicit part of the set-up procedure when you activate the phone.

You still have to trust Apple that this opt-out is effective. But I really see more harm than good for them should they actually be lying about that.


How is iAd different from say, Facebook or Google, except for the vast amount of data collected across sites, platforms and services by these companies? Don't Facebook and Google also match the user profiles that they create/manage with their ad inventory and display targeted ads? They're not really selling your personally identifiable information to advertisers, but instead provide only aggregate data about the reach. The advertisers have to trust Facebook or Google too for the matching.

[I'm talking purely about what these companies do, and not about malicious sites and other ad networks or about how safe the personal profile information really is.]


This is the opposite of what he wants as it furthers the effect of the tracking by centralising it to a single omnipotent vendor (as ads by Google currently are)


It sounds from your comment like you think that other ad networks (Google, Facebook, etc) _don't_ work this way? Sigh, I knew this would happen eventually as long as people kept cynically saying that ad networks "sell" your info to advertisers, knowing that those not familiar with the context would assume that meant that advertisers actually had access to the raw profile info.


As far as I understand, the usual approach executed by Google et al is first figure out your demographics data server-side, and then use that data to send targeted advertising to your device when it requests an ad.

Apple, meanwhile—having direct access to your phone's OS—just pre-download a full ad-inventory database to your device, and then your device, using demographics data stored only on the device, targets itself; Apple's servers don't learn anything about you, only what ads your phone decided to show you.


Your original comment was about _third parties_ getting access to ads, and that was what I was claiming doesn't apply to basically any large ad network. It sounds like what you're saying now is that all the handling of user data happens fully on device and the ad network itself doesn't have access to demographic data, which is definitely not true for Google/FB/etc.

That's interesting if true, but I'm pretty sure that's very, very wrong. Do you have any source for this? I tried Googling it and was unable to find anything saying that, and I would be pretty surprised if that's how it works (especially pre-downloading inventory), given my passing familiarity with how ad networks work. Especially since their privacy page (which talks about iAd)[1], makes no mention of something which would be a drastically different way of operating an ad network (and thus excellent for marketing onself as the privacy-conscious alternative).

[1] http://www.apple.com/privacy/


I am leaning towards it. An analogy would be, "How much blood do you want to give; an ounce or a pint?" you still are losing blood but a heck of a lot less.


At some point I really think we'll resort to blocking ads at the network level. There's no way to detect a block at that level and we'll truly be able to control the content that way. I've seen a few http/dns ad blockers here on HN already so we know it's possible and being thought about. These browser based detections are just a game of cat and mouse at this point.


I'm running Tomato firmware on my router(ASUS RT-AC68P) using an adblocking script. It will resolve known ad servers IP's to itself and serve a 1x1 transparent png instead of the ad. It's a combination of a DNS blacklist and pixelserv. All the devices on my network are ad free.


I run a modified version of PiHole which does the same. Doesn't block 100% of ads, but it blocks enough to keep me happy.

I implemented DNSSEC + DNSCrypt just for sake of it too.


I'd like an ad blocker which retrieves the ads as an unprotected browser would, but doesn't display them on the screen. That will stop some sites nagging me that I must turn off my ad blocker to see the content.


I'd like my cookies to be strictly separated per domain I visit.


While that has certain advantages it'll also make the ad serving still consume bandwith. (Which is probably not much of a problem if you're at home.)


What about https ads?


Since browsers do not like to display mixed content they do the job for you. The downside of using a router for adblocking is that it's just too much of a hassle to maintain and in the long run breaks apart.

You can't whitelist sites which you would want to support, and if the site doesn't load up because something is being blacklisted it's quite a hassle to debug it not to mention make the actual change.

I did use to port the ADBplus list for privoxy and IPtables blacklist on my pfsense but it ended up making very little sense to do so, especially when ublock came around and pretty much made any browser performance / memory consumption arguments irrelevant.

OpenDNS has some functionality which allows you to also do some adblocking on your end, but then ofc you leak everything to them (and CISCO these days).


If I were going with blocking at the router, I'd recommending finding a router that has an accessible host file and add them there. Either that or ipset + iptables (not as recommended for ad blocking since you're likely blocking by hostname and not IP).

For example (should work on any router with iptables/ipset):

https://github.com/RMerl/asuswrt-merlin/wiki/Using-ipset

https://github.com/RMerl/asuswrt-merlin/wiki/Disable-Windows...

http://www.snbforums.com/threads/adblocking-with-combined-ho...


This is already how it's generally done on Android (via hosts file.) Still detectable though: You can detect broken images on the page for example, which would tell you that the hosts have been blocked.


I would imagine that the cost of a false positive if something goes wrong with the ad network would be pretty damaging.

I don't know if it's still the case but Comedy Central's video player was atrocious, the video wouldn't play unless it successfully played an ad but ads just straight up failed to load 30/40% of the time so you had to refresh, watch an ad to get to the video controls, scan back to your place, watch another ad because you crossed a 'commercial break' point, have that fail 10 minutes later, and repeat. The whole experience was awful and lead to me just scraping the site for the direct steam link and eventually just deciding that Jon Stewart wasn't worth it.


Pretty much exactly my experience with CC, and that despite being a strong admirer of Stewart.

HBO is following a vastly saner path with John Oliver, whose videos simply appear on YouTube. I'm not generally a fan of single-vendor consolidation, but if:

1. Video providers aren't going to directly provide media and...

2. YouTube Just Works (including via scrapers such as youtube-dl), well, then so it goes.

NB: ytdl also hits a ton of other sites, including Vimeo and The Internet Archive (which, truth told supports direct download and streaming, but ytdl is in finger memory now). Those that Just Work will be utilised.


I've block ads with a host file on PC for 10 years. Maybe it's my browsing habits, but I can count the number of times it affected my ability to browse content on one hand. I also manually add a lot of the entries so imagine that also helps.


Jon Stewart wasn't worth it

This is the key takeaway here


Ah I'm glad to find out it wasn't just me that suffered through this. Actually I genuinely wouldn't have minded so much, if it wasn't exactly the same ads day after day. I can recite that new Comedy Central App advert word-for-word (complete with everything each comedian says - "This is the height of luxury!", "Uh-oh ha-ha", "Give it to me", "VISIT ME!" etc)


I guess you could have something that makes it still successfully retrieve a working image, just not the actual ad maybe? I guess then an ad-versary could check if the images are signed or w/e?


That's not going to work if everything runs via https.

How exactly do most ad-blockers work? Are they searching the DOM and blocking elements from showing? Or can they see that there are asychronous requests being made from JavaScript to known ad networks?

I'm musing out loud here, but take for instance the Sydney Morning Herald - the sheer number of trackers is extraordinary. The full load of just the main page, and images are reasonably light, is about 8MB... and there are literally dozens of trackers.

How do ad-blockers prevent these from appearing?


They usually bind to events the browser triggers before a network request is made. This lets them literally block the browser from downloading any content from a source that may register your IP just from the connection (pixel tracking, etc). Searching the DOM and removing elements would still require a network request to obtain the content before realizing that it's a tracked element.

By blocking the request from happening, we can truly say that an Content Blocker on iOS (for instance) speeds up the browsing experience because the request isn't even initiated.


A pretty good way to do this is to put something like http://someonewhocares.org/hosts/zero/ in your router's host file and enable DNS intercepting. It won't catch sneaky same-domain ads but it's great in that it consumes no extra resources on the end device and also works on iOS devices.



would this be more effective than something like adblock.sh https://github.com/teffalump/adblock


As we are moving away from open computing platforms into closed, non customizable computers (iOS, Android, even Windows is heading this way), I wonder if it won't be the only solution. Apple, Google or Microsoft want to protect us from third party tracking but how else can we protect ourselves from Apple, Google and Microsoft tracking us?

But it is just another game of cat and mouse. Malware already register new domains on the fly. Advertisers will simply do the same. Keeping these host files updated won't be easy.


Actually doing this at the network level is already done by some ad blockers. And it likely is going to cause more problems than it solves in light of https usage. The only thing you can do there is Man-in-the-Middle connections - with all the bad implications this has: https://blog.hboeck.de/archives/874-More-TLS-Man-in-the-Midd...


I used to have a program that blocked IP addresses of advertising sites and replaced all pictures with any picture I wanted to use.

I used a skull and crossbones instead so in place of any ad I had a pirate flag instead.

I forgot the name of the program that did that, it was like some sort of firewall that redirected to 127.0.0.1 and ran a web server that served up any image I wanted for the picture.

I used to add IP addresses to my hosts file to block advertising sites as well.

Now I just use uBlock but they can detect that.

I don't mind advertising as much as long as it doesn't get annoying with pop-ups and other crap. It should not, for example, open up another browser window for me to display an ad.



It sounds like it was, but I am not 100% sure.



It is possible. Not sure how, but my school used to block all ads because of the limited bandwidth available. 50Mbps divided among ~1500 people with atleast 100 using it any given point.


There are plenty of ways to detect ad-blocking at the network level. e.g. if your ad is an image you can just use `onerror`.


Such detection will also trigger when your ad-network is down, so if you say something rude to the user or block the website's content you are gonna have some angry feedback from a lot of people.


I don't think this is too much of a concern. Assuming the ad network doesn't go down very often, you could do something like "Unable to deliver content. This may be caused by an ad blocker". These kinds of "something is wrong either on your end or ours" messages are fairly common across the web and in this case doesn't leave the user feeling wrongly blamed in case of false positive (since the problem "may" be the ad-blocker).


Saying something rude would be a bad idea anyway.


>There's no way to detect a block at that level

Huh, how hard would it be to check via JS if a layer ad really was shown?


You can redirect dns names to localhost in your hosts file. Super simple.


you're not entitled to have some server serve you whatever content you want it to, it doesn't have to answer your http requests - so logically, by whatever means we get there, the end-game is for servers to monitor and exclude you. but the status quo is a lot better now, than for what it would take for that to happen.

Do you want servers to figure out that you're blocking ads at the network level, and tell each other not to serve to your IP? Because it is a lot less wrong for them to do it - they have a lot more right to do it, if it's in their TOS - than for you to recraft their content so that you're only making http requests to contents, but not their ads. It's like going grocery shopping for milk and sugar at restaurants and coffee places, i.e. because they have it out 'for free'. you might say, hey, they're making it available for free, it's not your fault if they have a broken business model. But it's their right whether they want you there.

The analogy isn't perfect, it's quite leaky, so let's get back to the technical facts here. The cat and mouse game is between a server wanting to serve content as well as ads, and some consumers wanting to recraft the requests so their clients/browsers do not load ads. Since ultimately the server has what the users want, for example articles, and the business model is some limited part of the attention of the user, I don't see this ending well for users who want to consumer the content but do not share any part of their attention with ads. It's just not going to work out.


They can try to serve me spam/ad content along with the rest of content they provide, but I am not obligated to read it, nor is my browser obligated to display it, any more than I am obligated to read the contents of my spambox (even if some of that spam is coming from companies whose services I use), in the same way that I am not obligated to read every billboard on my way to work.

Companies post ads because because they believe that some people will read them, and that promise is enough to generate money. That valuation is between them and the clients to whom they are selling ad space, and places no obligation on me. If at some point that business model becomes unprofitable, they can pick a different one.


You are also not obligated to insert any URL in your browser's address bar, or to install any app. While you aren't obligated to read a billboard, it is illegal to vandalize it.

And spam email is unsolicited, as in email you receive without consent from an entity you've got no relationship with. Not sure what argument you're trying to make, but requesting a URL that then serves ads does not qualify.

Also, by blocking countermeasures to ad-blocking, we've gone from gray area to illegal because of the anti-circumvention laws. This is going to be fun.


> vandalize

What a huge sense of self-entitlement. Your rights as a publisher do not extend to my computer and what I do with the data after you send it to me. You may request that I run some software with a <script> tag, or request that I download an image with an <img> tag, but if you want to guarantee any of those things you better get me to agree to a contract first.

It isn't vandalism when someone modifies something you gave them. Vandalism is a criminal charge - are you also going to claim I'm a criminal if I use some scissors to cut ads out of a magazine after receiving it in the mail?

> illegal

What law, exactly, are you claiming is being violated?

A script that detects if I don't download an ad is not DRM, and a TOS posted somewhere on the website is absolutely not a contract.


> What a huge sense of self-entitlement. Your rights as a publisher do not extend to my computer

But the content itself isn't yours. You are not entitled to view that content. The creator put it up with the expectation that people would/will be viewing the ads right along side the content. It's that expectation and assumption that supersedes everything else.

It seems like this whole debate has been boiling down to semantics and "technicalities". The anti-ad people are looking for anything to justify their entitlement. I say it's load of rubbish. The content creators (publishers) are the ones who get to dictate terms, end of story. You're not paying anything to consume that content and you didn't create it, so your "rights" are minimal (if they exist at all). You're entitled to absolutely nothing.

Let me ask you a question: If instead, a website says "I have this content you want to see. In order to view it, you must view this ad first. Click "Yes" to accept and view the ad. Click "No" to go back to Google.com." is that any different to you? It shouldn't be. Also, that's where the internet is headed if more people adopt your entitled mentality. If I'm a publisher, I'd be doing something similar. No, if I were a publisher, I'd be trying to get all the big name publishers/advertisers to do that too. They need to remind our entitled generation just how content subsidization works. :P


> But the content itself isn't yours.

Correct. I never said it was mine. That still doesn't give you rights over what software I run on my computer.

> You are not entitled to view that content

Correct. You can choose not to send it to me.

The difficulty you seem to be having is that the you don't seem to understand what your rights are. You can choose not to do business with me. You can also prevent me from distributing extra copies of your work (copyright).

You do not have the right to control how someone uses your work after you hand it over. This is known as the doctrine of first sale[1]. In spite of a lot of people trying to pretend they have rights over how content is used, wishful thinking doesn't create rights contrary to past court decisions.

> expectation

For the 100th time, an expectation is not a contract.

> It seems like this whole debate has been boiling down to semantics and "technicalities".

What you call "semantics and 'technicalities'" are the law.

> The anti-ad people are looking for anything to justify their entitlement.

Advertisers and their apologists are trying to cover up years of legal missunderstanding and business models that depend on an incorrect understanding of the alw. It's easier to accuse others of "entitlement" than admiting your business model is going to fail.

Oh, and that "entitlement"? We are entitled to something - the law.

> Let me ask you a question: [click-through model]

Yes, that would be fine, assuminng the click-through makes a proper offer (which shouldn't be hard).

> It shouldn't be.

But one of those makes a contract, and the other is wishful thinking and in some casses a deliberate attempt to mislead.

If you think that creating a proper contract is too much of a burden and will drive away traffic, then you might want to realize that the market is trying to inform you what the actual value of your "content" is.

> They need to remind our entitled generation just how content subsidization works.

Do you really think people simply don't understand this? I've never met anyone who didn't understand that some things currently depend on advertisements for income.

Now when are you going to start understanding how contract law works?

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First-sale_doctrine


> Correct. I never said it was mine. That still doesn't give you rights over what software I run on my computer.

When running any piece of software, you can't modify that software unless either its license permits (open source) or otherwise we are talking about copyright infringement. This is usually a take it or leave it thing, as unless the EULA is in conflict with copyright or contract law, then you have to respect it, otherwise you can't use that software. Also see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-circumvention

So you know, I don't really understand your argument because nobody is forcing you to load those websites in the first place. It's still a gray area because users don't get proper warning before having those cookies set or before being shown those ads. But then again, we are discussing FuckFuckAdBlock, a circumvention mechanism for websites that block ad-block users with proper warnings.

> Yes, that would be fine, assuminng the click-through makes a proper offer (which shouldn't be hard).

On one hand the anti-adblock functionality is precisely this, because we are talking about websites that say "Hey Bob, we are ad-supported, so if you want to consume our content, then you have to agree to viewing ads". And you know, for me that seems reasonable. And here we are discussing FuckFuckAdBlock.

But then the far bigger problem is that you want a "proper offer". So basically if you don't receive a proper offer, you're fine with infringing on the publisher's rights. Now given that you've received proper warning of what you're going to receive, how is that in any way justifiable?

So what's that about self-entitlement?


> you can't modify that software

That's offtopic. Some random website does not have the right to force me to run any particular software simply because I requested a page.

> EULA

...is not a contract! (in most cases)

> forcing you to load those websites

Nobody is, and I never claimed anything like that.

> proper offer

I'm saying that publishers don't get to simply invent new law. Contracts have hundreds of years of history, and they require certain elements to be present.

> Infringing on the publisher's rights

No rights are being infringed. You are simply refusing to understand that their rights end after they hand over the content... unless they have a contract that says otherwise. Sorry, but just because you don't like the doctrine of first sale and wish it didn't exist doesn't mean you get to make up "rights".

If I write a creative work, I have the right to not give or sell you a copy, and I have a temporary monopoly granted by the government that gives me the right to decide who can reproduce my work. I absolutely do not have the right to decide what you do with that work (besides making copies) once I hand it to you.

The self-entitlement is on the part of the publishers who want to invent a new right that covers use.

Note that publishers can try to detect adblocking all they want, and use any results of that detection (or lack of results) when they decide if they want to send me anything. The catch is that there is no guarantee that their request that I run a particular script, or that I even have a Javascript environment to run that script in the manner they are expecting. I suggest that it may be a bad idea to base your business model on an unreliable source.

As for "justifiable" - the advertising industry and the publishers that involve themselves with the ad industry are not exactly standing on moral high ground. If they don't like the hard line some of us are taking regarding ads, they should consider why we are doing so. Tracking is a malicious attack. Live by the sword, die by the sword.


The EULA is a contract and as long as it exists then nothing else gives you the right to use that software. Not sure how you can argue otherwise.

You also keep mentioning the doctrine of first sale, but it doesn't apply in the way you think it does. You absolutely do not have the right to do whatever you want after something has been distributed to you and this is because the copyright owner can impose usage limitations on distribution. For example this is why non-commercial agreements in EULAs are legal.

On having an environment that can run the script, the law can distinguish between doing it on purpose versus having technical limitations. You don't have a defense when you cherry pick what Javascript to run on the same webpage.

And as a final note, the moral high ground of publishers is completely irrelevant to the issue of you infringing on their rights. If you don't like the law, then push for changes. Or otherwise vote with your wallet (or eyeballs). Otherwise this is a fallacy used to justify your own immoral actions.


> The EULA is a contract and as long as it exists then nothing else gives you the right to use that software. Not sure how you can argue otherwise.

For the 100th time, I'm not running their software. They don't have the right to force me to run any particular software.


You don't know where the websites you request content from are located, and so you have no idea whether they're operating under US law or not.


1) The US has been very effective at exporting its IP laws.

2) Jurisdiction.


> The content creators (publishers) are the ones who get to dictate terms, end of story.

Compelling argument there.

> You're not paying anything to consume that content and you didn't create it, so your "rights" are minimal (if they exist at all).

Well, they're not paying me to view their ads, so their "rights" are minimal (if they exist at all).


> Compelling argument there.

I don't know if you're being facetious, but it's not an argument, it's a simple fact. If I create a painting, a movie or a song, and I don't want anyone to see those things, that's my choice. If I instead want to charge $20 to see my movie or view my painting, that's also my choice. It's my content, not yours. Therefor, everything with regards to that content is done on my terms.

I mean, I even legally own the content and it's automatically protected by copyright laws. So... I'm not sure what else to say.

> Well, they're not paying me to view their ads, so their "rights" are minimal (if they exist at all).

Huh? Why should you get paid at all? Did you create the content? Did the website come knocking on your door? No, you went to its door, and you want to view its content.

Do you think you should get paid for watching regular TV because there are commercials between breaks of your favorite show? Of course not. Because those ads pay for the show. That's right. That toothpaste commercial that aired during the 3 minute break of The Big Bang Theory paid for the show. That's where the phrase "The big bang theory was brought to you by...." you hear at the end of TV shows comes from.

Much the same, the ads on websites pay for the content in a similar way. It's absolutely shocking how people don't understand this concept. They actually believe all this stuff is and should be free to them. Wow, just wow.


> I even legally own the content and it's automatically protected by copyright laws.

You seem to have a poor understand of how this works. This is understandable, because a lot of people use incorrect terms like "intellectual property". Creative works are not "property", because they are not a scarce resource. The entire concept of "property" rights is an attempt to solve the problem that two people cannot use the same scarce good.

Freaking out when other people reuse your ideas - which are infinitely copyable without depriving anyone of their copy - is a childish reaction. However, to "promote the sciences and useful arts", we invented a government-granted temporary monopoly on certain types of creative works (which we call "copyright" and "patent"). These monopolies do not create "property"; they merely grant you the exclusive right to sell or distribute a given idea for a period of time.

> I even legally own the content

No, you don't. You have a copyright on some creative works. This copyright creates a few rights related to distribution/etc. It does not create "property". These temporary monopolies follow an entirely different set of laws than property rights. For specific information on those laws, I suggest talking to an actual lawyer.

> the ads on websites pay for the content

You've repeated this a lot in this thread. I guarantee you that nobody here misunderstands this point, or is confused where the funding for some websites (or TV shows, etc) currently comes form.

> They actually believe all this stuff is and should be free to them.

Making up straw-man opponents is an easy way to argue, and helps you avoid cognitive dissonance. It might help if you stop ascribing the intentions you think some of us have, and start listening to the facts we're trying to tell you.

I have suggested alternative ways of funding (ads are only one way to fund creative works). I have also tried to explain that there is a difference between your distribution rights, and what someone can do with your creative works once you hand them over.

You must get really annoyed at the very-large number of people that use Tivos to skip commercials on the TV they watch. That is their right. Technology has simply advanced far enough that the average person can start exercising their rights to consume the creative content however they want.

Unfortunately, quite a few people have been ignoring our warnings over the last 20+ years that these advances in technology are probably going to change certain business models that relied on people not skipping commercials. These changes in technology also enable new business models, including some that nobody has even thought of yet because the internet is still "new".

Some people (Netflix is a canonical example) have explored new business models and have adapted well to the new market landscape. Others... have not. I suggest exploring new business ideas in your endeavors - I'm sure there are ways you can adapt.

On the other hand, if you insist on following this incorrect model of the world where you make up contract law and legal obligations, and pretend ideas are property, you are going to have a harder and harder time. This is a fact of the market, not a cry for "free stuff".


> Vandalism is a criminal charge - are you also going to claim I'm a criminal if I use some scissors to cut ads out of a magazine after receiving it in the mail?

That's a strawman argument.

> What law, exactly, are you claiming is being violated?

A good summary is here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-circumvention

> A script that detects if I don't download an ad is not DRM

Except that such a script is DRM by definition.


> That's a strawman argument.

No it isn't. Running an adblocker is exactly instructing my computer to use scissors and cut out the ads from the page. What is the difference in your opinion?

To make it easier to compare, assume I am Trump/Koch wealthy, and I ask my butler Jeeves to cut the ads out of every newspaper I receive. Did I or Jeeves vandalize or violate any law? Now, times have changed, and JeevesBot is a robot rather than a person. Does that qualify as vandalism or violation? And now the newspaper has been replaced with an on-line one, and JeevesBot has been replaced by AdBlockPlus. How is it any different? How is it a strawman?

> Except that such a script is DRM by definition.

The DMCA requires an "effective" DRM. I'm not sure if there is a body of law about what constitutes "effectiveness", but I'd be surprised if "please show this ad" can be considered "an effective DRM.

Furthermore, the DMCA does NOT prohibit me from editing e.g. DVDs - it just prohibits me from distributing those edited copies. And all AdBlockPlus does is edit pages so that they are more to my liking - just as my user CSS does, and as my preselected fonts do.

I think your interpretation of the law is wishful thinking. It's not that DRM/DMCA cannot be, in some form, used to make some forms of ad blocking illegal. I suspect it can. But I am also quite sure that DMCA does not apply to web advertising (and ad blocking) as they are practiced today.


The analogy is weak. You are not vandalizing the ads if you're blocking them. When you vandalize the billboard, no one else can read it. When you block ads on your own computer/network, no one else is affected.


The analogy is extremely strong. Why shouldn't I be allowed to vandalize a billboard, please? It's just some paper on some scaffolding. It's a social construct that I can't vandalize it.

Now when we get down to the technical level with HTTP, yes, you can make requests and the server can answer them. The basic idea of ad-blocking must be OK, I think. I mean you can't force someone to ask for images from an ad server. running a hosts file and so forth must be fine, in my opinion.

But that's not what we're discusisng now. We are now talking about tampering with a server's software that it's trying to use to see if you block ads, in order to trick the server into serving you contents that, based on the fact that you are running an ad-blocker, the server has chosen not to serve you. I really do think this is too much.


> The analogy is extremely strong.

The analogy is either a serious misunderstanding of how the internet and web browsers work, or is a deliberate attempt to confuse these concepts.

> Why shouldn't I be allowed to vandalize a billboard

Because it's not your property. If you order a billboard and have it shipped to your house, you can do what you want to it.

> tampering with a server's software

What are you smoking? Do you not understand that a userscript runs on the client? The server isn't involved at all after it sends the HTML and JS files.

What makes you think you have a right to run software on my computer? You don't - I'll run whatever software I want on my computer. It's your business if you want to send me a page, of course. Just like it's my decision if I want to run some program.


Not that I agree with the guy above you, but I also don't agree with your comment here:

> What makes you think you have a right to run software on my computer?

What makes you think you have the right to consume the content I worked hard to create for free?

Just because you can hide ads, or sneak into a concert to listen and consume that content, it doesn't make it morally permissible. Do you think you should be able to sneak into a theater and watch a movie for free? Should you be entitled to that? This really isn't any different. And here's why:

These content creators and publishers are creating their content with the expectation that people will view the ads right along side the content, and they will make money. It's an inherent expectation. So once you hide those ads, you are making an effort to cheat the content creator. It's just become so ubiquitous to web browsing that you actually think it should be "the norm" and that you're on some moral high ground here. You aren't and I'm flabbergasted that intelligent people actually think this way. Either hackernews has changed within the last year or two, or it's demographic has gotten a lot younger over the years.

From my experience most people are fine with ads, they want to support the content creators. What they're up in arms about, is "intrusive" ads. That is completely understandable. However, this fight now has become about all ads in general, and I have to take a stand there because I understand how content subsidization works. Without ads, there would be no internet. At least, not in its current form. It would be a vastly different place, and not one I'd be eager to see.


> What makes you think you have the right to consume the content I worked hard to create for free?

I don't! Misrepresenting my position is not a good way to argue.

Unlike your offensive concert and movie analogies, I am not advocating breaking into a server to copy content. Requests are made to the server, and you can choose to send me data or not.

Also, just because you worked hard at something doesn't mean that it has value. Why do you think you have a right to be paid regardless of what the market says your content is worth?

> This really isn't any different.

Only in your self-entitled world.

> Without ads, there would be no internet. At least, not in its current form.

Yes, thank you very much - that's the goal.

> It would be a vastly different place, and not one I'd be eager to see.

I'm sorry you have such a limited view of the world. There is more to the world than profit motive.


> Yes, thank you very much - that's the goal.

I don't think you're doing much critical thinking here. You don't seem to realize just how much innovation is directly the result of advertisements. You get rid of advertisements entirely and about 90% of the internet (perhaps more) goes with it. We're talking companies like youtube, facebook, google, poof gone. These are companies where their entire revenue streams are ad revenue. And that's just the tip of the iceberg. Once google is gone, who are you going to use to search the web?

I challenge you to consider the full implication of that statement. I fear you're not following that logic all the way through to its logical conclusion, you're only looking at the short term goal of "Yay no more ads". without considering the butterfly effect it would have.


> I don't think you're doing much critical thinking here.

I think you're seeing what you want to see. I have been thinking about this problem - and have had these arguments about on the internet - for over 20 years. Just because you don't like what someone says doesn't mean they haven't thought about it.

> facebook, google, poof gone

You say that like it's a bad thing. The one regret I have in life is giving some of the top people at Facebook their first programming lessons many years ago. The damage that company has cause - and is still causing - is incredible.

> youtube

Funny you mention that. There is quite a bit of content on youtube I would miss.

For example, I've watched a lot of Minecraft-based shows over the last five years. While that worked ok being funded by ads for a while, youtube basically decided a couple years ago that they don't care about the people that use their service to publish their content[1].

Today, most of the people that previously relied on youtube for income are now branching out to other funding models. I've bought tshirts from some (which easily gives them more money than they would have gottene from me watching their ads). Others have moved to the subscription models available at twitch.tv, while others have been very successful asking their audience for funds (patron).

> I challenge you

I challenge you to coinsider that this isn't some poorly-though-though whim, and to expand your thinking about the internet and publishing. Ads are only one way of funding content creation. I'd even bet we haven't even thought of the best methods yet.

[1] a good discussion of one of the first big screwups that youtube did to alienate publishers: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bt1ubSVMwaw


> We're talking companies like youtube, facebook, google, poof gone.

You do realize that the internet and even the web existed way before all of those companies, right? And while you might not have been around then, it was great back then. Not saying some things haven't improved, but all things considered, I think we would be better off if none of them had ever existed.

> Once google is gone, who are you going to use to search the web?

Another search engine?


> You do realize that the internet and even the web existed way before all of those companies, right?

And just how popular was the internet back then?

> And while you might not have been around then, it was great back then.

I'm in my 30s, I definitely was around then.

> it was great back then.

But clearly you weren't. The internet today is AMAZING compared to how it was in the late 90s. Spending 5 minutes to load up a single web page? No thanks. You also couldn't watch videos (can barely load a gif in a reasonable amount of time) and there wasn't many people. A 5mb MP3? Yep, took a half hour to download. Streaming? Hahaha. Yeah, didn't exist. Except for maybe real player. But only if you were lucky and had a 56k modem, and even then, spotty at best.

I'm sorry, but you have no idea what you're talking about. The internet in the 90s sucked compared to today.

> Another search engine?

Who is going to want to run a search engine for free? You forget, you just killed off 90% of the revenue of the internet by killing ads. How would a search engine make money? More importantly, who would want to fund the creation of a search engine that wouldn't make any money?


> And just how popular was the internet back then?

Erm ... non sequitur?

> Spending 5 minutes to load up a single web page? No thanks. You also couldn't watch videos (can barely load a gif in a reasonable amount of time) and there wasn't many people. A 5mb MP3? Yep, took a half hour to download. Streaming? Hahaha. Yeah, didn't exist. Except for maybe real player. But only if you were lucky and had a 56k modem, and even then, spotty at best.

And what does that have to do with any of the mentioned companies? None of them are in the telco semiconductor/equipment business, as far as I can see. And all of that is pretty much exclusively about transmission speed.

> I'm sorry, but you have no idea what you're talking about. The internet in the 90s sucked compared to today.

I think I did mention that some things improved, right? What totally did not improve is the openness and privacy, which I both value far higher than transmission speed--and the erosion of both has to do all with the companies you mentioned. Also, I don't see how improving transmission speed would depend on losing openness and privacy.

> Who is going to want to run a search engine for free?

1. Who is running a search engine for free now?

2. Who said it had to be free?

3. Who is "running" streets "for free"?

4. Who was "running" Linux for free before Google came around and built their business on it?


By your logic, would it be illegal to install a browser plugin that replaces every instance of the word "keyboard" with the word "leopard"? Is that "vandalism"?

And as you point out, I must first request the information. So I request a URL to a webpage and receive and HTML+CSS+JS document, containing more URLs which, via adblock, I decide not to follow or make more HTTP requests to. Similarly, the page has JS code which my browser may decide not to execute, or CSS elements which the browser may, at my request, decide not to display. Pretty sure all of the at is well within my right.


The browser is supposed to be the user's agent. In the early documentation it was explicit that both the user and the browser were expected to apply their own styling to web content. IMO a lot of bad web design has come out of the wrongheaded idea that the designer should be able to lay out the page pixel-by-pixel and expect the browser to render it exactly the same way. If you want that, use PDF or Flash or some such.


If somebody hands me a free newspaper with ads in them, it's not vandalism for me to cut out the ads so that I can read the newspaper without them. Nobody sane would call "modifying a copy of something" vandalism.


"Do you want servers to figure out that you're blocking ads at the network level,"

I don't want anything. The server has content, I GET content.

Scenario I: I don't block any content;

Scenario II: Same as Scenario I, but I don't click ads;

Scenario III: Same as Scenario II, but I don't look at the ads;

Scenario IV: Same as Scenario III, but an opaque overlay is placed above the ads;

Scenario V: Same as Scenario IV, but the ad content is furthermore moved outside of the viewport;

... My scenario: I don't GET ad content. Or any content I decide not to GET.

"they have a lot more right to do it, if it's in their TOS" I am in a cybercafe in Matakana. What is this TOS you speak of?

The internet is an open medium. You want to trade our (edit: both mine and the server's) bandwidth (ads I would GET, but not pay attention to) for your content? Fine. I'll pipe it to /dev/null. Or save us both the effort, and not GET it at all.


re the milk analogy: They can just make a rule that you can only get the milk and sugar if you purchase the coffee? Which, seems like is basically the case?

They can include a contract thingy before showing the content for the first time if they want. If I intentionally agree to not block ads, I don't think I'm going to violate that agreement.

But I haven't made an agreement like that, so my choice to allow ads to run is not due to any obligation.

I choose not to block ads, indeed, partially so that the websites receive payment. (perhaps partially also due to laziness though) But I also "defend" (insofar as my comments on the internet can do so) the right to block ads if one so chooses, and has not explicitly made an agreement not to.

In the same way that a person who views a donation funded website is not obligated to donate, hoping instead that it will be funded by other people who donate, a person who views a website which is ad supported is not obligated to view the ads, hoping instead that other people (such as myself) will view the ads.

Ads are* a donation, not a purchase.

*in the absence of a contract

edit: also I disable 3rd party cookies


(I don't see why you're being downvoted.)


> Ads are* a donation, not a purchase.

I vehemently disagree. Ads subsidize the content you consume. Without ads, there would be minimal or no web content, end of story. Most of the web is directly or indirectly funded by ads. Just like local radio stations and public/local TV stations have their programs/content funded by advertisers. It's the exact same thing. If everyone (100% of the population) was able to skip watching or listening to those ads, then advertisers would no longer advertise and there would be no content because nobody is paying for it, or footing the bill.

And people wonder why they call our generation (millennials) "the entitled generation". This is exactly the reason. You truly and honestly believe we're entitled to consume all that content for free. As if that wasn't enough, you have the gall to act like you're doing the content creators a favor by disabling your adblock! I'm actually shocked...

That's one thing the gen-xers and boomers have over us - they understand that nothing is ever free and they never feel entitled to it all. When my grandmother was first shown the internet, I showed her some of her online versions of favorite magazines and sites like youtube. She kept asking me how much it cost to go to those sites and consume that content, and for 2-3 months, she really thought there was some hidden catch, and she expected a bill to arrive in her mailbox. That's the correct mentality to have. She understands the value of the content she's consuming and realizes that nothing is free.

> *in the absence of a contract

The contract is there in play already. Ads are up on a website right along side the content. You have to install software on your own computer to hide or remove those ads. You're actively going out of your way to alter the website's owners property - you made the first move. It's not like the content was already there, then the creator decided one day to put up ads after the fact. It doesn't work like that.

It's just like ads on a TV. In order to watch a TV program, say Fox's Elementary, (just picking a popular show), you have to sit through the ads to watch the full show. If you make an effort to not watch the ads (get up and walk away, shut your eyes, change the channel), you have that right and are free to do it, but don't pretend you're not breaking your "consumer contract" with those shows. They put those ads there in good faith that they'll be seen by the people watching them.

People like you are the very reason why a lot of "free" content is going to disappear in the future. When there is no money in content subsidization, the content will disappear. And some naive & ignorant people will say that's a good thing, since they'll purchase content à La Carte, but trust me. It's not a good thing. It obliterates innovation and destroys creativity.

Most content producing companies/websites will be swallowed up by consolidation (you can already see this happening as "networks" of websites have been forming, like the Gawker network, etc) while the little guys, bloggers and startups completely disappear as they can no longer pay their hosting bills. Only the Walmarts of web content will be left standing (companies that can afford to run a subscription model). That's a bleak future I want no part of. I'll keep the ads, thank you very much.


If you have to make up a lot of points to make your argument, maybe you don't have an argument? Ranting about "entitled generation", a supposed contract and small bloggers having a huge hosting bill doesn't do you much good. To top it off, "people like you". Blergh!

The problem with ads is that they slow down the internet significantly, various try to trick you to install malware (e.g. on sourceforge), often make sites unusable (big huge banners), affect e.g. clicking on text (I have this habit) and moreover they track you personally.

You make it sound "it is just an advertisement" while ignoring all the reasons people block this stuff. It's not about the advertisement; it also includes all the stuff that comes with it!

An adblocker makes for way less malware on a machine and a way speedier browser. That's the reason I install it; not because there's some ads. This is _hugely_ different from "ads on TV". Yet even for TV you have Netflix which seems to be pretty popular.


> If you have to make up a lot of points to make your argument, maybe you don't have an argument?

Wow, I thought this was hackernews, where longer, in-depth comments were welcomed, not insulted. And certainly not used against the person. It's like I'm in the youtube comment section...

> The problem with ads is that they slow down the internet significantly

Irrelevant. Again, without ads, there simply would be no internet at all. You completely underestimate just how much innovation has been the result of ads. Hell, the entire first internet bubble was due to the promise of advertiser money. I suggest you read up a bit on the history of the internet, specifically from 1995-2002.

> You make it sound "it is just an advertisement" while ignoring all the reasons people block this stuff.

That's because OP didn't mention that in their prior comment. The conversation wasn't about that. Otherwise I would have. It was irrelevant to the direction the conversation was headed.

> An adblocker makes for way less malware on a machine and a way speedier browser.

That doesn't change the fact that ads fund the internet. As more and more people use ad blockers, you're going to get to a point where you won't need ad blockers anymore. Think about it. :)


read up a bit on the history of the internet, specifically from 1995-2002

I was there. I rememeber it. I also remember that a large amount of it was fundamentally amateur content, produced with no funding at all. I remember when advertising arrived on USENET, and the subsequent attempts to contain it.

I remember the collapse of the first internet bubble, because I was made redundant then. It was all predicated on "owning" traffic, that every company thought they would be the one to be the default portal (like CIX or AOL) that steered everyone's purchasing. This was a bad idea then and it's still a bad idea now.


> The contract is there in play already

1) When was the offer made.

2) When was the understanding of what the contract was about made? (aka "meeting of the minds")

3) Was there a proper exchange of consideration only after the offer and acceptance of that offer was negotiated?

Contracts have a specific format, and they are not in play just because you wish they were.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contract#Elements

Seriously, talk to a lawyer on this - they will laugh at this idea that putting up ads next to your content somehow creates a contract.

> People like you are the very reason why a lot of "free" content is going to disappear in the future.

First, good - a lot of so-called "content" is junk and isn't worth anything.

Second, if anybody bears the responsibility for "content" disappearing, it's the people that chose a business model based on a misunderstanding of the law.

> Without ads, there would be minimal or no web content, end of story.

Sorry, I was using the web (and the rest of the internet) before the plague of ads, and it was not only still full of content, it had a much better signal/noise ratio.

The idea that people only make "web content" with ads is patently incorrect. You know this, because I'm sure you've seen websites without ads. I'm sure you even know about sites like wikipedia that use alternative funding models.


> 1) When was the offer made.

The moment you went to the website. It's like going to someone's house and knocking on the door.

> ) When was the understanding of what the contract was about made? (aka "meeting of the minds")

It is inherent. Just like when you tune-in to watch the Big Bang Theory on TV, you understand that the ads that get played during the show subsidize (sponsor) the content. The internet has been around a long time, pretending this is something new and unknown is disingenuous and intellectually dishonest.

> ) Was there a proper exchange of consideration only after the offer and acceptance of that offer was negotiated?

You are the solicitor (the website didn't contact you, you went to it) so such an offer and/or acceptance isn't required.

Putting all of that aside, are you suggesting that all websites now put up a landing page which says "You must view the following ad to enter this website. Click yes to continue, click No to go back to google"? Because that's pretty much what you're suggesting. Also, as far as your "contract" is concerned, how do you deal with it when TV programs show you ads? They subsidize the content there in the exact same way. Do you feel entitled to watching the latest episode of Agents of Shield without watching any ads?

Again, you didn't create the content, it's not yours. Why do so many people feel entitled to consume it all for free? It's like if the internet didn't exist, and I walk into a book store and just start piling magazines into my backpack then walk out. Only, instead of the articles being on a piece of paper, they're on my monitor.

> Sorry, I was using the web (and the rest of the internet) before the plague of ads

Sorry, but this is simply wrong. I've been using the internet since 1996 and ads have always been here. The dot.com internet bubble began in 1996. Half the bubble was predicated on the (speculative) popularity and rise of ads. In a way (albeit indirectly), the first internet bubble was due to ads (See here: http://www.sfgate.com/business/article/Dot-com-ads-make-a-co...).

> full of content

You're either being dishonest or you're deluding yourself if you think there is anywhere near the same amount of content there is today. That's laughable - it's not even comparable. Especially when you consider high speed internet wasn't even a thing yet. It took 3-10 minutes just to download a picture of a naked woman.

The internet back then was a barren wasteland. You forget, there was no youtube, there was no hackernews, there was no facebook ...these are companies that 100% relied on advertisements for their growth. Hell, they still do to this day.


> are you suggesting that all websites now put up a landing page which says "You must view the following ad to enter this website. Click yes to continue, click No to go back to google"?

In order for users to be /obligated/ to not block the ads, yeah, basically, but only for the first time the person visits the site, because of cookies and such. Having a single page "do you agree to not block ads displayed on this website?" (but with more precise terms) when going to a website for the first time really isn't that much of an inconvenience I don't think. And if someone wanted to automatically agree to all such agreements of some standard format, I figure something could be worked out there. And, it's not like all sites with ads would have to have a page like this. Only if they wanted users to be /obligated/ to not block ads. A fair number of people (such as myself) will choose not to block ads as their own choice on websites that do not make such an agreement.

> The moment you went to the website. It's like going to someone's house and knocking on the door.

Knocking on someone's door does not constitute an offer to buy a product from them? Not sure what sort of agreement would be made by finding an address of a piece of paper on the ground, and then knocking on the door there. I don't see any reason to expect that a person doing this would be obligated to then go next door to receive a pamphlet if the person who opened the door told them to.


> Not sure what sort of agreement would be made by finding an address of a piece of paper on the ground, and then knocking on the door there.

As usual, these problems have already been addressed in contract law. What you are describing is an "invitation to treat", which is specifically not a contract.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Invitation_to_treat


Huh, good to know. Thank you.


>>The moment you went to the website. It's like going to someone's house and knocking on the door.

Please stop with the nonsense analogies. They really convolute the discussion.

You don't "go" to a website like you go to someone's house. You request a copy of the content on a server and the server sends you the content.


> If everyone (100% of the population) was able to skip watching or listening to those ads, then advertisers would no longer advertise and there would be no content because nobody is paying for it, or footing the bill.

And if everyone decided not to donate to wikipedia during their donation drives, then wikipedia would no longer remain free and free of ads in the way it is today. I realize this might kind of go against a Kantian categorical imperative type thing, but I think there are some cases where theres an action where a) persons are generally not obligated to take it, and b)if no one took it, it would be against the interests of all those people.

But, if one assumes the opposite, in order to conclude that it is obligatory to look at ads on pages one views, one has to also conclude that it is obligatory to make donations to wikipedia, if one uses wikipedia. But I don't think one is /obligated/ to do that.

I'm not sure what the point of bringing "generation" stuff into this.

I'd like to mention again that I personally do not block ads, and that this is motivated by allowing the websites to run. I acknowledge that if no one viewed ads (e.g. if no one requested the ad content), that many websites would go out of business or w/e. That is part of my reason for not blocking ads. But the same line of reasoning applies to someone donating to wikipedia. They recognize that without donation, wikipedia would not continue, and that is part of their reason for donating to wikipedia. But their donations to wikipedia are not obligatory. Neither is my decision to not block ads.

I'm not sure what you mean by "people like you". Like I said, I don't block ads, I just argue that it is one's right to do so. Do you mean because of people who block ads, or because of people who say it is ok to block ads? (I've seen some people say that they don't think it is ok to block ads but that they don't care and do it anyway. I think this is kinda terrible. If one act is not obligatory, and one believes that it is immoral, then one shouldn't do it, even if one is incorrect. If it is morally obligatory and one believes it is immoral, then one should do it I guess.)

In the picture of the future that you paint, you leave out donation funded websites, which I think are important.

Again, I'm not saying "everyone should block ads", I'm saying everyone /may/ choose to block ads. This is consistent with the claim that it is important that some people choose to not block ads.

In the same way that it is important that some people donate to sites. No one is obligated to donate to websites they use. It is important that enough people donate to the websites for the website to stay up (provided that it is important that the website stays up).

And, due to my desire that ad-supported websites remain feasible, I choose to not block ads.

Yes, things generally have to be paid for.

No, it doesn't always have to be paid for by the person receiving it.


I think we'd all accept the odd ad. But that's not what is happening. We are being systematically tracked as we browse content, and the amount of advertising and tracking we don't even see if mind-blowing.

I'm not at all surprised that most people want to opt-out of being stalked :-)


What is under discussion is tampering with servers' ability to choose what kind of relationship they will have with those who block ads. We don't want to go down this path.


No, we're discussing software a user chooses to run on their web client. You can request that they run your software, but you do not have a right to force them to run anything without a contract.

If you decided to rely on such an unreliable platform for an important business decision, that's your problem.

edit:

If you want to actually enforce a transaction where content is delivered only if the ads are included, that's what contracts are for. Use them. This was a solved problem several hundred years ago.

This idea that you get to make up contract-like requirements without actually negotiating and agreeing to them is nonsense.


but similarly you don't have the right to force them to serve you ad-free content.

If the offer is "this content, plus ads", and you don't want ads, your option is to say "I'll get the content somewhere else", or say "I'll get this content, but I don't want the ads". If they then say "no, sorry, we really mean it about the ads" why would you want to continue to get the content from them? They've shown that they don't care about you.


But that isn't really the current offer, is it? The offer is "here are end points to different pieces of content, and here's a suggestion how to combine them together".

The users may mix and match the content however they like as long as they don't redistribute it in a way that infringes copyright. It's kind of a mixtape of digital content for personal use: it's totally fine to interleave stuff from HN and Twitter, if I feel like that today. And while I'm at it, I just may skip the ads.


This is exactly what the website of BILD, a major German tabloid, is doing. They will not serve you content if they detect an ad blocker.


I just tried out bild.de and it worked fine with uBlock. Anything I'm missing?


I use uBlock Origin and I see a page that basically says "disable adblocker to view our content".


The fix works only for Firefox-based browsers, because it makes use of inline script tag filtering[1] which does not work on chromium, because it does not support `beforescriptexecute`[2]. The work around for Chromium-based browsers is to wholesale block inline script for the page, at the cost of probably breaking some functionality on the page.

[1] https://github.com/gorhill/uBlock/wiki/Inline-script-tag-fil... [2] https://code.google.com/p/chromium/issues/detail?id=168175


The longer term end game might be more like a world in which access to information is so efficient that advertising ceases to exist as an industry, because anyone offering a product or service is discoverable by whoever needs it. A future generation with a shorter attention span considers advertising morally equivalent to slavery because it deprives people of their time without compensation. Since nobody's livelihood depends on advertising any more, it's easy for everyone to hold the view that it's bad. A future fantasy writer envisions a Daenerys Targaryen character who goes around banishing advertising by force, opposed only by the occasional sick and twisted adversary with whom the audience is at a total loss to identify. Future historians look for shreds of evidence that some esteemed political figure was morally offended by advertising in a personal way but refrained from speaking out against it for pragmatic reasons. Whenever I follow discussions of this topic, I try to imagine what that future society would make of them.


Interesting point. I will say that, if in the end the user will have to accept the ads anyway because all the content providers will refuse them otherwise then I better enjoy ad blocking while I can :-)


people don't get my point. The future I describe is technically possible, and within servers' rights, but let's not have it come to that. Let's stop here: with the status quo.

Playing cat-and-mouse with a server's ad-block detector and with its choice not to serve users who block its ads is going too far. It would be as though the server requested the user the actively agree on a screen, to seeing tasteful on-topic and non-intrusive ads, and the user must agree to continue: only to have an ad-blocker remove that screen but send the message "I agree to see advertising and promise to add this site to the whitelist" without doing so, as a lie and a forgery. While this would technically circumvent this measure, it is ridiculous for an ad-blocker to forge that agreement. (I am making an off-topic analogy, this is not related to what is happening now.)

Likewise, this is going too far. It is morally wrong and technically stupid to go down this rabbit-hole, because technically, legally, and morally it leads to exactly what I have described. Let's stop here.


> Do you want servers to figure out that you're blocking ads at the network level, and tell each other not to serve to your IP?

Gonna be fun when such servers lock corporate IP.


Hi guys. I guess I'm one of the bad guys. I developed the foxplay, natgeoplay adblocker detectors. I used a very simple approach because we know that anyone that wants the content and not the ads is going to have it anyway. The ads in the pages are something that is needed. What is not needed are, as other commenters said, 3rd party cookies, trackers and analytics beacons. Keep up the good fight.


Are your employers interested in developing adblocker-blocker-blockers?


When the arms-race really gets going, we will need better names than these :)


Like LASER: Lightweight Adblock System for Extension Reconaissance.


Ad Revenue Sustainability Extension.



I knew about these, but not about the radar-detector-detector-detectors!


I still can't believe there are some jurisdictions where you are legally required to let the cops sneak up on you.


I'm very pleased they include the link to the Trace Buster Buster: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iw3G80bplTg


I was also happy to see the reference to one of my favorite all-time movies, The Big Hit.

1. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0120609/


Straight Jackin'.


Or functionally: https://github.com/0a-/FuckFuckAdblockFunctionally

  var _ = function(){};
  var fuck = function(fn,fns){
  fns.push(fn); //side effect here since this is OO. Otherwise could have written: fns = fns.concat(fn)
  var partiallyFuck = function(fn){ return fuck(fn,fns)};
  var thunk = function(){ fns.map(function(a){a();
      window.fuckAdBlock = fuck(_,[]); //forced to do side effect here due to OO
      window.blockAdBlock = fuck(_,[]); //forced to do side effect here due to OO
    }); return true};
  return {
    onDetected: partiallyFuck,
    onNotDetected: partiallyFuck,
    check: thunk,
    emitEvent: thunk
  }
  window.fuckAdBlock = fuck(_,[]);
  window.blockAdBlock = fuck(_,[]);


It looks to me like this is just a special case of what NoScript's surrogate scripts feature has been providing for years. It allows substituting your own no-op scripts for whatever scripts you'd rather not run, but want to fool other scripts into thinking have been loaded.


The license is even more flexible than the MIT license.


I think this comic sums it up pretty well. http://www.wtfpl.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/wtfpl-strip....


I couldn't stop myself from reading the GNU GPL section in Richard Stillman's slow paced voice.


I registered just so I could say, THANK YOU.

Never could I ever explain open source licensing better than this comic.


Rofl!


I have heard that some corporations stay away from WTFPL due to some legal uncertainties that I can't claim to understand. If you use WTFPL consider dual licensing for maximum availability.


and written by a former Debian Project Leader: http://www.wtfpl.net/about/ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sam_Hocevar


Actually it isn't at all: WTFPL only gives you license to the license, not to the actual code. Read it carefully.


Unless you are a lawyer or have heard it from a lawyer, you should not claim (unqualified) what a license does or does not cover.

The last clause, I think, sounds like it is meant to cover the work in question (the code). I am not asserting this is true, but lawyers have accepted this as being true. For example, the free software foundation (which has lawyers more skilled in copyright law than most places) accepts this as a free license.


I heard it from a couple lawyers (both ours and theirs) when our company was acquired and we had to do a license audit of all of our open source dependencies. It was enough of a problem that we had to remove a couple (fortunately small) WTFPL projects.


This is my favorite license (I use it in my starter-web-app repo https://github.com/KrisSiegel/starter-web-app (woefully out of date)).

I wish more people used it.


Please don't; by using it you aren't actually granting a license to your code at all but rather only to the license file itself. Read it carefully.


Well crap I see exactly what you mean and you're right. I'll update it (even though I don't think anyone is actually using the code from that repo). Perhaps I'll even take some time to make that repo more relevant (at least for me; it's basically a project template for me to use).


Read the last line.


Where in the document does it actually grant you copyright license to the source code or other IP in question? The only language that's close to a grant of license is:

"Everyone is permitted to copy and distribute verbatim or modified copies of this license document, and changing it is allowed as long as the name is changed."

Notice nowhere in the WTFPL is the source code, documentation or any other IP other than the license itself actually mentioned. Compare this to the grant in the MIT license:

"Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining a copy of this software and associated documentation files (the "Software"), to deal in the Software without restriction, including without limitation the rights to use, copy, modify, merge, publish, distribute, sublicense, and/or sell copies of the Software, and to permit persons to whom the Software is furnished to do so, subject to the following conditions:"

Of course you could argue "well, everyone knows that it's MEANT to grant license to the source code if you put it in a LICENSE file" but in my experience, lawyers encountering the WTFPL have pretty strongly disagreed with that stance.


"TERMS AND CONDITIONS FOR COPYING, DISTRIBUTION AND MODIFICATION" pretty clearly applies to the package accompanied by the license. I looked at the Wikipedia page and this wasn't raised as one of the objections. Do you have a link to some lawyer complaining about that? If the OSI lawyers said it's equivalent to a public domain dedication, that seems useful in countries that don't have a public domain.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WTFPL


One of the objections from the wikipedia article you mention: "Software licenses need to give a clear grant of rights to users to be effective, including the right to redistribute and create derivative works. "Do what the fuck you want to" is not a clear license of any recognized copyright rights; the effect is arguably no license at all."

And again, given the paragraph immediately preceding "TERMS AND CONDITIONS.." one could reasonably argue that the terms apply to the license itself since nothing else is mentioned.

This is essentially the argument I encountered when our company was acquired and we had to do a license audit of all of our dependencies and ended up having to change our codebase to remove a couple (fortunately small) WTFPL projects.


The license is the best thing about this, hands down. It's even more offensive to GPL evangelists than public domain and closed source licenses put together. Hooray Anarchy!

(I still prefer BSD or MIT for myself though)


It also fails to disclaim liability, though the WTFPL does have an optional warranty disclaimer variant.

And no, I don't know what planet you live in, but it's not offensive to GPL evangelists (especially not more than proprietary licenses).

In fact, the big irony is that the FSF both approves the WTFPL and considers it GPL-compatible, [1] but the OSI rejects it entirely! [2]

The GPL evangelists have the upper hand here.

[1] https://www.gnu.org/licenses/license-list.en.html#WTFPL

[2] http://opensource.org/minutes20090304


> And no, I don't know what planet you live in, but it's not offensive to GPL evangelists (especially not more than proprietary licenses).

I was being facetious; it was a good-natured stab at Gnu folks, not meant to be offensive and certainly not serious. I know having a sense of humor is forbidden on HN but I can afford a few points for a silly joke every now and then. I still find the WTFPL itself hilarious in a good way. :-)


I wasn't opposing the joke. I was objecting on the basis of it being nonsensical, unless your goal was to just arbitrarily make a non sequitur.


A whoosh of epic proportions.


Yes.


"it's offensive, hooray!" is "not meant to be offensive"?


Um, what? I said "hooray Anarchy" tongue-in-cheek. Don't change my words to create a false argument, please.


The tone of your comment was that you were excited that it was offensive to a group of people. I made no change in the intent of your words. "Best thing! Even more offensive! Hooray!"

As 'good-natured stabs' go, it's pretty low-quality.


Sigh. There's always one guy in the room who has to have the joke explained to him, draining it of what little humor it may have contained.

"Hooray Anarchy!" was in direct reference to the text of the license itself, specifically "0. You just DO WHAT THE FUCK YOU WANT TO.", which is quite anarchic, if you didn't notice.

> I made no change in the intent of your words.

I'll grant that perhaps you truly did not catch my meaning (as explained above); regardless you did indeed paraphrase me not once but twice, to satisfy your need to call me out. Your perception of a hateful slur on my part is just that, perceived and not actual.

> As 'good-natured stabs' go, it's pretty low-quality.

Indeed, I never said it was a good joke. :-)

And now the poor horse is nothing but a bloody pile of meat. Satisfied?


Maybe he thought your comment was under the WTFPL? Hooray Anarchy!


I got where you were coming from. I just think it's crap when someone is gleeful about being offensive, then doesn't own that. I don't really care about sharp elbows in words, as long as people own them.

> Your perception of a hateful slur on my part

Speaking of 'creating false arguments', where did I say (or imply) 'hateful slur'? Why do you get to paraphrase me and at the same time object to being paraphrased?

My point is that you take joy in something being offensive, then don't own that. It wasn't meant to devolve into all this, but you seem to not be getting my point just as you think I haven't gotten yours.

> And now the poor horse is nothing but a bloody pile of meat. Satisfied?

Well, we each beat a side of the poor thing :)


So, I'm not sure the optional warranty disclaimer variant is actually sufficient under US law.

Disclaimers of implied warranties, e.g. warranty of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose, need to be explicitly, and "conspicuously" disclaimed.

Apparently the legal profession has decided that means in ALL CAPS.

http://www.shakelaw.com/blog/why-is-your-contract-yelling-at...


If you're amused by the WTFPL, see also the Tumbolia Public License[1] and the Solipsistic Public License [2].

[1]: https://raw.githubusercontent.com/joshleaves/licenjs/4174e04...

[2]: https://raw.githubusercontent.com/matildah/SPL/fb35894f14be4...


I think I prefer the Solipsistic License out of those two.


Also check out the (more serious) Unlicense: http://unlicense.org/


This guy gets it.


You appear to be operating under the assumption that the license is novel -- it is not. This is a well established license, though unfortunately not as accepted by lawyers as most open source licenses so it ends up doing more harm than good.

The license is obviously a bit tongue in cheek, but it's no different than a public domain license to GPL evangelists, other than being less legally rigorous.

I don't get your comment at all. For the life of me I can't understand why you use the word offensive or why you seem to delight in this license so much.

If you actually want to offend the GPL enthusiasts, may I recommend the "Anyone but Richard Stallman License" (https://github.com/landondyer/kasm/blob/04ef65a38f72636b9925...) as a much better alternative.


I prefer BSD or MIT any day, I can't take the license seriously, heck even the Beerware License sounds like a better alternative, and a quite shorter one at that. As long as the whole liability claim is shoved in somewhere all should be well.


I went to the linked http://fuckadblock.sitexw.fr/ and their publicity example didn't load. Looks like my adblock rules are doing their job!


Having ublock, Privacy Badger, Noscript and Disconnect makes it hard for ads to show up.


You can get Privacy Badger and Disconnect lists in uBlock Origin. No reason to have all three.


True for Disconnect, but not for Privacy Badger, which does dynamic, heuristics-based blocking.

ref: https://www.eff.org/privacybadger under "How does Privacy Badger work?"

I use it and uBlock in combination.


Makes it easier to fine tune when needed.



Make it work with the beta as well to preempt its release. :)



How about this instead? Plugs into U-Block Origin: https://github.com/reek/anti-adblock-killer#instruction


I also thought the same. I have it enabled in my Chrome's uBlock Origin, but this test—linked from the FuckFuckAdblock repo—still detects it:

http://fuckadblock.sitexw.fr/


Version 1.4.0 of uBlock Origin adds the ability to redirect a blocked resource to a local, neutered version of the resource. FuckAdblock is part of the available neutered resources:

https://github.com/gorhill/uBlock/blob/db74ea310b966def35e84...

So a filter like the following one work with uBO 1.4.0 to neuter FuckAdblock on the site:

    ||fuckadblock.sitexw.fr/fuckadblock.js$script,redirect=fuckadblock.js-3.2.0


A part of me really wants a system that asks the browser for a "hey, you wanna give money instead" token that lists a payment system and a unique id. I don't wanna really hurt content creators.


I would also prefer this for social networks like facebook. They should have an additional option where they store none of your data and guarantee not to track you.

As a compensation the user would need to pay money for using the service.

This would also put a price tag on privacy and show people what they actually give away when they use the service in the traditional way.


Seems like you are looking for contributor.google.com


It still allows Google to track you. It's not a solution.


Can you really afford all the content you consume daily ? I sure couldn't.


But why?


Because some sites can be really annoying about a user using adblock software. They can force you to disable adblock by hiding everything until you do so. Nice sites will just simply ask that you enable it via panels below the intended adspace. In this case, this script is only fighting against FuckAdblock's adblock detection methods.

I don't mind seeing ads sometimes. I do realize this is where hosts and content producers get their funds. I would much rather have sites where you can pay subscriptions to allow access to not only ad-free content and additional premium content as long as the site actually has quality content that I will constantly come back for. Places like WolframAlpha and I'm told Chegg have quality content behind their fees. Also, another thing that is quite annoying is hearing the same ads over and over again. Streaming services have this issue all the time.


The reality is, money publishers get from ads are much more than they would get from content. You'll need insane amount of traffic to make it work with very low cost subscription costs that some will pay for.


Simple solution: Don't go to that site.


That sounds much less simple than an unblocker script like this. ;)


Personally, I'd rather be asked for a small donation towards the sites running costs than running ad blocker. Unfortunately, this type of option isn't available in all websites or media providers.

Unless there's a method where I can directly pay them with cash or BitCoins. I'm blocking their ads and consuming their service for free. For reasons already mentioned by others.

I'll use Nexus mods as an example (http://www.nexusmods.com/games/). When accessing their site (which I do regularly), their web service tells you that they need ads to survive and offer you a life time ad-free subscription for 2.50GBP. Of course, it only shows when it can detect you're using Ad Blocker Plus. But this is the subscription model that more clients need to use.

YouTube Red (not RedTube... made the mistake of recommending this to a client yesterday) is another similar method. Though everyone knows Google is trolling my browsing habits anyway.


I'm racking my brains to come up with a viable 'pay as you browse' model for sites, but it quickly extrapolates to the ludicrous extremes.

Hmmmm. Thinking about it, i might throw together a chrome plugin that calculates a suggested donation based on usage to sites that have donation mechanisms.


That's not viable. There's no way any major media company could survive by selling one-time fees to remove ads forever.


It's the next step in the ad blocking arms race. Next is FuckFuckFuckAdBlock, and so on. May the best one win.


I know you're joking but the latest season of south park covers the "arms race" between advertisers, ad blockers, and sponsored content in a very hilarious and relatively accurate way. The ultimate result of course being terminator style AI advertisements.


Minor nit pick, but the war is largely between publishers and adblockers. Less to do with advertisers (although the line blurs at scale)


I hope you guys are aware that the ads are an analogy for a group of people.



(Fuck)^(n+1)Adblock


Seems like great advertising for fuckadblock

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