Forbes stopped letting me read their site with ghostery enabled? I don't care. There are a million other free sites to read. So I go there.
But.. But Google wouldn't exist without ads??! I don't care - there would be some other search engine that works without ads.
Really, I got other things to worry about than some random company/person on the internet making money off of me.
Without ads, there would be a lot less "get rich quick" schemes and search engine fiddling. Websites that exist only to point to information scraped from other websites and wrap them in ads would disappear. If a web site created by some lone coder started to explode in audience size and bandwidth costs, they could go the donation route. I already donate to some sites that provide content I like. I think we would end up with quality over quantity when it came to finding information, and that's probably a good thing.
So I'm right there with you. I don't care how someone's business model is going for them. I block ads because they've been out of control since before the "punch the monkey" stage came around years ago.
Content that exists to make profit for the authors is rarely worth the cost of ads IMO. Let them die.
Back during the late 90s, early 2000s, many forums used to have paid membership programs.
If content is desired, even if its user created, you can charge for the platform users interact on.
Would you care for some side money that you can use for micro-transaction (one click for: paywalls, items in games, rewarding a blog author?)
(doing market research here)
Would you care enough to make the switch to another ad-blocker? One that pays you to rent your pixels if the ad is deemed fast, non intrusive, non tracking, not attention grabbing, not misleading, for a sufficiently ethical product, etc.
In theory, it seems a nice idea. Sharing ad profits from my views with someone who creates good content. Sure.
I'm not quite sure I'd care enough, but maybe.
I personally do care about the small authors, and for that I will disable my ad blocker if I come across a small site with ads but I also won't go out of my way to do so.
I come from "web 1.0" or really "beta web" pre 1995 & BBS days so the web we live on right now is / was our nightmare back then.
Why don't you go there then? Go on duck duck go, go on any website that don't show ads. Most of the time, you won't find one because that's just impossible to achieve, there just so much cost associated with hosting a good quality website that it's even hard to achieve only on ads.
Whatever will you answer is the reason why you should care. That exist because ads exist. I don't feel like giving 2-3$ to every website I visit, even if I actually have that money and way to pay it (which I literally couldn't do when I was younger, but you probably didn't lived that).
Nothing is free on this planet, literally nothing. Don't expect the web to be either.
(it is very interesting how almost everyone in this thread assumes I'm young - I wouldn't count almost 40 as very young :) )
The 'I don't care' millennial attitude is opposite to our parents generation that advocate the opposite: their quixotesc quest to support local small businesses is a proof of that.
Note: I am only 51.76% serious. I love a good generational joke. Funny that we think we can classify an entire age group with such prejudice.
As it becomes increasingly impossible to live in modern society without the internet and the ad networks become more intrusive and the negative consequences increase, it becomes more and more difficult to full justify the pro-ad stance.
This week I got a cold. I'm not sure which social network I mentioned it on or what search I made, but the ads I see everywhere now are for NyQuil.
That first NyQuil ad was a real dousing in cold water. This isn't the ad network knowing I'm actively searching the web for a web monitoring product and showing me pingdom ads. The ad network knows I'm sick and what my illness is.
I'm actively investigating ad blocking now, enemy mine.
The ad network knows you searched for, or included in a status update, "cold", or "sneeze" or some other combination of keywords that Proctor & Gamble paid to have associated with NyQuil.
Genuine question: Why is this a problem? I prefer to receive adverts that are about something I might actually want.
When I've been browsing things on Amazon and then, for some reason, browse without ad-blocking, I start to receive adverts about things I was looking at but didn't purchase. I think that's much better than, say, receiving a page full of obnoxious animated adverts for some Clash of Clans rip-off.
Think about the repercussions if I googling for cancer treatments or HIV infection symptoms and not just cold cures.
Otherwise, I would not block ads.
I know that sometimes there are too many ads on certain web pages, but that is no excuse to ban them all.
Yes, ads are also used to distribute malware but, come on, it's 2016 and you should have uninstalled both Flash and the Java plugin in your browser a while ago.
I prefer to be able to steer my own attention, and not have it be steered by those who win the bids for it. I don't like paying a surcharge on every product to enable this practice. It seems like an inefficient way to finance the web.
Ad blockers are popular because ads got creepy. Seriously creepy. And majorly intrusive and auto-playing and so on and so forth. No one considers TV ads or print ads to be "inefficient" - yes, there are pay channels, but even the bulk of paid cable channels show ads, and pay magazines are sometimes a full 50% or more ads.
I can't expect you to suddenly cheer for ads. They're everywhere and there is definitely fatigue throughout the day. They uglify highways, they can definitely be pushy. But it's not like people haven't attempted other ways of monetizing content.
But taken at face value, my first thought was that it's just difficult to establish an alternative model against an incumbent. Advertising was there first, but on a level playing field, maybe micropayments could have taken off?
Of course, elsewhere, incumbents fall all the time. So I guess it's just difficult to establish an alternative model against an incumbent that sells the illusion that you're getting something for free. At the same time, people routinely spend 10+ cents for every web page access through mobile access charges. I don't even think about it when I browse the web on the subway.
Let me hasten to add that not all alternatives to classic ads are an improvement. Native advertising and other forms of embedded marketing come to mind. Although I am hopeful that readers will fairly quickly come to despise it even more than the more honest and easier to ignore ads.
>Advertising was there first, but on a level playing field, maybe micropayments could have taken off?
He who pays the piper calls the tune. Very few people are going to create content for you for free. If you don't want your attention steered, prepare to pay the piper.
> I don't like paying a surcharge on every product to enable this practice.
The theory that advertising is a "surcharge on every product" assumes that the dynamics of sales and competition wouldn't be hurt in the absence of ads, that honest, unbiased, uncommercial content would pick up the information slack from ads. These assumptions does not stand up to basic scrutiny:
a: Ads support the entrance of new products into the market. For new products to be successful, they need to drive either new value, higher efficiency, better status-signalling or lower prices.
b: There is nothing to keep uncommercial content from recommending alternative equal-quality non-advertising products, which we would then expect to be cheaper, as they don't incur the surcharge. Certainly, there are examples of such products (eg. consumables that have a store-brand alternative), but if the theory were true, those alternatives would be widely available throughout the market. Consumer Reports routinely recommend products from brands with expensive ad campaigns.
c: Status-signalling is a thing, it really is, and while certainly exploited and supported by the ad industry, it wasn't invented by it, and won't go away if the ad industry does.
> It seems like an inefficient way to finance the web.
Perhaps so, but in a century and a half(?) of ad-supported mass media, not a lot of viable alternatives have appeared. Subscriptions (newspapers, magazines, still contains ads), donations (NPR), tax support (BBC and the like). It's not obvious to me either model would support the almost absurdly rich pluralism of content the web has with ad-finance.
EDIT: spelling, cleaned up ambiguous language.
> Ads support the entrance of new products into the market.
It's going to be difficult for this trend to stop until there are some technical hurdles built. Until then, I think it's unrealistic to say we should subject ourselves to ads because "historically the market has worked that way". It may have worked that way in the past, but times are changing.
My take on your argument is that despite the fact that products get cheaper when you remove the "ad portion" of the price, the consumer markets would get more inefficient, and hence the price would increase (or products would be worse, which is basically the same thing). Which is a fair point. But if that were true, it's still not clear which of the two would have a greater impact.
However, I don't think it's very hard to come up with mechanisms that serve the same function as ads in terms of market transparency. You don't even have to be very creative about it, since they already exist (e.g. consumer reports are a thing, and vaguely 10% of the Internet seems to be dedicated to discuss the dos and don'ts of buying shit). Ads are already one of the worst ways to get information about products, particularly in non-niche markets.
Yes, that is what I meant. I guess "net surcharge" is a better term.
> it's still not clear which of the two would have a greater impact
I believe it is, which is essentially what my argument is about. If the net surcharge is non-trivial and positive, then where are the people (trying to) capture it for profit? They can even piggy-back for free on certain kinds of competitors advertising (your competitors spend on ads explaining why everybody must have a dishwasher, you can just show up a sell a dishwasher).
> However, I don't think it's very hard to come up with mechanisms that serve the same function as ads in terms of market transparency
In theory correct, but in empirical practice this doesn't happen. Where is the car/dishwasher/whatever brand that is cheaper because it doesn't advertise, but consistently come out top in Consumer Reports? Even store brand consumables doesn't consistently test as better or equally good, just as good enough, and cheaper.
This is not one of those things where an obvious inefficiency shows up and everybody is falling over themselves because the market takes a few years or ten to smooth things out -- ads have been a fixture of the market, well, since the 60s, going by Mad Men.
This is the bit where I speculate wildly, but I think some of the fallacy is thinking about product, ad and consumer in an abstract isolation. Effects are probably much more diffused and harder to quantify. Broader status-confirmation than that of being seen carrying a can of Coke rather than Walmart Quality Cola is probably one: it feels good to be buying Tide, even is nobody ever sees the bottle, it's a confirmation to yourself that you've made it, and when you and I can shrug that off and get the cheap alternative, it partly because we can derive status confirmation from our work in a way that frankly isn't available to everybody. Also, positive branding (as supported by ads) is pretty important for employee morale which rubs off on product quality. This is way out in the margins, but an employee at the white-label detergent factory probably isn't going to feel the same pride the Tide employee is, and even a little compounds over time.
The very popular site you yourself are posting on for free demonstrates the opposite. Millions provide valuable content for free every day in twitter, medium, HN, Reddit, blogs, Wikipedia etc etc.
An ad-driven web should not be the only future we can envisage, and ads and the search for clicks are what is actively damaging our news media at present IMO. We can do better than ads.
As far as I know, this is the most efficient way to finance a website. What's your most efficient way?
While I would like to watch online ads, for the information might be useful to me, is impossible to disable the tracking, somewhere in a log file an IP will be associated with receiving and/or clicking this ad. This IP might be associated already with my identity because I did login to Gmail from the same IP, for example.
That's why I am using ad-blocker.
I do. Some years ago, I've read an essay where the author, among other things, considered banning paid advertisements, i.e. getting paid to promote someone else's work.
I sadly didn't save a link at the time, and I can't find it on Google. The author argued that today's social networks are effective ways for word-of-mouth advertising, which is why classical advertising is not strictly required for a new product to take off (esp. when combined with crowdfunding).
Furthermore, advertisements regularly create requirements that are irrational and even harmful to the people involved (e.g. sodas and sweets) or the society or its natural resources. I can see how banning paid advertisement could help in transitioning to a zero-growth economy, which I consider one of the most remarkable challenges of our generation.
I would love to see these ideas explored with scientific scrutiny, because, as always with economic policies on this scale, it's near impossible to estimate their effect in advance.
Even ads in magazines aren't there to "inform" people.
"Informing" would be objective. Ads are meant to show the product in the best possible light and get people to buy them.
They corrupt the developers, because the purpose is no longer to create a great product. You now have to think on how to:
* tweak your product to accommodate ads
* trick the user to comeback even when he shouldn't have to
* collect as much data about the user as you can
And they corrupt content creators, because it makes them focus on volume (views) instead of quality.
And yes, we painted ourselves into this corner, where is really tough to make it without using ads. But that doesn't mean we shouldn't explore other options. And without ad blockers, the industry will have no motivation to search for alternatives.
Since in 2016 this is mostly not the case, I have to go with whitelisting the sites instead of the other way around.
The internet is in need of a unified subscription service. One that you can pay a monthly fee and see as many ad supported websites as you want, without ads.
Yeah, the adv industry is a nasty one, but still this movement is not providing a viable (any?) alternative option to finance the web.
edit: 4. I really did enjoy South Park sponsored content
Never mind the technical hurdles; from a strictly ethical standpoint, would it make sense? The industry seems to have settled on 70/30 being a fair split. Why shouldn't sites be able to opt in to receiving a portion of 30% of the profits coming from a particular ISP subscriber, proportional to how many times that user visited their site compared to other sites?
ISPs profit by transferring other people's copyrighted content but sharing none of that money with the content creators. Wasn't MegaUpload raided and destroyed for doing essentially the same thing?
I would be OK with watching ads instead of paying a website, I'm not OK to be tracked in doing so.
Security, performance, aesthetics help in strengthening my resolve.
If I really want to help a website I'll value whether to disable the adblocker (ublock origin) or not, or perhaps pay for an ad-less service.
Since this site's purpose is to encourage people not using adblock to use it I don't think "don't use it then" is sufficient here.
The web is just much faster without ads.
The same reason why exploits for Windows and Windows software are more common than for other desktop operating systems.
So without ad-blocking I am putting my faith in the operators of 7 domains that none of their servers have been compromised to serve up malware. Most of those domains don't operate as a service that intentionally lets fourth-parties serve up arbitrary content.
With ad-blocking I have to trust that 41 domains, some of which will be serving up fourth-party content without curation, will not serve up malware. I don't even know ahead of time whose servers I'll be visiting, so I can't try to estimate how much risk I'm exposed to.
I don't trust CNN to monitor those 41 domains. I don't expect CNN to monitor those 41 domains. The very point of an ad-broker service that allows the highest bidder to inject their own content into a website is that CNN doesn't know ahead of time who's going to provide the content for a particular view.
how to do this?
The CPU load too, though I think the use of animation/video in adverts is more of a problem in that respect than the overhead of using jQuery instead of modern DOM APIs directly.
Even just considering network load, you need to be careful about the cache control headers that you send to ensure that all common browsers will cache content (see http://blog.httpwatch.com/2011/01/28/top-7-myths-about-https... amongst other references) and you have to be careful not to accidentally indicate that it is OK to cache something sensitive (which is why some servers send blanked "don't cache" headers for HTTPS responses unless explicitly ordered otherwise, it is the safest default).
I wish uBlock Origin had a nice install page I could point to that would do that kind of detection itself. All I could find at this point was the Github page.
 : https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/ublock-origin...
 : https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/ublock-origin/cjpa...
For me it would just take away from the service, if you want to detect what I'm running, you are only a little better than advertisers. I understand, it is for the 'greater good' from your pov, but this way the means impairs the cause.
Granted, if you wanted to do so perhaps you could use this to circumnavigate people hiding their user-agent by having the generated link be a hosted redirect link, that way you know that if someone clicked redirect-firefox.theirdomain.org they were using firefox even if they hid their user-agent string. But it's not really fair to assume that in this case. (and i have to wonder what the value of an ip-adress/browser pair is).
I can't find the discussion from a couple of days earlier, but afair it basically said wsj let the google crawler indexing their articles, while simultaneously blocking users by detecting their device.
Regarding the WSJ: it's a technologically unsophisticated (but probably effective) way of having indexing work with a pay-wall (which requires more tracking in and of itself anyway). But selective access does not violate your privacy, only your freedom to view their content. And as much as I oppose the "companies are people too" movement I do think they have a right to selectively serve their content as much as you have a right to decide what you want to do with the bytes they (try) to send you (e.g. adblock them).
I think it derails the conversation, but do you have the right to pretend to be the google crawler then?
Ads are pretty much the only way to make a living when you are bootstrapping. These blocks, like all of the other silly things in this community meant to hurt the big, bad, corporations, do nothing but strengthen them.
It's an automated way to remove competition. The people with resources and money will survive (as always) and the rest will suffer the consequences of their short-sighted actions.
It happened with the music industry over the last two decades (1 million plays on spotify nets you $1000, if you are lucky).
I’m glad I have resources: I can get a good deal on labor when these sorts of movements decimate an indusry.
I am very much against tracking, and ads that track retarget and abuse me, so am very restrictive in terms of what I let near my browser.
I'd also be very happy to see ads on many sites (eg Stackoverflow style - respectful ads) if I could trust them not to track, retarget or drop malware. That implies either an ad network that's restricted to static pngs (and that they've developed trust), or going back to publisher hosting.
I think, there's the germ of a great idea here. But, rather than pushing people at uBlock (which is my preferred blocker) I'd try and educate on tracking and ad network abuse, then link out to several newbie friendly, zero effort options (that probably implies adblock and others). Why not uBlock? It's a LONG way from newbie friendly, but chances are that's your audience because they don't have a blocker already.
Educate to get some pushback against tracking and crapware ads, like was done to kill ie6 long ago.
If I gave uBlock to my mum's generation (generalisation) or neighbour I'd be fielding quite a lot more tech support calls. :p
How is this? It's an install and forget blocker, requires no fiddling out of the box/ You fiddle with its settings only if you want to, it has no install page.
If I gave it to some of the folks I know they'd end up utterly baffled if they ever opened the interface (probably unlikely to be fair :D)
EFF's Privacy Badger does a brilliant job of first run wizard and UI for non techies. Adblock first run is 4 or 5 steps and steers away from the techie guts. uBlock just dumps you at the settings that are programmer friendly (far as I remember there's no first run anything).
For me and reasonably IT literate folks, uBlock is perfect. It's by far and away the best blocker I'm aware of right now though.
If we assume that most users will install an ad blocker and expect it to just work, then uBlock Origin and the filters it enables by default gives users much better protection than Adblock Plus. I think that's far more important than how usable the settings page is.
So I primarily use Privacy Badger, which dynamically blocks sites that try to track me (and gives me an excuse to rail against sites that tell me I'm running an ad-blocker, because I'm not running an ad-blocker!) and self-destructing cookies to stop first-party tracking on sites I don't trust.
The down-side of self-destructing cookies being the EU cookie regulation, which relies on sites setting a cookie to tell me that I have to agree to set cookies, when I've actually configured my browser to do what I want with the cookies anyway. So then I need an ad-blocker set up specifically to block the cookie panels (with https://github.com/r4vi/block-the-eu-cookie-shit-list) which requires me to have an ad-blocker installed after all, even if it's not set to block ads...
Installing an adblocker is a reaction to an overwhelming onslaught of ads. The solution is some sort of compromise between "full on malvertising shitshow" and "eliminate all ad-funded business models".
Also first-party advertising is complicated because it prevents the advertising company from publishing the ads it wants, since the ad would be delivered by the site itself. While this is the business model of Google and Facebook, most sites don't have the analytics power to publish the most relevant ads to their users.
Re first party advertising, the scorched earth blocking approach is going to push the advertising industry to take over first party advertising. Your site runs httpd and advertd, where advertd receives ads from the industry to inject into the pages, and returns tracking data to the industry. If this doesn't exist yet, it's definitely under construction.
That would at least stop 3rd-party ad tracking, and would make ad malware less likely
The best thing the tracking industry _could_ have done is not pair it with stuff you don't want to view like adverts. If tracking was done via jquery hosted on a CDN, it's quite feasible we wouldn't even know it was happening.
That almost certainly is being done, and we probably know about it.
Surely google track their cdns?
At the moment we're relying on a rule in Easy List - https://easylist.adblockplus.org/en/ - it's used by Adblock Plus, uBlock, AdGuard and a probably others. But we need to take into account other methods/blockers that don't rely on this list.
Layer 1: Similar to what @accommodavid has, my router uses several lists of ad-server domains to block requests to them. The list URLs are at https://github.com/pi-hole/pi-hole/blob/963eacfe0537a7abddf3...
Layer 2: My browser has uMatrix. It is set up to only allow a) first-party requests of any kind, and b) third-party requests for images and CSS. (So on your site, the JS from ajax.googleapis.com is blocked.)
Allowed site do to third-party requests to fetch jQuery. Still says "no ad blocking detected".
I guess just testing that /css/ads.css (a first-party resource) fails to load isn't a good measure.
For anyone interested, in our tests with uBlock Origin, Adblock Plus and AdGuard for Android - the default installation (which we assume most people use) - all included the rule which blocks ads.css, even if it's same origin.
We're relying on a rule in the Easy List filter set which blocks loading of anything called ads.css. Perhaps this rule does not exist in Purify. I'll make a note to test. If anyone knows the filters Purify uses, I'd love to take a look.
We also test for 'acceptable' ads getting through based on a rule in Adblock Plus, and warn against it.
Encouraging adblocking is harmful and discriminating against advertisers. A more appropriate term is content blocking. Indeed, why not to see some static ads and just disable tracking?
Advertisers are forcing me to pay attention to something I don't want or need to pay attention to, why do I have to cater for them?
And since many "adblockers" are not open-source, you never know what it is doing. Software may perform censorship of the world wide web, depending on what investors tell the programmers to do.
Imagine the investor is Apple. They can make adblocker remove the the results containing "android" from your google search. I think such scenario is quite possible in the future, if users blindly trust "adblockers".
Hmm, not entirely sure about this.
* Adblock Plus: https://adblockplus.org/en/contribute-code
* uBlock: https://github.com/chrisaljoudi/ublock
* Adblock (the original one, without the "Plus"): http://code.getadblock.com/
I could go on and on, but I would argue that these three are the most popular ones.