Let me add a little perspective. A long time ago at reddit we launched reddit gold. At the time, one of the biggest benefits was that if you had gold you could turn off ads. This was in direct response to people saying, "I would rather pay you then use adblock".
You know how many people running adblock started paying? Not a lot. Sure, some did, but there were still a whole bunch of people who just wanted a free experience. The ads on reddit weren't even all that heavy CPU and bandwidth-wise.
My point is, I don't think a lot of you are being totally honest when you say you'd be willing to pay if the site removed advertising.
In a lot of cases, those sites get a lot more money from the advertisers than you would ever be willing to pay, because they simply don't provide that much value to you.
What would happen if reddit had to use a ad network that vetted every single advertisement they displayed and took legal responsibility that local advertisement laws was followed? In my case there would be no advertisement towards children, no tobacco or alcohol, and no drugs or medical advice. There would naturally also be no scams or misrepresenting information. If we go as far as to the same standard as advertisement in a news paper, we also get no tracking. How much would reddit users have to pay in order for reddit to live on only the same rate as a printed paper get from advertisement?
Advertisement supported news papers are generally free so would it be possible that the reddit price would also be free?
First off, it's the target who wears the majority of the costs. Extra bandwidth to serve the ad, extra cpu/battery resources to display it, extra exposure to trackers and malicious js - all on the target.
And finally, as parent post mentions, there's a complete lack of checks and balances. Anyone can advertise anything, which is why a huge portion of ads are for scams, and most of the remaining portion are for products and services that one cannot legally advertise on traditional media.
Given all of the above, I don't think it's at all unreasonable for consumers to block and continue blocking digital ads as long as it remains technologically possible. There is no legal recourse here - visiting a website doesn't imply consent to downloading and displaying that website how the owner wants.
There's this persistent sentiment of 'oh but if users continue blocking ads then these websites will go out of business'. Yeah? Then so be it. If their business model is only sustainable through fucking their users in the ass, and they will go out of business if consumers don't bend over, then they shouldn't exist in the first place. The internet was just fine before it was taken over by corporate interests, and it will continue being just fine if most of them stop operating there because they're can't monetize it. It's an information sharing platform, there was never a promise of it being a profit platform.
I somehow strongly doubt that if the current paradigm of ad based revenue were to disappear overnight, that no one would figure out something to take it's place and that the internet would become a barren wasteland devoid of content. As it is now, there is zero incentive for content developers to look for any other solution because the status quo is so ingrained in people's minds that we have just accepted it as "the way things are". This is very clearly starting to change, and so yes, there will be collateral damage in the mean time. But the Web that emerges from this change will be better for everyone involved.
Reddit users wouldn't care if Reddit went out of business? I find that hard to believe.
> Something will rise up to take your place that is more user friendly. The market will find a way.
Got any ideas? Nobody has come up with anything that works so far.
> I somehow strongly doubt that if the current paradigm of ad based revenue were to disappear overnight, that no one would figure out something to take it's place and that the internet would become a barren wasteland devoid of content.
What is this suspicion based on?
Sure they would. But if Reddit went out of business, a new Reddit would immediately take it's place. The value to be extracted from such a large user-base is too great for this niche to go unfilled. How that value would be extracted in an ad-free system is yet to be seen. But I have faith in human ingenuity.
>Got any ideas? Nobody has come up with anything that works so far.
That is precisely my point. No one has come up with any ideas so far because there is not sufficient incentive. The model that now exists makes money, so why would anyone try too hard to rock the boat? Sure there a few small bit players trying to change things. But these limited ideological efforts are completely different from the full brunt of a capitalist market seeking profits under constraints that completely disallow advertising.
I believe snowdrift.coop has a chance. (I'm a volunteer on the team).
It's just a matter of time before reddit dies as well. Unlike google or facebook, there's not much value that a user can extract from reddit.
Google with all their services still provide value to users.
Facebook, despite their privacy issues, still provides something of value to their users.
What does reddit provide which can't be done by an alternative?
Exactly this. The entitlement jedberg shows here, to be able to show ads on a link aggregator (of all useless things) is astonishing.
This crosses into personal attack and namecalling. Those things are against the HN guidelines. Would you please (re-)read them, and follow them when commenting here?
The internet gives everyone the freedom to create a community of their own, and it's easier, cheaper and the experience is better than ever when doing so. There are already popular "anything goes" discussion forums (e.g. 4chan, voat) that give much wider room to "freedom of expression", so how have companies like reddit or google prevented others from operating in any fashion they find acceptable within the confines of their own communities? The answer is they haven't.
Reddit is the only site where I've been banned off a single sub. And this was to correct an error referencing my own work and expertise.
As far as I can tell, they've gone overboard on their censoring, marketing and propaganda.
Or do you also think it's ok to steal from Walmart because you don't like their corporate policies?
Playing your ads in my browser is "the rules" now?
If you want to claim it's "the rules", you need a paywall.
Oh, you're not putting up a paywall? Fancy that.
Do you offer legally enforceable indemnity against people getting malware from ads you serve? If not, then you can't really tell them not to block the ads.
"The rules" in this case are that censorship and social control (presumably) exist on the platform. If you don't like that, don't participate.
But don't say, "OMG censorship" and use that to justify defrauding advertisers while continuing to use the free site that you deride.
You can protest legally by blocking ads, but there's such a thing as too much civil disobedience. Its a slippery slope, because this argument can be used to justify DDoS.
It still doesn't justify the topic at hand, which is a program that attacks the ad networks and defrauds the advertisers.
I subscribed to reddit gold for a year. Removal of ads wasn't a big benefit to me since, as you know, I could achieve the same with or without reddit gold with ad-blocking. There was obviously no point in me whitelisting reddit and then toggling the ads off in the settings. I was, however, happy to be supporting reddit.
However, in the end I've never purchased reddit gold again. I have been gilded a few times. I did whitelist reddit in my blocker again.
The reason for this was because I didn't see reddit improving much. No visible features were being launched (gold gated or general) that improved my experience, so it was hard to see what I was supporting. So I stopped.
On lots of others sites, it's clear that a subscription is for the content. Reddit is just the platform, though. In that case, gold was touted as additional features, some of which would be eventually be released for every user. I'm not sure how many features that happened for, but I can only recall hearing about one.
To be fair, this was years ago. However, nothing since has tipped me towards supporting reddit again and I don't think I'm likely to hop back onto gold anytime soon. Only recently has reddit started to appear to launch some stuff that would have kept me supporting reddit through gold. I'm sure I've been missing things as announcements these days seem to be spread out across many different subreddits that rarely hit the front page.
They are working on a site redesign though, so that is something
I worked for years as a webdev with mid-tier ad nets until last ones of them either went out of business or turned into niche players. We worked with "cube data" of people that had over 160 different parameters back in 2012-2013. The amount of data about an average internet user is huge, but nearly all of it is useless for a top tier ad player.
Google and few remaining top tier players take their "tax" on all kinds of ads that go through their platforms regardless of targeting efficiency and conversion rates. That is a lion share of value you can squeeze from a click. They let other "platform partners" to fight for remaining scraps. If DSPs and SSPs bring more clients and clicks or can somehow improve on the process, top tier players will only benefit from higher volumes.
However, the personally identifiable data sold by data vendors is of immense value to people running arbitrage schemes on ad exchanges. See, if you can price shows just few percents better on average than the rest of the ecosystem you make a lot of money. You bid for "garbage impressions (that's the industry's term)" in hopes to get expensive clicks for stuff like financial crap, RX, lawyers, amazon, "quasi-CPA" tagged clicks, and so on.
This type of business attracts a lot of rich "idle rentier" types. Naturally, those guys tend to "vote with their money," if they see that a certain arbitrage scheme is no longer profitable, and another one is. This is why there is so much of contention about such data, and cutthroat efforts to get it. I knew not one, but two RTB arbitrage collectives in Russia that had their RTB trading servers stolen from secure datacentres.
Can you charge people to use reddit? Not if you want to make money. I don't think people are willing to pay to use reddit. especially after the exodus that follows.
Some people consent to being manipulating into buying things, and reddit profits off of those people. Some people don't consent to that, but we still add value to the site by simply visiting, writing comments, voting, etc.
The math is clear. As long as enough people are willing to look at ads, you can't go to a paid only site without losing money.
The adblock users of the world thank those people, I guess, but that's just what it is.
You coopted the world's conversation into a private space where you could profit from it. This might seem OK in lala-land of silicon valley, but what you have done is horribly horribly wrong in that you've moved millions of people into a place where political views can be easily censored, and where groups like The Cabal can gain power over what is and is not seen by millions.
Reddit is broken. Everything about it is broken, the ad model, is broken. It is damage to humankind so large that routing around may not be enough.
This is quite an extreme conclusion to draw, as you seem to be overlooking one very large assumption: value.
If I say "I'd be willing to pay if a site removed advertising", that statement is still contingent on that payment providing me with value in return. I do pay for many sites and services on the internet. Reddit is not one of them. It's not a bad site, but for me, it's largely served as a distraction and hasn't really offered me anything I consider worthwhile enough to pay for. This does not equate to me being dishonest because implicit in that is your (incorrect) assumption that Reddit offers every visitor significant value.
" Consumers tend to respond much more strongly to “free” offers than to prices that are only fractionally higher than zero. When Amazon first offered free shipping in European countries, orders surged—but not in France, where by mistake it charged around ten cents.
Researchers talk of the “privacy paradox”: when asked, people say that they care much more about their privacy than their actions would suggest."
This leads to another issue. If governments and companies are making important policy decisions based upon data, is it fair or right to access their online behavior in addition to surveys, as people often lie in surveys to project a better image of themselves.
According to https://www.reddit.com/r/modnews/comments/6pxyvy/traffic_pag..., about half of your users are mobile users of the official app, which does not support ad blocking, so at least half of your entire userbase either pays for gold, or has ads. Official statistics you’ve published put reddit at a reach of 6% of US internet users, which would be over 234 million users.
This would mean 117 million monthly users at 4 USD pre-tax each, which would be a monthly revenue that’d rival Google or Facebook. And this is completely ignoring any and all desktop users. So either your user statistics are wrong, or you don’t even get close to the 4 USD revenue per user in ads.
Based on the fact that Reddit officially isn’t profitable, and has 230 employees paid at Silicon Valley wages, and assuming reddit has a factor of 10 less users (so ~11 million mobile users per month, which would assume half of the subscribers to AskReddit would be active mobile users), the actual money you’d get per mobile user per month via ads (again, assuming all desktop users use adblock), would be around $0.21. This also matches much more closely the usual per-user ad revenue statistics.
And $0.21 per month is a price that also is a lot more affordable for people outside of silicon valley. Even a buck a month is still within of affordable range, although less so if you use many different sites. If you visit hundreds of pages per month, paying $4 each would bankrupt people. And no, you don’t get the same revenue via ads either (as explained above, or can be determined via the simple equation that the entire revenue sites you’re visiting make from ads has to be less than the disposable income you spend on products per month).
The population of the U.S. is about 320 million, including children and non internet users, so how can 6% of US internet users equate to over 234 million users?
Reddit operates in many countries, but the data Reddit published on their blog a few months ago named both of these numbers. Which is... interesting.
The simple fact is that if people don't have to pay for something, most of them won't. And that makes plenty of sense.
For example, for me, as a user, IRCCloud is far too expensive, because for half the monthly cost I can run a Quassel core (an open IRC bouncer with similar functionality) for 10 users.
So, to me, I have a choice between 4 bucks a month for a product, or 0.20 bucks a month for the same product.
A big issue with this are the silicon valley wages. Most of these services are priced for users in Silicon Valley, where 5 bucks a month are nothing.
But out in the rest of the world, money is worth a lot more, and as a result, the entire cost/use equation changes, making many of these products impossible to afford.
Not that running a news organization is inexpensive. But I'm extremely skeptical that any one site is making $9.99/month off of my ad impressions.
90% amateur blogs make no money what so ever over the cost of running them. Smart bloggers switched to affiliate schemes ages ago. Amateur bloggers making money of ad shows will go out of business sooner or later, regardless of adnauseam or adblock. Running ads is simply not a suitable business model for such guys.
I've been gilded more than a few times and I've never come to know until the expiry notice shows up.
So it's actually hard to tell what the reddit gold buys one, apart from virtue signalling that one is a "supporter."
Now if the gold bought me to ability to turn off all comments, see what the mods have censored off the various subs, and actually extract some value off the site, I'd pay up in a flash.
But as it stands, reddit has lost any credibility that it ever had, and logging in that toxic mess provides no value to me and too much value to reddit.
In short, not a site worth supporting in any shape or form.
You can turn off comments by not visiting comment pages
What annoys me about reddit comments are the pun "trains," endless reruns of old reddit jokes. Every conversation is swamped with these comments, perhaps deliberately, to drown out unpopular opinions. No wait, the Pao era introduced mass deletions instead.
I wouldn't be surprised that happened ultimately, but I really don't think that she was hired with that role/goal in mind. No one could be that evil. Could they?
If you look at the history of reddit over the years, they've always lurched from one crisis to another. An absence of adult supervision. Reactive solutions.
I would bet that reddit was under pressure to monetize somehow and ads (a la Facebook) on that "community" wouldn't cut it. I believe that they had an influx of funds around the same time, and the investors were looking to start getting some returns.
Their various stealth marketing schemes were suffering at the hands of the entrenched trolls. The unsavory subreddits were probably putting off established customers.
Maybe Pao just happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time.
yishan's comment is interesting, thanks for linking to it. I didn't follow the whole Pao affair, but I do remember someone telling me that yishan might have been trolling reddit.
One thing jumps out at me from his comment. He calls Pao "the only technology executive anywhere who had the chops and experience to manage a startup of this size, AND who understood what reddit was all about."
Technology executive? Really? That's news to me. I thought she had spent her pre-reddit days in finance.
And she definitely did not understand reddit.
Well why would I do it if I don't have to?
I'm happy to pay for Netflix because there are no ads and it's just a better more convenient product than torrenting is.
You absolutely don't. But if you say, "I would pay you to get rid of ads", and then I get rid of them and you don't pay, that makes you a bit of a hypocrite, no?
Yes, they do it on purpose. Have you researched why? Is this a symptom and not the problem itself?
The current ad system is broken and, although I understand Google decision to protect its own profits, I don't see why an open source project that aims to provide an unbiased browsing experience would follow suit.
To be clear, I'm not sure a browser should have a say on this in general, but I understand the argument they make on a personal level.
1. I misread OP
2. I don't work directly with our ad handling, as I work with the editorial team and generally advertising and editorial are separate for a reason, but I went digging just for fun. We sell our ad space to individual businesses. Our ad sales team does approve every ad we run. We use Google Analytics and Chartbeat, and both the newsroom and ad team have access to those analytics. The ads we serve vary - one ad from a housing complex down the street is literally just an image with an affiliate link, but one ad from our the ASU Foundation appears to load content from doubleclick.net.
Do I think this is the right way to go about it? Probably not. But I do think the long term solution needs to be for publishers to move away from the third-party advertising banner model. While forcing your hand isn't the right way to do things (and will, you're right, cause more harm than good) if nothing else AdNauseum has sparked a much needed conversation about ad-based revenue, one that we as a publishing and content consuming internet community desperately NEED to have. Because content isn't free, and publishers SHOULD be compensated for their work. We need to develop a better system to take the place of the obviously flawed model we've come to rely on, so that everyone comes out on top, publishers included.
_employees_ should be paid for their work
_businesses_ OTOH are not entitled to ANY income regardless of the cost to create their products or anyones opinion on how valuable those products are.
If you meant that, you'd have a paywall up.
You are right that we need to figure out how to evolve advertising--which is never going away--to a better place, but reactionary destruction does not seem like fertile ground for "y'know, ads kind of suck, how do we make this work better for everyone?".
The originator of AdNauseum is https://www.nyu.edu/projects/nissenbaum/
That is, there are people who believe ad-supported publications on the web should die. If their choice causes your ad-supported publication to die, mission accomplished.
This is a bad analogy but the closest I can find: Its like saying I don't like big book publishers so I'm not going to pay for the book at the independent book store.
Again, that analogy quickly falls apart but the initial point is similar.
The the larger thread on the page they talk about Google etc issues refunds for false clicks etc. Thats not quite true, that was more for brands that had their ads run on fake news sites.
And yes, this cost is one that they should simply accept, if they want to ship malware. You try to destroy my system, I’ll try to destroy yours.
Its like saying I don't like big book publishers so I'm not going to pay for the book at their stores, but i will pay for the book at the independent book store.
It goes without saying that big book publishers are book publishers because they can out compete the independent book store, like using vendor lock-in.
Most people view attempts to manipulate others as bad. Especially in the context of free software that has "Your Browser Your Way" as a tag line.
> Modify about:config
I don't use Pale Moon, so I don't have too :)
And it's exactly because the ideology that the browser represented, and for which many people switched to it, is seen as having been betrayed that people are criticizing it. Whether the roadblock is easy to surmount is irrelevant.
With Firefox it started with a few small changes but in the end I have found myself working on an userPrefs.js with hunders of lines, compiling the source with custom build flags and patches just to have a browser that doesn't spy actively on me.
I really hope it won't happen with PaleMoon too but this isn't a good sign.
They block it by default but you can still disable the block manually. Its hardly an unreasonable form of protest.
You've really got to have a decently sized team to assure that the changes you've made aren't going to cause security holes in the browser.
The things that they rip out of Firefox also doesn't make much sense to me... Australis is such a weird thing to get rid of, especially when the compact theme is pretty similar to the original, except even more minimal. Not to mention you can customise the theme all you want.
I'm pretty sure this moves comes from the fact that Pale Moon gets revenue from ads on the default start page, which is totally fine in and of itself; but having an extension blacklist for any other reason other than to prevent end-user exploitation is a perfect indicator that the judgement of the development team is not to be trusted.
There is no way that their tiny team can resurrect all of the old APIs that Mozilla has been decimating recently (XUL/XPCOM extensions/add-on SDK, complete themes, non multi process extensions, unsigned extensions, etc.)
With all of the talk about breaking Thunderbird (and, ostensibly, SeaMonkey) out of the core Mozilla infrastructure, the future does not look bright. I am honestly unsure as to what I'll do when SeaMonkey finally dies. I use an xpfe complete theme, maintain a SM/Thunderbird add-on that directly modifies the browser XUL to display picons/X-Faces/Faces/X-Image-URLs/etc, maintain an add-on that loads the old add-on manager in a separate (non-incontent) XUL window, etc.
ALL and I mean all advertisers can die a slow agonising death as far as I care. They are adding nothing of value to the civilisation. And if your reply is "well, how about I start charging you for my website?" then I'm absolutely fine with it. Please do.
I don't think I follow? People don't like the ad networks and want them to change or fail. That's achievable by forcing change at either the advertiser, the network or the website owner. Decreasing the usefulness of ad networks to website owners accomplishes the same thing as hitting the ad effectiveness: it takes away business from the ad network. Which sounds exactly like the intended goal.
As an example, PortableApps.com isn't exactly small, but without ad revenue I'd shut it down. It doesn't make enough in donations and a handful of drive sales to survive.
Yes, it decreases the usefulness of ad networks and hurts them - hopefully inciting change eventually.
But between the reader and the ad network is the website owner. They typically have no say or control over the ad network. As fake clicks are detected they are the ones that will get punished.
Their CPN can drop meaning a real hit in revenue.
If fake ad clicks add up they may be booted form the ad network and then they lose all ad revenue.
That is real harm.
We can all agree that ad networks can be invasive and we need real change. But lets be honest that there is real collateral damage and this does cause it.
It's a free market. They have full control over their choice of ad network.
In fact they are the ones who have the longest lever for forcing change in ad networks. If everyone goes to an ad network that serves non-tracking, non-distracting, non-scamming ads that don't deliver malware, then only ad networks that deliver that survive.
You want to put pressure on publishers? Refuse to visit their site if you don't like the ads.
Visiting their site with AdNauseam might put an even bigger pressure on them than not visiting their site at all.
How so? They chose the ad network, no?
Worse, what happens if they think every ad network that fits my user-base is evil? Then what? I still need to make ends meet so should I try to bribe the AdNauseam devs into whitelisting my site?
That's the thing about attacking on the basis of having the moral high ground, you are very likely to end up becoming the thing you hate.
EDIT: (cause HN doesn't let me reply)
Answer to @icebraining
It's way more like, what if I'm pouring red colorant to the rivers, and I know the colorants make absolutely no damage to the river but activists still try to destroy my business because they strongly believe so.
So yeah, I find your counter-argument depressing as well; because its not about who is right or wrong but the one who believes themselves in control to determine being both the judge and the executioner.
Answer to @wongarsu:
After installed this extension silently attacks networks, and you think people is gonna care enough to jump to the next best one... because you think they are constantly reading about the moral basis of the blacklisted ad networks? ...right? You are more delusional than expected and I hope ad networks start pouring money into permanently banning users of this extension from all major websites.
Let's leave ads aside and think of something else. Say businesses were dumping toxic chemicals into rivers, and activists were plugging those pipes. Would "I still need to make ends meet" be a valid excuse for those businesses?
Now, I'm sure you don't consider online advertising to be the same as dumping toxic chemicals. Like I said, I don't use the addon either. But for those who do, your argument is simply invalid. And the claim that they become the thing they hate makes no sense.
Of course in theory they could become some kind of evil authoritarian censor board. But that would cause a lot of users to jump to the next best extension. It's not really a big threat.
>what happens if they think every ad network that fits my user-base is evil?
That sounds unlikely, but if that happens and you are too small to manage your ads yourself, you should find a different revenue stream. Or start an ad network, since you've obviously just found an under-served market niche :)
So if all your users decide you're doing something bad, and that puts you out of business, then you probably should be out of business. This isn't unfairness like being arbitrarily banned from Google search or getting fake reviews on Yelp. This is your own users telling you they don't want what you're offering for the price you're charging (having to view ads they don't want).
It all boils down to control - you (and people like you) want all of it, and other people have other ideas contrary to your own (and are willing to do whatever they feel works to achieve what they want).
...Or the user; you see, if people starts getting blocked for using this extension you know what's going to happen once word gets around? That's right, users start avoiding the extension.
My understanding of the plugin is that it views advertising as universally bad, and that if a site cannot survive without ads, it must not be worth much at all, and deserves to die.
I wholeheartedly agree with this view.
these are companies which actively take advantage of the worst in all of us to deliver products that monopolize our time at the cost of calm, concentration, and patience.
I would be completely fine if Facebook and Google and whoever else ceased to exist.
No, not value-less, but I didn't agree to pay for their services with the total loss of my privacy on-line. (and one doesn't have to use any of those services in order to be spied upon by them)
And no free rider argument please, I am perfectly willing to pay for Google's service. If Google wants to get paid, they can make Google Contributor available in my country. I already pay for YouTube Red.
I am just objecting to your statement that when one uses Google's service, one is making any sort of agreement that one wouldn't block ads or produce invalid clicks. There is no such agreement.
Years ago, I had a small site that ran banner ads. A couple of users found the site really useful so they clicked on lots of ads thinking that it would help the site. Unsurprisingly, I got banned, even though my visitors had the best intentions.
The agreement may not be written down, but I think it's covered in the 'don't be an ass' part of the social contract.
And no, I don't have anything that is ad supported. I dislike the tracking and security implications, but not enough to alter my morality. This is morally similar to vandalism, in my opinion.
If your okay with that, don't let me tell you how to live. I just can't justify harming people for something I can just block or ignore.
I don't see anything wrong with this statement.
Most newspapers are like this, are you saying we should not exist?
Still costs me around $2.50 for a Sunday issue locally.
- track my reading habits
- were blinking trying to catch my attention
- started played videos I didn't want to see
If a news website wants to make money off advertising, just host simple images on your own sever. No need to load stuff from shady companies which try to grab as much information as possible.
(And why the second category might die anyway, and ads just prolong their suffering)
I don't like ads, and I use an ad blocker (though with very permissive dynamic filtering rules), but we gotta pay the bills and pure subscription models rarely make sense.
Afaik, the only news agencies that work on subscriptions alone are the massive New York Times, which paywalls more than like 2 or 3 stories per user per week. Wire services like the Associated Press and Reuters make most of their money from member papers that pay into them to get access to content they otherwise couldn't afford to make. Some publications sell specifically to niches, Bloomberg has a public facing website but most of their content is only available for consumption via the infamous Bloomberg Terminal, a very expensive dedicated workstation they develop in house so people who trade, say corn futures, can access extremely realtime information and reporting on hyper specific corn stuff.
All this is to say that selling subscriptions to the general public only works if you're the New York Times, and even then they still sell ads in print.
EDIT: hey look the times does have ads. They're pretty unobtrusive but they're there.
There isn't a way I can see around this problem short of abolishing the requirement to fund journalistic investigation and reporting and hosting.
Back in the day of paper newspapers, our subscription fees had to be augmented with ad revenue as well.
The same phenomenon is occurring with car dealerships facing Tesla.
There's also the philosophical argument, our mandate is to inform the public, how can we do that if we paywall everything? Not everyone can afford the paywall, and even if they could there's still the UX friction of handling payment.
The bottom line is we need to pay people to keep track of local government full time. It truly is a full time job. If we don't, who else will? In order to do this and allow concerned or interested citizens to share the things we learn on Facebook, ads make a lot more sense.
I think it's needlessly dismissive to say that a website deserves to die just because it can't survive without ads. Many very niche but high quality websites can't make enough money to support curation and hosting fees, and as such turn to advertisements.
Because this extension causes direct and indirect economic damage to website owners, it is classified as malware, and as such blocked.
The same argument has been applied to adblockers...
The current state of online advertisement is an absolute blight on the internet.
Online ads are the primary source of malware among anyone I've spoken to, and online advertising standards are atrocious.
Just because someone uses the profits of a Ponzi scheme to support the creation of free content doesn't give you the right to complain when that Ponzi scheme gets busted.
I wish you all the best in finding a way to support the creation of your content.
We don't buy from an ad network, we have an ad sales department, the same people that used to sell print ads to local businesses now sell online ads to local businesses.
There may be big systemic problems with practices of the big ad networks, frankly I haven't looked into it enough to have an opinion, but we don't use these big networks and we still have to deal with the fallout
In the case of chuckdries being financially punished by a swath of users choosing to install AdNauseam or similar plugins, I think we might agree that it isn't fair for his particular case, but it is fair in the aggregate, or more general case, due to the reprehensible behavior of "big ad networks", which created the impetus for the development of these types of plugins in the first place.
I'll admit to being in a negative mood, which is why my mind went immediately to gym class. :( I just don't see a sensible way out of this situation that will both castigate the bad actors in the advertising space, while simultaneously allowing for these small "home-grown" ad networks to escape the castigation.
We've got to find a better way of supporting websites than selling out our visitors, though. Some revenue models that worked for traditional print simply won't work for the web. I think the sooner we find that out and adapt our models, the better off we'll all be.
And no, I am not punishing you - I am punishing a shitty industry for wasting millions of hours of time globally and causing damage with malware. We've seen that pacific methods do not work so the only way to drive change is to actively fight back until the lowlife either adapts (by becoming better) or dies.
> We don't even use an ad network a la google, we sell our own ads to local businesses and such.
If he does get on one of those lists it's quite easy to change the markup of the page (class names, etc) to stop the rules from matching. If you're doing the right thing by hosting your own ads you fully control the markup and layout and it becomes extremely easy to protect yourself from this.
But just in general, I don't believe I should have to spend my time cat-and-mousing ad detection. It's not sustainable, especially for a paper that only employs 2 developers, which is rare. Most papers don't have developers in house, they contract out this work, or if they're owned by a conglomerate like Gannett, their owner handles it. It also feels sketchy, circumventing ad detection sounds like something obnoxious malicious ad makers would do.
EDIT: having just tested it, Ublock Origin does block the ads on our website.
Also what ads cause damage? Like sure the ads on porn or piratebay are cancerous but no reputable newspaper will have anything harmful, just potentially annoying.
> We don't use an ad network, we sell our ad space directly to local businesses.
Fine, so you either (a) tell a business that you have XXX page views per month so they'll get YYY impressions (which may be blocked, but that you can try to make non-intrusive); or (b) you let the advertiser track the value they receive from ads placed on your site.
In the (a) case, there shouldn't be any difference between adblock and a fake clicking blocker. In the (b) case, a sensible advertiser should be able to weigh the value of the add they placed on your site no matter what mix of real and fake clicks they get: I ended up selling X USD to visitors coming through that place's ads, which amounted to Y USD in profit. Y > cost of the ads? Keep the ads going. Y < cost of the ads? sorry but we're out.
The only situation where fake clicks are bad is that where the advertiser suddenly realizes that "hey we sent you XXX people" is just a meaningless figure from which you just cannot infer a proper value metric to decide whether that ad is worth its cost or not. Which is another way of saying that it gives ad purchasers a reality check that can only be positive in the long run, disregarding the short-term loses of people who were selling inflated ad spaces until now.
EDIT: apparently some advertisers have ad content prepared they give us that uses common advertising tools like doubleclick.net and such.
That is, unfortunately, very incorrect: https://www.cnet.com/news/new-york-times-bbc-dangerous-ads-r...
Perhaps you can be trusted! But nobody knows that, and it's reasonable to presume otherwise.
Put it this way: do you offer legally enforceable indemnity against people getting malware from ads you serve? If not, then you can't really tell them not to block the ads.
I just disabled uBlock and checked TPB. There were no ads on the landing page, and after using "search", had to scroll right to the bottom to find one small ad, for a reputable web hosting company (Siteground).
I opened our local news - smh.com.au. At the top of my page there's a similarly sized ad. There are also ads the full vertical length down each side of the page, which due to broken text rendering is just a picture of a man and I don't know what is being advertised.
If I scroll down a bit, there's a horizontal ad consuming roughly a third of the screen for American Express.
Most news articles have an auto-play video, and usually starting with ads. Several pages have ads with embedded sound, making this particularly embarrassing to test in the office.
I get that it's reasonable to have ethical issues with TPB. I wouldn't agree that reputable newspapers have a moral high ground on advertising.
> no reputable newspaper will have anything harmful, just potentially annoying.
Please look up "malvertising", install an ad blocker if you haven't already then come back and feel free to revise your statement. ;)
I can't seem to find which comment of yours you're referring to, I know that our ads are still blocked by most ad blockers and we've seen fake traffic and fake ad clicks in our analytics before.
Or in the new york times case, for getting ads in spite of paying. Ads are a fucking poison; i will do anything i can to destroy them.
I'm looking for a term for "jokes or puns where the morphemes between which a clever relationship is drawn are actually true cognates, but the connection is no longer apparent to native speakers". Here that's true because English ad < advertisement < Middle French advertissement < advertir < Latin advertere 'turn towards, notice' is the same ad in "ad nauseam" 'to the point of nausea', both meaning 'toward' in Latin.
Does this kind of situation have a well-established name? (There might be subcategories for the case where the cognate preserves a connection in the meaning that's part of the joke, and the case where it's just coincidental, like here.)
In addition, the argument is that the extension is only punishing the publishers. What it really do is to change the balance between unethical ad networks and ethical alternatives. By only punishing networks that automatically track users, the more ethical networks become better in comparison and will give better returns for each dollar spent on marketing. One could call this strong arming the publisher to chose more ethical, but an other way to see it is to eliminate the race to the bottom and discourage a lemon market. We currently have networks that have no problem with infecting peoples machines with malware, advertising products to children, or target the sick and vulnerable. If I ran AdNauseam and it causes a single website to consider an alternative ad network, I would consider that a major win for the Internet, even if that meant a few % less revenue.
Considering that some site has already gone over to more ethical alternatives in order to resolve the problem of ad blocking, it seems we are already making steps towards this future.
Under theories of "vicarious infringement" and conspiracy (such as is used against sites like The Pirate Bay and other search engines which ISPs are required to block in some countries), I wouldn't be surprised if we one day see browser makers liable for the extensions they "allow" to be installed in "their" browsers, and then OS distributors held liable for browsers that they allow to be installed on "their" OS.
It is worth noting that ultimately it will be hardware-enforced TPM / Secure Boot technology that makes such laws and injunctions feasible. We need to be careful what precedents are set by projects like Pale Moon, and the sort of technological ecosystems we are building.
The question is not whether it is proper to use AdNauseam or not, the question is whether it should be a personal choice or one imposed upon by the browser.
In this case, PaleMoon was championed as the "freedom browser" as opposed to the "designed by a committee" Firefox. If this passes, does it actually mean it will simply be a fork of Firefox that keeps XPCOM support but with the same overall attitude?
I use Ad Nauseum not because I think "the current advertising model is broken" or whatever. I'm not interested in reform. I'd like people to stop treating the web as a business opportunity. If this extension actively harms the bottom lines of the most shameless sorts of profiteers, then that totally rules and I support it 100%.
Want to support your site using ads? Why not use display ads? Sell space next to high quality content to advertisers with relevant products. Problem solved, and it puts bottom feeder ad exchanges and content spam websites out of business. (And it probably puts a big wrench in the fake news industry as a bonus)
The hard part is that most sites don't have high quality content, and there are no relevant products..
I can see why people want to damage these sites.
Either way, per the developer's post, you can in fact just flip an about:config switch to disable the addon blacklist (not sure if this would also leave you susceptible to actual malicious addons); it's more of an issue of compliance budget/trivial inconveniences, and the implicit message of the action. (Note how the developer is very insistent about referring to AdNauseam as "malware"; if we go with the conventional definition of malware as being harmful to its user, this may paint Pale Moon as perceiving the website and/or ad network operators as being its clientele, rather than the person using the browser.)
If you want the extension without flipping the about:config entry. You can open up the extension in something that can handle zip files, edit install.rdf, and change the extension id to something else. Of course that will need to be done for every update of said extension.
>"Probably the biggest issue is (as Grainfrog said) one of word choice, that using the word "blocked" in the title was less constructive than, say, announcing "AdNauseam moved to malware list", and then explaining what this feature is (before now I was not entirely aware of it, personally) and that users may choose to opt out of this feature if they wish to install any of the items listed therein."
Even Mozilla currently allows it: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/adnauseam/
Google, quite understandably, didn't: https://adnauseam.io/free-adnauseam.html
I think the more overarching point is that many people went to palemoon in response to actions they viewed as harmful for the web or for browsers, from mozilla and Google. For many people this establishes that it is not the ideologically pure browser they (mistakenly or not) thought they were getting.
You can all calm down and take some time to hear me tell you you have to believe in what I believe.