When I browse the web on my Android phone, I get redirected to spam every 10 pageviews or so. And no, it's not a problem of the phone. It's a known issue that ads can break out of their iframe:
I agree fully. I think part of the issue is that the folks submitting ads want to collect a lot of data. They probably don't use that data (or if they do, not well), nor do I trust them to not collect very invasive and unsafe data, but I suspect for many folks that having their own JS payload makes or breaks a possible ad network.
Given concerns about Monero mining, redirects, and other hijinks, removing JS from ads is even more critical now. I think the compromise will be to give ads some kind of network provided hook to get data back to "home" eventually, though then the issues above only shift from the ad provider to the ad network provider.
That combined with requiring all of the assets to be hosted on the ad-network's servers would greatly improve the experience. (mainly because ad-networks are larger companies that the host website has a direct relationship with, so when users complain the site can talk to the ad-network, and the ad network can instantly do something about it)
Sadly, they have no incentive to do that, as those ads would be more expensive to create, most likely make less money, and most users that block ads block all of them regardless of how invasive they are. Adblockers treat all ads the same, and so now advertisers are faced with the choices of:
1. make more shitty invasive ads
2. make "better" ads (better for the user) and make less money while spending more and having users still block them anyway.
This is why I really believe that the "better ads" thing from google and others is a really good idea, because it helps re-align the incentives back with the user in some ways. If that works, shitty ads will be blocked much more widely, while good ads will get more views and more users.
That is a perfect example of the definition of transpiler!
There's also the VPN option. PIA, for example, comes with its own system ad-blocker (MACE) although it's nowhere as good as Adguard Pro (which allows you to use custom DNS server).
I very seldomly watch live ad supported video. I have ad free Hulu. For the two networks that aren't on Hulu - CW and CBS, I watch VOD from them via Plex. Because of the way that the Plex channels work, they skip the ads.
Putting the ad in an iframe without the allow-top-navigation sandbox permission could prevent that. Or if the ad naturally consists of an iframe then a browser extension could intercept the iframe load and add the equivalent CSP rule. Or google could do that themselves.
I think they would still be allowed to open in a new tab.
I was... rather surprised. One of AMP's huge value props is preventing that type of garbage.
I'm also surprised that the publisher did that, I hope that'd be a good way to get blacklisted from the higher search ranking placement.
And now I have FF and uBlock Origin on my phone.
There is a glaring conflict of interest as others have pointed out; it cannot be ignored. Through strategic acquisitons such as Doubleclick, Google and its subsidiaries are the largest warehouse of advertising on the www. The company is the machine that keeps web advertising humming along.
Google wants to keep everyone happy. Users are fed up with advertising. For example, Google could offer a search engine free of any ads, as they did in the early days.FN1 They have more than enough cash to do it. This would make users very happy. Google could try to support itself by selling something, besides advertising. But this will not happen. Why? (Rhetorical question. Not asking for an answer. We all know what it is.)
By creating a web-advertising juggernaut and collecting the maximum allowable quantity information about users through every means legally possible, (far beyond merely search engine usage) Google has taken a position against users (the ones who dislike ads) as well as for them (as argued in myriad PR pieces).
Google is not curbing it own actions (as the #1 promoter of advertising on the www), instead it is taking aim at advertisers. Some of those could be existing or potential clients (which might seem intriguing).
But while its clients (be they advertisers, users or others) may experience "losses", like Goldman (or not; sorry, bad analogy!), Google always "wins".
Any PR piece proclaiming that Google is taking sides with users (for a "better web") ignores that they also have taken sides with advertisers. Google has big bets on advertising. As everyone knows, users do not contribute significant inputs to the Google balance sheet; advertisers do.
FN1 At that time one of the Google founders called out advertising as being something to avoid. Interestingly, there was no "disruptive" vs "non-disruptive" advertising distinction.
This reasoning doesn't make sense to me. Many startups offer their services for free or low cost, burning cash, to acquire users/mind-share until they find a way to be profitable. Google and Facebook found advertising as that way, and thus survived instead of running out of money. And are able to offer their services for free.
"Google should ditch that and start again" doesn't even start to make sense.
And he covers this with the rhetorical question: They can do these things, but they don't, because being as anti-user as possible (while putting out the occasional fluff PR piece) earns them billions and billions and billions of dollars.
He's basically saying "Google could remove advertising and figure out how to make money without being one of the most user-hostile organizations in software history, but they don't because their hostility to privacy and their revolution in combining aggressively curated private data with advertising has made them one of the richest corporations in history"
what is this elsewhere of which you speak? Google apps for your domain? Youtube red? Android licensing fees?
The truth can be seen from the way users behave. Nobody wants to pay any money for online services, and if google were to stop advertising, they'd basically be bankrupt as the userbase is not willing to pay the equivalent amount to google that they derive from selling user data.
As an example, Facebook might sell you the ability to target people between ages 12 and 20 located in major metropolitan centers in the US. You never bought any user data that let you flag individual users, but you are still "using" the data.
(Disclaimer and also claim to authority: I worked in ad tech.)
It's the same with Google, you cannot control your data and what they do with it.
I'm not sure why people keep saying that Google and Facebook is selling user data. Does that mean that if those companies started to actually do it, it wouldn't bother the claimants as they consider it being done already? Seems to me like an important distinction to make.
In comparison, are Uber selling software? Rather than using software to sell a service?
Can I find out what data Google has on me?
Amazon doesn't directly sell you the AWS infrastructure. But they rent it to you. Google is doing something akin to that. If they had an opt out saying "Don't use my private data to show me ads" I'd no longer make the point they sell my data. But they don't provide any opt-out, and the effect is identical to my data being sold to advertisers.
If a company sold your information, you can say bye bye to being able to restrict what that information is and who has it; you might as well consider it public from that point on. I don't think anybody in their right mind would call that difference a technicality.
Google does provide the opt out you say they don't, too: Browsing in incognito mode.
I think that's the GP's point -- but Google has enough cash in the bank that they could probably continue to provide services indefinitely if they took the decision to divest themselves of advertising and re-organise themselves appropriately.
I wish this meme would die already. Youtube red cannot be purchased in half the world. Google the search engine does not even have pay-for-no-ads offering that I know of.
You can't say they actually tried to get money from users yet.
If that were the case Chrome's disruptive ad blocker would have been released shortly after the rise of flash ads
If that were the case I would be able to completely opt out of tracking and accept slightly less targeted ads
We could go on and on here. Suffice to say I do not believe Google's incentives align with most on the web any more.
This seems like an odd argument. Are uBlock's incentives unaligned with yours because they didn't release their adblocker earlier? What does the timing of the release have to do with anything?
> If that were the case I would be able to completely opt out of tracking and accept slightly less targeted ads
You can opt out of tracking and ad targeting
Not really a fair comparison - uBlock aren't selling ads. Google are and have been for a decade. There have been many occasions that search has been compromised via advertising from the days of SERPs being mostly adsense mini sites years ago. The response to those also took years despite search being near ruined. Google could have done far more far sooner.
I'm kind of at my wits end... it's severely degrading my experience. Thinking of just disabling it for now and just relying on uBO
I wonder if we're heading into a new era where online advertisements will become indistinguishable from non-ads. For example, a picture of your friend vs a picture of your friend with a soda bottle subtly added. That would be more tolerable to most everyone when compared to a flashy gif of that soda bottle bouncing around in your browser.
> viewer's rights to unadulterated content
Not that I necessarily agree with you that this should be a right, but where in the world is anyone enforcing this as a right?
Doesn't google still make like 80% of its revenue off advertising in search? If its true, then they really don't have the money to drop it
And instead of viewing it as double-betting, it can just as easily be seen as a compromise. They still want to advertise, and makes sense for them to want to, and the truly troublesome ads are poisoning the water for everyone, by leading (normal) people to total solutions ie adblock. Which is bad for business. In which case, you should expect them to find a middle-ground solution, and it would be absurd for google to move in either direction too strongly (because the money's not there).
Its not that they're taking sides, but that they're trying not to.
The point is, they're not only a near-monopoly in web advertising, but also have very detailed data about their competitors (via GA and many other products) AND now are controlling the channel for 60% of users. It's unbelievable they managed to pull this out and still so few people seem to care.
I hear the job is great, and the technical challenges are certainly wonderful, but Google and Facebook are the perfect setup for a turn-key tyranny.
what could they possibly sell that would even come close to replacing ad revenue?
Google should be broken up over this type of behaviour. Spend too much money in Washington though.
Safari has easy options to set both a default and per-site preferences (https://support.apple.com/guide/safari/stop-autoplay-videos-...), including a "Never Auto-Play" choice. Despite years of user complaints and a fairly clear resolution to them, Chrome either watered-down their fix or solved the wrong problem entirely.
media.autoplay.enabled = false
media.autoplay.enabled.user-gestures-needed = true
This bit is especially infuriating for me, as there seems to be a High Sierra issue with Chrome and videos (for me, at least - it's hard to figure out how widespread it is). They cause massive browser lag when they're on a page for me, to the point of missed characters while typing.
I tried setting the Autoplay policy at the browser level once but found that it was inconsistent and broke certain players. Iridium works perfectly.
However, it does not seem to do much, if anything, for me. I tend to just use Privacy Badger to block any site that looks like a CDN
That won't fix the problem of auto-playing video on CNN or other sites that are not YT. Trying to read news from CNN is still a matter of waiting for the page to load, then wait for the video to load and start playing, then click on the pause button, and voila you can read in peace.
Go to chrome://flags, search for Autoplay policy, and select Document user action is required.
Note that if you use the Imagus extension, this could block some videos/gifs/etc from playing when you hover over a link.
Quoting the blog post, Google’s decision that ”Muted autoplay is always allowed” is the problem. If any other Chrome users wondered why videos now auto-play without sound (even with this option set), at least based on the relatively minimal docs about this flag, this is why.
I can't seem to find the issue, but in the Safari issue tracker, the point was made that given the way HTML5 video and APIs work, it is impossible to reliably prevent autoplay without breaking some sites. It seems that Firefox went for "reliably prevent autoplay" while Chrome went for "without breaking sites".
FWIW, I switched from Chrome to Firefox because of the autoplay issue.
* The list is totally opaque (I am wrong, see EDIT 2 below)
* They use the hard work of people like EasyList and subjectively apply it (though not that big of a deal, they do make it free/open for all uses after all)
* They build it into the browser instead of as an extension or working with the existing ad-block community
I urge everyone to keep with uBO and the like. How anyone can be for NN and then think a coalition can be an on-by-default gatekeeper of good or bad web items I'll never understand. At this point, I have a hard time separating browser from ISP wrt end user control and limited choice (especially for the masses who aren't familiar w/ these kinds of details).
EDIT: I should note that this is the same mechanism by which the safe browsing lists work that tell you a page may be bad. For consistency, I disagree with that too of course, but I find the motives and targets here to be much more sinister. I would also say switch to FF, but they also use the secret safe browsing lists, so they'll probably switch to this as well. I say find a Chromium/Gecko based browser w/ all the ancillary shit like this removed.
EDIT 2: There is a method of obtaining the entire list via the API, see comments below. I was wrong about the opacity and stand corrected. Still doesn't alleviate the concerns around gatekeeping. I wonder if Google would let me keep a running update of this list in GitHub so we can all watch changes and other things like adblockers could use it.
Whenever you have the browser maker, and punitive actions controlled by the same party, and arbitrarily, its a recipe for disaster.
If Google really cared, they should spin Chrome off to a foundation, provide it a large amount of funding, and totally step aside.
Having the #1 web browser and the largest ad network, controlled by Google, even if you agree with what they are doing, is a recipe for disaster.
Google, of course, MUST protect its ad business, let's call his what it is.
Judge, jury, and executioner as they say.
Why would Chrome being run a foundation that is funded overwhelmingly by Alphabet make a difference? Chromium is already public -- aren't there already forks that focus on privacy and ad blocking?
This is absolutely not about quality but a political move to counteract ad blocking extensions and companies. While the intent seems noble, it's likely to cause no real improvements compared to better existing options like not serving these formats at all.
The same reason every conflict of interest is a problem. You're not advocating for what's best for the side you are supposed to be representing because you are also representing a self interest.
(Also, imagine the hilarity if the default search of Chrome ever became Bing.)
As you noted, this is false. See https://developers.google.com/ad-experience-report/
> They use the hard work of people like EasyList and subjectively apply it (though not that big of a deal, they do make it free/open for all uses after all)
Again, I don't see the problem here. As you said, EasyList is free and open. It seems like your objection is just that you don't like the way its being used?
> They build it into the browser instead of as an extension or working with the existing ad-block community
I'd actually consider this a huge win. Everyone gets it by default (though you can turn it off in settings if you want), and it works on mobile, which doesn't currently allow extensions. What's your actual concern here?
> think a coalition can be an on-by-default gatekeeper of good or bad web items I'll never understand. At this point, I have a hard time separating browser from ISP wrt end user control and limited choice
There's a reason browsers are called the "user agent"; it's because their purpose is to make decisions and perform actions on behalf of the user. If a browser vendor wants to block ads on behalf of the user on sites which they deem to be using those ads in an abusive manner (and the standards for what is considered "abusive" in this case are actually pretty clear-cut: https://www.betterads.org/standards/) I don't see a problem with that. If you as a user don't want your user agent behaving that way, you can either tell it to stop (chrome://settings/content) or get yourself a new user agent. (And both of those actions are significantly easier than they are with your ISP I might add.)
Not really my objection, I just wonder if it's the objection of the people putting in the work on those lists. I personally don't think it's a big issue.
> I'd actually consider this a huge win. Everyone gets it by default (though you can turn it off in settings if you want), and it works on mobile, which doesn't currently allow extensions. What's your actual concern here?
A bigger win would be to allow mobile extensions. It's strange to use a decision Google makes as a reason Google has to do something this way instead, ha. That it's on by default makes those of us on the non-user side of the web wary of the slippery slope of browsers not being neutral about what is shown to our users.
> I don't see a problem with that. If you as a user don't want your user agent behaving that way, you can either tell it to stop (chrome://settings/content) or get yourself a new user agent.
I'm more concerned with the site developer side than the user side. If something ships to millions of users and begins to exercise non-neutral control over content, you should become concerned. It's like TVs constantly updating a list of shows they won't allow to be shown on their TV. You might tell a user to go change the settings of the TV, but as a someone making the video, would you not be concerned? Or glasses that limit some of what you get to see by default, or headphones that disable some of what you get to hear by default, or cars that don't allow you to enter some areas by default, etc. I hope it's clear that conduits like these need to remain neutral.
However, I think the type of "content" Chrome is discriminating against here is pretty far removed from what most users would consider "content". They're not basing the decision on whether to block ads on a news site on the _content_ of its articles, but on the placement of its ads.
To the extent that ads can be considered "content" then yeah, Google's not being content-neutral here, but while site owners might consider ads to be "content", I suspect most users don't.
It's a pretty similar situation with Google's Safe Browsing system. While a malicious site operator might consider malware to be "content", malware is almost certainly not the sort of content the user came to the site for.
Isn't there an open API for querying this information, as well as their webapp? It can't be all that secret.
Unfortunately.. I don't see a dispute button. If Google won't let you dispute like blacklisted mailserver, I see class action lawsuits because ultimately with such high % of market share, Google and his pal Chrome will decide whether your business thrives or dies.
My guess would be there isn't a simple canonical list, and it's more of a heuristic evaluation where certain thresholds will trigger site warnings.
In this case an API would be more up-to-date, and less computationally expensive than serving large, always-changing lists. It was likely just the more logical choice. Though I'm assuming the new ads functionality uses the same Safe Browsing infrastructure.
>Sure they can say they don't want the offenders to know they are offending
Actually not the case at all. They send alerts to sites that are affected by Safe Browsing via Search Console.
>In this case an API would be more up-to-date, and less computationally expensive than serving large, always-changing lists.
Like Google search?
I fail to see whats hard about returning a large list of items. Its their entire organizations' core competency.
Makes you type-in a single URL. There is no way to use a keyword to get a list of items back. My point is that it should be trivial for google to do this, since this is their core competency.
I fail to understand whats so special about maintaining a tiny list of website URLs that anybody can access at any time? I'd wager you can fit 10+ million URLs per GB. The wayback machine has 300 billion+ pages of full page historical content and you can access all of it. This is entirely within Google's wheelhouse. Certainly, there could be other factors to not handout the list, but I'm merely speaking about the engineering aspect here.
Oh please. Claiming Google can't publish a giant list is really disingenuous. The question is really if they want to or not.
Out of curiosity what is your objection to the Safe Browsing lists?
I personally have my router blocking sites at the IP level and DNS rejecting queries for domains off this list.
I can't remember the last time I couldn't visit a site because it was on the list but with the prevalence of zero-day malware and naive users on my network, I'd rather just not even deal with the potential.
The gatekeeping and phoning home (even though it is privacy conscious). But it's not a strong objection. In general I prefer browsers to be neutral by default and make no HTTP requests behind the scenes, but I acknowledge that's unreasonable for most users. It's less about my personal objection and more about an objection to on-by-default corporate decision making being deployed to millions of users.
While safe browsing hasn't come under much scrutiny due to its limited scope and that it hasn't been abused, I suspect it won't be long before someone's site has its ads blocked unfairly by the coalition. I understand with human review and pending-vs-actual-blockage incubation they are attempting to alleviate false positives, but the internet is too large IMO and the rules are subjective (so I can have a site with a 29% ad density?).
Google does not have an interest in showing you shitty ads. They have an interest in providing their clients with ads that are acted upon and that web users appreciate, and they have an interest in having a browser that does that with as little friction as possible.
I'd say their incentives are perfectly aligned with ours.
Speak for yourself. I hate advertising and would rather see that whole revenue method burn to the ground and pay the $2/mo or whatever to use my favorite services.
Ads have ruined everything they have touched (radio, satellite radio, TV, cable TV, satellite TV, magazines, highway scenery, etc) and they are well into the process of ruining the internet.
In addition to bloating every site and exposing you to higher malware risk, they encourage companies to violate your privacy as much as possible and exploit psychological weaknesses to get you to buy stuff you didn't want or need to begin with.
Google's incentives are to spread this poison so they are not aligned with mine at all.
Disclaimer: they work for Google
They also own the most popular way those ads are shown: through their web browser. This browser has the ability (at Google's sole discretion) to block shitty ads, of which all of them are run by their direct competitors.
So what's happening is, Google is giving themselves the right to block parts of the Internet they don't like, with the implied statement of "if you want your ads to be seen by Chrome users, buy them from us or else we might block them".
That is a classic protection racket. "Want your ads to be seen? Better buy them from us, or... bad things will happen."
Seems pretty reasonable.
They use this by default, but you're free to turn it off, and that setting (unlike others) seems to sync just fine using Firefox Sync. Just checked and it's off. I turned it off once years ago and switched between OSs and different devices in the meantime, and it's still off.
Don't know if the same is possible on Chrome.
> I should note that this is the same mechanism by which the safe browsing lists work that tell you a page may be bad. For consistency, I disagree with that too of course, but I find the motives and targets here to be much more sinister.
I agree with you completely on this one.
I had to turn that off on two layers, on a browser level, and inside my antivirus' firewall. My antivirus now constantly complains that I'm "not fully protected" because I don't want it to do web filtering for me.
I do support other private browsing techniques that stay on my device, like first party isolation, and adblock-like lists that are downloaded on my device.
Both are available in Firefox, and using them doesn't collide with my stance on NN, since I'm the one preventing the content from being fetched by my machines.
Also, I cannot find a clear explanation from Google how the internal details of this ad blocker work (how they manage the hashes on their side, where this coalition list is maintained, etc). I would love a link, but alas with these kinds of things transparency is usually the first thing to go, especially since people don't demand it.
EDIT: Updating from previous statement saying I couldn't find where to get the list. I have now obtained it from  and put it at  (caution, it's a large gist).
0 - https://developers.google.com/ad-experience-report/v1/refere...
1 - https://gist.github.com/cretz/18594176f791fc0ede26078f76cf12...
This weird hashing scheme comes from safe browsing (which blacklists sites that install malware etc.). I guess (without specific knowledge of it) it was just reused for this ads thing because they had all the code handy for it,
both the browser-side code and serving code.
For safe browsing, as I recall the data format was designed with Mozilla -- that tech predated the existence of Chrome. There's some history about it here:
https://wiki.mozilla.org/Security/Safe_Browsing and https://wiki.mozilla.org/Phishing_Protection:_Design_Documen...
I recall the weird hashing scheme was carefully designed to balance some concerns. For example when it phones home, it phones home with a hash of the current URL so that it doesn't reveal the current URL to the server (unless the URL is already in the server-side blacklist). I also think it was intentional that the client didn't get a list of all known-malware URLs. I can't find any design docs for it at the moment better than https://developers.google.com/safe-browsing/v4/ . It may well be the case that the hashing scheme doesn't make sense at all in this context.
Do you really believe Google has PR people that are paid to reply on posts on HN? It could be, but I find this quite incredible.
(Saying this as an Eng Googler, I have absolutely no insight on how the whole "business" side of the organisation works.)
I'm not suggesting the dead post's particular case is true. I'm just pointing out that it's a company's dream to have engineers voluntarily spending time on a forum like this where they have identified themselves as employees. They are implicitly doing PR for free.
To us, your experience on the web is a higher priority than the money that these annoying ads may generate — even for us."
Many of us are wired to see changes like this as a power grab camouflaged with flowery words, or possibly another step on the slippery slope to censorship and government control.
We've been trained that every corporate action is selfish, by definition against our interests.
But Google has demonstrated over the years that they're willing to sacrifice their short-term gains to maximize their long-term gains.
Since their long-term gains depend on a vibrant, open web, sometimes their long-term selfish actions are actually in our interest, too.
Can the coalition truly be independent when their only active enforcer is a member? Would that coalition defy that one member ever?
Under what circumstances will other sites and advertisers learn of updates to ads? Will that policy remain? Will google always have a head start?
What of ads and scripts designed to track and de-anonymize you? What of ads that consume huge amounts of bandwidth passively while not otherwise being annoying? These policies seem directed only at the aesthetic of the web.
And really, it remains to be seen if our long term interests are in line with googles, if you asked me, I'd very much say no.
That's begs the question - Why were those ads approved by Google in the first place? They were the source of the problem to begin with !! Also, before we rush to judgement, how much revenue were those ads generating for Google in the first place? I would respect them a bit more if they actually are taking a hit on this.
>But Google has demonstrated over the years that they're willing to sacrifice their short-term gains to maximize their long-term gains.
How have they demonstrated that? Could you elaborate?
> How have they demonstrated that? Could you elaborate?
Before Google, web search results were rotten. Advertisers could push their sites onto the front page, and paid ads were indistinguishable from organic results.
Google's innovation was to deliver pure search results with the highest relevance, with zero influence from advertisers. Ads were separate and labeled as such.
By sacrificing near-term ad revenue, Google built trust with users, and won search in the long-term.
Google could have kept Android closed and charged for licenses. But by open-sourcing it and allowing competitors to use it, they sacrificed short-term license revenue to build a much larger ecosystem.
Google capitulated to government demands that they censor search results in China. But then they reversed course, exited mainland China, and sacrificed revenue from that massive market. Long-term, active censorship would damage Google's reputation.
>Google's innovation was to deliver pure search results with the highest relevance, with zero influence from advertisers. Ads were separate and labeled as such.
Have you tried using Google without an adblocker recently?
If I search "buy a car" using Chrome on Android the entire screen of my phone is filled with ads that I need to scroll past to get to the "pure" search results. The only indication that they are ads is a tiny box 1/8 the size of a fingernail. The top result on the embedded Google maps box is also an ad.
I search with Chrome on Android every day, with no ad blockers, and this never happens.
Very polite of the malware to put a tiny ad tag on the ads it is managing to inject into a HSTS pinned website on a browser that doesn't allow any addons or extensions. I also like they way they perfect match Google's site design.
A webpage can have both Google ads and dodgy-ad-co ads. If they have the dodgy-ad-co ads then Google will apply the easylist to the page, which will remove the Google ads as well as the dodgy ones.
Does it? This is not at all obvious to me. Do you mind sharing your reasoning for this claim?
To the point of not receiving salaries? I’ve little sympathy here.
Edit: autocorrect fixes
But seriously, this line:
> To us, your experience on the web is a higher priority than the money that these annoying ads may generate — even for us."
Is a flat out lie and you should know better by now.
Unless the "us" speaking here is a very specific (and powerless) subset of whoever could be speaking for Google. Which would make it merely disingenuous.
And even then their actions require a lot more before they deserve that kind of trust again.
> We've been trained that every corporate action is selfish, by definition against our interests.
If we had been trained we might've gotten to this conclusion sooner and prevent some of the worse shit that's happened because of it. But we weren't trained (what would have trained us?).
I'd rather say we've been extremely slow to recognize that even though the law recognizes corporations as persons (in some places), they are in fact, inhuman. And they will continue to act with complete disregard to human interests. I think it's still useful to think of corporations as organisms, just not of our species, in the same way that a fungus is not the same species as its substrate.
Some people "at the top" believe they are in control, but they are in control as much as you can be in control sitting on top of a wild, untamed beast. And you've seen it, corporations replace "the top people" like any other employee and it doesn't change much. Not nearly as much as they want you to think. It's more like trimming your fingernails than getting a heart transplant.
Of course, nation states are just the same. Conglomerate hierarchies of humans, doing whatever to stay in existence as a sort of entity. Problem was they were caged by design, rules, from the bottom up. This was because we needed them to be, we saw tyrannies rising when we didn't. So we made rules to bind them, deliberately stunted like bonsai trees, to preserve our individual freedom and not become cogs or ants. So they subverted the meaning of "freedom", because we should be free to make new corporations (conglomerate hierarchies, egregores, group minds, call them however you like), because you know, freedom! Except this exploit existed even within the nation states that were deliberately stunted to not grow out of control. Just don't feed them after midnight, okay?
And then we were free to create corporations, without stunts, or rules or restrictions to preserve actual real individual human freedom.
And of course these new corporations quickly grew to become more powerful than many nation states. REALLY quickly, if you think about it, if you compare it to the speed at which nation states exchange power and conquer one another. But corporations kill at sub-decade frequency currently.
I went a bit off a tangent here sorry, and I doubt this is the proper forum to share this kind of thing either. But just stop and think for a moment, who or what is writing those words you just quoted. It's not something that could ever be your "friend".
1) Users that tolerate some ads no longer need to install an adblocker.
2) Legit advertisers don't get their ads blocked because fewer people use ad blockers
3) Crappy advertisers go out of business.
Now lets hope that GDPR manages to get rid of the ubiquitous tracking and the web might actually become a nicer place again!
Sure, I guess that makes you less of a target for bad actors, but if your browser can be compromised by simply visiting a website, that's a serious problem that's going to bite you whether you block ads or not.
You're saying that theoretically, because there may be worse exploits from advanced actors that can target you for visiting a website, you shouldn't worry about basic security and whitelisting?
Do you not lock your door at night, either, just because someone could smash through your windows?
Which makes it an even less effective analogy.
I don’t. I avoid ads for two reasons: first that they’re fundamentally biased, manipulative information sources, second that they drain attention, screen space, battery life, etc. I’m much more worried about the first than the second, yet “acceptable ads” (partially) addresses the second without touching the first.
Neither of these points need to be true. Consider if someone had a text ad which said “We made widgets. Click here to see our widgets”. There's nothing manipulative about that, it need not use more than a small amount of network or CPU to deliver, and all but the most extreme members of the no logo camp would tend to agree that there's nothing manipulative about it.
For the record, I don't buy ads and I subscribe to sites like ArsTechnica.com which allow me to pay to disable ads.
> first that they’re fundamentally biased, manipulative information sources
Is an NPR-style “this program is sponsored by <big company>” manipulative or biased? What about the Amazon ads you get on a Google search for most consumer products, where it's clear who paid for them, they make no claim that the product is the best product or that they have the lowest prices, only stating that you can buy one from them, etc.?
> second that they drain attention, screen space, battery life,
Do Google text ads really do any of those? What about a static JPEG?
Remember, I'm not saying that the state of online advertising isn't terrible but that it's not fundamentally so. The industry has raced to the bottom but it'd clear up in days if publishers stopped allowing offensive ads to run on their sites or Chrome started actively blocking them.
Humans are fundamentally biased, manipulative information sources.
(Overt, not organic or otherwise covert) ads are just human acts where the bias and intended manipulation are unusually transparent.
No, I think that it's easier to reject (overt) ads manipulation because their bias is clear, compared to forms of manipulation where the goal of the manipulation is less clear; this doesn't help you get to the truth (except in some cases where that is revealed by what even the ad is forced to admit against its interest, or hinted at by what it avoids) from the ad content itself.
Journalism provides a necessary service for a democracy, and unpaid bloggers haven't actually made much of a dent into real, investigative journalism. Hell, they haven't even made a dent into regular ask-questions-at-press-conferences journalism.
Which leaves paywalls. But even if I everyone bought subscriptions to the top 5 or so publications they read regularly, we would all drastically reduce the variety of sources we get our news from. No fan of Breitbart is going to pay for the New York Times, even though now, they might (sometimes accidentally) come across an article offering them a glimpse of real journalism.
It's really easy to try: Just for a month or so, don't visit any sites showing advertisement that you haven't paid for.
How is it that it's not outrageous to people that in the middle of a news article, a box with flashing colors and a picture of a woman in a bikini isn't something obviously extremely undesirable? The activity of reading requires concentration, if you're reading something that requires thought, that is. I'm baffled that our tolerance level for this didn't drop to the pitchfork level.
It becomes the responsibility of the accuser to prove and provide evidence of increased prices based on monopoly position. The Exponent podcast did a nice description of this last summer I believe (not sure what episode).
- Massive, truly gargantuan header and footer that steals 40-50% of usable screen space for.... white space
- Terrible type selection that is kerned too closely and is too thin to comfortably read on a white background. Eye strain is SIGNIFICANT.
Like, come the heck on Google. You're trying to make the internet a better place. Maybe practice what you preach and follow Day 1, 101 course UX principles like "choose a type that is legible" and "don't use half of your article vertical space for pointless globs of white space in your header and footer"
How about some browse neutrality from Google?
Proof of monopoly abuse right here: no technical reason, just a wish to crush competition.
Or am I missing something?
- and we won: I'm now free to use Linux at work. I think cloud computing as we know it happened as a result of the liberation of server class operating systems etc.
So my suggestion is we continue to make noise until we get meaningful change.
(And just like with MS back in the days I don't think everyone working for Google is evil, it just seems to be next to impossible to have that kind of power as a company and not abuse it.)
I also expect them to do the right thing because of "Don't Be Evil", but that doesn't really mean much anymore, right?
Even if you enable it, the site may still be doomed, because it tries to load fonts, libraries, css and who-knows-what kind of s* from external sites.
Fg newage apatheistic anarchist hippie devs. Don't bundle in tons of dependencies to your freaking sites. If one of the dependencies goes down, so does your site. F* you! And f* those whorebag ads!
* Battery-draining junk code
* Bandwidth-hogging videos and GIFs
* Spreading information about me cross-origin
As such this change will not entice me to disable my ad blocker. Not even close.
Also, what is your threshold for 'bandwidth-hogging' videos and GIFs? Do you trust content-lengths from the server?
According to the post:
"... Chrome will stop showing all ads on sites that repeatedly display these most disruptive ads after they’ve been flagged.
To determine which ads not to show, we’re relying on the Better Ads Standards from the the Coalition for Better Ads, an industry group dedicated to improving the experience of the ads we see on the web. ..."
They are a bit vage in this post, but as we know from other posts and press briefings, this means:
The site owners will get a notice when Google has found that their site is displaying ads not compliant with the Better Ads Standards. When they don't fix this until after 30 days, all ads on the site are blocked, even those complying with the standards. The site owners can then of course still fix it, and get removed from the block list.
So the "flagging" is actually done by Google, and means the owners of the site get a notice.