Now I know you are not arguing in good faith. Asking for citations about things that are obvious is a classic shill tactic. I will not let you waste my time.
> If someone owns real estate, they can put whatever they want on it.
And that's derailing. Whether someone is legally allowed to show ads is not even the topic.
If people click ads, then people get value out of them, otherwise those ad-clicking people wouldn't be clicking ads. When people do literally anything voluntarily, it's presumably because they get value out of it. The fact that <div>s are rendered with ads in them is a problem between you and the website you are voluntarily going to. You may use an ad-blocker if you don't like some of those website's <div>s. Not everyone uses an ad-blocker. If you think everyone uses an ad-blocker, you are mistaken, but you can continue believing that and you can continue being confused as to why advertising creates value.
Instead, websites try to force people to look at ads by embedding them with useful content, by blocking or bypassing ad blockers. They charge people for avoiding ads.
I'm sure there are instances where people voluntarily and intentionally expose themselves to ads. But those are rare, the vast majority of ads are forced upon people because they provide negative value. (Not blocking ads is not necessarily a choice, but the absence of a choice)
Do you know how the web works? When you go to a website, you are making a request to someone else's servers. If you don't like what they are serving, then stop going there. Vote with your attention. I have stopped visiting places like BusinessInsider due to their adblock-block and free-quota walls. They no longer get traffic from me.
> If someone voluntarily exposes themselves to ads, then yes, those ads are probably valuable. But that does not happen.
It does happen, it's called "coupons". There are plenty of coupon aggregators that people use all the time: RetailMeNot, Groupon, Ebates, Slickdeals.
Trying != succeeding. If someone applies force, it rarely means you cannot choose not to comply. But you'll suffer from the consequences.
> It does happen, it's called "coupons".
Not really. The value of coupons is that you get discounts, not that they advertise something. Classifieds are a better example.
(Arguably we would better off if coupons did not exist and companies just set proper prices to begin with, but that's beside the point)
Either way, even if valuable ads exist, advertising as a whole still destroys value because the vast majority of ads are destructive.