This metaphor makes it clear that when there is a conflict of interest between you the user and whatever the server on the other side wants, your Agent should act in your interest.
"To Serve Man."
Along with CSS, cookies, external images and fonts, redirect links, referrer headers, browser caches, and IP addresses that don't change over time and that can be linked to physical locations.
Aside from CSS and redirect links, all of these features are fairly straightforward. The consequences of disabling the Referer header, for example, are pretty small and easy to understand: you'll stop sending sites information about what links you used to get to them, but some very picky websites that check the header (e.g. image hosts that try to prevent hotlinking) might not work. This means browsers can provide options to let the user choose their preferred balance of privacy, functionality, performance, and "helping us improve your experience".
You can argue that the web doesn't need a turing-complete language that exposes a lot of powerful features. Can you argue that phones don't? Can you argue that personal computers don't need that?
All of the tracking that happens on the web right now also happens on mobile phones and desktops. Users have broadly shown that the "only download code you trust" security model doesn't work (see recent articles on both the Android and iOS app store for reference). Even something basic like adblocking on Android is kind of terrible -- the best app I know of is AFWall, and that's maybe half as powerful as something like UMatrix because it's relying on static firewall rules.
You get rid of powerful applications on the web, and users will go back to downloading apps like crazy just so they can order pizza from their phone. Since currently, all of those platforms are pretty terrible for privacy; it is very hard to argue that a world where people could only download native apps would be more private than the world we have now.
We could also keep the web and switch wholesale to a SaaS model for everything, which is broadly bad for consumers, and carries its own privacy risks (there are some computations like password generation that I don't want to be done on a 3rd-party computer). Switching over to using forms and remote computation for everything on the web would also greatly increase the prevalence of 3rd-party cookies, making them much harder to block.
And personally, I think ordering pizza would land on the "content and forms" side of the divide.
I run mostly Open Source native apps, but the only way I can do that is because web-apps take the place of many native apps I would otherwise need to install on my phone or computer.
Most people's phone apps are set to auto-update, and most PC apps have the ability to download and execute additional code on the fly. I like to think I run a pretty tight Linux system, but all of my programs have write permissions to their own personal install directories.
We can argue over whether that's a reasonable thing for them to ask, but that's the position we're in. The web is trying to figure out how to let you run untrusted code.
Sometimes you need a car, but usually an ebike will be more than sufficient. Going on a road trip or doing a large Costco run? You probably want a car. Just picking up some eggs from the grocery store or making a visit to the library? An ebike is probably the best option, and is also likely faster (closer parking, can ride on roads, sidewalks, bike trails, etc).
If every browser had done the sane thing from day 1 (no third-party scripts and no cross-domain communication) we wouldn't be in the mess we're in. Sites could still use all the power that comes with scripting, ad networks just wouldn't be feasible.
You might be missing how expectations change after the introduction of a technology. I wouldn’t guess that people would be unhappy about not having cars before the car was even invented.
Isn’t this like saying atoms are to blame for nuclear warfare? Atoms enabled nuclear weapons?
It's certainly possible.
Originally I used NoScript (and Firefox 'View>Page Style>No Style'), now I just tend to use uMatrix, with appropriate media types disabled.
It makes for a faster, and easier to read web, where I still see the occasional ad, but once configured, usually not.
If you're a total tech-novice, sure, but as a power user it's fine. I'm blocking ycombinator.com right now. I can still submit this. If something doesn't work, just click the icon and trust its domain. If pictures don't show, trust a CDN. Amazon, Paypal, 99% of sites work with an initial adjustment of trust settings.
Things like React are accelerating that curve. Even for sites that could function without it, they are throwing up hands with "welp, they can't disable it anyway because other sites...so let's not test that use case anymore."
I don't like it, but it is what it is. Technical people aren't going to drive the decision to work without JS. In the end, it's a cost decision, with the usual PHB outcomes.
I used noscript until Firefox changed to the new web API and noscript stopped working briefly. I switched to ublock origin in medium mode and haven't looked back. More compatible and practical nowadays.
I found uMatrix easier to use and more configurable than NoScript.
Something like the unholy child of RSS Feeds / Podcasts / NNTP / Email / Pub-Sub / Gopher / Google Reader
A new language (or two complementary languages) separating content and presentation, limited, possibly not Turing-complete but expressive. Specifically less powerful than modern web browsers.
- network access (disables adding script tags, XMLHttpRequest, fetch)
- 2d canvas access
- 3d canvas access
And so on, just like mobile apps, but perhaps more granular. The app should also be able to put a note as to why it needs each specific feature.
99% of my web browsing shouldn’t need it. Every site I visit uses it, but almost all of them could be built just fine without it.
There are downsides to everything, but we cant dismiss that positives that came from it.
Yes, it’s great that the web is capable of stuff like Google Docs. But all those capabilities are actually liabilities when it’s a news site.
IMO, profits are like respect. They must be earned, and if the only way you can turn a profit is by spying on people then maybe you shouldn't be in business in the first place. If the only way you can get me to use your product is by giving it away and selling my data, then maybe your product shouldn't exist?
As far as I'm concerned, the data I generate by using a search engine should be treated with the same care as my medical records. It should not be mined or traded. It should not be kept longer than 30 days.
And if that breaks the internet, so be it. You brought this on yourselves.
Why Dnscloak: doesn't route your traffic through a third party with dubious motivations.
On the whole network: pi-hole
So sure: maybe someday un-adblockable content will be a thing. Do I care about that content? Turns out maybe I'll just walk away entirely. The internet has a lot of utterly ad-ridden services with far too high an opinion of how important they really are.
So sure, make your sites, services, and content so annoying that I stop using them, and close copying loopholes, somehow. Or ban spyvertising and let it all go down in the flames of the prophesied ad-pocalypse. I really don't care a bit either way.
There is very little on the internet that is completely unique and of interest to me. If you try to put up a barrier to your content I will go somewhere else almost every time.
I often use firefox reader mode just because websites use custom fonts, and to remove all the clutter, even when there is no ads.
Also, it won't be long until reddit is sued and must remove comments where people copy-paste the entire article because of pay walls and ad blockers. Same for outline. I guess website will start findings ways to prevent copy pasting, and maybe someone will create some app that just let their users browse a PNG rendering of websites.
It's almost as if normal newspapers might be considered a good alternative.
This is already a thing in some places. I wanted to use a table of data I found on a website but found I couldn't copy and paste it into excel. Instead I downloaded the webpage and parsed it to extract the table and rebuild it manually.
This is why the way web ads are served is utterly farcical. How can you build a person's trust by invading their privacy in a hundred different ways just so you can be sure the ads they're seeing are a little bit more targeted than what's on TV?
People often say that they would be happy to have reasonable ads that don't interfere with website function and which respect their privacy, but it's been so bad for so long that it would likely be very difficult for an ethical, privacy respecting ad service to get off the ground. Many people have been burned too many times to believe and unblock such an ad service. EME shows that there is no interest in even trying this approach. They're just going to continue escalating the arms war.
They're going to lose.
Companies advertising on the internet need to wake up to the fact you can't support a war against the privacy of your potential customer base and expect them to trust you. Yes, you've dug quite the hole for yourselves over the last couple of decades. Why keep digging?
I know it has been attempted in the past with little success, but all those attempts were just companies going it alone and hoping for the best. If the W3C, browser makers, banks and publishers all got together a standard could be developed. Something that would be core to web standards. It wouldn't be easy, but it would solve a lot of problems.
I've written on this several times:
Nick Szabo, Clay Shirky, and Andrew Odlyzko far more ably:
A vastly more sensible option: a means-based, universal fee (a/k/a tax) and payments to creators based on both UBI and quality + access distributions -- a universal content syndication mechanism:
$100 per person per year from the world's richest 1 billion inhabitants would match all present publishing income, and present ad spend. Truth is we're already paying for the content, we're just not getting it.
It would not. You're worth more to the advertisers than a few cents, so even if you and everyone else chipped in, many ad-supported sites would see their revenue plummet, and close their doors. Consumers spend a lot of money buying things, from groceries to appliances, and a percentage of each of those sales goes to the ad budget to steer that buying. Unless everything in every store got a few percent cheaper, consumers literally don't have the money to distribute to the websites at anywhere near the level advertisers pay. Every single American would have to pay Facebook $15-20 per month to match the advertising revenue Facebook generates per user, not a few cents. The cost of using Google's services would be similar to a cable or cell phone bill, assuming every single person that uses them continues to and signs up for that bill.
The issue isn't the payment tech, it's human behavior. People don't want to or can't pay for all the content they consume.
Regardless, the action of consuming the content itself means that it has inherent value. I believe whether it's worth it is a decision for the user instead of dictated by someone else.
The user. That’s the context – the user deciding who gets their money.
> And how can it have "negative value"?
Zero value, plus the time it took to find out that it had zero value.
> Regardless, the action of consuming the content itself means that it has inherent value.
For example, blocking ads (even though most know that is the trade-off for the content) instead of refusing to visit the site. If the content has no value, why visit the site at all? Surely not ever pageview has zero value?
The relationship is direct between reader and publisher; making quality content becomes important again, there's no adoption friction, and ad networks become a thing of the past.
It's no wonder Google blocked browser mining quick-smart.. it had the potential to bring down the entire house of cards.
The reality of humanity is that people operate via incentive. The internet is no different - publishers are incentivised by money. There must be a mechanism to provide that - today's interpretation is increasingly aggressive advertising, which makes noone but the advertisers happy.
Crypto-mining provides an incentive for publishers to invest in their content, knowing they will be duly rewarded, without a middle-man.
Users know that they are providing revenue to publishers simply by the act of viewing content.
It has the potential to be empowering for everyone involved.
However, to riposte as glibly as you did: If you don't feel like compensating a publisher for their content, they may not feel like serving it to you. It's lose-lose for everyone. What do you propose, then?
Browser development is almost exclusively funded by advertising. Chrome, in the obvious way. Mozilla is funded entirely by Google. Safari is the only surviving exception.
Have you tried 1Blocker X?
Though, for fun, I've rolled my own Safari extension for content blocking. You get 90%+ of the way just concatenating lists of ad domains and feeding them into the blocker. But, for example, you can encode all of Easylist as content-blocker rules.
I think the ideal system would support declarative and non-declarative modes (since a fully declarative system could never account for every possible use case).
And there's no pressure from users to choose the more restrictive but performant option because people basically have zero insight into what's killing their battery, much less which competitor is better in that regard.
Given the gulf between Safari vs Chrome battery performance, I'm not all that convinced that the declarative api is pure downside like HN cynicism and Twitter outrage might suggest.
I can agree that it would be nice to have competing implementations, but that's just the result of browsers being so complex that once your hobby horse feature is removed from one, you basically have nowhere to turn.
Safari was already beating Chrome on battery life before its extension API was neutered. This is post hoc revisionist rationalization.
It could also be that because of the reduced expressiveness of the adblocker, more ads are missed, and you might therefore end up with a net increase in the amount of code that has to be executed by the browser. So the declarative API could actually lead to a performance decrease in practice.
> As it’s designed today, the blocking version of the Web Request API requires a persistent, long-running process, and is fundamentally incompatible with “lazy” processes - processes that can be set up or torn down as-needed, conserving valuable system resources. There are also significant costs associated with the serialization of the request data, the inter-process communication needed to send that data to the extensions, and the processing of extension responses.
You are free to dismiss the writeup as lies, of course. You're also free to handwave it away by saying "well I don't like the trade-off". But you can't discuss this as if the benefits are not apparent.
Furthermore here you can see a tweet from Justin Schuh, lead of security and privacy on Google Chrome, where he claims that the "sole motivation is correcting privacy and security deficiencies" (which I just debunked as being a possibility), not performance: https://twitter.com/justinschuh/status/1134092257190064128
So between Justin Schuh and Simeon Vincent (author of the post you linked), who is lying? It must be at least one of them.
But let's ignore the misleading claims about security/privacy and just focus on the performance issue.
In this post, they include absolutely no numbers or measurements of the performance effects of using the content blocking API. They give some explanation of what is technically required to implement each approach, and certainly the declarative API is a simpler approach, but you made that point already. And I responded to it. Just because the API is "obviously simpler" doesn't mean the performance advantage is in any way significant, and could even be outweighed by the increased ad load due to the less powerful API. It's just not at all obvious from what they are saying here that the change is worth compromising user functionality over.
If you want a source with actual measurements, you should check the Ghostery team's response to the manifest v3 changes: https://whotracks.me/blog/adblockers_performance_study.html
Here are some highlights:
> All content-blockers except DuckDuckGo have sub-millisecond median decision time per request.
> Time to Process a Request in Ghostery (median): 0.007 ms
> Loading Ghostery's Blocking Engine (from cache): 0.03 ms
> Memory Consumption of Ghostery's Blocking Engine (at startup, in Chrome): 1.8 MB
Note that last one: 1.8 MB memory consumption. And they're arguing that we need to be "setting up and tearing down this component as needed" to conserve that "valuable" 1.8 MB. Nonsense.
> That's because they have explicitly stated that they will not deprecate the observational webRequest API, which has exactly the same privacy considerations as the content blocking API.
It's still a substantial improvement if popular extensions that don't need to use observational webRequest (ie. content blockers) no longer use this more expensive method. It's a leap of logic to suggest that supporting observational webRequest means that the simpler content blocking API has no benefit.
> Furthermore here you can see a tweet from Justin Schuh, lead of security and privacy on Google Chrome, where he claims that the "sole motivation is correcting privacy and security deficiencies" (which I just debunked as being a possibility), not performance (...) So between Justin Schuh and Simeon Vincent (author of the post you linked), who is lying? It must be at least one of them.
Neither. The change may be motivated by privacy and security but as Simeon Vincent explains, it also has substantial performance benefits. I'm not sure how you logically leap to the conclusion of "this has no performance benefits" from "we did this for privacy/security reasons".
It's also extremely misleading to compare the performance of a content-blocked site to internal browser performance. You know what has the best overall performance? An extension that blocks the whole page; 0ms speed, the best performance, almost zero battery drain, except that this hypothetical extension consumes substantial resources on its own. But hey, the 0ms page speed makes up for it. It'd be pretty silly for the Chrome team to base their decisions on the performance of rendering an incomplete webpage depending on both random extension makers and random website creators.
> Note that last one: 1.8 MB memory consumption. And they're arguing that we need to be "setting up and tearing down this component as needed" to conserve that "valuable" 1.8 MB.
Ghostery is only one extension among them, and all the adblocking extensions in that performance study ran a pre-pruned set of EasyList rules when popular adblockers run more rules in practice.
Attached applications could be web assembly with I/O abilities such as a simple canvas-like UI.
If you can find or create a suitable and high performance p2p system (or group of systems) for enabling people to load and publish these lightweight links, you could provide a useful and viable alternative to the traditional web that would be approachable by small development teams.
Built in p2p search could be a killer feature for such a system.
EDIT: made a github for it and submitted to HN https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=20544892
(I'm admittedly not sure how I'd classify stuff like Pale Moon, which is primarily based off someone else's engine but now backports its own patches.)
Brave already integrates ad-blocking at a lower level than the webRequest API, so this is less of an issue, but you sacrifice your choice in blocker.
The recent Chromium’s Manifest v3 controversy around the overheads of the various extensions using the WebRequest API to inspect and potentially block undesired requests did not affect Brave as requests are processed natively, deep within the browser’s network stack.
What I find much more scary is the prospect of the entire web stack becoming much more locked down as a consequence of both (1) ad blocker prevention and (2) the consolidated browser market. Think Encrypted Media Extensions, but for everything.
If there were ten browsers in active use today, getting them all to agree to something like this would be almost impossible. Unfortunately, there's only 2–3 browsers, and if Firefox loses any more marketshare...
Do you have a source for that?
> Mozilla Foundation philanthropic programs and activities are funded by public support from individual donors and foundations ($13.8M), as well as from royalties earned that are paid by the Mozilla Corporation ($8.3M). Total revenue and income support to the Mozilla Foundation in CY 2016 was $23.4M.
> The majority of Mozilla Corporation’s revenue is from royalties earned through Firefox web browser search partnerships and distribution deals around the world. Mozilla Corporation’s revenue and income support for CY 2016 was $506M
> Google to pay Mozilla $300M yearly in new search deal, says report
Let's see who wins.
Users innovate new ways to block them. Its a never ending cycle.
money won by enlisting the corrupt law makers. from now on, content will have DRM (e.g. netflix) and if any adblocker even tries to touch it, the creators can be jailed.
now if you want to create/contribute an adblock, besides time, you must have impeccable opSec or also be willing to do time in jail.
Right now Verge created a wordpress website put google ads on it and can afford a team to right some content. If all third party ads are blocked option left would be `paid content` or go to Google/FB platform to publish wherein you'll have lesser control but more revenue as all ads are first party.
Is that not what Google Ads is?
I actually do pay for some websites, including for not seeing ads on Youtube (with mixed results now that ads are just baked in the video, when the entirety of the video itself is not an ad) and I want an easy way to do so : I want to be able to access the content I want while its creator gets paid.
So far, ads have been a successful way to do micro payments (the only ?).
Instead of waging this increasing war between ads and ad blockers, I would rather see organizations that try to find a better solution (with privacy somewhere at the top of the checklist).
If you are running an ad-dependant website and struggle to make money as a result of the campaign people like me are running, then you'll have to adapt. If you fail to adapt and your website closes, it's fine : as a society, we didn't need your services.
Targeted ads are another kind of problem. I don't really want to be told or suggested what I should or could buy, I can make up my own mind. I know some people don't mind them and that's fine.
In all honesty I preferred the annoying pop ups.
I’d guess that you are looking at a different page or your machine is compromised.
Between malicious code ending up on ad networks and ads that take people to malicious sites, it only makes sense to block connections to things that are not actually needed for the display of pages. Most people who get a take-over-the-screen "We are Mikrosoft and have discovred that your computer infected call us helpful people at Mikrosoft and we will fix your comptuer" messages aren't getting it because they're visiting dodgy sites or even ones that have been hacked - they're getting them because either someone got that into an ad network or because they clicked on an ad that turned out to route them to one of those.
I can't babysit everyone and really don't want to, but I can at least cut down on some of the crap that hits their computers.
Wouldn't it be far better if instead we focused on identifying content and finding ways to serve it more efficiently? Why download the whole page and then hide 95% of the data?
I'd like to see a system where we crowd source the identification of content. If 100 people all view a page and see 100 different ads but the same article each time, a smart browser extension should be able to conclude that the uri actually refers to the static text. Store that on ipfs or somesuch and when I click the link, don't waste my bandwidth downloading the site, just serve up what I wanted in the first place.
I'm not sure how such an approach would play out--but all we're getting out of the current strategy is smarter and smarter ads. I can't imagine we're gonna look back in 100 years and be glad we aligned our incentives in such a direction, so I think trying something different would be worthwhile.
Tracking impressions (something advertisers seem to want) is facilitated by third-party servers. Self-served ads defeat this and raise fraud concerns.
Standardised advertising units (display sizes) mean that blocking elements strictly on dimensions is possible. One of my early userContent.css stylesheets, borrowing from online souces, did just this, and was highly effective, for a time.
Obfuscated content and JS can get around some of this, thou stylesheets whitelisting elements would be yet another workaround.
No. This service is so adversarial to anyone who doesn't want to be tracked, it doesn't even work in Private windows. It stops working itself when you open the Browser's debug console. If this wasn't enough, this service stops working when you have uBlock origin (which finds that there's a /track request going out a hundred times every minute).
I responded by creating a new browser profile just for this website and routing all tracking domains (mostly segment.io) to 127.0.0.0 in my local hosts file.
I haven't used that service for a long time, but recently I heard they are now showing in-content ads between programming! So basically they've taken cable TV and put it on the internet with higher fees and shittier service.
Could you imagine if cable companies could control your Smart TV when showing ads and collect data about your viewing habits?
A minority of us have been saying this for years, WHEN will the tech industry cry loud enough for change?
1. As a user, you set your preference: no mining - ads will show instead. No ads, there will be some mining.
2. The longer a user stays on a page, ie the more engaging the content is, the more money the publisher earns.
In theory, this would trigger a natural correction for dark publishing patterns: click bait would diminish, articles split over X pages would reduce. True, engaging content would win.
Hitherto all alternatives for remunerating publishers have flopped (an engaged user has no easy way to remunerate aside from pulling out a credit card..) .. so we have been stuck with ads.
I was truly sad to see in-browser crypto mining get banned. For a brief moment, it seemed that pleasing everyone was going to be possible.
Donating directly is a much nicer solution for me, and there’s so much room for improvement there too in the areas of privacy, fees, and convenience. (In a world where in-browser mining were a good idea, an out-of-browser miner could provide the equivalent for this kind of manual donation.)
Obviously, there need to be intelligent structures in place - and these can be enforced by the browser (as they already are today) - CPU limits for inactive tabs, CPU limits based off the computer's power-mode. The ability to disable mining at the cost of seeing advertisements.
Make an ad blocker that just dishonors cookies, clears localStorage, etc for the ad domains, rather than blocking the requests altogether. Publishers won't make as much money since advertisers won't be able to track you. But at least you could give the publishers the ability to make some money from ads served to you.
If this approach gained adoption, you might see a growth in the market for non-tracking ads (analogous to the growth in the market for non-popup ads described in the article).
Also, Firefox has a good deal of tracker blocking built in that tries to go after browser signature recognition. I think the problem with that is it can break some sites, though I have it on and don't see a lot of problems.
Beyond that, many ad blockers let you customize the lists, and there are tracker blocking lists. But I think they all default to standard ad blocking, so the hindrance is configuration.
You can pay the makers of Adblock Plus to have your ads declared "acceptable". However, I do not want somebody else deciding for me which ads are "acceptable".
Yes, it is. Publishers and advertisers have overstepped time and time again. They must be reminded of their place, and nothing short of grabbing them by the scruff of the neck and rubbing their noses in the mess they made will suffice.
> But at least you could give the publishers the ability to make some money from ads served to you.
I could, but why should I? The publishers had a chance to be reasonable, and they just kept pushing. I'm done being reasonable. The publishers should be glad they aren't facing the Internet Death Penalty.
The story of how Internet grew and what made it valuable to users and what threatens it – it is worth articulating and illustrating and repeating each year as more and more people take Internet more seriously but don't know about these happenings under the covers.
Also, for the business model innovation to happen, existing business models need to be studied with care and deeper and broader understanding needs to prevail over more and more users.
> When you visit a site, the deal on offer is, "Let us and everyone we do business with track you in every way possible or get lost" and users who install adblockers push back. An adblocker is a way of replying to advertisers and publishers with a loud-and-clear "How about nah?"
YouTube's gotten a lot more shitty about it, too. I wouldn't block ads on there but they treat their creators like crap and they treat me like crap. Nowadays if I don't block them I get two ads in a row and if I don't skip the first one, I have to wait on the second one, too. And often some ads go on for minutes. The longest I've seen was a 50 minute ad. Or ads that scream at you, as loudly as possible. Especially when you're trying to enjoy more laid-back content. Ugh.
And a lot of that revenue doesn't go towards paying the creators their proper share. I would gladly pay for an ad-free YouTube but they're dead-set on shafting creators, making their lives as miserable as possible. Random demonetisations, horrible handling of fair use, etc. All this without ANY kind of proper support. If I pay for a service or rely on something to make a living, I expect to be able to at least somehow talk to a human being, etc. They've gotten more and more and more hostile towards creators and users. So now they get the Brave-treatment (since they fiddle with adblock on Safari, I use Brave just to watch YouTube. If they detect adblock and can get through it, you get actively punished with longer and more frequent ads.)
Little wonder that most small people without VC investment backing them have looked for alternatives to this, they understand how sites that host content being hostile towards the userbase is a race to the bottom. With off-site patronage and superchat and burnt-in ads they're in control. Sadly you do have to be of a audience certain size to take advantage of these but they're far more pleasant for everyone involved (except the firms that host the content).
For sites in general that model seems to be viable, too. But you do depend on your audience for this which can be a good thing generally as often it seems to keep the content more honest. The content that panders is very often just going to slowly die off.
I would be okay with ads if they weren't disgustingly obnoxious and consistently trying to intrude in my life and take my data.
Lots of bigger websites have an insane quantity of ads, some even have their entire backgrounds replaced with clickable ads. One accidental misclick and you're pissed off. There are sites where the occasional ad is sometimes interrupted by content.
I simply can't take it. Performance-hogging, data-stealing, annoying, time-wasting ads. They're everywhere.
I look forward to reading in the history books about how some of the world's greatest minds spent their time and energy figuring out how to build businesses on manifestly bad UX.
I get wanting to have style to your writing but not at the expense of clarity.
I liked the term "adversarial interoperability" that they used in the article. I think it is an interesting concept. Although I might want to reframe it as protecting individual autonomy.
That ship sailed in 2001, hit an iceberg, and sank with all hands.
The one and only reason that browsers (with the exception of Google's) don't block ads out of the box (like they do for pop-ups) is out of concern that ad-supported websites will explicitly blacklist their user agents, driving away their users and causing the browsers to lose marketshare. DNT was the shot across the bow that said "we can do this the easy way, or we can do this the hard way". The obvious outcome was that the ad networks would choose to ignore it, which formed the foundational justification for gradually introducing ever-stricter policies reining in ads by default.
 The inverse is true as well: the nuclear option of any browser whose marketshare sinks to the point of unsustainability will be to immediately introduce on-by-default adblockers, since at that point they have nothing left to lose.
Though I am thinking of turning it off and putting up a "Hello? Hello? Sorry I can't hear you could you repeat that. Uhha, go on..." recorded message about 5 minutes long, just to waste their resources. That would actually be a promising addition to a spam filter.
> Though I am thinking of turning it off and putting up a "Hello? Hello? Sorry I can't hear you could you repeat that. Uhha, go on..." recorded message about 5 minutes long, just to waste their resources. That would actually be a promising addition to a spam filter.
This a nice idea but on the rare occasion that your filter incorrectly blocks the wrong person, you might be annoying someone who really needs to talk to you.
I think Google keeps a spam probability score for callers' phone numbers based on how many people have marked a call as spam.
Everything else is just a band-aide.
But these are incorporated entities. If proper privacy laws are/were put in place and enforced, they would have to honor DNT. This is as much a failing of these companies to respect privacy as it was the failing of governments to protect privacy of their citizens.
Besides violating privacy, ad networks have also been a proxy for malware. They should have been sued into oblivion for that as well.
I agree that since the proper means have failed, blocking is the best solution. Do people who are not computer savvy a favor and install a proper ad blocker for them. We can do much better than 26%.
I understand that some people come from the opposite direction -- they try to stop the obvious bad actors with laws, and if those laws fail, then they'll look for solutions that put control in the hands of individuals.
I don't dislike those people, but my perspective is that people who focus on tracking by corporations don't have a good perspective of the entire problem.
> Do people who are not computer savvy a favor and install a proper ad blocker for them. We can do much better than 26%.
Amen on that. I'd like to see the ad industry collapse, but that's a separate conversation.
I'm not convinced that pervasive advertising to the degree we currently see is good for society as a whole. I would encourage people to block ads even if they didn't include any trackers at all. I would even block ads off of one-way mediums like the radio if I could.
If I like a company, I tend to scroll down in Google Search until I find their organic result. Hopefully that makes a difference to their bottom line.
I'm not interested in logging in to the paper's website so that it can 1. feed me yet more ads and 2. track in minute detail exactly what I'm reading and for how long.
It sends another signal, that this person is an aware contrarian, and may be receptive to this or that source or style of engagement.
I use a domain block list in `/etc/hosts`: https://github.com/StevenBlack/hosts
Sort of like laying the phone down when a telemarketer calls.
Can someone please explain this?
Here's an article on it: https://www.wired.com/2016/03/heres-how-that-adblocker-youre...
Advertisers are pushing too much and they are overheating their market.
Problem is they can’t. Publishers earn through the massive amount a low quality traffic, bots, and even misreporting impressions and clicks.
I want ads, if they’re relevant.
(Wow, this must be one of the most discussed HN posts.)
The author of this article, Cory Doctorow, is an editor of BoingBoing and has some level of control of this.
In contrast, I got zero tracking from the EFF site. Exact same content, completely different privacy experience.
I'm not an absolutist that you can't criticize a system you benefit from (it's ok to criticize Apple's labour practices if you own an iPhone), but there is a big difference between admitting participation in a flawed system and passing yourself off as an objective critic of a system you benefit from.
Doctorow knows where his paycheck comes from.
I've seen people banned, and have been banned myself for drawing attention to these things on their bulletin boards.
>> I'm not an absolutist that you can't criticize a system you benefit from (it's ok to criticize Apple's labour practices if you own an iPhone), but there is a big difference between admitting participation in a flawed system and passing yourself off as an objective critic of a system you benefit from.
Exactly. Also, given the site's legacy, political slant, and access to technical talent, if they don't choose to explore ethical modes and models of behavior and publishing, what hope should we have for the rest of the industry?
(The only positive thing one can say about BoingBoing on these matters is that they do not block ad blockers.)
Nobody said advertising wasn't paying the bills.
There’s something to be said about being a trustworthy source.
So, wanna get rid of tracking cookies, continue as a consumer to block them and make them pointless. Advertisers will then stop demanding BoingBoing uses them.
Sounds like a failure of imagination.