Once upon a time it was a similar question if you wanted to run a hobbyist website, you needed a dedicated box somewhere or maybe to fork out 15/mo for some space on a shared host.
Now-a-days that MUD could easily run on the smallest cloud instance you could find with one less server even for a total of 10/mo - if you want to run a blog and tell the world about your intense interest in widget manufacturing there are cheap ways to host it - if the content is standard enough you might even be able to cut down the price to 10-20/yr.
It used to be that if you were so passionate about a topic you thought there needed to be a website about it then... you'd start it and host it yourself, it'd be an incidental cost that you'd just eat - then the mentality shifted to the assumption that your hosting of this thing should be profitable to you - you should get paid for maintaining such a site!
That's the real problem, people expect other people to pay for shit that nobody would pay for - since no one steps up to the "so reasonable" 10/mo subscription then ads are injected to make up for the "loss". If your site isn't valuable enough to get subscribers that doesn't mean it shouldn't exist, it just means that you should put up a donation page and treat any money you get out as an unbelievably strong endorsement of your decision to fund the existence of your little corner of the internet.
We break stories on corruption, injustice, and all kinds of other content. I think that running ads allowing us to do that would constitute as a benefit.
It's not a criticism of you if you can't do that. It's where we need to be. Nobody opted in for all this surveillance. And there does also seem to be a lot of fraud in online advertising. Get everyone's phones and home routers running something like pi-hole and the whole advertising lanscape would change for the better. Google would hate it, sure, but so what? You might find your ads are more valuable too because seeing an ad in a genuine news source as context has more influence on a potential purchaser than seeing the exact same ad on john-does-racist-blog. Even if they are the exact same 2 eyeballs seeing both copies of the same ad.
Ads, sure. We're all basically fine with ads per se. Just not the current advertising arrangements involving reaming us with surveillance and all the other nasties as well. Didn't agree to it, don't want it, will block it and will prosletyse ad blocking.
It's high time to accept responsibility for content you're serving! (As it is, high profile sites often deny any liability for 99% of the traffic they are brokering. The ad-and-tracking inflation of recent years is just insane.)
Speak for yourself. I'm pretty allergic to ads - stopped watching tv, reading newspapers etc. a decade ago. No way I accept ads on the web just because they are in more traditional formats.
But ads on webpages - they're resource sucking privacy invading unvetted proprietary software. If your business requires you run those then you're getting blocked on every device I come into contact with forever.
I promise to stop punching you in the face if you pay me is not something I think is all that great to be honest. And then I'd have to trust them. But yeah, Ars Technica is not what it used to be since being bought by Conde Nast, right?
If the entry to a club was "either be punched in the face, or pay", I bet the majority of patrons would simply pay or go elsewhere. But on the internet, 99% of people either get punched or refuse both options and enter anyway.
The analogy breaks down.
You aren't given the option, you wrote the option that websites and their 3rd party providers have to punch you without your knowledge. Stop reading Ars. Does that help you now you wrote that option? Maybe it does.
Better is to exercise your option to disrupt evil with uMatrix, pi-hole etc. Prosletyse it. The less money there is in the evil, the less it happens. How we defeated popups, for example.
How many people do videos for purposes other than monetization?
Years ago I am sure that some people just wanted to share stuff with the world and get some feedback from like minded individuals.