Hacker News new | comments | show | ask | jobs | submit login
Poll: Do you use AdBlock?
28 points by dotBen on Aug 3, 2011 | hide | past | web | favorite | 43 comments
Following on from the "See what Google knows about you" (http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=2840916) thread, many HN'ers wrote that they don't really care what ads are targeted to them because they run AdBlock anyway.

So here it is - do you run AdBlock/some other mechanism that scrubs adverts from your browser?

Given the controversial nature of this practice and it's impact on the websites that rely on the advertising, I'm also curious if you work for a startup/company that relies on advertising for some or all of it's revenue.

Yes - and I DON'T work for an ad-supported startup/company
318 points
145 points
Yes - and I DO work for an ad-supported startup/company
61 points

Yes, it's part of an effort to reduce distractions in my life. I don't watch or read news either, well, except tech related things like HN and Slashdot. I feel happier that way, too. (Try it for a week and you'll know what I mean.)

I still consume though, buy goods and services, of course. And I'm not cheap about anything. But I try to do so on a cost-benefit-evaluation basis. When the impulse to buy comes (say, the new iPad that I see everywhere), I discipline myself to delay the purchase. After a while I often realize that I don't need or want it. Instead I might buy some activity like a small trip somewhere, or getting a massage or going to a health club.

Anyway, the best advertising imo is a good product my friends or people I respect will talk about and/or show me.

And in a way I hope most people don't ad-block, so that these models stay profitable. Otherwise advertisers will get even more aggressive and Captain Kirk will use a Windows Phone, smoke cigarettes and drink Coca Cola in his new BMW in the next Star Trek sequel all the time. That would be disappointing.

Finally, if anyone invents glasses that also filter out display ads on the streets, I'd buy a pair. Then I'd walk around undistracted, perhaps thinking something worthwhile. For example what the economy, and the world as a whole, would be like, if everyone had those glasses.

I also block them, because I find almost all to be far too visually distracting, and removing them leaves more space for content, allowing me to bump up the font size for readability. I don't think I've ever been tempted to buy something from a web-ad (or sponsored link) to the best of my knowledge.

I do occasionally feel guilty about using it on sites which I enjoy, and know are ad-supported, but not strongly enough to endure it directly.

I'm waiting for someone to actually build a successful cross-site subscription system (ideally along the lines of dynamic pricing, based on your usage of a site, and what the statistical value of the ads you don't see, would have been)

Having to individually manage subscriptions for each of a dozen different interesting sites (and they're just the ones that even offer a subscription at all) is too much extra work.

This poll would be more useful if the "No" answer were also split into ad-supported/not, as that would let us determine whether working for an ad-supported company makes you less likely to block ads.

About the only ads I find offensive these days are (a) ads that play sound without it being initiated by the user, (b) ads that get in the way of the content and (c) the Kontera-style double underline in-text ads that have an annoying habit of popping up when you accidentally move your mouse to the wrong location. Webmasters who use that particular advertising method, I think, are displaying a blatant lack of respect for their readers.

Apart from those, regular ads don't bother me at all. I particularly don't understand people who feel that tracking is bad, when all it results in is a more targeted set of ads. If I'm going to see ads, I'd prefer ads for topics I'm interested in. Tracking for the purpose of ad targeting is a good thing.

Whether I scrub ads or not has no bearing on whether a site I view makes money because I don't click on ads. Now, some sites I read do run advertising in their articles, that is, they choose to plug particular products they feel deserve attention, and I'll gladly check those products out. What I refuse to reward is spamming of advertising of the sort that network TV and ad networks take part in, in which the ads shown are all about whoever has the deepest pockets and have no bearing on the quality of the products being advertised.

A good example of how to make money from advertising that might actually make money off of me is the referral code system that Amazon uses, where you can embed a link to Amazon that also contains your referral code and therefore makes you money off of sales. This is flexible in that it works for any Amazon product, and also user driven in that a user can choose to add a referral code link to their site. This is in contrast to advertiser driven systems like what Google runs where the ads shown on a particular site are determined not by the site owner but on a combination of algorithms Google controls, settings controlled by the advertiser, and the unspoken force of money given to Google by the advertiser. It's true site owners have the option of blocking particular ads, but that's far from the owners actually endorsing the products advertised on their pages.

I unblock sites I like which are ad-supported. I'd never run a browser without an adblocker, though.

FlashBlock, too. Flash on Linux is a real problem for laptops. Just streaming NPR for a few minutes causes the CPU temperature to go from its normal idling 43 degrees Celsius to 60 degrees. Just streaming NPR (and nothing else).

As a result, I have to "echo level 7 > /proc/acpi/ibm/fan" which helps (temp drops to 55). I'm not even complaining about battery life -- I'm complaining about heat!

Adblock Plus and FlashBlock are the two FF extensions I use.

Sometimes. - I turn it off for sites I frequent and benefit from, leave it on for sites I rarely visit.

Exception: even for sites I read regularly, if you are using that intellitext crap that pops up an add every time my mouse pointer slips over a keyword I'll both block your adds and stop visiting all together.

Yes. Laptop battery life is important.

How could anyone function without it?

I run adblock on every browser on my computer, but the iPad has no such tool, and that does really harm my browsing experience. I try to stick to Instapaper.

I have no problem with companies making money off advertising, but generic banner ads are not the way to do it. Companies that get it right:

* Podcasts: TWiT, TWI, 5by5, etc… (heavily engaging, tip filled, ads for real products) * Forrst (sponsored posts done right) * Apple … they're just so pretty!

the iPad has no such tool, and that does really harm my browsing experience

Do yourself a huge favor, and grab one of the oldest Mac browsers, still lovingly developed for the iPad:


Turn on filters, and enjoy an ad free experience, not to mention tabs and extensions.

Why does everyone on HN seem to be so anti-advertisements? I read of people willing to pay money out of their own pocket just to use services that would otherwise be free and ad-supported.

I don't disable ads, mostly because many sites I visit frequently integrate the ads into the design quite well, and without them the pages look too sparse. I also don't like the idea of a program filtering what I can and can't see on a page.

I use it with FF but in Chrome I use my host file to block the most obnoxious Flash ad networks. Why not use Adblock in both? By the time I started using Chrome I had culled the list of sites I visit regularly to a short list. Why do I still use FF? Well I use to be able to be logged into two G accounts simultaneously but not anymore.

You might consider adding another option:

Yes - but I use the AdBlock preference which still shows Ads on Google Search Results Pages

Yes, mainly to reduce bandwidth and download quota usage. Given that I haven't bought anything through browser ads over my ten or so years of web surfing without adblock, I don't feel like leaving ads on will help much (particularly with newer flash based ads that jump around the middle of the screen etc).

I don't. Ads don't bother me unless they're flashy... flash ads, and well, not having Flash Player installed solves that issue.

If a website has other ads that annoy me, I just won't visit it. Or if the content is something I feel is worth paying for a subscription and that subscription removes the ads, I do that.

I don't use AdBlock, but FlashBlock which disables all flash content. I don't have anything against ads that's why I stopped using AdBlock, but I need to block the most annoying ads like fullscreen, sound, following mouse. I only whitelist sites like youtube and other which have "normal" ads.

Yes. I do run business that significantly depends on ads.

The reasons are 1) because many ppl use it and - i need to test their experience with our products. 2) I just dont like ads, and dont care about "is it ethical?" stuff that has no significant direct impact on my business.

I have been using AdMuncher which has worked very well, tried a few different ad blockers but imo this works best: http://www.admuncher.com/

Too many times has my computer succumbed to malware in ads (mostly flash and java). Noscript for me.

I don't run an adblocker, but I would if it meant I could get rid of CSS popover ads.

You can...


You display:none that particular CSS rule.

I use adblock selectively and whitelist sites that I frequent like reddit.

yes. also disable flash, and run widgetblock in chrome.

No, I use a proxy (polipo) with filtering capabilities.

i only block ad in firefox - why? its the browser i instruct my 9 year old daughter to use

Does disabling flash (or using click-to-plugin) count as blocking ads?

After I installed Lion I haven't bothered to install Flash Player. Everything is much nicer even without adblock. My primary browsing stays in Safari and I hop over to Chrome for flash sites (youtube/slideshare/vimeo).

Under Linux where Chrome is my only browser, I just turn on click-to-plugin so Flash and PDFs don't auto-run (see about:flags).

I answered "no" on the poll, but I also have click-to-flash installed. So, if the add isn't flash I see it, but I don't click on flash unless I really need to.

no because most of the times you still see ads

I'm also using it in combination with privoxy and iptables filters for skype and many other malicious packets that I don't want to break-out or break-in.

Yes and it is a real loss for the advertisers too because I do click on ads that I find relevant and I don't mind spending money online (when it is worth the price, which it frequently isn't, sadly).

So why do it? Googles search is (or rather was) good enough to find what I want and I would rather not pay more to buy through ads.

In addition there is the issue with annoying/flash ads, though that isn't much an issue any more because I block flash with a separate plugin.

No, I think I owe something for the free services and content I use, nothing is free, I'm aware of the tech aspects of it and I'm not concerned by any privacy implications. I'm also generally not bothered by ads and use Readability or equivalent for cases when I am.

Something is off about that statement. I don't want to sound judgmental, but I don't think guilt about owing companies that offer free services is a good reason to watch or listen to ads. If on the other hand you think that advertising offers value, then I might accept that view. Also the world changes, and what might have made sense in the past (e.g. buying printed books or label-music), doesn't necessarily have to make sense now.

Your argument is valid, but I think so is the 'quid pro quo' notion, and as I mentioned, personally I'm not bothered by ads and yes, I suppose I do find some value in them now that you mention it.

Of course I do. If ads would be text or static images, I could get rid of adblock. But they are usually animated GIFs or Flash stuff. This is annoying as hell.

I don't understand why would you not use Adblock. Perhaps there should be a poll for this question.

I actually like ads.

An important reason not to use it is that if your ad server goes down, you want to know.

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact