Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 19th Sep 2015 14:37 UTC
Internet & Networking

Let's talk ad-blocking.

With the arrival of iOS 9, ad-blocking is coming to mobile in a big way, and it's causing a lot of talk all over the web. It is highlighting the internal struggle some feel about the practice, but also the hypocrisy of some of its staunchest proponents. So far, it seems like the real 'bloodbath' isn't taking place where people thought it would be - namely, publishers - but among personalities.

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The elephant in the room
by _dev_null on Sat 19th Sep 2015 15:21 UTC
_dev_null
Member since:
2005-08-02

Why would anyone want someone else to see an AD, if they don't want to?

The objectives of Ads seems lost in all of this. Why should I look at Ads if I will never be persuaded by one to buy anything. Let those who rely on Ads for their decisions view them. I can understand the outrage only if a third party blocks the Ads without explicit consent. Like if an ISP blocks Ads to its subscribers or an OS blocks Ads to its users. But I find it silly when websites display messages saying "please view our Ads because we need the money", not unlike a TV station saying "please don't go to the wc, or turn off your TV for the next 30 seconds because we need the money".

If your primary business is making money off people viewing Ads, whether they buy the products or not, then find a way to incorporate them into your content, that can not be filtered. Those who love the content more than they hate the Ads will continue to come, the rest will find other sites and everyone will live happily ever after.

3rd parties should not interfere with my web experience without my explicit approval, and websites/content providers should not care what I do in my own home with content they've delivered to me.

The problem is not Ad-blocking.

Edited 2015-09-19 15:23 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE: The elephant in the room
by kwan_e on Sat 19th Sep 2015 15:33 in reply to "The elephant in the room"
kwan_e Member since:
2007-02-18

3rd parties should not interfere with my web experience without my explicit approval


But your web experience won't exist if the people making the content can't get paid by the ads they serve. At this stage, unless a better solution can come along, ads are a necessary evil.

At this stage, I think the least that can be done is to stop making ads in Flash or in any way animated.

Reply Parent Score: 4

Wondercool Member since:
2005-07-08

This is not really true, it is a fallacy that people need ad money to make websites. Just like that if music doesn't make any money, people will stop playing music or book writers writing books.

Before 1998 there was no advertising yet the content was of high level because people put websites up out of enthusiasm, dedication. Just like this website btw. Started mainly for the love of BEOS. I doubt Thom/David/Eugenia and others made/make any money but that is not its purpose.

The only thing then you had to worry about were the blink tags on geocities ;)

I know I am not holding a popular opinion but most tech sites are mostly iterating the same press releases (BGR, Engadget, Anand, Alphr, etc etc
If they don't and throw out some opinionated piece, while it often entertaining to read, you have to ask yourself, would you pay 50 euro per year for that and think for most people the answer is no.

When the ads stop working, we will lose some of those sites, but isn't that a blessing?

Give me back the internet without ads and if the site is really good, like for instance Wikipedia (what an oasis in the world of ads!) or Wayback machine, I am happy to transfer some money - and I have.

Reply Parent Score: 10

bassbeast Member since:
2007-11-11

The problem with that argument is they refuse to take responsibility for the very real damage they are causing through selling ads from third parties that often sell to anybody, including malware pushers.

I had this argument with Jim Sterling of The Escapist when they had him going "boo hoo, blocking ads are stealing, boo hoo" and I simply placed links showing how many times The Escapist had shown malware infected ads. I asked "so is your company gonna pay for the very real damages you've caused by infecting users PCs? Are you gonna pay for the cleaning, the time they waste getting CC changed, any losses from stolen IDs?" and you'd be amazed how quickly they started throwing the ban hammer.

They keep comparing themselves to B&M newspapers and shops? Fine and dandy but when stores get hit with malware they have to pay sometimes to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars. You can't have your cake and eat it too ad pushers, you want people to view your ads then you have to be responsible if they cause damages and pay for the losses. Don't like that? Then you have NO RIGHT to complain when people protect themselves by blocking your malware.

Nobody has a "right" to profit and I can tell you from years of working PC shop that if you block all ads? the infection rate drops so low one really doesn't even need an AV, the #1 source of malware is ads by such a large margin nothing even comes close.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE: The elephant in the room
by leos on Sat 19th Sep 2015 15:41 in reply to "The elephant in the room"
leos Member since:
2005-09-21

Why should I look at Ads if I will never be persuaded by one to buy anything. Let those who rely on Ads for their decisions view them.


That's the funny thing, no one thinks they are influenced by ads, and yet all the research shows that you are.

Face it, ads influence your decision making whether you are aware of it or not. Next time you are faced with a decision to buy something, you will be subconsciously drawn to the ones you've seen before in advertising.

Advertisers aren't idiots, they know exactly the value of showing you those ads.

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[2]: The elephant in the room
by WereCatf on Sat 19th Sep 2015 16:00 in reply to "RE: The elephant in the room"
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

Face it, ads influence your decision making whether you are aware of it or not. Next time you are faced with a decision to buy something, you will be subconsciously drawn to the ones you've seen before in advertising.


Ads do influence me to some extent, but not as much as you seem to imply or as much as advertisers would like them to influence me. If I know I am in need of something and I see an ad advertising that thing for a good price, then sure, they have managed to influence my decisions. On the other hand, ads don't do anything for me if I don't need what they're advertising; I always research and think of my own needs before buying anything even remotely expensive and I have zero brand-loyalty. I also don't follow trends, I don't give a flying fuck about celebrities or their "endorsements" nor do I care in the slightest about what people around me use or wear.

All that said, I know I am an outlier. I'm a loner and I often completely miss even obvious social cues. Ads do work wonders on normal people, but they just don't work nearly as well on me.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: The elephant in the room
by shotsman on Sat 19th Sep 2015 16:20 in reply to "RE: The elephant in the room"
shotsman Member since:
2005-07-22

Yes I'm influenced by Ads.
Influenced to NEVER EVER buy that product.

As a GUM (Grumpy Old Man) I am most certainly not a target audience for Ads. Add to that I have worked for a company that makes its money by selling adverts.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: The elephant in the room
by Lennie on Sun 20th Sep 2015 19:32 in reply to "RE: The elephant in the room"
Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

But the pay the content publishers get from ads has been going down and down. I think part of the reason is: there are to many ads.

Also: when there are to many ads, more people use ad blockers.

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE: The elephant in the room
by Luminair on Sat 19th Sep 2015 15:53 in reply to "The elephant in the room"
Luminair Member since:
2007-03-30

> The problem is not Ad-blocking.

Good point. These companies want to have their cake and eat it too while fucking you up the ass. I will stop using ad blockers when ads start being jpegs. I will not tolerate the exploitation of my own system to deliver neon fucking flashing lights to me. I will block it or I will use one of the other million sources for information that is not an obnoxious pile of garbage.

I think these companies should be getting paid directly by people in micro-transactions. That's fairly paying for work. But nobody will pay for a sleazy site that advertises unwanted crap. To get to the future where people pay for content, the content must be valuable.

Reply Parent Score: 3