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Adblock Plus Maker Proposes Change To Help Sites

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 5 years ago | from the next-comes-the-ad-block-blocker dept.

Mozilla 615

Dotnaught writes "Wladimir Palant, maker of the Firefox extension Adblock Plus, on Monday proposed a change in his software that would allow publishers, with the consent of Adblock Plus users, to prevent their ads from being blocked. Palant suggested altering his software to recognize a specific meta tag as a signal to bring up an in-line dialog box noting the site publisher's desire to prevent ad blocking. The user would then have to choose to respect that wish or not."

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Hmm... (0, Offtopic)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 5 years ago | (#27914157)

Correct me if I'm wrong, but did the article imply that the AdBlock guys are asking advertisers to change their code just so AdBlock can allow or disallow ads like NoScript already does? It would be kinda pointless since many AdBlock users also have NoScript installed!

Despite the FUD [slashdot.org] surrounding NoScript, I'll take it over AdBlock any day (well, at least until they refuse to block ads other than those on their own page).

NoScript's AdBlock-blocking trick [neowin.net] was kinda dirty, but I don't see them as being hypocritical for allowing their own ads given the tremendous service(which increases safety while speeding up browsing) they provide for free.

Re:Hmm... (5, Interesting)

mrbene (1380531) | more than 5 years ago | (#27914185)

Nope - they're providing additional functionality to webmasters, so that they can go and say "Hey ABP user, you've been here a couple times, please consider allowing the ads to be displayed here"

Re:Hmm... (5, Insightful)

rackserverdeals (1503561) | more than 5 years ago | (#27914517)

It seems stupid.

noting the site publisher's desire to prevent ad blocking

If the publisher desired their ads not to be seen, they wouldn't have put them on the site.

Re:Hmm... (5, Funny)

mrbene (1380531) | more than 5 years ago | (#27914545)

You look like spam.

Re:Hmm... (5, Interesting)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 5 years ago | (#27914247)

NoScript's AdBlock-blocking trick [neowin.net] was kinda dirty, but I don't see them as being hypocritical for allowing their own ads given the tremendous service(which increases safety while speeding up browsing) they provide for free.

Riiiiight. Because when it's other site's ad income you're negating it's about ideals and the rights of the users. But when it's your site's income it's because your service on your web site is automatically so much more beneficial than Google or Slashdot.

Your position is interesting ... you defend NoScript after attacking AdBlock for a lesser crime (merely asking you if you would consider viewing ads after visiting a site many times). What exactly is your angle? I think we may have the first case of Firefox extension fanboism on our hands here, folks.

Re:Hmm... (2, Interesting)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 5 years ago | (#27914449)

Your position is interesting ... you defend NoScript after attacking AdBlock for a lesser crime (merely asking you if you would consider viewing ads after visiting a site many times). What exactly is your angle? I think we may have the first case of Firefox extension fanboism on our hands here, folks.

Hmm, I didn't attack AdBlock. I did mean to say that it was redundant and pointless for AdBlock to prompt users as long as the same users also run NoScript. I did also say that I prefer NoScript over AdBlock, but I wouldn't call that an "attack".

As for NoScript's meddling with AdBlock, my personal belief is that is okay as long as the meddling involves only the showing of NoScript's as since I am using NoScript for free. I wouldn't mind if AdBlock meddled with NoScript to show AdBlock's, and only AdBlock's, own ads.

I am not a FF plugin fanboy. If NoScript and AdBlock accepted deals from advertisers and things gradually become worse (as they almost always do over time) then I'd ditch FF entirely and go the Chrome route.

So that's my angle.

Re:Hmm... (3, Insightful)

auLucifer (1371577) | more than 5 years ago | (#27914659)

As for NoScript's meddling with AdBlock, my personal belief is that is okay as long as the meddling involves only the showing of NoScript's as since I am using NoScript for free. I wouldn't mind if AdBlock meddled with NoScript to show AdBlock's, and only AdBlock's, own ads.

I think the GP's main point was that you say it's alright for noscript to force their ads upon you as you use their software for free but it's not fine for other content publishers to force their ads upon you. So what gives noscript the right to unblock their ads when, say, /. can't unblock ads as it doesn't have an invasive plugin but is also free to use and a good source of news and information? Personally I think that a site that is continually evolving and changing can demand more revenue then a plugin that can be written once and then simply maintained but that is another discussion.

Re:Hmm... (4, Insightful)

sortius_nod (1080919) | more than 5 years ago | (#27914549)

Pretty much it.

Personally I don't mind ads on sites if they are non-intrusive (those floating ads ARE intrusive). As someone who has run sites in the past for gaming clans/guilds/etc I can assure you that the meager revenue generated by hosting ads does help, and even if it's on a larger corporate scale it's the site's right to show the ads.

Think about it like this - just as you have a right to block the ads, the site has a right to block your access if you block their ads. No, I do not particularly like advertising, but it's there for a purpose.

If you don't believe the site should be generating revenue, or that the ads are too intrusive, then don't go there... I don't go to Wired anymore for both of these reasons

Re:Hmm... (5, Insightful)

Just Some Guy (3352) | more than 5 years ago | (#27914427)

I don't see them as being hypocritical for allowing their own ads given the tremendous service(which increases safety while speeding up browsing) they provide for free.

What about the tremendous service the other sites provide for free? I let sites show me advertising in exchange for giving me free content, because I think that's a better deal than having to pay for it directly. I don't use an ad blocker, and I haven't even disabled my Slashdot ads (although I could probably make the case that I've actually earned that right on this specific forum).

NoScript doesn't provide more of a service than the content-generating sites you're visiting. If someone makes their ads more obnoxious than you can tolerate, then don't go back there.

Re:Hmm... (4, Insightful)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 5 years ago | (#27914475)

Getting raped in prison was kinda dirty, but I don't see it as being hypocritical given the tremendous service (protection, etc) which I was given for free.

If you really want 'no script', turn it off in Firefox. But I'm not willing to 'let it slide' because of how I've been helped in the past. Hopefully someone will rise up and write a "NoScript2" which does the same thing minus the kick in the teeth.

Cue next extension in 3... (0, Flamebait)

Kingrames (858416) | more than 5 years ago | (#27914161)

Oh hey, look! there's a new adblocking extension available for firefox that doesn't do the exact OPPOSITE of ad blocking!

annoying prompts, on all sites soon (5, Insightful)

El_Muerte_TDS (592157) | more than 5 years ago | (#27914165)

I expect to see this meta tags on most sites in the near future.

Re:annoying prompts, on all sites soon (4, Informative)

mrbene (1380531) | more than 5 years ago | (#27914485)

Except that, if you read the proposal, you'll notice this section:

Adblock Plus will then check the browsing history to see whether the user frequents this site (this could be specified for example as âoevisited the site on three days of the last weekâ) and then display a notification

So you'd only get annoyed once on the sites you revisit.

Re:annoying prompts, on all sites soon (1)

Jared555 (874152) | more than 5 years ago | (#27914619)

or in the ad code instructions

Re:annoying prompts, on all sites soon (2, Interesting)

jmorris42 (1458) | more than 5 years ago | (#27914679)

> I expect to see this meta tags on most sites in the near future.

Duh. How many ad networks would continue to do business with a site that lacked that tag if it ever got popular enough to have a measurable impact on ad impressions? Exactly. Thus this is pointless. People really should THINK before putting their mouth in gear. Guy wants to make everybody happy, which is a good intent, but it can't be done. The tension between ads and people not wanting to see the crap can't be solved by any means anyone is willing to undertake.

Personally I could care less about normal ads. Heck, I used to buy Computer Shopper to read the ads. Most of the ads I see here on slashdot aren't even a problem. It is sites who sign up for ad networks that accept the sleezy animated crap that are the problem. And nobody has a plan to deal with that.

User consent, eh (5, Insightful)

courtjester801 (1415457) | more than 5 years ago | (#27914167)

Know what my user consent is? Not listing your advert in my filter list. Otherwise, it seems like it's already been denied consent.

Re:User consent, eh (1)

msobkow (48369) | more than 5 years ago | (#27914275)

I think they're more concerned about sites that get automatically filtered, rather than ones you've explicitly added to the block list.

Re:User consent, eh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27914379)

opt-in versus opt-out. there is a substantial difference.

We need a tag for this? (5, Insightful)

soniCron88 (870042) | more than 5 years ago | (#27914171)

Can't it be assumed by virtue of the ads being placed on the site to begin with that the owner wishes they be shown?

Re:We need a tag for this? (4, Funny)

KeithIrwin (243301) | more than 5 years ago | (#27914291)

Well, maybe there's someone with a shotgun standing behind his chair requiring him to put the ads there. This way, he'll still put the ad in, but people won't have to see it if they've downloaded a Firefox plugin. Unless, of course, the guy with the shotgun knows about the tag too. Then we'll need another newer tag.

Re:We need a tag for this? (5, Insightful)

meringuoid (568297) | more than 5 years ago | (#27914511)

Can't it be assumed by virtue of the ads being placed on the site to begin with that the owner wishes they be shown?

I imagine it can be so assumed. And can it not also be assumed by virtue of Adblock Plus being loaded into a browser that the owner does not intend to grant that wish?

I don't see the point of this at all. Adblock Plus asks me if I want it to display ads? Well... no. No I don't. That's why I installed Adblock Plus in the first place. The clue's in the name. My answer will be no, every single time. If it was ever going to be yes, I would have whitelisted the site myself already.

If I wanted to see ads... (5, Insightful)

javelinco (652113) | more than 5 years ago | (#27914179)

If I wanted to see ads... I wouldn't block them. This feature seems redundant.

Next, we are going to see a new feature to our javascript blocker that asks us if we are sure we want to block access to javascript for a given site, "cause they really, really want it!"

Re:If I wanted to see ads... (1)

idontgno (624372) | more than 5 years ago | (#27914211)

And it will run in unblocked javascript. Just to complete the irony and failitude.

Re:If I wanted to see ads... (3, Insightful)

Kabuthunk (972557) | more than 5 years ago | (#27914265)

Exactly. Now that I've blocked all the ads, I'm not exactly going to be all "Oh hey, now that I have a nice fast web-browsing experience, I need to slow that the hell down again with advertising. After all, if I want a product, clicking on ads is SURELY my first line of thought as opposed to say... searching specifically for it via google or whatever, and researching the best method by which to obtain said product".

Yeah, I can't forsee even the slightest number of ads being actively re-accepted with this. If it's blocked, it's blocked for a reason. It'll just create more slowdown when loading webpages, since now instead of loading nothing in those spots, it'll have to load their little menu asking if you want to view the ad.

Re:If I wanted to see ads... (5, Insightful)

JustinOpinion (1246824) | more than 5 years ago | (#27914435)

If I wanted to see ads... I wouldn't block them. This feature seems redundant.

A fair point; and one that many comments seem to bring up.

The blog post, however, explains the rationale. In particular, adblock was intended to be a mechanism to 'restore balance' in online advertising. Not to necessarily block ALL ads, but to give users the power to block excessively annoying ads, so that webmasters would tone back ads to an acceptable level (for fear of users blocking them entirely).

In practice the way AdBlock currently works, it's just so easy to block everything and forget about it. Users then forget to ever "unblock" pages that they like and would like to support (through advertising).

Now, if you're a user committed to never seeing any ads at all, then yes this feature is useless for you. You will no doubt turn it off. (Yes, the intent is for an option to be present to never show these little warnings.) But for those of us who do want to support some sites, the reminder will help us make that decision.

Of course it is entirely possible that webmasters will abuse this meta-tag as much as they abuse the ads themselves. (Why wouldn't a webmaster turn the tag on all the time?) Since the default will still be to block ads until the user says otherwise, at worst this will mean a little bar shows up in the browser the first time they visit a site. Not a huge deal. (And if it annoys you, then you just turn off the behavior.) I like the idea of being able to preview how annoying ads are for a site, and then deciding whether or not to let them through. (As long as the default start-state is "block" then I won't be inundated with crap...) I, for one, want to be able to support sites that are smart enough to have reasonable ads. (Yes, I currently manually unblock sites using the AdBlock context menu... but this would make it easier.)

Although I like this proposal, I don't understand why it wouldn't be simpler to just have someone do the sorting for those "ad-server lists". What I want is a block-list that blocks the annoying ads (e.g. flash ads that cover the page) but doesn't block un-annoying ads (e.g. demure text-ads). A whole spectrum of lists, depending on people's tastes, could be constructed. Do these kind of "nice blocking" lists already exist?

Re:If I wanted to see ads... (4, Interesting)

javelinco (652113) | more than 5 years ago | (#27914587)

This is a well thought out reply, and I particularly appreciate the last paragraph - I think that is an actual thoughtful response - can we block types of ads? That would certainly solve my grievance with the things. However, I can't say I agree with your response - regardless of the amount of effort you put into it. You brought up the primary reason - the tag will get copied, and it will become a race between modifying the "law and the hacker" - and as always, the hacker will win. That means we've got a potentially useful tool (one I don't use - I don't think it's the best for the purpose) that is suddenly completely useless. Additionally - while I take your point regarding the "extra reminder" for those who forget to unblock ads at sites where they would be happy to fork over bandwidth in order to give the site some revenue - it still seems damn silly. In order to fix what is really a discipline problem, we now invalidate the purpose of the original program. I'd suggest that, again, your solution in the last paragraph of your response is massively more appropriate - and that other solutions can be arrived at that are better conceived as well. This one stinks.

Re:If I wanted to see ads... (1)

VGPowerlord (621254) | more than 5 years ago | (#27914699)

What I want is a block-list that blocks the annoying ads (e.g. flash ads that cover the page) but doesn't block un-annoying ads (e.g. demure text-ads).

I found one [mozilla.org] for you!

Re:If I wanted to see ads... (1)

stonertom (831884) | more than 5 years ago | (#27914453)

I'd mostly agree, sites that take the piss (like /.) get all their ads blocked. If someone has a box that says "please don't block my ads, it's them that stops me having to get a job" I do think twice

Re:If I wanted to see ads... (1)

QRDeNameland (873957) | more than 5 years ago | (#27914609)

If I wanted to see ads... I wouldn't block them. This feature seems redundant.

There's another reason this is redundant. It is already possible to detect from the web server that ads are being blocked, and therefore to present a message on the page or a pop-up to make the plea to allow ads on the page. And as noted elsewhere, AB+ already make it very easy to whitelist a page.

So why would AB+ need to create a specific mechanism to do what can already be easily done without it?

Re:If I wanted to see ads... (4, Informative)

Trepidity (597) | more than 5 years ago | (#27914673)

I'm happy to view, and sometimes click on, a few reasonably inoffensive ads per site. Where I get annoyed is when they're unfriendly to readers. Either they plaster the site so densely that the real content is taking up an unreasonably small proportion of the screen; or they try to slip in ads where you'll accidentally click on them thinking they were navigation elements; or they have obnoxious animated graphics, video, or sound.

I've personally made some effort to resist just throwing in the towel and blocking everything, because I really want to punish specifically the annoying purveyors of ads, not everyone with ad-supported content. For a few years I managed it just by refusing to visit sites with annoying ads; I can do without cnn.com, and can visit news.bbc.co.uk instead (better news, too). But it's gotten progressively worse, so I recently installed AdBlock, but without a default filterset; I add rules for particularly egregious ads as I encounter them. This is tedious, though.

I personally would welcome some easier way to say that I'm okay with a few text ads in the sidebar, but I'm going to block anything that goes beyond that. I don't think this particular proposal is the solution, though--- nothing prevents site owners here from asking for an exemption even though they do have egregiously annoying ads.

Re:If I wanted to see ads... (1)

EzInKy (115248) | more than 5 years ago | (#27914683)


If I wanted to see ads... I wouldn't block them. This feature seems redundant.

To be honest I was never bothered by the old static banner ads, even clicked on one every now and then if it was for a product I was interested in. But then came "Punch the Monkey".

No. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27914209)

No.

The genie is already out of the bottle; there is no going back.

Extortion racket (5, Insightful)

Profane MuthaFucka (574406) | more than 5 years ago | (#27914225)

Wanna pay me some protection money? Just a buck a week will keep you safe. If you don't pay it, I'll break your legs.

This is just like the time the phone company got you to pay to have your number unlisted. Then they turned around and sold their unlisted numbers to people. Then they came to you to sell you caller ID, so you could screen your calls. Then they started charging telemarketers money to have their caller ID's blocked from displaying.

Fuck them.

Fine with me, as long as it's an option (5, Insightful)

Todd Knarr (15451) | more than 5 years ago | (#27914227)

I'm fine with that, as long as there's a setting to control whether or not to honor the flag. I want the option of saying "No, if I want ads to not be blocked I'll add an exception for that site myself so don't bother bringing up the dialog.". I note that there's already an option to disable ad blocking for the page or the whole site in the right-click menu of ABP's icon, so an easy way to add an exception's already in place.

Re:Fine with me, as long as it's an option (5, Funny)

GMFTatsujin (239569) | more than 5 years ago | (#27914425)

"I'm fine with that, as long as there's a setting to control whether or not to honor the flag."

If you don't honor that flag, you night as well be burnin' it, and mister, that's just unamerican.

How many adwriters fought and died for that flag? Who will tell the sons and daughters of this great nation the heroic stories of our pop-up heritage? Will the anthems still ring across the wiggling fields of flash and the home of the blink? WHY DO YOU HATE AMERICA, SIR?

Re:Fine with me, as long as it's an option (1)

jshackney (99735) | more than 5 years ago | (#27914649)

The only two settings you should need:

  1. Install AdBlock and expect that it does what it claims to do, and do it well, or
  2. Do not install AdBlock and expect to partake in numerous revenue opportunities for internet marketing.

If it doesn't do what you expect, is it still the right product? Or will people just shrug their shoulders and accept the new "policy" of AdBlock?

I realize that at some point compromises have to be made, but if I install AdBlock I expect it to do just that, block ads. So, maybe now it should be called AdSieve.

Another extension (4, Insightful)

Wowsers (1151731) | more than 5 years ago | (#27914229)

Maybe there should be an extension that blocks extensions from being automatically updated just because it's listed with others to be updated. That should solve the updated with new "features" problem.

Let him do it (5, Funny)

Bloater (12932) | more than 5 years ago | (#27914243)

And just install "NagBlock Plus".

Umm... (4, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 5 years ago | (#27914245)

Um, don't most ad-based companies only pay the site whenever a user clicks on an ad? Most of the time, unless its some really amazing ad (like buy a Core i7 Desktop for $330 from Newegg), most technical users know never to click on the ads. So its really a moot point if they aren't viewing them or not clicking on them.

Plus doesn't this effectively break some ad companies EULAs? Because I know a lot of them forbid you from enticing users to click the ads by saying "Please click the ads" or something.

Re:Umm... (2, Informative)

twidarkling (1537077) | more than 5 years ago | (#27914329)

Actually, there's a number of advertising... schemes? Structures. Let's go with that. There's advertising structures that pay for "eyeballs" or "impressions." They don't promise click-throughs, they just want the ad displayed to X# of visitors. They usually get bonuses on click-throughs though.

Re:Umm... (1)

JensenDied (1009293) | more than 5 years ago | (#27914343)

Some publishers still pay for the eyeballs. A lot of people block ads and JavaSscript just because it slows down what they want, content. I don't want to wait for 1.8MB of ads for 20kb of text.

/etc/hosts (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27914255)

Anyone with half a brain just blocks ads from the hosts file anyway.
I've never once used any resource wasting browser extensions for this.

Re:/etc/hosts (1)

Chabo (880571) | more than 5 years ago | (#27914747)

It's more efficient to block the requests at the application than to have to call down to the OS for a DNS translation.

Time for a fork (5, Insightful)

MrMista_B (891430) | more than 5 years ago | (#27914273)

Time for a fork. If he's serious about this, Wladimir Palant should /not/ be allowed to control this project. The whole /point/ of Adblock Plus, is to, y'know, BLOCK ADS.

Seriously. He's already being courted by advertizers like this, and is apparantly willing to work with them - he can't be trusted. Who's to say they won't convince him to sneak in some code that 'accidentally' fails to block a certain set of ads?

Take it out of Wladimir Palant's control, and we'll all be better off.

Re:Time for a fork (2, Insightful)

Chabo (880571) | more than 5 years ago | (#27914583)

As someone said above: if you wish to block all ads forever, then you might consider a fork of ABP. However, the extension was originally started to put the balance of power between webmasters and users back in the middle, and to encourage advertisers to use less annoying ads that users would be less likely to block.

IMO, this would be along the lines of the reasoning that led him to start the extension in the first place.

I'd only agree to view ads if (5, Insightful)

gun26 (151620) | more than 5 years ago | (#27914287)

...they had no Flash, no animated GIF, or any other obnoxious animations to attract attention to themselves. I wouldn't block ads as a matter of course if I could be sure they all stuck to my "nothing moving" requirement. And it only takes one offender to ruin things. If Palant carries through with his unblock idea, I hope he imposes similar requirements on sites and ads wishing to be unblocked. Otherwise, I hope someone forks Adblock Plus and does away with the unblock free pass.

Re:I'd only agree to view ads if (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 5 years ago | (#27914465)

Exactly. What would be needed would be an "advertiser's code of conduct". Basically to present text only, none giffy, non flashy, non blinky ads.

Like Google.


Besides, if the creator of Ad-block plus is correct, only 5% of Firefox users are running it. Just let us be (and thanks for the extension).

Re:I'd only agree to view ads if (3, Interesting)

Russellkhan (570824) | more than 5 years ago | (#27914575)

I'll agree with all your requirements and add this: No ads served by advertising companies. I have no desire to allow companies like Doubleclick or Yahoo to track my movements across the web.

If a site hosts their own ads and they don't blink or move, then I will consider turning ads on on their site.

Also, the ad should be text or a simple image, no scripts. unnecessary scripts slow the browser down too much

Also (4, Interesting)

Tomun (144651) | more than 5 years ago | (#27914295)

In other (related) news, Slashdot today allowed me to disable all the ads on the site, simply for occasionally moderating an not posting stupid crap all the time. I was using adblock anyway but this removes the blank space and allows the content to expand into the areas the ads used to occupy.

Thank you Slashdot.

Re:Also (3, Interesting)

Weedhopper (168515) | more than 5 years ago | (#27914383)

I've the option of blocking ads on Slashdot offered to me as well but I choose to keep it enabled.

Re:Also (3, Informative)

meringuoid (568297) | more than 5 years ago | (#27914581)

I was using adblock anyway but this removes the blank space

What blank space? Just to test, I went back to the front page, found that I had the same option available, and clicked it. Then refreshed to see what changed. Result? Nothing. The layout is identical, both before and after. ABP was tidying away any blank space just fine.

Re:Also (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27914713)

Slashdot has ads?

I wonder how the metatag will be used with some webmail operators...maybe, "Want to read your webmail, you must turn on ads."

Re:Also (4, Informative)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#27914739)

You don't even have to moderate; I'm marked unwilling. I suspect that the metric has to do either with achievement points or with the number of positive comments. (I have moderated in the past, but that was a long time ago; if there are any applicable achievements, they aren't retroactive.)

Stupid idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27914297)

This is totally stupid. If I have adblock on, I don't want to be bothered with ads and pop-ups. If I want to see ads on a certain site, I'll white list that site. Don't annoy me with popups asking me if I want to see ads. I obviously don't or I would have enabled them!

Text vs. Graphic Ads (4, Insightful)

TheRequiem13 (978749) | more than 5 years ago | (#27914309)

I don't mind Text Only ads in out of the way places on a page. Gmails right-side ads don't bother me at all, and often include actually helpful links.

What I do mind, is Graphic Ads that disrupt the layout of the page, or the flow as I am scrolling to read. Completely unacceptable.

I would be willing to allow select pages to display text ads that are carefully placed to minimize interference if I only want the content while at the same time providing helpful suggestions when I might want them. Is that too much to ask? I think it might be...

Ad Blocker Block... Ad Blocker Blocker Blocker (4, Insightful)

not5150 (732114) | more than 5 years ago | (#27914311)

And the cycle begins, Stop the Ad Blocker with the Ad Blocker Blocker, Ad Blocker fights back with the Ad Blocker Blocker Blocker.

Kind of pointless (0)

blanks (108019) | more than 5 years ago | (#27914319)

I am a content provider myself and run roughly 100 different sites. And I can tell you from my experience that sites that use pop ups these days are not ligament websites you would want too allow popups from.

Sure there are plenty of websites that use popups correctly and are useful but the majority of these are popups that the user initialize by clicking on a link, not random popups that are not user controled meaning ads.

There are plenty of technologies that people can utalize to make useful and helpful "popup" windows like litebox/thickbox that still allow publishers and content providers the ability to show content in a new window while not losing focus on the main page.

Popup blockers are a good thing, and adding an incontinence popup warning defaeats the purpose of blocking popup windows. If a user didn't click on something to initialize a popup window then they shouldn't be seeing popups.

   

Mousover popups (4, Insightful)

msobkow (48369) | more than 5 years ago | (#27914563)

The latest dirty trick that's ticking me off are mouse-over popups. They buy a wide banner placement, and if you make the mistake of scrolling over them, up pops a huge screen-grabbing popup. Fortunately adblock plus takes care of the danged banners in the first place, so I haven't been getting those since I installed it.

BBloopers (1)

internerdj (1319281) | more than 5 years ago | (#27914325)

Bah, if I blocked ads then I'd never find half of them...

Might work but I doubt it (3, Interesting)

squoozer (730327) | more than 5 years ago | (#27914337)

If they implement it like flash block so that the ad is replaced with a button to click to show the ad then I might consider turning the option on. If it pops up a dialog every time it blocks an ad then it goes in the bin!

Oh yeah, it will only show this pop up requesting the ad be displayed when there is a special meta-tag. I wonder how many seconds it will take for every ad service to include that tag.

Sounds good to me, ads pay for the web (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 5 years ago | (#27914351)

I don't use ad blockers because I realize that the free web exists as it is because of ads.

I do have a flash blocker because flash things (ads and otherwise) were getting way, way too obnoxious. But if someone cares to have a nice tasteful ad I don't
mind looking at it.

So I think the concept of allowing respectful advertisement to proceed is a good one, so long as you can permanently dismiss an add forever and not have it ask you again. It would encourage ads I and others wouldn't mind seeing, and that's a good thing for everyone.

Re:Sounds good to me, ads pay for the web (4, Interesting)

PhxBlue (562201) | more than 5 years ago | (#27914471)

I don't use ad blockers because I realize that the free web exists as it is because of ads.

Having been on the Internet before all the businesses realized they could make a buck with it, I realize that the "free Web" was actually better for not having ads on it. Most of the sites that support themselves through advertising could disappear tomorrow, and no one would miss them; the only exception that comes to mind is Google, whose ads are non-intrusive enough that even people who don't like ads can tolerate them.

What I have to wonder is, are the AdBlock Plus folks getting kickbacks in return for this new "functionality"?

I suspect that Adblock and NoScript... (4, Interesting)

Xaedalus (1192463) | more than 5 years ago | (#27914353)

are TOO successful. You're a webmaster running a site that's partially (or completely) paid for by advertising. You see in your analytics report of hits that a significant percentage of viewers are running AdBlock. So not only are you NOT getting clicks, but your advertisers aren't even being seen to begin with. And let's assume you're honest (and that your advertisers are too), and that your ads aren't malicious and in fact serve a normal purpose: to advertise a legitimate product. Given this, I can see why AdBlock might be considering this option. If they've gotten enough complaints from legitimate companies/websites with legitimate ads saying essentially "hey, your product is costing me a substantial amount of revenue loss", then its understandable that AdBlock would consider this. Since AdBlock's an open source/freeware product(hi Stallman!/Stallman's acolytes! Please do ignore my semi-ignorant malapropism... there's plenty of room for you in my colon!), basically AdBlock (and NoScript) are allowing users to get something for nothing... for free! We are cheating the system in a way. So I say let AdBlock look at doing it. I'll admit, sometimes it's good to see advertising, especially if it's a product/service I'm interested in. I run AB/NS simply because I've been burned one too many time by a scriptkiddie, but I do allow websites I trust to show ads.

Re:I suspect that Adblock and NoScript... (1)

magamiako1 (1026318) | more than 5 years ago | (#27914505)

Showing ads and clicking on them are two different things. I don't click on ads--period.

Re:I suspect that Adblock and NoScript... (5, Insightful)

PhxBlue (562201) | more than 5 years ago | (#27914521)

If they've gotten enough complaints from legitimate companies/websites with legitimate ads saying essentially "hey, your product is costing me a substantial amount of revenue loss", then its understandable that AdBlock would consider this.

Okay, but here's the thing: No one has the right to make money using a bad business model. We're seeing that with newspapers, so why should other Web sites be immune?

... basically AdBlock (and NoScript) are allowing users to get something for nothing... for free! We are cheating the system in a way.

I don't know about you, but I pay for my Internet access, and I rather like the idea of controlling what gets downloaded onto my computer and what doesn't.

Re:I suspect that Adblock and NoScript... (1)

Mordok-DestroyerOfWo (1000167) | more than 5 years ago | (#27914593)

Cheating the system? I don't recall ever agreeing to a EULA on any website requiring me to view ads as payment for viewing it. When it comes down to it Adblock exists because there is a market for it. If the advertisements were unobtrusive and small then I never would have installed it. Anybody who says that blocking ads is cheating the system should not be allowed to fast forward through commercials using Tivo or any other similar system.

Ooh, and you could even go farther! (1)

wealthychef (584778) | more than 5 years ago | (#27914365)

You could add the ability of the site administrator to add a graphic to the request, just to help get the user's attention. And also add some animation capability, just for fun! Yes, I can see how this will help users block ads! Brilliant. Clearly AdBlock is really helping their customers out here.

Worse than Ads (1)

liquidsunshine (1312821) | more than 5 years ago | (#27914375)

A pop up asking me whether I want to view ads or not would be worse than having inline ads themselves. The only way this would be acceptable is if it has a "master" checkbox letting me turn off the whole feature. And have it checked by default.

Re:Worse than Ads (3, Informative)

Polloxer (1532817) | more than 5 years ago | (#27914633)

If you check out the blog post ( http://adblockplus.org/blog/an-approach-to-fair-ad-blocking [adblockplus.org] ) this originates from , the "pop-up" is like firefox's password save prompt, not an annoying separate window. He also mentions that he'll probably go with a master checkbox to disable this new feature. Personally, I just use the "disable on this site" feature built into the Adblock icon on the toolbar if I want to show ads for a site (which I do for some sites if the ads aren't too intrusive), so I don't see this new "feature" having any impact on my user experience. Still, I can appreciate the effort to encourage people to allow unobtrusive ads on sites they frequent, so long as the option is still left to the user.

This is the point of open source software (1)

grimsnaggle (1320777) | more than 5 years ago | (#27914393)

If this features makes it in, I see a new fork of Adblock coming out pretty quickly.

Two different ways to read this. (1)

Anachragnome (1008495) | more than 5 years ago | (#27914395)

At first, I cringed when I read the lead-in.

But then I realized that there WAS, indeed, a few times when I have wanted to let ads through, in every instance a website that I wanted to support by viewing their ads (their only source of revenue).

But the annoyance aspect overshadows that desire.

Compromise. Just put an added pull-down option (up next to the ABP icon) that simply says "View Ads on this page", and a "Remember this choice" checkbox.

Adds the same functionality WITHOUT taking the choice out of the hands of the USER. Dialog boxes SUCK.

Re:Two different ways to read this. (5, Informative)

meringuoid (568297) | more than 5 years ago | (#27914661)

Compromise. Just put an added pull-down option (up next to the ABP icon) that simply says "View Ads on this page", and a "Remember this choice" checkbox.

OK, you see that big red stop-sign icon at the top right? See the little down-arrow to the right of it? Click on that. See how it drops down a menu?

Now, see where it says 'Disable on tech.slashdot.org'? That will disable Adblock Plus on all pages served from tech.slashdot.org. Handy, eh? You can even call up that menu from the main page and then it says 'Disable on slashdot.org' so you can enable ads across the whole site!

Then, whenever you're on a site where the ads are not being blocked, the red stop-sign icon turns into a green go-sign, and the ads appear. Easy!

Who uses these things anyway? (1)

bennomatic (691188) | more than 5 years ago | (#27914415)

I don't know what the big deal is with these adblock/noscript systems. Sites that offer a service for free, it seems to me, should be allowed to show ads, and if I'm using those services, I should allow them to display on my screen. Occasionally--very rarely--I'm intrigued enough to click.

If I don't want ads, I should be given an option to pay for the service and get an ad-free version.

If I go to a site and it's just plastered in ads, I typically just don't go back there.

I'm certainly not holier than anyone, but I figure a site like /. provides a pretty worthwhile service--even if it's only entertainment--and while I don't really feel the urge to be a paying subscriber, I don't feel such great vitriol towards the ads that I need to block them.

For people who use these plug-ins, do you ever whitelist ads for sites you use a lot for free, or do you block everything? If the latter, can you give me the dime tour of your justification for doing so? I'm not trying to start a flame-war; I'm really trying to understand the motivation.

Re:Who uses these things anyway? (1)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 5 years ago | (#27914483)

Besides the 'they are annoying' reason, it takes -my- bandwidth to download those ads. And there are quite a few 'ad companies' that are actually just malware.

No, if I really like a site, and the ads aren't insane, I'll whitelist them in adblock and turn on javascript. Otherwise, it's -my- computer they want to appear on. If they want to guarantee money, they can go pay-only and they'll only succeed if they're worth the money they think they deserve.

There's an old saying for this, I think... Something about 'throwing out the baby with the bathwater'. Don't reject all your users simply because a few aren't as wonderful as you'd like.

Re:Who uses these things anyway? (4, Insightful)

KiltedKnight (171132) | more than 5 years ago | (#27914615)

The problem isn't necessarily with the site wanting to show the ads. Many people have slower internet connections. Some are still stuck using dial-up (don't get me started on this) and having to download these ad images wastes their bandwidth and time. Even those stuck with less-than-T1 speeds end up having sites take longer to load because of these ads. Thus, people want to block them... so sites don't take forever to load.

Then you come to the issue of how the ad placement and content messes up your website because you're not using Internet Explorer. These ads can screw up the page layout, making the user's experience with the website just out-and-out suck.

Something specific and selective... (1)

argent (18001) | more than 5 years ago | (#27914423)

How about something specific and selective... I don't mind seeing banner ads, but I want something that eliminates rollover ads completely. And don't give them the option of asking to be disabled.

Ideally they could ask to be excluded but the software would deliver electric shocks to the advertiser's groin instead.

Can I just say (1)

uncreativeslashnick (1130315) | more than 5 years ago | (#27914473)

When are these clowns going to learn that if they make really annoying ads that make the page load slower, nobody is going to want to look at them?

Put another way, why don't they try making the ads be part of the HTML as normal images and text, instead of annoying bloated crap ads served by a 3rd party? It seems like "ad banners" are a 1990's idea that somehow has too much momentum behind it to ditch it. Also, I think many of the big content providers (think newspapers) are really missing the boat by outsourcing their ad service.

Why not treat internet ads a lot like newspaper ads? One page, one ad, for everyone who sees it. Wouldn't that be pretty attractive for an advertiser, and maybe command a better fee? (think repetition and distribution factor).

Download but don't show (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27914479)

A better option would be to allow users to download the ads but don't show them. The site gets the advertising revenue and the users don't get bombarded by unwanted ads.

He didn't take heat from the NoScript debacle, but (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27914489)

As I recall, the whole blowup started because the AdBlock guy specifically requested that the blacklist sites list NoScript's ad-servers in what seems to me like an ad hominem attack.

AdBlock Plus kind of sucks. The original AdBlock was a much more useful plugin, especially with the overlay-Flash option. It seems that development has gone off on weird tangents that don't really benefit users anymore.

Now the developer wants to implement an override based upon what advertisers want instead of what the user wants. Okay, so then the user *might* be able to go in and override the override... 'Seems like a lot of BS to go through with zero benefit to me.

I think it's time to find a new ad-blocker.

And why not propose a change to help Users? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27914491)

Why not sending first a Pop-Up on the publisher's computer to ask whether he is certain he wants to advertise?!?

This may not be a bad idea... (1)

Lendrick (314723) | more than 5 years ago | (#27914493)

...provided the box could be shut off permanently. If it pops up for every site and I can't turn it off, I'll just find another ad blocker.

That said, there are some sites where I leave ad blocking on -- generally, they're sites that I want to support, and that don't serve up ads that jiggle or flash obnoxious colors. If I see an ad like that, I just turn ads right back off for that site and forget about it.

Re:This may not be a bad idea... (1)

icebike (68054) | more than 5 years ago | (#27914641)

> sites where I leave ad blocking on -- generally, they're sites that I want to support,

Me thinks ye have your ONs and OFFs reversed me bucko.

They advertisers are one step ahead (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#27914507)

I've noticed a lot of sites lately (I stumble) that feed non-advertising images from the same urls as adverts. The result is that adblock+ blocks them.. and without those images the article is worthless. I expect this will continue and any article where the point is "hey, look at this" will require a temporary disabling of adblock+ and the display of ads.

How about a way to download but not display ads? (5, Interesting)

Yossarian45793 (617611) | more than 5 years ago | (#27914541)

I wouldn't mind spending some of my bandwidth to download the ads as long as they weren't displayed. This would help some websites that get revenue based on number of impressions.

replace adds with a button (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27914553)

that will show the ad if it is clicked. no need for popups or anything else. the annoyance of adds is rarely that they are taking up valuable screen space, but rather they are some gif thats annoying as fuck. a simple button is not. resize-able would be better even, as well as permanent black/white lists (maybe they already have those? i dunno i've never bothered looking into it cause it works fine as-is. /2 cents.

I used to not-mind ads... (5, Insightful)

CharonX (522492) | more than 5 years ago | (#27914559)

Long ago I did not mind ads. Sure, I did not click any significant number of them, but I did neither mind those banners and whatnot being displayed. This changed as they became more and more intrusive and obnoxious. Blinking in bright colors; pop-up; pop-under; pop-in-front-of-the-actual-webpage; punch-the-monkey; you-are-the-100000000st-visitor; *brrrring**brrriiing*-now-with-sound. So I decided to to what I had to do; these "guests" had outstayed their welcome, and now I showed them the door.

rlol (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27914565)

translate palant (PL) to english, you get the puenta

Not very professional (1)

meerling (1487879) | more than 5 years ago | (#27914567)

It's starting to sound like the "Caller ID", "Caller ID Blocking", "Caller ID Blocking Unblocking" scams the phone companies charge you for.

Although I will say that I tend to only block the junk that gets in my way. That includes frames in the middle of the articles, anything that 'floats over' the page, anything that flashes, anything that appears when the mouse goes over a word that isn't part of the menu, etc.

Hmmm... Come to to think of it, that covers almost everything. And for that matter, that annoying garbage is the exact reason I installed Adblocker in the the first place...

I wouldn't block non-annoying ads. (3, Insightful)

Sarusa (104047) | more than 5 years ago | (#27914569)

I know some of you would say that any ads are annoying, but I would be willing to load and view reasonably sized banner/side ads that were:
    - not animated
    - didn't popup or popunder in any way
    - didn't play sounds

I'd subscribe to an adblock plus list set which didn't block sites which would play by those rules. Every time I decide to play nice and view ads to show support I get hit (within 24 hours) with one that's so annoying I give it up.

Of course I also think this will never happen, so it's a bit of an empty promise - as soon as I got hit with an ad that violated those rules I'd instantly go back to the nuke it from orbit list.

Trace Busta Busta (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27914571)

How long until we get the Trace Busta Busta Busta?

I try not to block ads... (1)

neokushan (932374) | more than 5 years ago | (#27914603)

I've lost count of the amount of times I've been on a site and thought "Hey, this is a small, independent little site that I want to support, I'll just whitelist it for future visits", only to find that they've got that godawful "intellitext" stuff. I wouldn't mind it so much, but literally as soon as you rollover some of the highlighted text, your entire screen is taken over by an incredibly obtrusive ad. And the site quickly gets removed from the whitelist.
If a site is careful about the ads it uses and is respectful to those who visit, I'm willing to whitelist it and face the ads, but if it takes the piss (popups, noisy flash ads and, most of all - intellitext), I don't give it a chance.
I'm probably in the minority, though.

It's a business decision. (1)

Celeste R (1002377) | more than 5 years ago | (#27914621)

As a business, money (mostly) makes the world go around.

It's well known that ads are simply a business model that people (including myself) don't enjoy. Many of us choose the alternative: eliminate the annoyance, and the internet is more enjoyable.

Things I don't miss: Ads that you simply don't care to see (Viagra for women? Not for me, thank you) Ads that get in the way of actually READING something (flashing ads, Flash "window" ads, etc) And my personal favorite: Misleading ads.

Please (PLEASE!) don't make a new annoyance just because they're not getting their way. I'm -okay- with reasonable sanity (remember those old Google text-only ads?), but I have AdBlock installed for a reason.

If AdBlock goes to a business model that makes browsing annoying again, I'll find a new alternative. Either way, I'll be getting what I want, and what AdBlock does is its own business.

I will point something out though: most of our support would dry up once annoyances come up again. An unhappy consumer base won't go very far in the long run.

Re:It's a business decision. (1)

Celeste R (1002377) | more than 5 years ago | (#27914723)

I would like to clarify that I'd be okay with AdBlock allowing a text-only advertising option. (nag-free please!)

I won't be happy with anything less, and I do feel it's reasonable.

Monitize THIS ! (1)

icebike (68054) | more than 5 years ago | (#27914627)

Who doesn't see this as a grab for the cash?

"Pay us and we will nag the user for you till they surrender."

Thanks, but no thanks.

Howbout someone come up with a way I can get a quarter of a penny for each ad that gets foisted onto my screen. I'd unblock everyone for that.

AdBlock unblock? Hello? (1)

jonnycando (1551609) | more than 5 years ago | (#27914629)

The trouble with this plan is that; whether to see or not see adds is MY choice. Not an advertisers choice nor the choice of AdBlock's author. And not the developer of some website who allows ads to be placed. Yes, I understand ad space is sold to pay for the website, but the truth remains, the choice is mine if I want to see them. Maybe if ads weren't animated, weren't made with Flash, and just sat there like a magazine ad I wouldn't block many, in fact I might click on a few that looked interesting.

Text-only ads? (1)

Yossarian45793 (617611) | more than 5 years ago | (#27914635)

What if there was a way that sites could commit to "text-only" ads, like Google? I would consider setting a flag that allowed text-only advertising on sites that committed to not be obnoxious.

So instead of annoying ads (1)

taustin (171655) | more than 5 years ago | (#27914665)

Insteaed of annoying ads, we get even more annoying pop-ups asking if we want to see the annoying ads that we installed the plugin specifically to block?

There's only two possibilities here: either the pop-up shows the ad, thus making it "not an ad blocker," and therefore, totally, utterly useless, or it doesn't, in which case there's no way to tell if it's an ad I'm willing to tolerate (since my criteria has to do with whether or not it a) makes noise, b) is animated/flashy shit, or c) tries to install malware, and not, in any way, to do with the content of the ad and certainly not the web site that wants to serve it to me).

No thanks. I don't use any ad blocker plugins. I use a hosts file that blocks 99.9% of the crap far more effectively, and is under my control, not that of some software developer who might or might not sell out to the spammers someday.

History Based... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27914689)

Am I the only one for whom this feature will presumably never activate due to not preserving my browsing history ever?

wrong type of choice (5, Insightful)

bcrowell (177657) | more than 5 years ago | (#27914715)

They're talking about the wrong type of choice. I'm not interested in choosing whether to allow all ads on foo.com or block all ads on foo.com. First off, it would be a pain, because every time I hit some new web site, I'd have to make this choice. In many cases, this would be my first and last visit to the site: it's just a google hit, and it turns out it's not relevant to me. Why do I want to add extra effort to this quick, pointless visit to foo.com? And even if it was a site I thought I might be coming back to, how would I make an informed decision? I'm not yet familiar enough with the site to know whether their ads are annoying or not. I don't know if their ads are animated or static; I don't know if they load flash; I don't know if they lock up my cpu with heavy javascript.

What I want is a way to control the type of ad that's shown. I don't mind text-based ads. I just don't want ads with graphics, flash, or javascript (beyond the basic javascript that's required in order to load a text-based adsense ad).

The sites that think this is a good idea also need to do a reality check. The reason I use adblock plus is that I don't click on internet ads. I never have, and I never will. If, as TFA says, 5% of internet users use adblock plus, and if most of us never would click on an ad even if we selectively turned off filtering, then what is the point of showing us ads? The number of impressions would go up by 5%, but the number of click-throughs would go down by 5%. Advertisers would see that click-through rates were down 5%, so they would be willing to pay 5% less for ads. So sites that ran ads would get exactly the same revenue, and all they'd gain would be the happy knowledge that they were annoying 5% of their users and making them more likely to stop visiting.

My adblocking wishlist (1)

daveywest (937112) | more than 5 years ago | (#27914719)

I'd like a function in my ad blocking extension where all ads are initially displayed. If a website behaves badly with their advertising, a single click permanently disables all the ads on that site based on the currently existing subscription lists.

Adblock basically has all the code for this function already, but it isn't implemented within a friendly user interface.

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