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Will "Do Not Track" Kill the Free Internet?

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the pay-to-play dept.

Advertising 260

jfruh writes "Dan Tynan is a privacy blogger and longtime proponent of the use of browser plug-ins and other technologies that block advertisers from tracking your web browsing habits. He's also a professional tech writer who makes his living writing articles for free, ad-supported sites. But he doesn't feel those two facts are in conflict, and points out that users pay good money to ISPs for those 'free' sites."

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260 comments

Slashdot censors posts (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39021725)

Slashdot = stagnated, hypocritical garbage.

Slashdot now deletes posts and includes a flag button for posts that are outside the groupthink.

Re:Slashdot censors posts (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39021807)

I think the flag is for stuff that's like, really bad
like, weird links to questionable content..

Re:Slashdot censors posts (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39021871)

Well, that and the intolerably repetitive whinings of dozens of Micheal Kristopeit accounts.

Re:Slashdot censors posts (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39022211)

for those of us not in the know for random obscure names, who is "Micheal Kristopeit"

Re:Slashdot censors posts (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39022279)

A troll with a shitton of alts that are conveniently numbered.

Re:Slashdot censors posts (0)

jitterman (987991) | more than 2 years ago | (#39022409)

It's a name that has been used by a person (or persons) to constantly post material intended to provoke (negative connotation there) or annoy /.ers. I haven't seen an account with that name in use lately; last time I saw a posting personally was about a month or so ago - it was quite common for a while, but seems less so now.

Re:Slashdot censors posts (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39022669)

AC post to play with flag thingy I just noticed now that somebody said something about it.

Re:Slashdot censors posts (4, Insightful)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 2 years ago | (#39022607)

uh, preventing spam and flood prevention is not censorship. it's preventing spam.

let's not lump that crap together.

Re:Slashdot censors posts (3, Informative)

Qzukk (229616) | more than 2 years ago | (#39022885)

flagged comments are listed on a page for the editors to individually review. Once there, we have two options: downmodding the comment or ignoring the report.

You're welcome to try it out, if you'd like. It's basically just around for downmodding spam and things like the racist copypastas. So far, probably 95% of the reports have been for perfectly normal comments, on which we've taken no action.

-- Soulskill [slashdot.org]

Feel free to believe it or not.

Did AdBlock kill the free internet? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39021745)

No, and this won't either. Some users will use it, but most probably won't, either because they don't care or they don't know.

Re:Did AdBlock kill the free internet? (-1, Troll)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 2 years ago | (#39021813)

No, and this won't either. Some users will use it, but most probably won't, either because they don't care or they don't know.

Sentence much?

Re:Did AdBlock kill the free internet? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39021869)

I don't RTFA, but the point alluded to in TFS is a very important one I think people lose sight of.
Everybody pays for their own Internet access. There's no reason I should pay for yours.
If your reasons for having me read your webpage don't justify your costs, you're doing it wrong.
Adding some advertising on top of the reason I want to be there isn't going to work.

Re:Did AdBlock kill the free internet? (2, Insightful)

ByOhTek (1181381) | more than 2 years ago | (#39022287)

WTF?

SO, people publishing things on the internet should do it out of charity and the good of their hearts? They should put huge amounts of work in to provide you with information/news/services, for the warm squishy feeling it provides them.

In some cases, that works, in most, not so much, they need some kind of financial compensation to keep their sites up.

That being said, as someone put it, not everyone will use adblockers. Also, as not state, some people will only use them to block the more intrusive/offensive ads.

Re:Did AdBlock kill the free internet? (2)

jythie (914043) | more than 2 years ago | (#39022593)

Well, there is 'should' (which I disagree with) and 'could' (which is, of course, an option).

In the OP's rather apocalyptic take on things, there seems to be the idea that if content providers can not run ads, then they can not provide content, so he kinda denies the 'could' part.

I suspect that if 'do not track' became so common that it actually effected ad dollars to any measurable degree (which I doubt unless FF/Chrome/IE all bundle it by default), we would probably see a rise of people providing content for other reasons, reasons that do not require ad-type dollars. This would probably be sad since it could potentially result in a less rich internet... though I question that, since I think there are more people who want the attention then get it, so there would probably be no shortage of people willing to move into that vacuum for their own reasons (fun, status, attention, etc.. just look at OSS)..

Which actually kinda makes me see the OP in a similar light to those who claim OSS (or freeware before that) will destroy commercial software or something.

Re:Did AdBlock kill the free internet? (2, Insightful)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 2 years ago | (#39022635)

If you put something on the net, you're already paying for it.

If you want people to pay for access - whether asinine, contrived, or legitimate - require them to pay for access.

If you try to make money off people by putting ads on the site, you have zero right to bitch about people saying "no thanks" to those ads. If that's a problem? find a way to make money. It's 2012. If you aren't giving people a reason to want to support your site, then you don't deserve to be on the net.

I will use adblockers on every site, because I don't need that shit.

Re:Did AdBlock kill the free internet? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39022453)

Are. You. Joking?

What if I'm trying to showcase my art, but not sell it. Should I not be able to cover my costs? What if my art is creative writing, or recipes. What if I review cars? Should I do this for free? Obviously at the very least I should be able to cover my hosting costs, and yes, earn a living creating things.

Why is this so hard to understand?

Re:Did AdBlock kill the free internet? (1)

Penguinisto (415985) | more than 2 years ago | (#39022819)

One would think that you would cover your costs through sales of that artwork, since the website would obviously be up there for marketing purposes.

Re:Did AdBlock kill the free internet? (2, Insightful)

jank1887 (815982) | more than 2 years ago | (#39022907)

You are suggesting that ads should act as a paywall. I should not be able to view your work without seeing the ads. This demonstrates a lack of understanding of the technology you're using to showcase your work. You are also acting like you are entitled to commercial reimbursement. You are not.

You putting ads on your website is a request for me to view those ads alongside your work. You provide a framework by which I may look at those ads along with your work. Those ads may or may not be of value to me. I may decide in advance that I don't think they're of value to me. I'm perfectly allowed to not download those advertisements. And, it's 2012. You are also allowed to refuse my access to your content if I don't view your ads. But you have to choose to either request or require my viewing of those advertisements. You can't require it and then be upset when lot's of people choose not to view your work, or request it and be upset when people say, "no, thanks."

Re:Did AdBlock kill the free internet? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39022933)

I block ads not because I want to deny webpages money.

I block them because ad rotator "services" are the primary infection vector out there. Even "top tier" sites like CNN have been bitten by ad services that either are too leniant on who they let advertise, or even "wink wink, nudge, nudge" condone blackhat activity, because in all likelihood, they won't get caught.

Want to know how I know? There were good /. articles about this, and I personally have run clean VMs on a popular site (not a pr0n site), and the VM got stung by adware.

So, until the advertisers stop allowing blackhats to send their crap, I will use Adblock and Flash blocking technologies.

Another datum, although anecdotal: I use a VM to browse, and have been for a couple years now, using AdBlock and NoScript. It has no AV protection. Just yesterday, I decided to power the VM off and mount its VHD onto another VM to run 2-3 antivirus scanners on it. All came up clean.

So, until the advertisers start cleaning up their game, I refuse them entry, just like I refuse entry to people in my house who might try to set it on fire, or pour plaster of Paris down the toilet.

Re:Did AdBlock kill the free internet? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39022963)

"earn a living creating things" != "earn a living selling advertising space"

Re:Did AdBlock kill the free internet? (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 2 years ago | (#39022929)

Or it is too much of a hassle.

If you use adBlock to get rid of the abusive adds that is great, it is basically making a point that those adds are slowing things down for me. However if you are going to go overboard and use Add Block to keep your browsing ad free you are going to be spending a fair amount of time just blocking adds in that process you will be looking at the adds before you block them.

However the adage is I pay for my internet connection so all the content should be free isn't really that good of one. It is akin to paying tools on a road and expecting free food and gas at the rest stops there. You are paying for the connection. The people putting content isn't free for them either, it is not like the ISP pay every website for every page their user views.

Sites shouldn't kick off people who have ad block turned on. However Ad Blockers shouldn't go on the war to end all ads, in an ad free content is free internet.

Doesn't Block Ads (5, Insightful)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 2 years ago | (#39021787)

This doesn't block ads, it just protects people's privacy from being abused by them. The companies will still be able to show ads. For targetted ads, they'll have to use the same techniques they use for TV and print media, and those things haven't died yet.

Re:Doesn't Block Ads (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39021921)

No, it *tells* the company to please don't track me. Next i'm writing a plugin that tell's the IRS to please don't tax me.

Re:Doesn't Block Ads (4, Funny)

Pope (17780) | more than 2 years ago | (#39022667)

Don't tax me, bro!

Re:Doesn't Block Ads (1)

Pi1grim (1956208) | more than 2 years ago | (#39021981)

Exactly. Aso, targeted ads could be less in numbers so people could give up their privacy in exchange for less ads. Don't see any reason for this article to appear other than self-promotion.

Re:Doesn't Block Ads (1, Funny)

arth1 (260657) | more than 2 years ago | (#39022107)

so people could give up their privacy in exchange for less ads.

Or fewer ads.

Re:Doesn't Block Ads (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39022329)

People who insist on a distinction between less and fewer are pompous losers.
English is not some strongly typed programming language. Get over it.

Re:Doesn't Block Ads (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39023049)

Why do you get so angry about it? I find grammar nazis useful. (English is my third language.)

Re:Doesn't Block Ads (0)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#39022503)

PROTIP: When correcting grammar, please include a topical reply in the same comment.

Re:Doesn't Block Ads (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39022099)

Not sure where you've been the last decade or so but print media is dying. As for TV, there's a few major differences. First off, even with the current, greatly expanded channel lineups on cable, a given TV channel has a much larger audience than most websites. 250 channels is nothing compared to a few billion websites. Second, cable TV channels get paid by the cable providers that carry them. Obviously, nobody wants this concept getting carried over to the Internet, where your choice of ISPs determines what websites you can view. And finally, there's a big difference in the ratio of content to advertisements on TV versus the internet. As much as we complain about obnoxious flash ads and the like, it's pretty rare to see a website where made up of more than 25% advertisements. And if you saw one, you probably wouldn't be very inclined to go back. Yet the typical TV show has about 8 minutes worth of advertisements for 22 minutes of content. And then they shove more ads on top of the content (those stupid banners for other shows that run in the corner of the screen) and even more ads into the content (product placement).

I would disagree with the statement that Do Not Track would kill the Free Internet, but it's foolish to think it wouldn't dramatically alter the landscape. The simple fact is, non targeted advertising is worth less money, so websites will have to make that up somewhere. Some sites might go pay, others might just put in more ads, others might cut content or go bankrupt. And maybe, if we're lucky, some will come up with alternative business plans that people hate less, but everyone does need to remember what was once common sense, prior to the arrival of the internet: there's no such thing as a free lunch.

Re:Doesn't Block Ads (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39022765)

This. What we are doing is killing new media advertising in favor of older style. I wouldn't be surprised if this type of thing had the backing of old business model companies.

Re:Doesn't Block Ads (1)

Riceballsan (816702) | more than 2 years ago | (#39023007)

Yup the internet will be as alive and healthy as newspapers... Actually maybe not quite that healthy, potty training animals on an ipad gets expensive, also dosn't pad fragile items when moving, or make very good craft projects, that's 80% of the use of newspapers for people under the age of 65. That being said if it isn't made default on anything, there will be little difference, very few internet users actually use ad-blocks despite ease and availability. As far as the value of tracking, honestly if you ask me it was a very positive direction for internet advertising. While I'm not a huge fan of it, I far prefer targeted advertisements over the old days of the internet when every page was, 1 popup, 1 pop-under, 2 flash advertisements with sound, and a 15 second commercial between pages.

Ads can still be relavent (5, Insightful)

similar_name (1164087) | more than 2 years ago | (#39021791)

Just because a site can't track you doesn't mean they can't advertise to you. The content of the page you are viewing should provide enough context to provide an appropriate ad. Will it be less relevant to you? Possibly, but TV stations don't need to know everybody's individual viewing habits to know that Comedy Central should have ads aimed at young males while Lifetime shows ads for women.

Re:Ads can still be relavent (4, Informative)

Penguinisto (415985) | more than 2 years ago | (#39022105)

True, and it's not like they can't get a rough geographical location from your IP address to add to the relevance. They can also add server-side data for regular/frequent visitors if the site has multiple topics, so as to fine-tune which topic is the most relevant.

Re:Ads can still be relavent (5, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 2 years ago | (#39022217)

If a site wants to track me all they need to do is offer me a compelling feature that requires that I sign in. Many sites are allowed to track me while I use their site, including Amazon, DealExtreme, Microsoft (hey, I still use Windows, I need their site) and so on. I have google analytics blocked because I don't want to be tracked across unrelated sites, though.

On the other hand, nobody who can not offer me a compelling reason to form an actual business relationship with me should be tracking me, and if their business model can't sustain that, then the world will be a better place if they go out of business.

Re:Ads can still be relavent (2)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 2 years ago | (#39022733)

If a site wants to track me all they need to do is offer me a compelling feature that requires that I sign in.

Be careful, that sort of thing can lead to websites deliberately suckifying their non-logged in version.

For example, a few years ago IMDB dumbed down the way people can read their discussion forums. If you don't log in, all you can do is see the posts linearly. Log in and now you can see them in other formats, like threaded. The exact same URL for threaded mode goes to linear mode if you don't log in. It used to be that anyone could read the discussions in threaded mode, but IMDB arbitrarily took that away in (which I presume) was an attempt to convince people to log in.

To a marketing sycophant, arbitrarily holding back functionality is the same thing as providing extra features to "members" no matter how petty it appears to regular people. I wouldn't want to see the web in general go the way of IMDB's pettiness.

Re:Ads can still be relavent (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 2 years ago | (#39022985)

If a site wants to track me all they need to do is offer me a compelling feature that requires that I sign in.

Be careful, that sort of thing can lead to websites deliberately suckifying their non-logged in version.

Oh yes, I've seen other examples besides yours [readers see parent] but that's fairly inevitable anyway, isn't it? And anyway, sites that do too much of that will vanish, because not everyone wants to register to see every little part of a site, people will forget passwords and decide it's not worth the trouble to recover them, and so on.

Re:Ads can still be relavent (2)

Anrego (830717) | more than 2 years ago | (#39022321)

I actually thing this will be better.. much better.

There once was a time, when a company would see a website, think "hey, a lot of my potential customers probably use this site", then contact and arrange advertising. I think this worked better than the current algorithms with all their user data.

More importantly, users of that site would see the same hand-targetted ads, for days or weeks on end. Ads are more effective in my opinion over time. The few web ads I've actually gone for have been ads that I saw over and over, until curiosity finally got me.

Re:Ads can still be relavent (1)

wzzzzrd (886091) | more than 2 years ago | (#39022817)

Spot on. Problem is, the current ad model involves shitloads of middlemen and they won't give up their cash flow.

The wrong question was asked. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39022447)

The internet did quite well without all this tracking horseshit. And it did quite well without all this Javascript shit that drives me apeshit. And it also did very well without all these little icons to Facebook, and whatever all those other dipshit things are to post on your narcissistic website.

An Anonymous Coward baby! Because I ain't got noth'in to proove!

Re:Ads can still be relavent (1)

Tharsman (1364603) | more than 2 years ago | (#39022465)

Ads can remain relevant for sites where demographic data is redundant. For instance, if you are looking at a Video Game Review site for mobile apps, it's a no-brainer what kind of reader is there.

With TV it's similar and to a point unfortunate. We tend to have too many generic TV shows that are obviously designed to cater to a very specific audience. The reason is precisely because they need to target specific demographics so they can sell ads for that demographic.

The problem is with websites that cover basically everything. "News" sites that will publish tech news nearly side by side with politics and celebrity gossip. Those constitute the bulk of the big media on the web. Since they don’t specialize their news and attempt to just bring everyone to their sites, they are forced to rely on targeted advertisement.

Sites like Facebook and other photo hosting sites are similar. Everyone with any set of backgrounds or preferences may use the services, and the only way to sell ads that may attract income is by targeting the user based on intrusive tracking.

If you ask me, I rather have a way for targeted ads in TV, so I can get more unique TV shows, and less on the web, so we can find sites that actually care and focus on themes of interest.

Social networking sites can survive on the data that is directly provided to them, they should not need outside track data to target ads.

Re:Ads can still be relavent (4, Interesting)

brainzach (2032950) | more than 2 years ago | (#39022563)

What percentage of ads on TV are relevant to you?

On TV, shows can get away with multiple commercials back to back, so there is a greater chance of an advertisement being relevant. With online video, viewers will tolerate much fewer commercials so it is more critical to make sure that they are relevant.

Re:Ads can still be relavent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39022583)

The tracking has more to do with paying out % to affiliates on sales. If you can't track where your user came from you can't pay your affiliates. If affiliate don't get paid they can't buy ads. If they can't buy ads.....

Re:Ads can still be relavent (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39022829)

This.
I'm personally fine with personalized ads, but considering a good chunk of the sites I visit, typically they have ads centered around the sort of likes and interests I have anyway.

It will certainly mean advertisers will be a little more cautious if it takes off.
Click-through ads will likely remain more-or-less the same. Most people probably don't care about no-action click-throughs as much as the ones who actually do something, such as rent a server or purchase a figure or whatever.
They might try push more special offers for your first time viewing, which is always good, both for them and us since they might get more returning customers.
Some things are always a bitch to advertise, particularly things that stay pretty static and are consumable, such as drinks.
No idea what will happen with that side of marketing. Most of those typically depend on TV and banners anyway if I remember correct.

I just hope more agencies come to a solid standard agreement on better advertising and shun those who are too anal to agree.

The free internet will stay right where it is.
Much of the internet was funded by other work at one point. A lot of it still is if those people run their own servers.
It isn't hard to run a server and keep it paid for an entire year and handle a decent amount of people if you have a pretty average income.
Even as an ex-student, I ran a games server (Minecraft... 20 slots) for the whole of last year that was £12 every month. (paid in 3 month segments)
Of course, the love died down and we decided to call it quits.
A lot of sites would really have to change the way they work. No more high graphics, no more unlimiteds, more limits everywhere, even to the point of limiting stuff like About Me or whatever. Every byte will become an even more important issue. Server-side is cheap, bandwidth is hellishly expensive on large loads. More pages will likely go dynamic.
As long as it doesn't end up terrible like that horrible Facebook timeline, that has to be the worst thing they have made. It somehow managed to be even laggier than Slashdot and Google Wave, and this is with Chrome!
More sites will likely come up on guides to make dynamic sites again, but even easier and use more recent stuff. Seriously, some of that stuff still refers to Netscape when you search around! Possibly even more site-builders and premium services. Oh there's that word, premium!

Premium services will almost certainly make a comeback. Why oh why oh WHY did that ever die down?
It was basically free money from those who actually wanted more advanced service, previews of new stuff, betas, less limits, etc.
Surely it never costed them anything to have such a service there? Besides a tiny amount of time initially setting it up, it'd be pretty solid and unchanging. And you get paid for it by some. How is that not an attractive feature to have on your site??
So many sites could have done this and made a killing. You want HD uploads? Premium. You want extra long videos? Premium. Instead they pushed more in to the advertising only funded age and it could come back to bite them...
I'd want neither industry to suffer, but it could happen.

Google (-1)

Overly Critical Guy (663429) | more than 2 years ago | (#39021805)

Google's advertising revenue is the primary reason they're the last browser vendor [wired.com] not to include support for Do Not Track. Really a shame.

Re:Google (2)

afidel (530433) | more than 2 years ago | (#39022229)

I find it funny that they'd even care, if the information they give on the "what we know about you" page is an accurate portrayal of what they actually know about people then their classification system is really no better than Nielson 18-25 male type categories. Fark had a fun thread about this when Google changed their privacy policy and people were laughing about how off Google was. In my case despite the fact that Google's archives probably have my exact DOB they were off by one major category in age and their listed interests were pretty far off.

A "privacy blogger" and ... car wash attendant? (4, Insightful)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 2 years ago | (#39021881)

and points out that users pay good money to ISPs for those 'free' sites

Could he possibly have pointed out anything less informed, causality-related, and meaningful in the context of the topic at hand? Unless he's suggesting the introduction of some insanely complex madness that involves your local ISP somehow distributing part of their operational revenue to the owners of web sites that their clients visit, what the hell is he talking about? I thought the "I pay for internet access, so anything I can find a way to grab online for free is really paid for" meme was limited to 12 year olds using Napster for the first time back in the days when people could almost play that dumb and pretend to mean it.

Re:A "privacy blogger" and ... car wash attendant? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39022055)

I thought the "I pay for internet access, so anything I can find a way to grab online for free is really paid for" meme was limited to 12 year olds using Napster for the first time back in the days when people could almost play that dumb and pretend to mean it.

Sadly that asinine train of thought is still prevalent with the generation that grew up on Napster. Hell you see it on slashdot constantly.

Re:A "byteboy hoe" and ... mind wash attendant? (1)

noshellswill (598066) | more than 2 years ago | (#39022193)

Too bad money-pimp that ISP fee is the ONLY money anyone forces from me for WWW content. Period. No feewall, no ads and no-tracking. If some product/device/function is amazingly useful I will send a check. If you don't like it then shiitcan your web-property investments and shove it up yo *zzwhole.

Re:A "byteboy hoe" and ... mind wash attendant? (0)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 2 years ago | (#39022505)

Wow, what a spectacular case of poor reading comprehension.

He hit the nail on the head (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39021887)

People pay good money to ISPs, ergo they don't want to pay more to make any proper use of the service, it's like buying food and then needing to pay to eat it as well.

Re:He hit the nail on the head (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39022125)

No, it's like paying for a car then having to pay for petrol to use it.

Re:He hit the nail on the head (2)

olsmeister (1488789) | more than 2 years ago | (#39022187)

No, it's like making your car payment so you can get to the grocery store and *gasp* finding that they expect you to pay for the food as well!

Re:He hit the nail on the head (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39022301)

No, it's more like saying that since your taxes pay for the roads, you deserve to take whatever you want from the grocery store.

Car = Computer/Internet Device
Road = Internet Connection
Grocery Store = Website

No (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39021893)

They can still place ads, and marketing has done fine before any type of tracking schemes existed.

No! (0)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 2 years ago | (#39021905)

Next question.

What is the flag? (2, Interesting)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 2 years ago | (#39021925)

I log into my Slashdot account today and notice flags on each post (bottom right, near the social networking icons). Any clue what this is about? Is Slashdot suddenly going to allow us to censor posts? I won't jump to conclusions yet, but this is the typical use of flags in a forum.

Re:What is the flag? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39021999)

You have been reported.

Re:What is the flag? (1)

ZombieBraintrust (1685608) | more than 2 years ago | (#39022059)

I log into my Slashdot account today and notice flags on each post (bottom right, near the social networking icons). Any clue what this is about? Is Slashdot suddenly going to allow us to censor posts? I won't jump to conclusions yet, but this is the typical use of flags in a forum.

If you click the flag a text box appears with the word Report filled in. I think this a new system to flag spam.

Re:What is the flag? (1)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 2 years ago | (#39022091)

I don't get the text box. But I am stuck with IE at work, so perhaps that it the issue.

Re:What is the flag? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39022403)

It means the next time you post a goatse pic (which you have done before), your post might get flagged.

You worried your goatse posts might get removed too quickly?

scare tactics (5, Insightful)

RichMan (8097) | more than 2 years ago | (#39021945)

Some people make a lot of money from ads. The net was here and functioning perfectly with lots of people. Then the advertisers showed up to make money. The people making money want to scare people into thinking it will all go away if they lose the money making machine. It will work just fine.

The net was meant to be a collaborative medium. It was not meant to fuel profit into someones pocket as a distribution system. The net will function just fine if it is not leveraged into a money making distribution system.

Re:scare tactics (1, Troll)

ettusyphax (1155197) | more than 2 years ago | (#39022679)

I cannot agree with this hard enough. The internet doesn't need advertisers or their money. Most web services I use don't even run on ads, they run on donations or private funding.

One need only look at Wikipedia to see this is true. It has continuously been in the top 5 or top 10 visited sites on the Internet almost since its inception. They run a vast media framework with hundreds of millions of viewers, tens (hundreds?) of thousands of contributors, and hundreds of editors - with pictures, videos, music, anything you can think of, all available for free. Not once have they shown a single ad, unless you count those hilarious donation pleas. If you look at their yearly budget reports they have exceeded donation requirements by a wide margin for many years, paving the way for enhanced services and fewer future donation pleas.

Or, if you want to see a complex service that does advertising right, look at DuckDuckGo the search engine. I would argue, and it is debatable, that their search responses are just as good if not sometimes better than Google's. They get more popular every day and remain committed to respecting user privacy. They do essentially the same thing Google did when they had their multi-billion IPO (I realize they have since expanded), only instead of building a huge greedy advert empire, they show one ad. One single, small, text-only ad per query and never anything else - and the only thing they track is the previous query, no search history bullshit like Google.

I'm guessing that the FOSS community could probably do one better than DuckDuckGo by running a *good* search engine on a distributed system (slow but free) or through donations like Wikipedia. It may already exist and either I'm unaware of it or it's still crappy. The point is, the internet doesn't need advertisers - they need us. Same with television and every other service they claim will "disappear" if it weren't for ads. It's a load of crap and they know it which is why they will kick and scream and cry if anything tries to undermine their opulent house of cards.

Re:scare tactics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39022945)

You are really going to use wikipedia? The company that has to practically beg every year to barely pay their operating costs?

Re:scare tactics (0)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 2 years ago | (#39022693)

The net was here and functioning perfectly with lots of people ... The net was meant to be a collaborative medium

Let me guess - you've got someone else in your organization that actually pays the bandwidth bills, right? Do you have any idea what it costs to keep a highy visible web site (with millions of visitors looking at large binaries) on the air?

But then, I get the feeling you'd really prefer to keep the peasants off the internet. And shut down those pesky businesses that use it to transact billions of dollars worth of economic activity every day. You know - the people who foot the bill for making the whole thing so widely available. Silly me, I keep forgetting you don't want it to be widely available. Just hooked up between certain CS labs on certain campuses, and connected as appropriate to certain moms' basements. You know, for strictly collaborative activities. Let me guess - all paid for with federal grants, funded by the peasants, right?

Re:scare tactics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39023061)

While I agree this is an unnecessary scare tactic let's not get too pie in the sky with our rhetoric. Money has to flow in from somewhere or the internet will have to "shrink".

The way I see it you have 4 options:

  - Advertising (current)

  - Content licensing (think cable television, yuck)

  - Gov't subsidy (dubious for many reasons)

  - Various not for profit efforts/hobbyists (also current, could not volume and polish w/o advertising)

That said do not track will not kill advertising. It will kill certain types of advertising(facebook, and google's non-keyword business). It may also harm the keyword business as cookies are used to track performance beyond the click, but that hurts advertisers more than the publishers/networks because it's not like they get good perfomance metrics from print or other advertising.

Doooh ? (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 2 years ago | (#39021947)

Internet was much more free in the early stages, and ads were much more prominent then. By then, this array and wealth of tracking mechanisms and options werent even there. When something came to your site, you assumed that it was a visitor.

Doesn't mater (4, Informative)

na1led (1030470) | more than 2 years ago | (#39021951)

The ISP will track your every move. The private browsing option is just in case your Wife finds out where you've been on the Internet.

let it die (4, Insightful)

AntEater (16627) | more than 2 years ago | (#39021961)

If tracking is the only way the "free" internet can survive then it deserves to die. I think you'd find the creativity of people will work around such a limitation.

It will CLEAN the Internet (5, Insightful)

erroneus (253617) | more than 2 years ago | (#39021987)

The parties who get on the internet to conduct legitimate business and to share information and to collaborate will continue doing so JUST FINE.

To parallel a little... badly... did the "Do Not Call" registry kill collections and telemarketing activities? Nope.

doubt it. (1)

DynamoJoe (879038) | more than 2 years ago | (#39022009)

Do Not Track might kill the free internet if sites had any intention of not tracking users. They don't. Whatever you do, they'll try to track you and market that info to advertisers.

It *might* kill web sites ... (2)

aix tom (902140) | more than 2 years ago | (#39022011)

... where the primary purpose is user habit tracking. Perhaps for a get-as-much-users-as-possible web site with no real content that has no other purpose than to attract ad clicks it is important to target different ads to different users.

But all cases I can think of where REAL websites have REAL content, it is trivial to display ads that are aligned with the content of the site. If I look at science fiction movies at a movie web site, they just have to show me other science fiction movies. If I look at car parts at a car site, they just have to show me ads for car parts. If I look at a blog post about storage technology they just have to show me ads for hard drives. Then the ads would already be pretty much aligned with what I'm interested in at the moment, without any need to really "track" me.

In a word? (5, Insightful)

eternaldoctorwho (2563923) | more than 2 years ago | (#39022017)

No. Whenever a headline on Slashdot asks a question, the answer is No.

Re:In a word? (3, Funny)

godrik (1287354) | more than 2 years ago | (#39022517)

No. Whenever a headline on Slashdot asks a question, the answer is No.

Tomorrow on slashdot: Won't "Do Not Track" Kill the Free Internet?

Treat visitors properly (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39022031)

Regardless of venue, hosts should not be randomly sticking anything up the asses of their visitors, including their noses. Respect their privacy, their life and liberty may depend on it.

Standard Advertiser FUD (5, Insightful)

JeanCroix (99825) | more than 2 years ago | (#39022075)

Just like VCRs and DVRs were supposed to have killed 'free' television programming...

Just as AdBlock was supposed to have already killed 'free' internet...

Next up: the shills shouting how using such tools "breaks the implied social contract" of viewing free content.

Re:Standard Advertiser FUD (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 2 years ago | (#39022481)

Just like VCRs and DVRs were supposed to have killed 'free' television programming...
Just as AdBlock was supposed to have already killed 'free' internet...

And just as Linux was supposed to have killed FreeBSD.

Er, hang on...

Re:Standard Advertiser FUD (0)

forkfail (228161) | more than 2 years ago | (#39022785)

Non sequitur.

Evolve or die (1)

uncledrax (112438) | more than 2 years ago | (#39022113)

The 'Internet', like everything, is not a set system.. it 'evolves'.. This is like saying 'will DHTML kill the internet'? 'Will the end of Flash(tm) kill the internet'?

No. none of that will kill the internet.. It might cause some people to rethink their revenue models for their websites, etc.. but the internet will go on.

Re:Evolve or die (1)

maple_shaft (1046302) | more than 2 years ago | (#39022697)

Pray tell any good revenue generating models for a content based site business on the Internet? Don't even say paywall, that has never worked and likely never will. Not only do most Internet users refuse to support content behind a paywall, their are entire groups of free information fundamentalists who actively devote their lives to bringing down paywalls and companies that host them.

Just saying "Evolve or die" is intellectually lazy. It would be akin to saying that long distance space travel will occur eventually to save the human race from an extinction event, somebody just has to figure out that whole "create a wormhole" thing. There. My job is done here. Your welcome humanity.

Surely kills authentication... (1)

xded (1046894) | more than 2 years ago | (#39022123)

Due to some bug on my Linksys WRT120N wireless router, having the DNT header in your HTTP requests screws up basic-auth and there's no way I can log in.

The problem is that the DNT flag (at least in Firefox) is not only enabled in "Options" -> "Privacy" -> "Tell websites I do not want to be tracked", but may be also enabled by AdBlock itself with this hacky rule I found in the EasyPrivacy filters list: *$donottrack,image,~image

Not sure what web server is running on the router, but I'm having this header disabled for now...

Re:Surely kills authentication... (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 2 years ago | (#39022293)

Not sure what web server is running on the router, but I'm having this header disabled for now...

doesn't affect my linksys or buffalo routers running tomato. P.S. your router sucks and it was deceptively marketed by Cisco.

Was the internet free?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39022275)

I don't know about you, but I pay for my internet connection. I also pay for my servers. I also pay for my server's traffic....

I'm not seeing how lack of advertisement would kill the internet since it's never been free. Kill a mode of profit for those trying to make make money from content on the internet? Possibly. Most certainly not the internet though.

Am I wrong?

Pay ISPs? (1)

wisnoskij (1206448) | more than 2 years ago | (#39022285)

"points out that users pay good money to ISPs for those 'free' sites.""
Since when is paying the ISP equivalent to paying a website for its free content?
He does realise the these ISPs do not give a royalty of these funds to all free sites, right?

Just because I pay my taxes does not mean that I am in my rights to steal stuff.

Knew it would be a useless article from... (1)

Dahamma (304068) | more than 2 years ago | (#39022303)

"I don’t give a damn about how CNN or AMC or MSNBC make their money, their business models, who pays how much to whom for what, yadda yadda; all I care about is what my cable bill costs each month."

Of course you give a damn, Dan, you are a writer in the entertainment and news industry, and it's your job to give a damn. That's why you have now written not one, but two articles on the topic. Duuh.

And since you can't even figure that out for your own case, maybe assuming that consumers don't care where their entertainment dollar is going would be a tech-snob, elitist assumption, as well...

The Internet could survive with far fewer ads (4, Interesting)

Animats (122034) | more than 2 years ago | (#39022305)

Suppose commercial web tracking was absolutely prohibited unless you were explicitly using a single company's site. Third party ads could not be personalized. What would the Web look like?

Many of the useful sites on the Internet are actual stores, from Amazon to Grainger to Digi-Key. Their revenue doesn't come from advertising. It comes from selling real stuff. They'd barely notice. There are major paid services like Netflix. They provide a service for money. No problem there.

Google was profitable before they had ad personalization. Search ads don't need to be "personalized" - the user tells you what they're looking for, so it's straightforward to present relevant ads. Running a search engine isn't that expensive. AltaVista was a demo for DEC Alpha computers, not a business. Cuil was a flop, but demonstrated that you could do a search engine for about $25 million. Blekko and DuckDuckGo are funded at about that level.

The only business that desperately needs the anal-probe level of intrusive personal monitoring is Facebook.

Re:The Internet could survive with far fewer ads (1)

brainzach (2032950) | more than 2 years ago | (#39022859)

The Internet is more than just a giant shopping mall with a search engine.

People also rely on the Internet to provide them with news, information and entertainment, which is primarily funded by advertising. Without this money, fewer people can make a living off the Internet which result in significantly less quality content.

New Ad Metrics (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 2 years ago | (#39022373)

Sure, Do Not track could mess up the ad hits statistics. There will have to be some alternative method of ensuring that each hit comes from a unique user. But I think that the advertisers will come up with new methods of counting hits.

I'd be happy with some sort of proxy system, where a trusted intermediary would handle the cookies (or whatever) and forward a unique but untraceable token to legit ad sites to track counts. If the ad interests me and I visit the site, odds are I'll identify myself. But mining free sites for data from involuntary users is going to be a thing of the past.

it's not new. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39022397)

Unfortunately, idiots already pay to be advertised too, in the form of cable TV. As long as people are stupid enough to pay more, because of greed, it will continue to happen.

I remember when PBS and "pay" cable channels didn't have advertising, because that's what you were paying(or donating) for. Ah, the good old days. :|

DNT is opt in (1)

laffer1 (701823) | more than 2 years ago | (#39022513)

I don't see a problem here. Do Not Track requires websites to implement it and users to turn it on. Even if it becomes default in browsers, every website on the Internet has to be changed to use it. I don't see that happening overnight. Sure, browser vendors could block sites not using it, but I don't think that can happen either. It just takes a few big holdouts like Facebook or google to keep it from becoming a reality.

I don't even like the implementation right now. I want to be able to turn it on, but exclude some sites that I'm ok with tracking data or that I don't want to have to login to constantly.

It's a good idea, but I don't think it's going to take down the Internet. We don't even have sites using SSL standard yet and that's been suggested for years.

Will "Do Not Track" Kill the Free Internet? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39022519)

"Will "Do Not Track" Kill the Free Internet?"

No.

Targeted ads built the Internet (4, Funny)

maple_shaft (1046302) | more than 2 years ago | (#39022541)

In more than anyway imaginable, advertisements and targeted advertisements helped to fund and thus build the internet as we know it today. Taking targeted ads out as a possible revenue stream will lead to a string of bankruptcies and site shutdowns across the Internet. It will stifle new innovation and content that can't get adequate funding.

Startups will struggle and fail too. Ultimately, the only content generators that will matter at that point will be hobbyists who spend their own time and money to partake in the internet just to be noticed.

I don't think people truly realize how much money will dry up without targeted advertising.

Re:Targeted ads built the Internet (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 2 years ago | (#39022883)

I don't think people truly realize how much money will dry up without targeted advertising.

Necessity is the mother of invention. If all that stuff is worthwhile, then someone will come up with a way to make it work.

For years I've been saying that advertising has destroyed any chance of getting a functional micro-payment system in widespread use. For all intents and purposes, targeted ads are micro-payments, the only part missing is where we pay with money rather than our privacy.

If targeted ads go away, maybe we'll get a system in its place that makes it feasible to pay fractional pennies to websites we frequent. That might even be better for them compared to the way its now where people like me block all ads and all trackers and thus the only good I do by reading a website is to recommend it via word of mouth to my friends who I have not yet taught to run ad-block.

The full list (4, Insightful)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 2 years ago | (#39022663)

Adhere
Demandbase
Dynamic Logic
Facebook Connect
Facebook Social Plugins
Google +1
Google Analytics
Google FriendConnect
ShareThis
Twitter Button

I have ghostery installed,a plugin for all browsers that blocks not ads themselves so much as all these trackers.

This particular site isn't even that bad, mostly all the social crap that tends to get everywhere like the scum it is. But there are worse sites.

Do I mind being tracked? Not really no... the main reason I installed ghostery was to get rid of all those annoying scripts that make the net just a little bit slower with each and everyone of them.

But what about the free content I consume? Once the internet was a non-profit area and frankly I think it was better for it. Using google becomes more and more a pain as companies that try to sell something I don't want outrank information sites. I feel like I finally got rid of the deluge of paper ads on my doormat everyday and now it insteads gets delivered by the truck load through the wires in my home. I do not have an answer as to how sites like Slashdot would survive without advertising but frankly, I don't care. The internet would adapt, go back to privately run sites on private funds for the hell of it and only post articles that are intresting, not just to attract the most eyeballs.

Advertisers keep pushing the limits and users are pushing back. If one day we users push back so hard that advertisers starve to dead (preverably a miserable and painful one) then... MISSION FUCKING ACCOMPLISHED!

Insignificant (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39022723)

This isn't going to change anything. A large portion of the people out there are too stupid to know that they're being tracked, and a large portion don't care enough to learn to protect themselves.

Take AdBlock for example. Adblock for Firefox has 14m downloads ( https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/adblock-plus/ ) and most likely fewer actual people (multiple computers/downloads per person). This is an insignificant amount of users. Consider Android is activating 800,000 devices per day as of last report. Android users will overtake Adblock users in ~2.5 weeks, and by the end of the year have 268m devices. AdBlock will be at a measly 5%. Android has ~50% total marketshare in the mobile space. If you expand that to all mobile platforms, Adblock will have a 2.5% penetration rate for *ALL* mobile users.

Scare quote semantics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39022935)

TFS: Will "Do Not Track" Kill the Free Internet?
vs
TFA: Will Do Not Track kill the 'free' Internet?

TFA headline is the one that makes sense. Will defending freedom kill the free Internet? I don't think so. Will it kill some 'free'-bie schemes? I hope.

How about this.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39022939)

... Since there seems to be a need for some sites to be financed via advertising while we don't want to loose our privacy.....
New extension that can give the sites information about what type of stuff he likes and don't like.... Something like header: targettype: age:20-25;male;single;
If the user don't want to give out anything then generic advertising will be used... If the user chooses to give out some information then more targeted advertisment will be shown...
The only thing that needs to be done is to keep the number of areas limited to avoid giving out too many bits of identifying information.... ( maybe 13-15 bits )
This might be a good for websites too since then would get a better idea of what their visitors actually like.

Biggest reason i don't like advertisements on pages is that most of the stuff is just irritating banners for stuff i don't care about...If it actually was related to things i do use/buy i might be a little bit more forgiving for ad's.

Before the Internet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39022983)

Before the Internet, the RADIO and TELEVISION industries worked well with paid advertising without tracking each receiver. © The Nielsen Company has done a great job of surveying and compiling the data for content popularity, marketing, advertising, etc. And no, I don't work for them or anything related. I HATE tracking and do all I can to fight it, but I am glad to occasionally voluntarily contribute to surveys.

Eleven! (1)

valugi (1069088) | more than 2 years ago | (#39022989)

this website and post has 11 tracking cookies blocked by albine. enough said?
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