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Ask Slashdot: Are AdBlock's Days Numbered?

Soulskill posted about 9 months ago | from the brought-to-you-by-giant-blinking-eyesores dept.

Advertising 731

An anonymous reader writes "This article discusses the ethics and the mechanics of ad-blocking software. Toward the end, it goes into some of the tech that's been built to circumvent ad blockers. Quoting: 'PageFair offers a free JavaScript program that, when inserted into a Web page, monitors ad blocking activity. CEO Sean Blanchfield says he developed the monitoring tool after he noticed a problem on his own multiplayer gaming site. PageFair collects statistics on ad blocking activity, identifies which users are blocking ads and can display an appeal to users to add the publisher's website to their ad-blocking tool's personal whitelist. But Blanchfield acknowledges that the user appeal approach hasn't been very effective. ClarityRay takes a more active role. Like PageFair, it provides a tool that lets publishers monitor blocking activity to show them that they have a problem — and then sells them a remedy. ClarityRay offers a service that CEO Ido Yablonka says fools ad blockers into allowing ads through. "Ad blockers try to make a distinction between content elements and advertorial elements. We make that distinction impossible," he says.' Is this arms race winnable? By which side?"

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NoScript (5, Insightful)

dos1 (2950945) | about 9 months ago | (#45992125)

Beat that, suckers.

Re:NoScript (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45992167)

...and suddenly the pages stop working altogether. It is trivial to make a page that is empty and use JavaScript to load the contents of the page. If these guys resort to AdBlock-detectors, why do you think they would allow NoScript to circumvent that?

Re:NoScript (5, Insightful)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | about 9 months ago | (#45992281)

JavaScript performance on mobile is terrible - like 10x slower than desktop. If you make your website dependent on javascript, prepare to lose a lot of mobile customers who won't have the patience to wait it out.

Re:NoScript (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45992335)

And then, like many noscript users, they will simply route around that website.

Re:NoScript (5, Insightful)

ne0n (884282) | about 9 months ago | (#45992569)

It's likewise trivial to avoid shitty sites that go far out of their way to degrade the user experience, and thanks to the internet's intrinsic nature there's nothing unique on an ad-monger's site that can't be found elsewhere. NoScript helps to build that list of shitty sites. Let the parasites starve FFS.

Re:NoScript (4, Insightful)

buddyglass (925859) | about 9 months ago | (#45992195)

And when a site doesn't work correctly with javascript disabled?

Re:NoScript (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45992221)

Then it's a bad site not worth your time.

Re:NoScript (1)

epyT-R (613989) | about 9 months ago | (#45992283)

Perhaps not, but it doesn't solve the systemic problems that javascript and/or scriptable browsers create for the majority of people who don't run blockers.

Re:NoScript (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45992557)

What bullshit. It's fucking 2014. If you want to roam the web in your happy Mosaic-1.0-land then go ahead. Better yet, get some punchcards of the content sent out to you. You're not exactly sticking it to the man or anything else techy-hipster cool.

Re:NoScript (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45992629)

Would the site be aa bad site because it use AdBlock-detection, because it uses ads or because of the content? (If it was the last, what the heck were you visiting the site for in the first place!) I wouldn't be surprised if many major sites using ads soon would say "no js, no ads, no views" and cut you off. They would likely be just as happy to get rid of you as you like to stand alone in a corner with a smug face. I would hate to see this scenario happen, still I see this to be a real possibility.

I also hate tracking, obtrusive ads, malware etc. But claiming that NoScript is the solution to everything is like saying that the web should turn back the clock 20 years. I bet you liked Lycos and Infoseek over AltaVista back in the days too... that is when someone forced you to use Mosaic instead of Gopher.

Re:NoScript (4, Insightful)

tomtomtom (580791) | about 9 months ago | (#45992413)

If a human can view the content and work out where the ads are, so (ultimately) can a computer - the obvious fix for now is that Greasemonkey can be used to sort those out.

I'd also add though, this may well be heavily counter-productive for many sites. There is very little truly unique content out there in reality - and as a consequence it is worth far less to the marginal user than the site owners often think it is. Some of the sites which lose viewers because of this may simply say "good riddance" as those users are a net drain on resources - but that's a dangerous path to take as those people are, I would imagine, more likely to be either influential opinion-formers (who drive much more traffic to the site who won't block ads), or providing user-generated content which has value in itself.

Re:NoScript (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45992229)

Bah, they'll just wrap the content in JavaScript. Wanna use NoScript? Fine, then you don't get to access the content.

Re:NoScript (5, Informative)

iggymanz (596061) | about 9 months ago | (#45992397)

but there are ad filters that start to do the load but don't display. I'm betting the geek developer will always win against marketing droids

Re:NoScript (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45992415)

Fine with me.
I'll just use a different website.

Re:NoScript (1)

Stolpskott (2422670) | about 9 months ago | (#45992513)

Bah, they'll just wrap the content in JavaScript. Wanna use NoScript? Fine, then you don't get to access the content.

If you take the view that the purpose of the website is to promote the company, and the purpose of the Ad is to, err, advertise (either the company, one of their services, or an affiliate), then the Adblock arms race will probably be ultimately won by that company's competitors:

1. Company puts up an ad-laden web site to try and sell/promote their goods/services, and convert viewers into customers.
2. Viewers of the web site use Adblock to cut out the ads.
3. Company uses tech to make ads indistinguishable from content (using scripts, for example).
4. Viewers of the web site start using NoScript or similar tools.
5. Company's web site is no longer viewable to potential customers, so the site viewers are not not converted into customers.
6. Company loses potential customers to competitors.
7. (Competitors) Profit!!!!

ok, it does not always work out that way, but the fundamental truth is that a company exists to make money for the shareholders of said company. They do that by adding value to goods and services that they provide to customers. Nobody is forced to buy from a specific company (exclusive supply contracts or biased tender processes aside), so it is entirely voluntary for a customer to put their money with a particular company.
While a customer may need or think they need a particular item, in a market where there are several potential sources or variants of that item, an individual company needs the customer more than the customer needs that particular company (because the customer can go elsewhere for that item).

Remember business people... "The customer is always right."

Re:NoScript (3, Interesting)

clodney (778910) | about 9 months ago | (#45992631)

If you take the view that the purpose of the website is to promote the company, and the purpose of the Ad is to, err, advertise (either the company, one of their services, or an affiliate), then the Adblock arms race will probably be ultimately won by that company's competitors:

That is fine for a site that exists to sell products or a service, and indeed in many of those cases you will find no or very limited ad presence.

The problem comes about when the site exists to sell advertising, with the content on the site being the hook to get people to the site to see the ads. This is the model for most every news site, even news for nerds. Paywalls have not gone over well in the market, and everybody wants content to be free, but the reality is that these sites have to pay the bills somehow.

Re:NoScript (4, Insightful)

Penguinisto (415985) | about 9 months ago | (#45992573)

Bah, they'll just wrap the content in JavaScript. Wanna use NoScript? Fine, then you don't get to access the content.

Works for me.

No, really, it does - for the websites that I absolutely have to access no matter what, I've already whitelisted them. For everything else, I couldn't care less.

So far, those sites which spew the most adverts (minus the blockers) are the ones I really don't give a damn about.

If I connect, no problem, and I will determine how much of my attention that I give to their ads by whitelisting (if the site is IMHO worthy enough to go back to more than a couple of times, I whitelist them and help them out a bit, unless the ads are uber-intrusive.)

If I don't connect, no problem, I'll go somewhere else and likely not even bother revisiting except by accident.

Re:NoScript (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45992247)

They could just make basic site navigation use javascript, click this button to load foo page.

Re:NoScript (2)

Penguinisto (415985) | about 9 months ago | (#45992601)

They could just make basic site navigation use javascript, click this button to load foo page.

I've seen those - I usually just leave at that point.

More often than not, the site owner needs you there more than you need to be at the site.

Re:NoScript (5, Informative)

Xicor (2738029) | about 9 months ago | (#45992269)

the problem is that we are seeing an increase in sites that will pop up with a separate page and wont let you see ANY content until you stop using an adblocker. luckily those are mostly used on bad sites, but if they ever become popular it will be a problem.

Re:NoScript (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45992311)

If the site is good, I'll greasemonkey it. Otherwise, it gets the middle finger.

Ads are the #1 vector for infection and computer compromise. If people are demanding my machines be at risk, then I view them as a site that demands a Trojan for reading it, like the "pr0n viewers" of the past.

Re:NoScript (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45992279)

Yeah I have to agree. The internet doesn't work on my computer unless I let it. If their website doesn't work once I allow all the content... Well then I'm moving on. There's barely a website out there so unique that I can't get the content somewhere else.

Re:NoScript (1)

Ken_g6 (775014) | about 9 months ago | (#45992551)

Beat that, suckers.

TigerDirect does. And I hate them for it. (Example link to a TV. [] )

No-Script (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45992129)

See Subject

Re:No-Script (0)

ackthpt (218170) | about 9 months ago | (#45992377)

See Subject

Yeah, see how that works on Farcebook.

They create content for their advertising which is adapting to ad-block. If you try to block you notice the tags are random-looking gobbledegook so are a bit trickier to block -- each time the add is sent to you the wrapper looks a bit different. Try to block it with a brute force pattern and you break the Farcebook page.

On top of that Farcebook refreshes the right panel with a new load of content with new tags.

I only use Farcebook as one example, there are likely others and the adds/blocking war continues to advance the technology on both sides.

Re:No-Script (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45992493)

Who cares about Facebook? If it doesn't work without noscript, don't bother with it. Not like AOLv2.0 is a desirable site to visit anyway.

That's cute (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45992133)

We're just going to get around your Ad-Block-Blocker assholes!

Re:That's cute (2)

Joviex (976416) | about 9 months ago | (#45992177)

Exactly. Fuck Ads. Find another way to monetize. Especially you shitty sites that are doing nothing more than regurgitating articles disguised as something else for search engines. For the legit sites, sucks. Use your damn brain and iterate away from in my face ads for shit I am never going to click on and buy. Thanks.

Re:That's cute (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45992243)

That's why I gots this Trace Buster BUSTER. See, when the mother-fucker tries to bust your trace with a trace buster. This mother-fucker is gonna bust the mother-fucking trace buster that's bustin' your...uh...trace!

Re:That's cute (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45992451)

It brings a tear to my eye to see a Big Hit reference so early.

Re:That's cute (3, Insightful)

master5o1 (1068594) | about 9 months ago | (#45992359)

Wouldn't it be trivial to use the ad blocker to block the ad block detection script?

HOSTS file (4, Informative)

schwit1 (797399) | about 9 months ago | (#45992149)

Re:HOSTS file (1)

buddyglass (925859) | about 9 months ago | (#45992175)

And if the ads are served from the site you actually need to interact with? At file paths that aren't easily distinguishable from the site's non-advertisement content?

Re:HOSTS file (5, Funny)

Penguinisto (415985) | about 9 months ago | (#45992627)

Damnit - do NOT invoke that bastard!

Prior art (5, Funny)

Hatta (162192) | about 9 months ago | (#45992151)

Slashdot already makes distinction between content elements and advertorial elements impossible.

Re:Prior art (1)

NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) | about 9 months ago | (#45992295)

OK. LOLs on that one.

Re:Prior art (3, Funny)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about 9 months ago | (#45992307)

Since when does Slashdot include content elements?

Re:Prior art (1)

Penguinisto (415985) | about 9 months ago | (#45992639)

Slashdot already makes distinction between content elements and advertorial elements impossible.

True, but you do bring up a good point... those of us who have been on the site in, like forever, get a neat little checkbox to disable ads.

Different Servers Make It Possible (5, Informative)

ScottCooperDotNet (929575) | about 9 months ago | (#45992153)

"Ad blockers try to make a distinction between content elements and advertorial elements. We make that distinction impossible,"

So long as you're hosting your ads off-site, or even on a local ( server, we'll be able to block them.

Re:Different Servers Make It Possible (1)

beelsebob (529313) | about 9 months ago | (#45992249)

Not necessarily, the software could easily enough generate images hosted on the company's CDN, of random sizes. Then about the only way to detect the ads would be to compare the image against a giant database of adverts, which would be hugely inefficient.

Re:Different Servers Make It Possible (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45992327)

However, they're able to detect that you're blocking them.
Which in turn allows them to only show you their website if you're not blocking ads.
Please don't tell them this, I don't think they've figured this one out yet...

Re:Different Servers Make It Possible (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45992487)

I've little interest in websites were it's impossible to tell the content from the ads, so I'm not worried.

Re:Different Servers Make It Possible (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45992615)

Yep, as long as there's any way at all to know what an ad is, then it will be blocked. There are even plugins built for specific sites that go through each element individually to block ads. In fact, so long as there is client side software that users control there will be adblocking software.

Challenge Accepted! (3, Interesting)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | about 9 months ago | (#45992165)

Anyone know of one these ad-blocker-blocked websites? I'd like to see what it looks like in the face of adblock plus + noscript + requestpolicy.

Stop infecting me.. (5, Insightful)

Dynamoo (527749) | about 9 months ago | (#45992185)

Dear advertising networks,

Stop trying to infect me with malware and perhaps I'll stop blocking you from my browser.

Unsolicited audio (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45992443)

And no goddamn auto-playing sounds either.

Re:Stop infecting me.. (1)

NJRoadfan (1254248) | about 9 months ago | (#45992575)

One big reason why I run an ad-blocker is this. They would need to remove the ability to run ANY code and/or the ability to call any plug-ins before I would re-enable ads.

SubjectsInCommentsAreStupid (1)

lesincompetent (2836253) | about 9 months ago | (#45992193)

Me and my hosts file are enough to win this war.

Re:SubjectsInCommentsAreStupid (1)

NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) | about 9 months ago | (#45992345)

Posessing a weaponized hosts file makes you a terrist. Guantonamo for you.

And so it begins.... (2)

MatthiasF (1853064) | about 9 months ago | (#45992201)

The Advertisers vs Ad-block arms race.

Because, let's face it... once the ad-block guys figure out how the advertisers are figuring out they are being blocked, they'll block it another way and then another way... until one side builds an a-bomb so big that the world is afraid the Internet will split in two if detonated.

That was a metaphor; no one nuke the advertisers, please. Or at least give me a few days notice so I can get to a safe distance.

Own your own adds (5, Insightful)

Sir_Sri (199544) | about 9 months ago | (#45992205)

If you want an add to appear on your page take ownership of it. Host it as an image file on your own website that you control and you are responsible for.

Anything else, we intend to find ways to block it, because we have learned the hard way that you cannot trust advertisers to not infect your system with malware (not always intentionally, but lets face it, that's a big source of failure).

Re:Own your own adds (2)

gbjbaanb (229885) | about 9 months ago | (#45992375)

thing is, the advertisers will never do that - simply because their business model relies on tracking impressions and so forth. Hence they have to serve the ads on their own web platforms.

This is the main reason I block ads - the page I'm viewing usually hangs while its contacting the ad (he, one of the many ad) platforms to return some cookie-harvesting ad monster with all kinds of analytics processed on the back end.

Get rid of that and they have nothing to offer, and as long as there is any comms to the ad serving site, even if its just analytics, they can be blocked.

I think its stupid, as it only gives me ads for shit I no longer want, and no ads targetted for typical users of the site I'm viewing (I recall Webhostingtalk having an ad policy where they directly sold ads on their site, and the images were hosted on their site - they attracted advertisers by giving out the profile and quantity of users who came to their site, I assume that's considered obsolete nowadays, but I thought it was the moist effective way of doing it).

Just like mail spam (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45992213)

Simple SPAM is easy to deal with, properly engineered SPAM passes through the best filters. There's no difference in the web ad market. Even if you have javascript enabled, it tends to be easy to block ads based on the hostname because ads rarely come form the same host you are visiting. Modifying /etc/hosts to point those to solves easily the problem. And after that, you can use path regular expressions. But yeah, the ads have to be really annoying to have to reach that level.

One way (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45992219)

The only way is to serve them totally statically through the same resource that all your other assets come through. E.g. /file.php?id=4167347135 is your ad and /file.php?id=517435715 is users picture, etc. If there is any possible way to distinguish the ads programatically, someone will be able to block it. However, doing this will also probably drive away a fair number of those users instead of them staying and seeing an ad riddled site.

zero tolerance and who owns my computer (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45992225)

I own my computer. I've been convincing every of my friends and family members to adopt a zero tolerance policy toward internet advertizing, partly as it's a huge security risk as seen in all recent stories about malware delivered with ads, and partly to opt out of "big data" collector activities.

Advertizers don't get it. My computer runs what I want it to, not what THEY want it to. They may make polite requests to display things, or to run things, which I can either say yes or no to.

The internet existed for decades before advertizers discovered it, and it'll be just fine - better even! - after they depart. Maybe we'll go back to its roots of crowdsourced content, rather than "big corporate content". (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45992233)

“It is difficult to produce a television documentary that is both incisive and probing when every twelve minutes one is interrupted by twelve dancing rabbits singing about toilet paper.” - Rod Sterling

When I can no longer block ads (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45992235)

I will no longer surf the internet. The same way I no longer watch TV.
I am bored with it now anyway.
It might just have been a very long fad with me.

moble limits (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45992237)

From one of the articles:

For Mauricio Freitas, publisher of the New Zealand Geekzone website for mobile enthusiasts, ad blocking software has been a major headache.

Most mobile phone plans has limits, if you exceed the limit your bill goes up. Until limits are removed, at least for mobile, ad-block is a must

Is it really that hard to ignore the ads? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45992255)

Seriously, I haven't used adblock in a decade. If the ads annoy you that much then you probably shouldn't be going to that site.

Re:Is it really that hard to ignore the ads? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45992387)

I'm calling bullshit

Re:Is it really that hard to ignore the ads? (2, Insightful)

epyT-R (613989) | about 9 months ago | (#45992431)

Flash ads that play sound really loudly and/or move across the screen don't annoy you? How about the current trend of pop over javascript windows that wait 10 seconds or so for you to start reading, and then fade the page as they pop up, forcing you to click them closed? Those are fucking aggravating, and a lot of sites do that now. The passive 'just don't visit that site' tactic doesn't actually solve the problem. There has to be a way to push back. ad blockers allow this.

Re:Is it really that hard to ignore the ads? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45992567)

Stop running javascript, and the web gets about 50X less annoying.

Three choices (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45992271)

I have three choices when I choose to view a website.
1- use an adblocker or noscript and have a crippled website.
2- use no adblocker and have some noninvasive ads.
3- use no adblocker and have invasive ads.

I can live with options 1 and 2. When I'm forced into choice 3, I'll probably stop using the site in question.

Eventually the google searc type text ads will win (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45992273)

It is a fair game. If your ad banner annoys me by flicker or sound or it consumes excessive amount of cpu (==battery), then it will be blocked. No matter what the site I am visiting is. If I can not visit the site anymore due to annoying ads which can not be blocked, then I will just find another site.

Annoying (5, Insightful)

afgun (634001) | about 9 months ago | (#45992277)

If so many ads weren't obnoxious flash or javascript and simply a hyperlinked picture/text, then I wouldn't feel compelled to block them. But these so-called ads are largely intrusive and annoying and make the web browsing experience suck. Just like email and spam that have tracking linked images in them that I choose to automatically round file instead of at least checking out the content. Make the experience pleasant and controllable by me and I'll play along; otherwise, I take control with tools like adblock.

beat this: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45992285)

when I shut my eyes I don't see your ads

You sign all worthy contents using PGP (1)

marienf (140573) | about 9 months ago | (#45992291)

.. and NG adblockers (or browsers, full stop?) allow the contents according to the user's Web Of Trust ..
Chances are.. any ads that *do* get through.. will be very appropriate and welcome ..


Dangerous (4, Insightful)

JamesA (164074) | about 9 months ago | (#45992297)

Sorry but when an errant ad can serve malware (see Yahoo) it's just not worth taking a chance.

Web site operators have the attitude that their revenue stream is more important than the integrity of their visitors computer.

AdBlock + NoScript is antivirus for the web.

Simple solution (5, Insightful)

Goose In Orbit (199293) | about 9 months ago | (#45992301)

Host your own ads - make them unobtrusive - people will still see them AND the content.

Being lazy and outsourcing it to others... you get what you deserve.

If the ads win, I drop the site (5, Insightful)

RichMan (8097) | about 9 months ago | (#45992305)

The people that are using ad-blockers are stating "I am annoyed by adds". These people seem to think it is a good idea to show the people that have flagged themselves as getting annoyed by ads more ads. That seems really really dumb.

These people should be careful what they wish for. There are many, many sites out there for people to browse on. Annoy a "customer" to much and it is very easy for them to go elsewhere.

Re:If the ads win, I drop the site (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45992461)

Why do you consider yourself a "customer" if you are not paying to be on the site through viewing ads? Isn't that more of a parasite than a customer?

What other way would you prefer to help fund the site's content?

Re:If the ads win, I drop the site (1)

Fwipp (1473271) | about 9 months ago | (#45992519)

You could probably argue the following:

A) Ad-blockers are likely to be tech-savvy users.
B) Tech-savvy users tend to share interesting articles they find.
C) Some of the people they share to will not be ad-blockers.

The weakest link of that argument is probably B. If you take it out, you're left with "maybe the ad-blockers will link your site to 'normal' users," which, while likely partially true, doesn't sound very compelling.

Undetectable adblockers are the future (2)

ickleberry (864871) | about 9 months ago | (#45992323)

Maybe the current crop of adblockers don't download the ads and can be monitored using JavaShit but eventually one will be created that downloads the ads but simply leaves that section of the screen blank. These days most ads are recognised by URL and that URL is usually hosted on a different server to the site itself. Future adblockers could use a thunderbird anti-spam type algorithm to visually recognise ads and match them with a database of things that people reported as ads

The race is winnable alright. Even if the end result would be the demise of "free sites" who get rich off the ads or the more recent trends of sites not getting very rich of the ads but hoping for acquisition by some supermassive company who will plaster the said site with ads until all users leave.

seriously, the ethics of adblocking? (2)

davydagger (2566757) | about 9 months ago | (#45992337)

I am sure its because ad-blocking software is reporting your every move and building a psychological profile on you, that eventually finds its way into the hands of the government, a government, potentially many governments, terrorists, or whoever manages to hack whoever has the list that day.

what ethical issues are there with ad-blocking software that outweigh the ethical issues behind current advertising?

ElementHiderHelper (2)

SirMasterboy (872152) | about 9 months ago | (#45992361)

I use the element hider extension a lot to manually hide the advertisement divs on the websites that I visit.

So website designers are going to have to randomize the div IDs or something so that next time I revisit the page the advertisement elements aren't hidden anymore.

AdBlock vs Not Visiting the Site (4, Insightful)

DanielRavenNest (107550) | about 9 months ago | (#45992365)

AdBlock and similar tools might be defeated, but nothing can defeat me not visiting the site again if the ads are too annoying. I'll put up with some tasteful ads, but too many annoyances and I just will block the site entirely.

Re:AdBlock vs Not Visiting the Site (1)

NJRoadfan (1254248) | about 9 months ago | (#45992589)

Once upon a time, Google used to only serve up text based ads. They weren't annoying and didn't try to infect machines with malware.

rethink the ads you're serving (5, Insightful)

rlwhite (219604) | about 9 months ago | (#45992391)

If I see banner ads or anything else obnoxious, and I can't keep them blocked and still use the site, I'll find what I want elsewhere.

I'm ok with the text-based ads Google is known for, and I'll even click on them when they're relevant to what I'm looking for... because they're not obnoxious! They aim to be helpful!

I'm a parasite. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45992401)

I never buy anything unless I genuinely need/want it. It really is the truth. If I want/need it, I will pay whatever the price is at the moment. If it happens to be on sale, that's nice. If not, that has no relevance whatsoever. If I don't want/need it, I will not even consider buying it, for any price. That's just how I am.

Focus (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45992409)

Why not focus instead on creating a site with worthwhile content that people would actually be willing to support? Free Republic, for example, uses this business model and it's worked out pretty well for them so far.

If you have to resort to ads to support your "free" project, what have you actually accomplished?

Here's a radical idea... (5, Insightful)

jheath314 (916607) | about 9 months ago | (#45992417)

If people are blocking your ads, it's probably because they're not interested in seeing the god damn ads. Sneaking past the ad blocker won't result in me going "gee, you got me, I'll be good and click on your ad now." More likely it will piss me off to the point where I stop visiting your site.

Stupid marketers and their "arms race" mentality was what resulted in people developing and using adblock and noscript in the first place. "What do you mean people still aren't clicking on our ads? It's got a dancing monkey with a flashing background and it occupies half the browser window! Fine, we'll make it play music too, and pop up fifty windows... maybe THEN they'll realize the error of their ways and click on it."

How silly (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45992423)

We have control over our browsers...they don't!


Haha! Suckers-- I'm using Mosiac! (5, Funny)

sandbagger (654585) | about 9 months ago | (#45992427)

Text view is the only thing that renders, mind you.

In single column. I scroll a lot.

You can't win, Darth Blanchfield (1)

CuteSteveJobs (1343851) | about 9 months ago | (#45992437)

Sorry Blanchfield, but Adblock can fetch the ads and then simply not show them.

And Yablonka, Adbock can simply block *all* images since most are superfluous anyway and only allow through those it really trusts.

Sorry to break it to you the both of you Blanchfield and Yablonka, but no plan survives its first encounter with the enemy.

Not realy about winnable (1)

Booz (2473568) | about 9 months ago | (#45992457)

I don't think it is a question about winnable.
It is more about how many ads that sites can force on to the users before they start loosing users and in turn money.
If sites circumvent ad blocking and force ads to the users then i think the users are more likely to stop visiting that site and instead pick another one.

So it is probably more about choice

Adblock is also a safety measure. (5, Interesting)

DittoBox (978894) | about 9 months ago | (#45992459)

AdBlock is something I've started installing for friends and family more as a way to block malware, than as a way to block ads outright. Poisoned ads (malvertising) account for a lot of malware installs. Just Google for iTunes or Firefox and the top ad results are malware infected installers.

Besides the incredible annoyance of ads in the slow downs they cause, they're also a dangerous pathway to malware and viruses. Common methods like embedding an iframe into a page that loads a script that targets a browser exploit to install something nasty (drive-by downloads), oneclick exploits, baiting users to download things, etc.

Ad networks—at least the slimy ones—don't care because they're getting paid.

Pass all you want... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45992463)

Pass all the ads you want. Privoxy will remove them locally. You won't know what is happening.

How about this: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45992481)

Content publishers who use adds to fund their website are defrauding the people paying them for displaying adds.
I don't click on adds, so by asking me to white list the adds and just ignore them they are the ones stealing from the add people.
And I don't support stealing.

I don't know what all the fuss is about (0)

CohibaVancouver (864662) | about 9 months ago | (#45992501)

I've never used an adblocker - Suppose I could, but can't be bothered.

I know ads drive the Slashdot crowd batshit bananas crazy, but f*ck, get over it. How does a 10 second ad for a Chevy ruin your life? I just tune them out...

Re:I don't know what all the fuss is about (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45992593)

You are a tool, and I say that as someone who worked for DoubleClick for 4 years...

Re:I don't know what all the fuss is about (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45992613)

When that ad serves up a some malware that that grabs your bank url/username/password. That's when.

Happens all the time for users of various online gaming systems (WOW in particular). Web site with info about game serves up some malware, user's account is compromised. Malware distributor profits.

On no longer using Ad Block (5, Insightful)

onyxruby (118189) | about 9 months ago | (#45992503)

I'll consider abandoning Ad Block when a decade after ads are no longer the leading cause of malware. Until then I consider it a security requirement along with noscript.

It's The Content, Stupid! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45992517)

When you stop producing ads that take over my browser, attempt to infect my computer with malware, auto-play video and audio, and float obnoxiously over the content I actually came to the site to see, I'll consider not using an ad blocker.

Until that happens, you can go get raped by a goat for all I care.

Malware (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45992523)

It's not so much the annoying, sound playing, flashing adds that get to me, and finally got me to get adblock, it's the bloody constant malware/scareware/adware attacks that are being pushed through nearly ever ad company.

Until that shit stops completely, I'll continue blocking ads to the best of my ability.

A message to Yablonka & Blanchfield : (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45992527)

When you made ads impossible to avoid, many of us will simply quit using the websites which
involve your tricks. So your page hits drop and perhaps your website also gets a "reputation"
of being a bad site to visit. Does this sound like a recipe for success ?

If what you sell is good, you don't need to intrude into people's lives with ads which bombard
the viewer. If you need ads to sell your stuff, then maybe your stuff shouldn't exist in the first place,
because the last thing this world needs is more useless crap wasting resources.

block all the ads (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45992571)

I can't wait for true augmented reality that will let me block ads in meatspace as easily as online

I not only block ads, but I also block websites whining about blocking ads and any other form of begging (element hiding helper ftw)

If you don't want me looking at your site, then don't have your server respond when my browser makes a request for the pages.

All advertisements are spam, and the people who work in the industry figuring out new ways to invade people's minds should take Bill Hicks' advice.

Running ablock for almost 20 years (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45992579)

I have been running adblock fo some kind for almost 20 years on my desktops. On my android devices, I haven't spent the time necessary to find a reasonable adblock solution, and wow is the web and entirely different (and much shittier) experience.

Have no doubt, a primary reason for device lock down is to prevent users from circumventing advertisement spam.

Behaviour of advertisers (0)

John Allsup (987) | about 9 months ago | (#45992609)

I do not disagree with ads per se, given how they function in the internet economy.  But the level of intrusiveness of adverts is the problem.  For a long time I actually resisted ad blocking technology, since I agree with the idea that one should support what they use, and if this is by seeing adverts, so be it.  When it came to Vibrant ads, however, a line was crossed.  Having floating divs appear when moving my mouse to click a link (and the div obscuring the link) and stuff like that is too intrusive, and not on.

There needs to be a solid code of ethics for where adverts are acceptable and where they're not, and if that is not sufficient for certain lines of business, then those lines of business should just disappear off the web.  If ad blocking software had a clear code of ethics, and maintained a blacklist of sites that crossed it, and that only those sites got ad-blocked, and would be unblocked once they got back in conformance with the code of ethics, things would be better.  If that was enforced by government regulation like the UK's Advertising Standards Authority, or suchlike then things would be better.

At present, advertisers do not have a regulating authority that controls how intrusive they can make advertising, and thus there is a need for technology like ad-blocking to avoid this.  If sites use Javascript or log-checking to try and catch ad-blockers, I can see an arms race developing.   We do not need that.   What we need is for advertisers to be more gentlemanly, less greedy, and above all, to behave and be civil about how they go about their business.  Until they do they get no sympathy from my end.  It is right that those who misbehave should be put at a disadvantage.

Where is my cut? (1)

Herkum01 (592704) | about 9 months ago | (#45992637)

I notice that some try to appeal to the User's better nature to let the Ads on through. I wonder if perhaps, I don't know, PAYING the user to accept Ads should be part of the solution. Nothing like money to drive viewership!

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