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Ask Slashdot: To AdBlock Or Not To AdBlock?

conner_bw (120497) writes | more than 2 years ago

Privacy 4

conner_bw (120497) writes "Is there an acceptable compromise to behaviour targeting? On the one hand, I don't want to be profiled by unscrupulous advertisers. On the other hand, I feel that the advertiser is the middleman between the things I care about (content) and the dollars that support those things. My compromise is to take a page out of BF Skinner's book Walden Two and view the situation as a sort of absurd behaviourist experiment. Basically, I adblock everything but whitelist the sites I support. Is this too much? Not enough? What should the individual do protect themselves, if anything at all?"

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Not mature enough yet (1)

gurps_npc (621217) | more than 2 years ago | (#41072045)

Part of the problem is that the industry is still in it's childhood. Give it another 10 years and maybe we will slowly develop standards that you can reliably use to tell the difference between good actors and bad actors.

There are certain activities that we already know are evil, but legitimate corporations still do. For example, the "Are you sure you want to close this website window?" is particularly evil, but some people still do it.

Then there are the huge number of music and video spots that start when you first go to a web site.

Restaurants are the worst offenders here. They have this insane idea that people want to hear music and see video when they visit their website. 98% of the time we want to know: 1) Location, 2) hours, 3) phone number, 4) Menu and NOTHING ELSE. The other 2% of the time we want to see a photo so we know it's not a dump.

As long as this kind of stuff is still going on, I think you are entitled to adblock EVERYTHING. These people need to figure out what is acceptable. One they prove themselves trustworthy, then we can support them.

Re:Not mature enough yet/ Necessary Evil? (1)

rmdingler (1955220) | more than 2 years ago | (#41075423)

While there will always be a fair amount of unwarranted intrusion from the companies that help pay for the content we want to view (Ginsu knives commercial loud enough to hear from the porcelin oval office), the simple fact is that much of YOUR internet must now figure out how to pay for itself before it's IPO lands square on its' face book.

My approach (1)

Spazmania (174582) | more than 2 years ago | (#41073239)

1. Block Flash. No advertiser needs to run a program on my computer.
2. Allow all other graphical and text ads.
3. If it moves, block the ad system that served it.

I think that provides a reasonable compromise: I continue to be exposed to inoffensive ads and occasionally buy from them. The other advertisers can place ads which conform to what I'm willing to view or not as they choose. If they choose to place motion ads with services that accept motion ads, I won't see them.

Can you reason with a drunken party crasher? (1)

sfosparky (2713215) | more than 2 years ago | (#41082559)

I've come to think of advertising as a drunken loudmouth party crasher. Each time he shows up at the door he promises he'll behave and remain tasteful and unobtrusive. But after a few minutes inside, advertising starts talking louder and longer; he simply can't control himself. When advertising sees that people are trying to ignore him, he responds by ever more forcibly interrupting conversations with yet another shouted, pointless story about himself. Not satisfied with having merely degraded the conversations and destroyed the party's social ambiance, advertising then lurches over the the buffet table and starts piling nearly all the food on his own plate, all the while noisily insisting that "he's the life of the party!"

The inescapable reality is that like the cancer cell, advertising "grows" until it destroys its host. It is that insatiability that is the origin of ad-avoiding and ad-blocking.

Roughly twenty-five years ago or so I programmed my VCR to tape a local channel's airing of old black-and-white Avengers TV series. I recently stumbled on those tapes and was *stunned* at how little time advertising consumed during the programs. Today, of course, television is effectively unwatchable unless one is a dedicated remote clicker or otherwise brain dead. Not incidentally, advertising agencies now lament the "death" of television's audience numbers as part of explaining to their clients why it's necessary to now move on to other, healthier hosts.

Consider, too, broadcast radio. Today radio is so awash in advertising that the only time anyone listens to it, and then only briefly, is if they're imprisoned in a poorly equipped rental car. Radio is another medium that's been killed by advertising's inability to moderate its expansion. And just like TV, advertising now tells its customers that it's time to find New! and Exciting! media outlets to replace the now-deceased radio.

Today, on the Internet, advertising isn't willing to be thrown out of yet another party while there's still life in it. So he responds not by improving his dress and behavior, but instead by working tirelessly to make himself immune to ad-blocking tools and techniques.

You think he'd learn. Instead, advertising alternates between morosely pondering why he isn't wanted and drunkenly shouting that no party is complete without him

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