Once Again, Blocking Ads And Automating Clicks Isn't 'Stealing'

from the explaining-it-nicely dept

A couple years back, we wrote about some guy who kicked off a campaign to get sites to block all Firefox users, claiming that too many of them use extensions like "AdBlock" and those people are "stealing" from the site. This is silly for a whole bunch of reasons. You don't need to monetize every single person who visits your site, and it's their computer. If they don't want to see ads on their computer, that's their decision. If your business model is something they don't appreciate, that's your problem, not their's. This issue has suddenly come up again, as Rose M. Welch alerts us to a blog post from a guy who threatens to start blocking Firefox users, claiming that using AdBlock is "practically like you are stealing from me."

Amusingly, in that same post, he argues that he never expects people to actually click on the ads from his site, but he relies on the revenue those ads bring in. So... let me get this straight. If people use AdBlock, they're stealing from you. But... if, instead, people come to your site and totally ignore the ads, but those advertisers have to pay you anyway, that's okay? Based on this guy's own logic, isn't he "practically stealing" from the advertisers? After all, he's granting them a service and then telling his readers to ignore the ads. Those advertisers rely on people buying stuff after clicking the ads, right? So, it's okay if people don't help out those advertisers, but if your own readers don't help you out by allowing the ads, it's theft? Yeah... okay.

Taking this concept to an even greater extreme, the EFF has stepped in on a legal dispute, where file hosting provider MediaFire is demanding Mozilla remove a plug-in that lets people skip the ad that MediaFire tries to show people before they can access the file they're trying to download. As the EFF notes:
It's my browser, and I can ignore your ads if I want to.
MediaFire's claims are like the people who claim that anyone using AdBlock is "stealing" from them and breaking their user agreement -- but as the EFF notes, there's no stealing of anything going on here, and the user agreement is never actually agreed to, and thus not particularly enforceable or even relevant.

So, once again, with feeling, it's worth reminding people that your business model is not sacred. You have no right to a business model, and if some technology comes along that undermines your business model, that shouldn't be illegal. It just means the market has changed, and it's time you change along with it. And yes, for those who ask, please feel free to use AdBlock on this site if you want to. It's totally up to you, of course. You don't need my permission.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    vivaelamor (profile), Oct 9th, 2009 @ 12:54pm

    Spot on.

    I had this debate with someone on the Ars article. People who seem to be pro advert funded models have a habit of leaving the advertiser out of the equation. They accuse the user of stealing their ad revenue when actually the ad revenue is still in the pocket of the advertiser. Because people don't actually give anything when they ignore an advert nothing is lost when that advert is not displayed.

    I see it as a progression in economics, the sooner people realise the amount of money being wasted on unproductive advertising the sooner people start pursuing more sustainable business plans. You don't fund free through advertising, you just shift the cost to the advertiser.. if the advertiser is getting nothing for their money then it is a false economy.

    Disabling adverts that people have no intention of considering is perhaps the most helpful thing a person can do to nudge the economy in the right direction in this case.

     

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  2.  
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    imbrucy (profile), Oct 9th, 2009 @ 1:13pm

    I use adblock, but I have gotten into the habit of turning it off on sites that I regular that I know depend on the ad revenue and also don't have obnoxious ads. Several sites, like Techdirt, have very basic ads that don't interfere with the content and aren't obnoxious, so I explicitly turn adblock off for these sites.

     

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  3.  
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    vivaelamor (profile), Oct 9th, 2009 @ 1:20pm

    @imbrucy

    I do not use Adblock but I do use Noscript as a security measure. Oddly, a side effect of that is I don't seem to see many adverts.

     

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  4.  
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    nycguy, Oct 9th, 2009 @ 1:27pm

    Daily Kos does it better

    If you use Adblock and go to Daily Kos, the first story that pops up is one that explains Kos' dependency on ads and has a tutorial on how to et up an exception for the Kos site.

    The regular Kos site follows below,

     

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  5.  
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    Designerfx (profile), Oct 9th, 2009 @ 1:30pm

    lets up it further

    we're not stealing, he's stealing from us - he's monetizing the fact that we're even privileging him enough to view his website.

    Where's my penny for viewing the douchebag's website? Or should we invoice him by the hour?

    Meanwhile, the original mediafire one is just as asinine. I hope their management gets a smack for that.

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 9th, 2009 @ 1:30pm

    I only turn Adblock on when I'm on TechDirt.

     

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  7.  
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    Free Capitalist (profile), Oct 9th, 2009 @ 1:30pm

    Is there any way to inject advertising directly into the consumer's bloodstream?

    Maybe that's what all this hubbub about consumer health care is really all about.

    Sorry its late. Have a good weekend. Pretty much agree,

    Mike I appreciate your holding the view that *no business model is sacred or should be granted by entitlement or right.

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 9th, 2009 @ 1:32pm

    I still have yet to receive a response from most of the people who are pro advertisement about a very basic questions. If I use the 'links' web browser (bundled with most linux installs, and a great basic command line browser) or any of its ilk, am I stealing because I can't view the ads?

    It's functionally the same as ad-block plus because I don't see the ads and they are not loaded, however I have not installed any type of ad blocking software, it's simply the browser I choose to use.

    And this is just one example. What if google made Chrome such that it couldn't see ads (yes it won't, but just for instance). Would using Chrome be tantamount to theft?

     

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  9.  
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    Designerfx (profile), Oct 9th, 2009 @ 1:42pm

    Re: @imbrucy

    flashblock + adblock + noscript = ideal. websites become a whole lot easier to read.

     

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  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 9th, 2009 @ 1:47pm

    Advertising is the price of a free website. It's not a complicated idea.

    Surfers who are not willing to accept the ads are not stealing, but they are acting against their own self interest. If a website you like closes down because of a lack of ad income, you have only hurt yourself.

    Many ad programs work not just on clicks, but on CPM rates or based on overall traffic counts in one form or another. Some programs do look at the total number of ads actually served, as opposed to web pages requested.

    Even if you are not clicking on the ads (and most people don't) there is still a significant impact in the impressions left. I have never clicked on an ad on techdirt, but the companies that advertise on this site have gotten my attention.

    in the end, while you may think you are slick and counterculture to run adblock, in the end you are only hurting your own interests.

     

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  11.  
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    Steve R. (profile), Oct 9th, 2009 @ 1:50pm

    Entitlement Society

    The concept of "entitlement" is no longer restricted to those receiving welfare. Capitalism has morphed from being a competitive game base on serving the customer into the customer being viewed as a revenue unit for. Sellers now believe they entitled to a profit, they no longer have to earn it.

     

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  12.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 9th, 2009 @ 1:54pm

    Re:

    Or, you know, it could be in our best interest to have sites that don't know how to correctly monetize themselves vanish from existence, along with terrible ads, and be replaced by intelligently designed websites.

     

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  13.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 9th, 2009 @ 1:55pm

    If I couldn't adblock, I might not visit this site, let alone many other sites...

     

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  14.  
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    McBeese, Oct 9th, 2009 @ 1:55pm

    DVRs

    I'm sure this joker never fast-forwards through the ads in recorded shows on his DVR either.

    Yeah, right.

    Same principle.

     

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  15.  
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    The Infamous Joe (profile), Oct 9th, 2009 @ 2:06pm

    Re:

    Will your stance change when Comcast and the like institute a tiered cap on internet usage? Then adblock will be more beneficial than just blocking (usually annoying) ads, because I don't feel like letting ads "steal" my money.

    Just asking.

     

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  16.  
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    Yakko Warner, Oct 9th, 2009 @ 2:07pm

    Not just my browser, but my ISP bill

    Dear Site Owner,

    It's my internet connection, and my ISP has put a limit on the amount of data I am allowed to download to my computer in a month. You may have heard of it; it's called a "bandwidth cap".

    You're telling me that, in order to visit and retrieve the content from website.com, you expect me to accept the instructions sent to my browser to use up my limited bandwidth in downloading content from adserver.website.com on top of that??

    No.

     

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  17.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 9th, 2009 @ 2:08pm

    Lol Mike. Business model for free personnal add-supported sites. You are so funny.. ever thought of being a commedian? I would pirate your DVD for sure!

     

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  18.  
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    mklinker (profile), Oct 9th, 2009 @ 2:13pm

    Re:

    Actually, I recently read about a new browser named Arora that includes basic ad blocking, and even a flash blocking function - so it's not that crazy...

    http://code.google.com/p/arora/

     

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  19.  
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    Brian, Oct 9th, 2009 @ 2:21pm

    On the other hand...

    This article makes the point that, "If they don't want to see ads on their computer, that's their decision." But the flip side of that is, if the website doesn't want to show their site to users who block ads, that's their decision - it's their website.

    Blocking ads is not stealing. But it's just as obsurd to think that displaying ads that most people are ignoring is somehow "stealing" from the advertiser. The advertiser is paying for the opportunity to put their ad in front of users. If the site does that, how it performs is not the site's responsibility.

     

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  20.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Oct 9th, 2009 @ 2:25pm

    This guy is funny...

    This article is HILARIOUS! You can just set a bunch of quotes next to each other and then picture John Stewart deadpanning into the camera after the "clips:

    "That said, if you block the ads on my site, pound sand."
    "I am sympathetic."

    Urrr?

    "When you come to one of my websites you are absolutely welcome to not click any of the ad links. You are equally at liberty to not pay attention to the ads should you so choose."
    "However, you don’t get the option to ignore monetization in the world."

    Uh....

    "When you come to one of my websites you are absolutely welcome to not click any of the ad links."
    "why not click an ad link now and then?"

    Darrrr....

    "Is It Time To Start Blocking Firefox Users?"
    "I am not about to block Firefox users"

    Bwah?!!!?

     

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  21.  
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    inc (profile), Oct 9th, 2009 @ 2:31pm

    just gave your ad a click there :)

     

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  22.  
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    Lucretious, Oct 9th, 2009 @ 2:34pm

    Re: This guy is funny...

    The guy sort of reminds me of Lilly Allen. He'll respond to the simplistic posts with a snide remark while the well-thought out, lucid arguments are avoided like....well....one of his ads.

     

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  23.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Oct 9th, 2009 @ 2:36pm

    Re:

    From far away, your avatar looks like a fat Jesus. Just so you know....

     

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  24.  
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    Patty, Oct 9th, 2009 @ 2:43pm

    Blocking Ads

    I block Flash ads. They interfere with what I am reading. They seem to universally reviled and yet advertisers insist on forcing them onto the reader. The same applies to the ones that pop up when your mouse mistakenly hovers over an ad link. I cannot understand how advertisers do not glom that this is monumentally annoying. I do not bother blocking ads that are just pictures. Those ads have at least a small chance of capturing my attention. The solution for advertisers is to innovative, clever and fun - in other words, to learn something new.

     

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  25.  
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    bubba, Oct 9th, 2009 @ 2:49pm

    and this is the problem with chrome...

    until there is an adblock that works in chrome as well as it does in firefox, google will never get the crowd firefox has for that very reason. and yet how can chrome approve an adblock when the reason google exists is selling web ads?

     

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  26.  
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    william (profile), Oct 9th, 2009 @ 3:01pm

    Get over it

    No really, I don't see why the big deal out it.

    The guy is free to block his site from Firefox users. It's his freedom to do so. Mozilla is free to continue to distribute the plug-in since it's a valid, useful plug-in people uses and not some kind of virus or bot.

    Look, both party are free to do what they want.

    The problem is that you shouldn't WHINE about what other party is doing. Web site owners shouldn't whine about lost revenues, it was your choice to block them and they have no obligation to visit your site. Firefox owners shouldn't WHINE about not able to visit the site, because it's your choice to not work with the terms of the site.

    Take a real life example, if a restaurant says "texudo only". The owner cannot whine about customers not changing into texudo and spend money in the restaurant. They are not obligated to dine there. Customers shouldn't whine about not able to enter the restaurant, because the owner controls the venue and he can set whatever applicable rules he wants. what makes the Internet different from this?

    In defense of the websites, I think not only websites are having an "entitlement" issue, the users are having entitlement issues too. Just because I built a site and put it on an Internet server doesn't mean you have the right to access it.

    Whatever happened to "Fine, be that way. I'll take my business else where." User now goes "I am going to sue you because I am entitled to use your service."

     

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  27.  
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    Dez (profile), Oct 9th, 2009 @ 3:03pm

    Bad Ad format

    People come to your site to read the information you're supposedly providing them. Revenue from advertisers is a consequence of this. However, if you choose to use the wrong ad format you'll lose visitors.

    The one thing that bugged me about this guy's page is that he's using a tall ad block in his content area. Which brings his actual writing below the fold on probably a good number of visitor's machines.

     

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  28.  
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    John Doe, Oct 9th, 2009 @ 3:08pm

    I use an old fashion ad blocker...

    I use an old fashion ad blocker called a brain. The ads don't even register with me and I never click them. I guess I might click them if I actually wanted a low interest morgtage, to lose weight or grow a bigger appendage though. ;>) But since none of those 3 interest me, I can ignore 99.9% of the ads.

    PS. I ignore the other .1% too.

     

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  29.  
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    John Doe, Oct 9th, 2009 @ 3:11pm

    Re: Entitlement Society

    This is exactly the mentality today. Everybody things the current generation of kids have an entitlement complex, but I wonder where they got it?

     

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  30.  
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    Esahc (profile), Oct 9th, 2009 @ 3:29pm

    Re:

    and no one cares

     

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  31.  
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    Lucretious, Oct 9th, 2009 @ 3:31pm

    Re: I use an old fashion ad blocker...

    Can you ignore those strobe-effect ads that are bright red and white? That's an instant "leave the site" element for me.

     

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  32.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 9th, 2009 @ 3:31pm

    Re:

    Let this be a lesson to all you freeloaders that change the channel when a commercial comes on.

    Thieves I tell you!

     

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  33.  
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    PRMan, Oct 9th, 2009 @ 4:10pm

    Re: Re: @imbrucy

    noscript = ideal, because it already blocks flash and ads. Plus I can unblock them just by clicking or whitelisting in a simple menu.

    Why install 2 more plugins?

     

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  34.  
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    Pjerky (profile), Oct 9th, 2009 @ 4:18pm

    Block this idiot's site.

    I think something ironic would be that someone create a Firefox add-on that blocks users from visiting this guy's site and sites of others like him.

     

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  35.  
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    Ben (profile), Oct 9th, 2009 @ 4:43pm

    Sound is incredibly annoying...

    Mike-
    I love adblock plus and have disabled it on techdirt. I hope you get some exorbitant rate for accepting ads with sounds, because they are incredibly annoying. Perhaps you could help your advertisers understand that they if have any hope for a click they should avoid annoying your readers...

     

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  36.  
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    Morisato (profile), Oct 9th, 2009 @ 4:55pm

    Well...

    I don't really mind ads aslong as they're to side of a webpage and not disctracting with flashy colors or drawing any sort of attention. What I hate about sites is the ads that open new windows while you click on a link within the site itself. Nowadays I just have adblock + element helper + greasemonkey to mitigate all these hassles. I use it on all sites being it techdirt or not. Again I don't mind turning it off on techdirt but I've been procastinating on all sites I visit due to the fact that most other sites these days being blogs or tor**** sites use these to supposedly keep them alive and through so called 'donations'. Frankly people shouldn't setup sites at all if they have to rely on others for support... I notice Techdirt uses many tracking cookies as well but I've already have those opted out.

     

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  37.  
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    Tom, Oct 9th, 2009 @ 4:55pm

    duh

    If you are going to write an article and use the initials of EFF, it's a good idea to actually let everyone know what EFF stands for.

     

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  38.  
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    Uncle Slam, Oct 9th, 2009 @ 4:55pm

    Re: DVRs

    This article got me thinking about television too. I'm going to be getting rid of my cable service soon and I plan on telling them exactly why. Pick any twenty channels at random and I bet you 90% of them will be playing an ad when you turn to them. My cable bill keeps climbing and for what? Half the content is advertisements these days. I do not see why I should have to both watch and pay for them. QoS has been slowly going down hill for the past three years or so too, especially video quality (macro blocking, green blacks, stutters and pauses every few minutes).

    I've been using NoScript and Ad Block Plus for a long time and encourage everyone to give them a try. For privacy I also use RefControl which prevents sites from knowing the location I just surfed from and sometimes also helps with those sites that try to prevent off site linking. There is also one called User Agent Switcher which allows you to fake your browser identity and it looks like I may have to start using it again.

    It is my browser, my computer, my internet connection, my choice. Creating a website is a voluntary act, one which means I do not owe you anything. If those who are in it for the money get filtered to death, leaving behind those who do it because it is their passion, well then I say that is an example of natural selection at work and probably a good thing. It's one we're seeing happen to a lot of corporate sectors lately too. Take music for example. I'd rather listen to and support an artist who has a good business model in place, doing it primarily for the love and passion of their craft, instead of supporting one who is a cookie cutter creation of the corporate moguls, a faker who is in it only for the fame and fortune (Milli Vanilli popped right into my head when I wrote that, a most extreme example).

    The world is changing in many different ways, ecological, biological and economical. Basic Darwinism says that those who cannot adapt to a changing environment will eventually be doomed and that is exactly what we're beginning to see. Those who feel a sense of entitlement, doing nothing but complain, will be the first to go. Nature does not negotiate. I'm sure some day we'll be complaining about how robots stole all of our jobs, robbing us of the income we feel entitled to. Technology will always keep advancing and the sooner we ALL learn how to deal with that, the better of we'll be.

     

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  39.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 9th, 2009 @ 5:30pm

    Re: duh

     

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  40.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 9th, 2009 @ 5:31pm

    Re: duh

    Or alternatively, click the link one line down from the "EFF" in the post.

    I know, it's difficult.

     

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  41.  
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    Gracey, Oct 9th, 2009 @ 5:42pm

    I run a website supported by Adsense adds. I give away a lot of free images for blogs and many other types of files.

    But I also use Adblock plus. And anybody who visits my sites and takes my free stuff is welcome to use AdBlock Plus too.

    When you start telling people they HAVE to view my ads you'll lose visitors and readers.

    I didn't build my site around, or for, the advertising. The advertising is secondary to what I do. I was doing this before advertising went on the site, and I'd be doing it still if there was no advertising.

     

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  42.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 9th, 2009 @ 5:58pm

    I use Adblock in Firefox, but it's easy to get me to not block your ads, you just need to:

    1. not host them at an address like http://ads.****.com/***banner**.gif that is included in the default blacklist that comes with the Adblock plugin, and

    2. not make the ads huge or blinking or floating on top of the text I'm trying to read or anything else that's annoying enough to get me to bother adding a new filter to block them.

    I don't think #1 is really all that hard (it's not like the Adblock people are really aggressively scouring the internet to add every single little ad to their default blacklist), and #2 is something you should be doing anyway if you want non-Adblock-users to visit your site at all.

    I've heard great things about Chrome, but I'm reluctant to try it until it's got a good Adblock replacement (and even more importantly, a NoScript and good cookie whitelist manager).

     

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  43.  
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    Rob, Oct 9th, 2009 @ 6:25pm

    Adblockers are actually doing site owners a favor. Assuming they'd NEVER click on an ad anyway, which I for certain never would, the site owner is getting a greatly increased click through ratio, as essentially worthless impressions are reduced. (adblocked ads aren't counted as an impression as they're never downloaded)

    This means the site owner's ratio of users actually clicking on ads versus the number of people seeing them is increased, making the site and prospect of advertising there look much better to advertisers.

    As a website developer myself, it really comes down to a case of laziness. The type of person bitching about Adblock is the type of person who'll slap Google Adsense on their site and expect to make millions. In reality they make pennies and by trying a variety of different ways to force users to click ads, they also alienate a great number of people.

    If they put simple, custom made, non-intrusive text or even image ads on their site, not only would Adblock not block them (unless visitors add a filter, which is incredibly unlikely for non-intrusive text ads), they'd also make a great deal more money by cutting out the middle man (eg. Google) and getting some really well targeted adverts for their viewers as well.

    Adblock really is a win-win situation for site owners, only some are too lazy, greedy or plain obsessed with useless impressions to notice that.

     

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  44.  
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    Marvin Gardins, Oct 9th, 2009 @ 6:31pm

    It was okay a long time ago...

    The first time I saw online ads was on the pre internet Trintex network( a company brought to life by the unholy alliance of Sears, IBM, and CBS that was later renamed Prodigy). The banner ads took up precious real estate on the typical 12-13 inch VGA screen of the time... and you were paying monthly to access Prodigy anyhow.. so they made money on you as a sub and money ads. I tolerated ads on the Internet until they got in your face.. punch the monkey was annoying. the next step up was the X-10 (?) ads slammed all over your screen. By that time I had enough. It was out of control and the web was turning into an ad delivery shovel. I happily use adblock because they took it too far. Play nice and I will turn it off. Get in my face and it stays on. Have a nice day

     

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  45.  
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    ..., Oct 9th, 2009 @ 6:33pm

    Re:

    any relation to lynx ?

     

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  46.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 9th, 2009 @ 6:45pm

    Re: It was okay a long time ago...

    Guess what: If you don't take the ads, you don't get the content. It's a simple deal really. In the past, web companies were making enough to afford to support freeloaders like you. Now the economy is tougher, and they aren't going to put up with you wandering in, eating from their information buffet, and not paying the price, which is seeing the ads.

    Why do you think that video news sites are getting smart and forcing commercials before the video that cannot be skipped and cannot be fast forwarded? It's the price you pay for the content.

    It's up to you. You are not entitled to see the content, you can get it by paying the price.

     

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  47.  
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    ..., Oct 9th, 2009 @ 6:46pm

    Re:

    Both responses above, AC & The Infamous Joe have good points.

    1) A website does not have to redirect, invoke flash or use javascript in order to display advertisements. There are ways to display ads even if plugins are in use or javascript is turned off. It is a much less obnoxious approach to advertising.

    2) If ISPs are going to cap BW usage, then the websites should anticipate users attempts to mitigate the resultant costs. Hint, lower the BW of your ads

     

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  48.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 9th, 2009 @ 6:52pm

    Re:

    Lol AC,
    Business model for personnnnnnnnal correct spelling.
    You are so funny.
    Ever thought of being a commmmmmmedian?

     

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  49.  
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    ..., Oct 9th, 2009 @ 6:56pm

    Re: On the other hand...

    obsurd?

    If the ads were not so annoying and BW sucking POS, then maybe they would be tolerated.

     

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  50.  
    identicon
    ..., Oct 9th, 2009 @ 7:03pm

    Re: Get over it

    "The guy is free to block his site from Firefox users."

    Most Firefox users would easily bypass their feeble attempts.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  51.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 9th, 2009 @ 7:07pm

    Re: duh

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  52.  
    identicon
    ..., Oct 9th, 2009 @ 7:14pm

    Re: Re: It was okay a long time ago...

    "If you don't take the ads, you don't get the content."
    - not true

    "they aren't going to put up with you wandering in"
    - you're funny

    "Why do you think that video news sites are getting smart and forcing commercials before the video that cannot be skipped and cannot be fast forwarded?"

    - there is still the mute function

    "It's up to you. You are not entitled to see the content, you can get it by paying the price"

    - It's up to you, you can provide what consumers are interested in or you can go belly up.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  53.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 9th, 2009 @ 8:27pm

    Re: Re:

    1) websites can also reasonably easily detect a failure to load parts or pieces of a website. They can also detect when you don't have flash enabled or java turned off. It isn't hard to redirect or refuse entry based on that, or to provide a VERY restricted web experience.

    2) Why would advertisers care? When you go to youtube to see a video, what do you think is the biggest part of the page? it isn't the advertising, it's the video and other content on the page. The bandwidth provided by ISPs it typically very reasonable. Again, if you want more access you pay for more (user pays!). The stuff is cheap, get over it!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  54.  
    icon
    Brendan (profile), Oct 9th, 2009 @ 9:06pm

    People asking for AdBlock in Chrome

    Privoxy works great for that. It runs as a local http proxy, and you just pipe your Chrome traffic through it. Voila, Chrome sans ads.

    www.privoxy.org

    http://lifehacker.com/5046529/how-to-block-ads-in-google-chrome

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  55.  
    icon
    Travis Miller (profile), Oct 10th, 2009 @ 12:37am

    Block your ads?

    It's your honesty in posts like this that led to me disabling AdbBlock for your site. Seriously: on your site and others', if I value your site, I'll let your ads through.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  56.  
    identicon
    rollinginsanity, Oct 10th, 2009 @ 3:01am

    This is almost the same as the debate about whether it's ethical to fast foreward or skip ads on Tv that you've recorded. As far as I'm aware, you put your content out there, and therefore you lose any control over how it's read.

     

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  57.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 10th, 2009 @ 4:07am

    Re: Re: I use an old fashion ad blocker...

    Try hitting ESC first. Lotta those will stop.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  58.  
    identicon
    Luci, Oct 10th, 2009 @ 4:16am

    Re: Re: It was okay a long time ago...

    Let's try looking at this in another way, shall we? We're the consumer. What you provide is what we want, but you aren't the only game in town. You annoy us, we go elsewhere, and you lose business. Keep it up, you go out of business. But hey, you're just paying the price. In this economy, it is the consumer that's going to set the rules for entertainment.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  59.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 10th, 2009 @ 5:53am

    Seems most of you lowlifes above are just parasites at heart, simply rationalizing your thieving desires. Fact is, you're on someone's property! It's their property, and when you're on their property, you go by their rules, geddit?
    So stop with your bullshit and live with it... otherwise tomorrow... I'll be entering your property... and guess what... you ain't gonna like it!
    Capishe?!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  60.  
    identicon
    ReVeLaTeD, Oct 10th, 2009 @ 6:41am

    As a former website owner/business owner

    I can say with confidence that the issue isn't as simple as some are saying. While there is definitely money to be made in ads served, there is a lot more money to be made in ads clicked through and even more money to be made in purchased made from said clicks; so those who say that "they're not losing anything" are incorrect.

    That said, you have to look at it from a different angle. If I'm using AdBlock it means that there's a strong chance I never would have clicked the ad anyway; meaning at best, you would have gotten an ad serve count and little else. Ad serves are the LOWEST form of income I can think of, so while they did lose money, they didn't lose much, even when you're talking thousands of hits.

    The other problem is tracking. Too many of these ad companies are not just for serving ads; they're to give you a cookie that will track you as you go elsewhere. If it weren't for that consideration, a lot more people would be more trusting. As it is, any time I set up a computer for someone AdBlock Plus is one of the first things I load with Firefox, period.

    Smart sites realize that they need to get revenue in better ways, like subscription services, that create brand loyalty. Even if it's only charging pennies the point is that they can not only minimize ad presence for the users, but they can also create loyal users that recommend and appreciate their site. There are quite a few out there that have done this model quite well.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  61.  
    icon
    Daemon_ZOGG (profile), Oct 10th, 2009 @ 11:47am

    Stand Fast! I'm coming aboard! Arrrrrr!

    If yor site has content or data that interests me, and it's not password protected, I'm coming aboard! And to echo many of the comments before mine... It's my computer. I and I alone determine what goes on it. If you site is open to the virtual public, then don't harass anyone. Then, just maybe, they might come back...

    PS - Here's a tip for Adobe & other web entities.. Stop leaving hidden super-cookies(flash) in places where web-browsers & the ordinary user can't find them.
    Yes. Many of us know where they are located. I had to write a script to automatically delete them after each use of a web-browser.

    Mozilla adblocker plugins work reeealy well.

    ;)

     

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  62.  
    icon
    Don Bear Wilkinson (profile), Oct 10th, 2009 @ 11:51am

    Re: Get over it

    @William, #26;

    I agree with your assertion and I think the restaurant analogy works.

    I personally am grateful that Adblock works as it does and I would be somewhat unhappy to find I was unable to visit those (for now, relatively) few sites that might block FF. But I don't feel I have a right to demand that they make their site available to me.

    Too many people think that just because they want something that they should see it as their Right to have it. Simply ain't so, kids.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  63.  
    icon
    Don Bear Wilkinson (profile), Oct 10th, 2009 @ 12:00pm

    Re:

    Have you ever looked at the size of the list of URLs in AdBlock Plus? HUNDREDS. It would seem to me that a considerable amount of time and effort is being put into targeting those URLs.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  64.  
    icon
    harbingerofdoom (profile), Oct 10th, 2009 @ 12:05pm

    Re: On the other hand...

    --"Blocking ads is not stealing. But it's just as obsurd to think that displaying ads that most people are ignoring is somehow "stealing" from the advertiser"


    i think that was actually the point he was trying to make... either way you look at it its an absurd stand to take.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  65.  
    icon
    Don Bear Wilkinson (profile), Oct 10th, 2009 @ 12:08pm

    Re:

    This person has very little understanding of the concepts of capitalism and free markets except the parts where, here in America anyway, it's distorted into the most base and hateful assumption that just because you offer a product or service it's your god-given right to shove up my ass.

    Your website, as made available to the public (as opposed to a subscription-only service, where there is a contract or agreement in place, etc.) is not (private) property. If you think your site is so worthwhile, put it behind a log-in screen. Require me to subscribe and click through an Accept screen where your Terms of Service license tells me that I am NOT ALLOWED to block your ads, etc...

    Millions of sites do that. Many fail - because the content's perceived value does not justify the hassle, expense, loss of privacy or other costs to the consumer. But, that's how business goes, right?

    I do so love how this site tags messages from jackasses like this with "Anonymous Coward". *tittering with amusement*

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  66.  
    icon
    whatnow (profile), Oct 10th, 2009 @ 12:24pm

    Annoying ads

    The reason Firefox is in such wide use is because of the annoying ads on MS IE you could not go to a site without being totally annoyed. At the time my connection was not that fast and it took forever to load many sites.
    Let the fool block Firefox users then he loses all the FF users that do not use ad blockers.
    The ad industry needs to learn annoying ads runs off more customers then it brings in. Car companies are the worst they make a good ad you like the first few times but after ten times it just annoys you. To make it worse they put it on TV at the lowest rate time and in 1 hour you see it 5 times. I figure if the are that stupid then their product development has the same problems.
    I have the gold and the man with the gold makes the rules.
    I pay for several sites that ask for a donation and I don't mind some informative ads on a page but annoy me with them and I get a bad taste for your company and refuse to buy anything from you.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  67.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 10th, 2009 @ 3:24pm

    Re: Re: Clueless Wilkinson Mutters

    "Your website... is not (private) property."

    ==================
    :-0
    No, no contradiction there... none at all.
    And you're gonna lecture about capitalism?
    Stop the trolling and sin no more!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  68.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 10th, 2009 @ 6:54pm

    Re: lets up it further

    > he's monetizing the fact that we're even privileging him enough to view his website.

    stupidest comment ever.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  69.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 10th, 2009 @ 6:57pm

    Re: Entitlement Society

    ..and consumers feel that they are entitled to always 'have it your way'.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  70.  
    identicon
    advertiser's friend, Oct 10th, 2009 @ 10:55pm

    I'm doing a favor...

    I'm doing a favor for the advertiser... there's no chance I'll click the link. None at all. Adblock means they won't have to waste money on me.

    In terms of the site operator? Bandwidth is so cheap these days, if they can't support their site with pocket change, there's a serious problem. The problem is most likely that their business model includes high bandwidth media... media freeloaded from their users, stolen from other sites, etc. Boo hoo if they can't make ends meet. Sob.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  71.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 11th, 2009 @ 8:24am

    Re: Re:

    Strange, it tags some of the jackass posts as "Don Bear Wilkinson" too.

    Seriously - just like the Sony case this week, a website, chat board, whatever, is not an open public place. The owner of the website reserves the right to refuse service to anyone. That is the nature of provate property. The website owner can invite you in, or block you out at will. There is nothing you can do about it.

    You are allowed to block the ads. The website is allowed to refuse to give you content as a result.

    Welcome to the real world, it's a two way street.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  72.  
    identicon
    Spanky, Oct 11th, 2009 @ 10:14am

    Seems like every business makes projections of its income, then, if they don't make that much, they think they're being ripped off. Here's a guy who no doubt multiplied the number of presentations by average traffic, and thinks he deserves that much. Sorry, son, you gotta earn it first. Its not yours until its actually in the bank. And its not my duty as a citizen to help you earn it. Talk about a sense of entitlement.

    Of course he has the right to block me if I block his ads. And I have the right to block his ads. I guess we'll just have to agree I don't get to see his site. Since I can't think of a site I can't live without, fine by me.

    None of this would be a problem if advertisers had just acted like adults. Which they never will. If all they did was present small, tasteful ads, I wouldn't block them. But there's pop ups, pop unders, flash ads, etc. There were times when I was on dial up that pages wouldn't load for all the vibrating, pulsating, throbbing ads on the page.

    But that's not the most serious problem. Ads are used surreptitously to plant crap on my machine, and to estabish connections I didn't ask for in order to track me. With flash, there is now the capability of turning on my mic and webcam, behind my back. Guess they want to watch me pick my nose and shout "fuck you" at them when I don't buy their stuff.

    The point is, this is my personal, private information, which, CONSTITUTIONALLY, they do not have the right to. Yet they never asked. They just took. And my constitutional right to privacy will trump this web site owner's right to a profit every day of the god-dam week.

    The funny part is, if advertisers had just been satisfied with the inch they were given, instead of trampling on everyone's rights, things like adblock plus probably wouldn't exist, and I wouldn't be doing ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING I CAN THINK OF to block these scumbags.

    And to the welfare queen who thinks he's being stolen from, good luck with your website.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  73.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 11th, 2009 @ 10:38am

    No

    What about people who have monthly bandwidth limits
    Ads can be pretty graphical and invasive, some using flash and so on, using more BW than the webpage itself

     

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  74.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 11th, 2009 @ 3:30pm

    Re:

    "With flash, there is now the capability of turning on my mic and webcam, behind my back"

    Spanky, seriously, you need to change the tin foil, and turn off your computer. You are to worried to enjoy this. Get back to reading paperback books (just watch out for the hidden microphones in the book bindings... they have them you know!)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  75.  
    identicon
    BlockedbyFirewall, Oct 11th, 2009 @ 4:21pm

    RE:

    No Adblock or NoScript Here; Most Ads are simply blocked by the firewall by keyword and/or domain. Sometimes this can cause an issue, but for the majority of the time the sites I visit freuquently, I do not see ads.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  76.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 11th, 2009 @ 4:52pm

    No ads no content; No JS no content

    On my site the content is loaded via AJAX. It checks to make sure that the ads are on the page before displaying the content.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  77.  
    identicon
    LessAdsTheBetter, Oct 11th, 2009 @ 4:54pm

    Sites are going to be created or not and if the site owner decides to fund his site with ads that is their poor decision. Charge a monthly or yearly fee and if the site is worth it I will pay. If not it was not worth a toss to begin with IMO.

    Adblock Plus, Noscript, and a well stocked host file is the way to go IMO.

    Just say no to Ads......

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  78.  
    identicon
    budapest7, Oct 11th, 2009 @ 6:06pm

    Re: It's a no brainer with ads

    If I choose to use a browser that can use an ad blocker then so be it. Pop ups and redirecting to other pages is a pain in the butt. That someone says that some pages and sites will disappear, so be it, you don't have to prostitute yourselves just to be online...you can have like 10% of the page with ads that are static, not thrown in your face. It's like in Europe we have a longer life span and free health care for everyone and "Free market" America just don't get it. Socialism in Europe aint so bad..I mean Sweden brought u SKYPE..until Ebay bought it to make a profit on a good idea

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  79.  
    icon
    Tek'a R (profile), Oct 11th, 2009 @ 6:28pm

    Re: No ads no content; No JS no content

    Then I wont stop by and interact with your product and/or service or create ad revenue.

    Gee.. you sure showed me! Golly, too bad there isn't a billion other webpages out there ready to accept my interest and money.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  80.  
    identicon
    Tristan, Oct 11th, 2009 @ 6:41pm

    Serving ads, especially flash ads with sound to people who pay for their bandwidth + overage charges is also theft.

    Users have a certain right to expect when they visit a website, they won't have their bandwidth wasted.

    Sure, many ads are small in nature, but I've seen some ads that actually invaded the website I was surfing - it physically got in my way of reading the content

    To Advertisers:

    I am a consumer. I offer the service of purchasing goods and other services. You need me more than I need you. Understand me so far? Good.

    I have my own "terms of service". One of my terms clearly states: "I absolutely refuse to waste my bandwidth, electricity and time on an ad for a product or service I do not need, do not want, already have, or would never purchase from the likes of some shoddy two-bit internet joint."

    I will block ads now and for the foreseeable future. Don't blame me for lost revenue - blame yourselves for taking advantage of users by offering to sell crappy (and in some cases illegal) products, designing some of the most invasive and annoying ads, and for providing another attack vector for malware.

    Serving me ads is theft, and dangerous.

    If I can monetize my services on the internet without having to serve up ads, what's stopping you? Out-of-date business model perhaps. It's easy to complain when your business is failing. It's hard to make neccessary changes to make a business thrive. If it wasn't hard, it wouldn't be worth it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  81.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 11th, 2009 @ 7:09pm

    im the user
    i dont want ads
    eat it.

     

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  82.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Gamer, Oct 12th, 2009 @ 9:06am

    I use to use Internet Exployer until I got hacked playing a game online last year because a add had a virus/keylogger in it now I use Firefox and if ppl dont like that I dont care cause I use no script addblock and cookie safe.

     

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  83.  
    identicon
    Allen Cole, Oct 12th, 2009 @ 11:26am

    adblock

    just do was Yahoo did. They updated their email client and it stopped working. When I contacted tech support, they said to check mozilla add-ons. If I turn off ad block, it works. I asked when they could fix the email so I could run adblock. Their reply was that they look at each fix an weigh the utility.

    I am considering buying the yahoo pop mail service and setting up outlook.

    The point is that annoying adds that mostly are not something I would buy are a waste of my time.

    How about having a relationship between me and the vendors that I would be interested in purchasing from.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  84.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 12th, 2009 @ 6:12pm

    I always use firefox with adblock. When I'm on another computer, viewing my usual sites on another browser, I barely recognize them!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  85.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 15th, 2009 @ 7:08am

    Interesting, a website that is ad supported declares that blocking ads is OK.

    Take a moment and imagine an internet without ad supported websites - like this one. So, how do they pay for the website? Let's see: subscription fees, products, services, donations (ya right), or just pay for it out of the website owners own funds.

    I respect those whom choose to use adblockers, however be aware that when these browser addons reach critical mass - there will be a fundamental change in your internet experience.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  86.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 15th, 2009 @ 10:35am

    When I read articles like this, I just think to invest my time in a good solution to cick anybody away from my site with an adblocker installed.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  87.  
    icon
    DanC (profile), Oct 17th, 2009 @ 10:52am

    Re:

    Except that, if you knew anything about TechDirt, you'd know it is not, in fact, ad-supported.

    It has ads, but does not rely on them to keep the site running.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  88.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 21st, 2009 @ 8:27am

    Re: Re:

    Well, let's see you publish a general technology blog and I publish a general engineering website-blog.

    Quantcast directly measures your traffic at 397.5K monthly visitors (very good) and Quantcast measures my traffic at 380.8K monthly visitors.

    Now, I don't let quantcast measure traffic within my on-line store or my consulting services backrooms. If I did Quantcast would show my global traffic is 15% higher than yours.

    Your right, I don't know a whole lot about techdirt.com, however I estimate that you will not remove your GG ads anytime soon.

    I put my url's in this time.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  89.  
    identicon
    yellowdingo, Nov 13th, 2009 @ 6:06pm

    Time for Advertisers to Pay us

    I think lets have it so Advertisers can download their ad to your computer screen/Hard Drive/Ram for a payment of 1 cent per download per KB to your bank account.

    I think after the first million cents I will afford the repair on the roof of the house.

    They think little of a million dollars in junkmail stuffed in your mail box or your PC.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  90.  
    identicon
    mr anonimous, Dec 9th, 2009 @ 6:47am

    bullshit

    These are the kind of comments that are usually posted by someone who has absolutely no idea of the complexities in online advertising and online business models.

    Do you really think that advertisers don't monitor their performances?

    You can happily live in your in your small, limited, old world but the fact is that the websites are free to use only because they carry advertising.

    Block the ads and you are effectively contributing to the death of free websites as they need advertisers in order to pay the very considerable running costs, and trust me when I tell you that serving millions and millions of page impressions a month costs!.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  91.  
    identicon
    mr anonymous, Dec 9th, 2009 @ 9:17am

    Re: bullshit

    I forgot to say...

    This very page has 5 banners + G text links for a total of 9 adverts.

    Does "coherence" still have a meaning?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  92.  
    identicon
    Garry, Mar 7th, 2014 @ 3:03am

    Content

    If a site needs to have adverts to pay for the content on their site and you are enjoying the content that they produce then you should also accept the adverts that support the content and allows the content to carry on being free for your to use and enjoyment.

    I also can understand if sites decide to block people that use advert blocker, or who do not white list their sites. If they are trying to support their site, then maybe having less none supporting traffic on their site might be a good thing for them. (provide great content for those who support you, block those who just want to use you, as the supporters are those keeping you up and going and I see it as a thank you to the supporters :-). )

    I feel if you want to enjoy free content that a site, you should allow the ads, to allow them to carry on and to support them for their hard work that you are enjoying.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  93.  
    identicon
    Garry, Mar 7th, 2014 @ 3:07am

    Spelling mistakes.

    Apologizes for the grammar and spelling mistakes in my last message, problems with my PC and was in a rush typing it :-).

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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