Escapist Website Mass Bans (Then Unbans And Guilts) Users Who Mention Adblock

from the building-community-and-value-through-uppercuts dept

Chodelord writes in to note that the Escapist website recently decided it would be a good idea to ban users from  their forums simply for mentioning Adblock. The thread in question started after a user complained that an add for Time Warner Cable was slowing down his computer. Apparently, users who responded to the poster by suggesting the user "get Firefox and AdBlock" found themselves banned from the forums. Users didn't even need to admit they even used AdBlock to get banned -- they simply had to recommend it as a solution to a seemingly-annoying ad. Looking at the forums recently amended posting guidelines does confirm that the folks at the Escapist believe that giving browsing preference advice is a "non forgivable" offense:

Do not confess, teach, admit to, or promote ad-blocking software that will allow users to block the ads of this site.
Indeed. Users quickly (and justly) started complaining about the fact that friends they'd had for years were suddenly being bashed over the head with the ban hammer simply for mentioning an incredibly popular and legal application. After a lot of complaints, the Escapist ultimately wound up unbanning the users according to a forum post, and instead just settled on trying to make the community feel really guilty:
I truely hope that everyone that reads this will consider turning off their ad-blocker for this site. If we have offended you or you don't deem this site to be worthy (and would like to have it shut down instead), do what you will, but don't pretend to be surprised if the site dies.

While it's nice that the Escapist listened to their community, saw reason, and backed away from their ridiculous decision, that doesn't make the decision any less ridiculous (and while they reversed course, the posting guidelines remain unchanged). It also doesn't justify telling your readers that they're responsible for the failure of your business model should users decide to block annoying ads. As Ars Technica recently found out, mandating what your users can and can't do with their own browsers doesn't exactly foster adoration within your community to begin with, but subsequently telling those users they should take a hike if they don't like your position (or in this case even mention ad blockers) isn't particularly endearing, either.

As we've mentioned previously in great detail, if you've got ads on your website that are annoying your users, that is your fault -- not your users' fault. The failure of your business model is also your problem, not theirs. It's up to you to develop a new model that doesn't involve your users being annoyed. Meanwhile, telling your users (essentially) that they're worthless if they don't directly generate ad revenue is misguided. Site visitors bring value to your website in other ways -- whether they block your advertisements or not -- through conversation, participation and links to your content. Of course none of that will happen if you treat them like escaped felons for simply discussing their browser plugins.



Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 20th, 2010 @ 4:04pm

    it is popular and legal but in the end it is a step down the road to take something for nothing. when you remove the websites ability to earn income, you remove their ability to continue to offer the content you like. saying other people arent blocked is misleading because if more of them do it, fewer are left to pay. its exactly like cwf+rtb, they are left trying to find one sucker to overpay like crazy to support all the leeches.

     

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  2.  
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    Tom Landry (profile), Apr 20th, 2010 @ 4:18pm

    The only thing worthwhile on the site is Yahtzee's reviews and even those are getting tiresome.

    If the site "dies" it won't be from ad blockers.

     

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  3.  
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    Mayor Milobar (profile), Apr 20th, 2010 @ 4:19pm

    Karl is absolutely right, it's The Escapist's fault for having a flawed business model. So some users are using AdBlock to remove annoying ads and The Escapist's revenue decreases. What would happen if AdBlock didn't exist? Those users wouldn't have the option to remove annoying ads and so they would just stop visiting the site, and The Escapist's revenue would decrease.

     

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  4.  
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    yourrealname (profile), Apr 20th, 2010 @ 4:20pm

    I just wanted to say that seeing "Chodelord" as the first word in an article on TechDirt is hilarious. Now, to ad something somewhat constructive, let them ban people, because banning users will surely generate more clicks. Idiots!

     

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  5.  
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    Tom Landry (profile), Apr 20th, 2010 @ 4:21pm

    Re:

    You know what Stephen Heaslip does at Bluesnews.com when users complain about overbearing ads that destroy bandwidth? He takes care of the problem ad. He doesn't turn around and treat his readers like fucking wayward children for wanting it gone.

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 20th, 2010 @ 4:29pm

    What about ads that serve malware?

    It's an ever present threat that makes me feel I have to block them.

     

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  7.  
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    abc gum, Apr 20th, 2010 @ 4:42pm

    Re:

    "take something for nothing"
    - Biased BS

    "you remove the websites ability to earn income"
    "remove their ability to continue to offer the content you like"
    "fewer are left to pay"
    - All the above statements of opinion are just not factual. The website has the option to run ads which are by nature not blocked. It is a fallacy to assume that all ads are blocked and therefore the sky will fall. Many websites run flash based ads or popover crap and then wonder what all the fuss is about. ISPs are installing caps upon users while the lazy websites send worthless BW hog slop down the pipes, and the web surfers are called leeches because they do not like it. Nice, real nice.

    I do not run ad block ... I disable javascript. Does this make me a leech? Opinions are like A-holes ....

     

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  8.  
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    Xander C (profile), Apr 20th, 2010 @ 4:43pm

    A little silver lining and more hardships

    As a member on that site, I checked the rules and found that this was resolved around the 25th of March. I remember this was around the same time that Arc was going though their fits as well, but it looks like things have changed since then.

    Just last week, TheEscapist started adding more distracting ads to their site, but also started offering up a Ad-free paid version with a nice discount for members to upgrade on. It leaves me feeling a bit on the edge since the new ads are worthy of blocking, but impossible to. (since they open up with the video, killing the ability to just click and play instantly), but the price is just right. (20$ a year for ad-free viewing, and 10$ for the first year.)

    I jumped on the plan, even though it might not of been for the best of intentions.

     

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  9.  
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    leech beach, Apr 20th, 2010 @ 4:55pm

    Re:

    Then you are called a some other name for not giving them the traffic.

     

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  10.  
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    Lord of the Fjord, Apr 20th, 2010 @ 4:57pm

    Re:

    Yeah, that was pretty damn funny

     

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    finder of the leeches, Apr 20th, 2010 @ 5:00pm

    Re: What about ads that serve malware?

    You are a leech because you refuse to allow crapware to run on your computer.

    That is all.

     

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  12.  
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    abc gum, Apr 20th, 2010 @ 5:03pm

    Re: A little silver lining and more hardships

    What a business model. Pay me or I'll annoy the crap out of you.

    They must think they have something people can not live without

     

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  13.  
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    crade (profile), Apr 20th, 2010 @ 5:06pm

    Re:

    by the same logic, if you don't buy everything advertised on the site, you are going "down the road of taking something for nothing" and taking away the site's ability to make income as you are lessening the value of the ads. Sorry, but the website's user is not responsible for making sure the ads serve their intended purpose, nor is it their responsibility to watch all the ads on the site. It just isn't. Just change the channel and watch something else for a bit until the commercials are over.

     

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  14.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 20th, 2010 @ 5:13pm

    I can't understand the position of the people at Escapist. It is always possible to drive people away from your advertising by making it too annoying and invasive. Ad blockers didn't arise as a result of malice, or from any idea about the "worth" of the page on which it appears. It arose because the advertising industry went way overboard for years in creating annoying advertising - so annoying that a significant portion of the population chose to stop watching it.

    It is a self-made problem. The advertising industry made the problem and they are the only ones that can fix it, by changing their advertising.

     

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  15.  
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    Karl Bode (profile), Apr 20th, 2010 @ 5:14pm

    Re: A little silver lining and more hardships

    As a member on that site, I checked the rules and found that this was resolved around the 25th of March.
    But the thread in question doesn't even begin until April 19th. The amended rules were dated March 25. Was there some earlier discussion on this in the forums?

     

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  16.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 20th, 2010 @ 5:31pm

    Re:

    If you've ever declined to watch a television advertisement, by leaving the room or muting the television, you're a hypocrite. You've "removed their ability to earn income".

    Viewers and users are never required to watch advertising. Pretending otherwise is a recipe for failure.

     

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  17.  
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    NAMELESS.ONE, Apr 20th, 2010 @ 5:36pm

    MOD nazis

    this is a new term we need to start using
    sometimes they get over protective but ya know its there site
    if they want to act like mod nazis then people go elsewhere and they go in droves

     

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  18.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 20th, 2010 @ 6:15pm

    Re: Re:

    You forgot leaving the room for a toilet break, microwave food, or for that matter, turning the television off. Closing the only source of exposure for television advertisements deprives them of whatever potential for income. The same applies for radios; how else will starving radio stations be capable of paying starving artists?

     

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  19.  
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    Designerfx (profile), Apr 20th, 2010 @ 6:16pm

    techreport

    techreport does the same thing. They will ban anyone who mentions adblock.

    I hope someone shines a light on them for that too. Their excuse is "We can't survive without ads"

     

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  20.  
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    Big Al, Apr 20th, 2010 @ 6:19pm

    Re: Re: A little silver lining and more hardships

    Isn't that commonly known as extortion?

     

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  21.  
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    Designerfx (profile), Apr 20th, 2010 @ 6:19pm

    Re: techreport details!

    oh, let me add the details of what they said when I suggested adblock because their ads are annoying:
    "Please do not recommend ad blocking programs. This is your only warning, next time you will be banned."

     

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  22.  
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    Any Mouse, Apr 20th, 2010 @ 6:21pm

    Let them die

    After this particular nugget, tacked on to a post, I'd say they're going to run themselves into the ground,a nd good riddance.

    'User was banned for: ESCAPIST! Fix your ads!. (Permanent)'

    Let's ignore our users and just kick them off for complaining! Rar. Idiots.

     

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  23.  
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    Luigi_Pastrami, Apr 20th, 2010 @ 6:28pm

    Ad-Block

    Yeah. Like we can't surf the web unless we put up with websites' annoying ads for products we don't want, can't use, and otherwise don't need? Right. Count me out. Ad-Block rocks. And if websites think I visit them to buy stuff, unless they are a commercial site, then maybe they need to reassess what they are doing on the web in the first place.

     

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  24.  
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    Yakko Warner, Apr 20th, 2010 @ 6:28pm

    Reason to buy?

    Seems to me that a business model based on forcing visitors to view things that they don't want to view, potentially interferes with their computer's function (as was the case that started the thread in question), and that users have to pay for (as long as bandwidth is capped at something less than "unlimited", demanding I view it is demanding I use up my limited resources) is a pretty poor one to start with.

     

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  25.  
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    CheezePavilion (profile), Apr 20th, 2010 @ 6:52pm

    Looks like The Escapist has gone banhappy.

    I was a long-time member of the site: when I joined, they didn't even have actual forums. It was a great place. I remember a lot of good conversations with the staff and even the CEO. All started to change it seemed when the original mod--Joe--left and they got in these two new members and made them mods for some reason.

    I was recently permabanned and I thought maybe it was just because of getting off on the wrong foot with the new mods. I see it isn't, that this place really is changing. What's interesting is that, despite his listed join date, I never remember this Kuliani character much involved in the forums, and now he seems to be all over the place.

    He was the one that gave me the garbage explanation for my ban--thought it was just my bad luck, but it seems this is a more systemic problem with The Escapist.

     

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  26.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 20th, 2010 @ 7:34pm

    Re: Re:

    there are few ads that ad block software will not detect and block. iframes, javascript, flash, standard sized banners, google ads, etc. When you source your ads to third parties in any manner, as a website owner you are screwed. if you dont like the ads on a website dont go to the website. dont strip it down and only take what you want. that isnt fair.

     

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  27.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 20th, 2010 @ 7:37pm

    Re: Re:

    nope. it is clear you have never run a website. ads run in different ways including paid per eyeballs with no click or purchase required. its like watching tv. you dont have to buy everything advertised. but you pay with your time and attention. the users only responsiblity is to either enjoy the website as presented or go somewhere else. you dont get the third choice to take, take, take without concern for how it is paid for.

     

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  28.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 20th, 2010 @ 7:39pm

    Re:

    I'd have to agree. Just look at "Game Dogs" ... *shudder.

    What's more, they ban people at random for the most innocuous of comments. Their mods have a pretty damned itchy trigger finger. That's why i don't even have an account there, so I can't say something that will get me banned.

     

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  29.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 20th, 2010 @ 7:39pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    it doesnt matter. it is calculated into the game. its part of the process. but even things like tivo change the game and cause pain because people skip commercials. those commercial pay for the show to be on the air. how else are they going to pay? if too many people tivo and skip, the results of advertising drop, and as a result the ads are worth less. that means surprisingly less programming content for you. too bad some many people here arent very good with cause and effect.

     

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  30.  
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    The AC that's beggin, please!, Apr 20th, 2010 @ 7:47pm

    What would make ad makers and viewers both happy:

    If I woke up tomorrow and was greeted with an apology and a promise from the internet as a whole, I would never use Adblock Plus again. The message should read something like this:

    "We, a collective of every online advertising group and websites who condone the use of said groups, are sorry. We're sorry for animating our ads with pestering characters when you were under pressure to complete personal research for a project, the results of which could mean receiving a degree or flunking out entirely and ruining your life. We're sorry for including sounds in our ads which when played at a system volume of 2/100 in your apartment building would result in the police knocking on your door with a citation for disturbing the peace. We're sorry for intrusive ads which would completely cover the article of the story you've been dying to read since it came up in conversation several hours ago, and we're especially sorry when you try to click a link just as the ad covers it and you're forwarded to a site full of malware. Which, by and by, leads us to our greatest apology yet. We're sorry for pop-ups, pop-unders, links, re-directs, and auto-executing javascript which led to your computer being infected by malware, slowed by non-nefarious but speed crippling tracking cookies which invade your privacy rights, and for all of this abusing bandwidth and personal property that you pay for.

    We wish to make up for this and give you something useful that we can be proud to stand behind. We promise that all ads will be condensed into text and still images only, in the form of banner ads. We promise that neither loading their presence nor clicking on them will place anything on your computer, re-direct through malicious sites, or anything else undesired upon the viewing of said ad or clicking of the product link. In other words, we promise that if an advertised product or service actually interests you and you click to view it, the only thing that action will do is take you to the product information page. In addition to no longer using invasive cookies or other forms of malware when bringing you informative and useful ads, we see that targeted advertising needs to be rethought. Instead of doing away with it entirely so that you get porn ads on your children's approved websites, we promise that our ads will be custom fit for the website and specific pages of the website you are viewing, and in turn hope this limits the amount of inappropriate ads and ads for things that could never interest you.

    Signed,
    Everyone"

    If I received that message from some mythical god of the internet, I would literally punt a random cat out my bedroom window in excitement, never use ad blocks again, and feel genuinely gracious when something I needed or wanted or didn't know existed but had a use for appeared in a non-harmful, non-invasive, appropriate/polite and trustworthy ad that would lead to my purchasing of said product or service. Isn't this exactly what advertisers want? Isn't this what they're paid to get? This is what should turn a profit for advertisers and webmasters alike. I would just be so happy, the only other thing left that I could ask of advertising companies is that billboards be done away with because they're never relevant, in a sense are invasive, often offensive, and detract from the environment- which are all things online ads are but shouldn't be and could be fixed easily.

     

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  31.  
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    bob, Apr 20th, 2010 @ 7:54pm

    Went there

    Saw little of interest, had my add blocker full on.
    Prolly won't be going back.

     

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  32.  
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    RadialSkid, Apr 20th, 2010 @ 8:04pm

    Pointless bans means being rude to everyone that uses that site. Non-forgivable offense.

     

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  33.  
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    BearGriz72 (profile), Apr 20th, 2010 @ 8:05pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Yawn... Tired argument is tired...

     

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  34.  
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    BearGriz72 (profile), Apr 20th, 2010 @ 8:14pm

    Re: What would make ad makers and viewers both happy:

    Huge Comment ... but AWESOME!!!

     

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  35.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 20th, 2010 @ 8:28pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Don't go to a store and only look around, you're stealing.

    Don't leave or change the channel during TV commercials, you're stealing.

    Don't change radio stations when the ads come on, you're stealing.

    Don't pull into a business's parking lot to take a break/make a phone call/fix a car problem/get something from the trunk, you're stealing.

    Don't listen to TAM, he steals your brain cells (and doesn't put them to any good use himself).

     

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  36.  
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    indy (profile), Apr 20th, 2010 @ 8:28pm

    adblock

    I run adblock because ad networks have historically contained malware, I don't agree with advertising as a tool to reach people, and I don't want bullshit third party information on my computer. I block most images. Sending text isn't expensive. If you have a massive website and sending text is a large expense you are doing it wrong.

    I'm not going to change. I'm never going to change. I never want advertising in my life, and your server and it's information is advertised via http. Deal with it. Where are the moral police when advertisements lie or infect a computer?

     

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  37.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 20th, 2010 @ 8:29pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    So why aren't Ad Blockers calculated into the game? Oh, right, because your argument is lazy and so are websites with business models that suck.

     

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  38.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 20th, 2010 @ 8:32pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    yes I do. No Script. I TAKE TAKE TAKE TAKE. Fair? What in life is fair? If that how you run your site(s) Business model FAIL. You know what this world needs is more fucking marketing. When your websites bust my cap because of "your" ads do I send my overage charges to you? Thats not fair.

     

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  39.  
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    Rob, Apr 20th, 2010 @ 8:35pm

    iPad

    If I wanted somebody to tell me what I could and couldn't do with my computer I would have bought an iPad!

     

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  40.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 20th, 2010 @ 8:52pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    you dont have to buy everything advertised.

    If you don't then you're ripping off the advertisers! Do you think advertisers would continue buying ads on websites if no one bought their products? NO! Therefore, it's everyone's duty to do their part and buy at least one of every product they see advertised. It's just the right thing to do.

    you dont get the third choice to take, take, take without concern for how it is paid for.

    Which is exactly what you're doing if you don't buy the products. Thief!

     

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  41.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 20th, 2010 @ 8:55pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    it doesnt matter. it is calculated into the game.

    So are ad blockers.

     

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  42.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 20th, 2010 @ 9:02pm

    Re: What would make ad makers and viewers both happy:

    I think the only practical solution that will get people to stop using ad blockers is to make them unnecessary. Almost everyone with one installed was motivated by the state of current advertising to make a personal choice to go to the work of finding and installing one. Once advertisers no longer drive people to making that choice, ad blocker use will slowly decline as people's opinions of advertising become better.

     

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  43.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 20th, 2010 @ 9:08pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    sorry your logic is stupid and you know it. you are comparing things that are not relevant. too bad you are just a sfb and too stupid to add to a discussion.

     

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  44.  
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    Escapist Fanboy, Apr 20th, 2010 @ 9:11pm

    Losers

    I'm sure Escapist isn't really doing all this (and never has) and anyone who says they are is just a sad, paranoid loser with no life. 'Nuf said.

     

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  45.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 20th, 2010 @ 9:11pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    the cost of providing a website per user is linear. unlike broadcast tv where the numbers of viewers changes nothing on the cost side. everytime you visit a website there is cost for them to provide for you. sort of a different. you inflict direct cost and dont respect them enough to let them recoup it.

     

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  46.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 20th, 2010 @ 9:22pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    everytime you visit a website there is cost for them to provide for you. sort of a different. you inflict direct cost and dont respect them enough to let them recoup it.

    Every time I visit a website there is a cost for me to do so. That's different from other advertising where I don't pay for the delivery. Their ads inflict a direct cost on me and they don't respect me enough to even make them worthwhile.

     

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  47.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 20th, 2010 @ 9:26pm

    if a site tries to work around ad block like apps, I stop going there, if a site has that annoying pop up movie advert that you cant stop, I close it and never return to the site

     

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  48.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 20th, 2010 @ 9:27pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    2nd attempt to post this comment. The 1st one was "Held for Moderation". Original comment follows:
    -----------------------------------------------------------

    everytime you visit a website there is cost for them to provide for you. sort of a different. you inflict direct cost and dont respect them enough to let them recoup it.

    Every time I visit a website there is a cost for me to do so. That's different from other advertising where I don't pay for the delivery. Their ads inflict a direct cost on me and they don't respect me enough to even make them worthwhile.

     

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  49.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 20th, 2010 @ 9:40pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Yes, your logic is stupid. Glad you could admit it.

     

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  50.  
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    ChrisB, Apr 20th, 2010 @ 9:40pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    So I am stealing if I use my Cable Company Provided DVR to skip commercials?

     

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  51.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 20th, 2010 @ 9:42pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    And...you still haven't described why they aren't calculated into the game.

     

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  52.  
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    Ian (profile), Apr 20th, 2010 @ 11:21pm

    You know who are real villains? Master criminals? Serial thieves of the highest order?

    Blind people.

    I know you're thinking "Wait, blind people? They seem so harmless! And those dapper canes..." I know, I thought that too, but consider this. Blind people persistently ignore a huge amount of advertising. When they wait for a bus, they sit in the bus shelter or on the bench that is partially paid for by the advertising, and they don't see it. The same thing happens when they get on the bus. Like parasites, they take the benefits without paying the 'price' of investigating the ads. Would it kill them to ask a stranger to read out the advertisement in the bus shelter? Certainly not. These people are a menace and must be stopped.

    And don't get me started on the illiterate... they're almost as bad as dead people.

     

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  53.  
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    Richard (profile), Apr 20th, 2010 @ 11:45pm

    Here's a hypothetical:

    Say you go to a website, about knitting, which bans you from it unless you disable your ad-blocker. So, given you want to access the site, you disable it, and are then free to enjoy the forum on knitting.
    But then some evil hacker gets into the ad company, and inserts child porn into the ads.
    Now, all of a sudden, you go to your knitting site, and download child porn.
    You did have a way to avoid this, but the website forced you not to, so in a way, the website has just forced you do download child porn.

     

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  54.  
    identicon
    TD Fan, Apr 20th, 2010 @ 11:49pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "2nd attempt to post this comment. The 1st one was "Held for Moderation". Original comment follows:"

    Well, then, you're obviously a spammer! Techdirt doesn't filter comments otherwise.

     

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  55.  
    identicon
    LukeRazor, Apr 21st, 2010 @ 2:20am

    Re:

    ENN is not bad either

     

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  56.  
    identicon
    PaleoSapiens, Apr 21st, 2010 @ 4:11am

    It's MY Computer

    I own the viewing computer. I control what I want to see, or not see, and HOW it is seen. No one has ANY right over MY FREE CHOICE.

    You don't like it - too bad. Live with it. Otherwise, kiss my rosy lower cheeks.

     

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  57.  
    identicon
    PaleoSapiens, Apr 21st, 2010 @ 4:15am

    It's MY Computer

    I own the viewing computer. I control what I want to see, or not see, and HOW it is seen. No one has ANY right over MY FREE CHOICE.

    You don't like it - too bad. Live with it. Otherwise, kiss my rosy lower cheeks.

     

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  58.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 21st, 2010 @ 4:19am

    Re: Re: A little silver lining and more hardships

    If your business model is pay up or be annoyed, and someone has figured out a 3 second solution to Escape (ha, a pun) your extortion, I imagine that you'd kick those viewers off pretty quickly.

    It's just a website realizing that it's hard to be in business.

     

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  59.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 21st, 2010 @ 4:31am

    Re:

    "it is popular and legal but in the end it is a step down the road to take something for nothing. when you remove the websites ability to earn income, you remove their ability to continue to offer the content you like."
    When they use resonable methods and not something like the dirty scum selling ads that lead to taking over the browser and closing my sessions or something that bogs down my computer I will be willing to take you position. but I don't pay for crap, that includes revenue generated by my presence.

     

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  60.  
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    abc gum, Apr 21st, 2010 @ 4:52am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Like I said previously ...

    Many websites run flash based ads or popover crap and then wonder what all the fuss is about. ISPs are installing caps upon users while the lazy websites send worthless BW hog slop down the pipes, and the web surfers are called leeches because they do not like it.

    The advertising choices made by a particular website are not my concern. If they want to be lazy, so be it. Calling potential customers names does not seem to be good business practice.

     

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  61.  
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    abc gum, Apr 21st, 2010 @ 5:00am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    This is the point that "the AC" does not acknowledge. It is much more fun to call others names and claim they are somehow criminals.

     

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  62.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 21st, 2010 @ 5:07am

    Re:

    You're missing the point - if the ads make the site unuseable for people, they won't go to the site anyway, and they'll probably tell their friends to do the same. So not only are you losing the ad revenue, but you're losing the site traffic as well, and that'll kill the site even faster than just losing the ad revenue...

     

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  63.  
    identicon
    abc gum, Apr 21st, 2010 @ 5:11am

    Re: What would make ad makers and viewers both happy:

    Great comment.

     

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  64.  
    identicon
    Michiel van der Blonk, Apr 21st, 2010 @ 5:20am

    arc90

    Check out Arc90 readability project. It improves websites dramatically by letting you focus on content. It not only removes ads, it removes everything but the main content, serving it in a nice large readable e-book style. Now that's what I call power to the user. And of course you'll switch back to see the navigation (and ads...) etc..

     

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  65.  
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    MBraedley (profile), Apr 21st, 2010 @ 5:49am

    Re:

    I would tend to agree. In fact, I only whitelisted Escapist because Zero Punctuation won't play while I have adblock enabled, and if I could get by without a full whitelist (I probably could), I would. I don't use the site for anything else. The simple fact is if you want me to see your ads, then host them yourself and don't make them so that I'm all but forced to look at them. Others have managed to do this and do it well.

     

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  66.  
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    Nolo Promittere, Apr 21st, 2010 @ 6:08am

    Adblock does has 2 settings.

    Adblock can be used without causing the people whom you are visiting to lose money - simply tell it to HIDE the ads instead of blocking them. The sites get credit for you having "viewed" the ads, but you don't actually have to look at them.

     

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  67.  
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    NoloPromittere (profile), Apr 21st, 2010 @ 6:27am

    Re:

    Have you tried getting Zero Punctuation to work by setting adblock to hide ads rather than block them?

     

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  68.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 21st, 2010 @ 6:51am

    Re: Reason to buy?

    So you expect to get their service for free?

     

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  69.  
    icon
    davebarnes (profile), Apr 21st, 2010 @ 6:52am

    Another simple solution for websites.

    Don't run 3rd-party ads.

    I block all 3rd-party ad delivery networks.
    It is easy and just one single filter against DoubleClick will block about 33% of all ads that would have been shown on your computer.

    If all sites delivered their own ads, then almost none would be blocked as it would be too much work on the part of visitors.

     

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  70.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 21st, 2010 @ 6:56am

    Re: It's MY Computer

    Its your computer, but its their content. You still have the choice to view it, but not what they put in it =P

     

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  71.  
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    MBraedley (profile), Apr 21st, 2010 @ 7:13am

    Re: Re:

    Unless there's a site specific filter for setting hide instead of block, it's really not worth my time setting the custom filters. I have a similar issue with Ars where I want to support their site, but really don't want to see the ads (I tried whitelisting for about a day and just couldn't keep them whitelisted).

     

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  72.  
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    chodelord (profile), Apr 21st, 2010 @ 7:28am

    zero punctuation still works for me even with adblock running

    I don't know which layer of defense removes those ads, adblock, noscript, hosts file, styleish, greasemonkey or RIP

     

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  73.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 21st, 2010 @ 7:45am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Yes. Report to jail immediately!

     

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  74.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 21st, 2010 @ 7:48am

    On my commute, there is one of those annoying animated billboards. I know where it is, and I flip down the sunvisor just as I come around the corner.

    I have blocked countless numbers of ads.

    What did I steal? Unencumbered scenery?

     

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  75.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 21st, 2010 @ 8:13am

    Re:

    They got tiresome some time ago. Not much point in visiting the site which is probably why they are struggling and are getting uppity.

     

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  76.  
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    Any Mouse, Apr 21st, 2010 @ 8:50am

    Re: Re: It's MY Computer

    Sure we do. How are they to ever know if you don't say anything? How are they to enforce it? And really, who cares, since things like this are a great way to build a coffin?

    Get off the pot, fan boi, and don't give us the 'everything for free' argument, not until we get our connections for free.

     

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  77.  
    identicon
    Any Mouse, Apr 21st, 2010 @ 8:51am

    Re: Adblock does has 2 settings.

    And then the people with bandwidth usage limits are screwed, right? That's the price of viewing an ad-supported site? Nope. Not gonna happen. That crap doesn't even get loaded.

     

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  78.  
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    nasch (profile), Apr 21st, 2010 @ 9:29am

    Ars Technica

    As Ars Technica recently found out, mandating what your users can and can't do with their own browsers doesn't exactly foster adoration within your community to begin with, but subsequently telling those users they should take a hike if they don't like your position (or in this case even mention ad blockers) isn't particularly endearing, either.

    Personally I have not been back to their site since they pulled all that. And I used to visit it without blocking ads, so they lost what they claim as my only value to them - viewing ads. I'm not in a rage or anything, I just feel very unwelcome or at least unvalued there now, where before I felt like a (peripheral) member of a fairly enjoyable community. I'm sure I'm not the only one.

     

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  79.  
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    Peter Blaise Monahon (profile), Apr 21st, 2010 @ 9:37am

    Re: Who are the leeches -- the advertisers, the web masters, or the readers?

    Leeches?

    We come for the content, not the ads.

    You want my money? Earn it.

    The advertisers and the web site owner / designer are the insensitive ones who feel "entitled" to my eyeballs and want my eyeballs to sell to advertisers against my will, or they damn me.

    No one's preventing the web site from earning income ... except the web site itself. "... if you've got ads on your website that are annoying your users, that is your fault -- not your users' fault ..." says it all.

    If you have an alternative, suggest it.

    Otherwise, just like in my paper subscriptions, I'll skip the ads. thank you. Now, can you imagine a magazine canceling sending me my subscriber because they learned that I was tearing out advertisement pages?

    And then you call us leeches?

    Wow.

    We have all the money, and if someone fails to earn it, you call us leeches!

    I'm not gonna click on their damn ads anyway, so why risk angering me against the supposed goodwill of the product by forcing me to know and identify obnoxious, inappropriate products that I will probably decide to boycott from now on if I can't "turn the page" and move on from their mismatched, in-your-face advertising.

    Adblockers are GOOD for advertisers because it forces them to build better, more consumer friendly, mor servicable presentations, instead of hanging around the old ways of doing thigns that did nto work, then trying to force those non-workign ways down our throats, blaming us for their own ineptitude.

    Leeches indeed. They're called advertisers.

    Click!
    Peter Blaise dot com

     

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  80.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 21st, 2010 @ 9:42am

    Some of the staff on the Escapist really showed their true colours that day, with no apologies and some saying they feel people should have to pay to have access to anything on the site. I really lost a lot of respect for that site.

     

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  81.  
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    chodelord (profile), Apr 21st, 2010 @ 10:19am

    escapist trying to bury adblock ban thread

    no long shows up in forum list even after bumps

    still shows up in searches and links though so they have that going for them

     

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  82.  
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    CheezePavilion (profile), Apr 21st, 2010 @ 11:41am

    Re: escapist trying to bury adblock ban thread

    About a year ago, maybe, they put in a middle ground between deleting/locking a thread and leaving it alone. They can leave a thread open to comment (threads can always be found by searching, even if locked, I think) but new comments will no longer bump it.

    If they lock it, they'll probably delete it at some point and you'll get a 403 or 404 error when trying to access it.

     

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  83.  
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    Xander C (profile), Apr 21st, 2010 @ 11:54am

    Re: Re: Re: A little silver lining and more hardships

    From Wikipedia:

    Extortion, outwresting, and/or exaction is a criminal offense which occurs when a person unlawfully obtains either money, property or services from a person(s), entity, or institution, through coercion. Refraining from doing harm is sometimes euphemistically called "protection".

    I think it's more just upping-the-ante then extortion. You can YouTube for their vids since someone out there most likely have uploaded them to many places, but for the general public that just goes right to the source, TEM is getting their's as the people get theirs. For the registered members though, without paid subscription, it seems like it may be one too many ads for what's already a sign of loyalty.

     

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  84.  
    identicon
    Sam Walker, Apr 21st, 2010 @ 12:45pm

    Websites that _ask_ me to turn off my ad-blocker are much more likely to get me to comply than any other method. (And then, only if the ads aren't annoying.)

    *I* am the only one who has the right to control what's on my screen. Websites have the right to _offer_ ads, but I am under no ethical obligation to look at them.

    I am reminded of a website designer I knew who would spaz out whenever I "increased text size" in a browser. "The _designer_ is the one who decides the layout!" That's old thinking; it's only applicable to dead-tree media. What's next? I'm not allowed to add horrid crap-ad sites to my hosts file? No, it's _MY_ computer. Your website lives on _your_ computer. You control yours, I control mine. Period.

    Screw the escapist. I will now make it a point to hit their site every day with my ads-a-blocked.

     

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  85.  
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    Peter Blaise Monahon (profile), Apr 21st, 2010 @ 1:26pm

    Re: Re: Reason to buy?

    Earlier: "... So you expect to get their service for free? ..."

    Duh.

    Have you tried the Internet? Lots of free stuff there. Sort of like real life, like a library, or a mall or a bunch of stores where you can look at everything, read to your heart's content, even try stuff out, and only buy what you deem appropriate for you at a price you like. You can also ignore whatever you want to ignore.

    Cool or what!?!

     

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  86.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 21st, 2010 @ 5:15pm

    Who cares...

    Honestly, I think 90% of you are retarded. From what I gather, they are banning people from their forums for mentioning how to block ads on their site. That is their right as it is THEIR forums, especially since they even mentioning it in their forum guidelines. They aren't forcing anyone to view the ads. That's impossible for them to do. They are simply stating that you will be banned for mentioning how to avoid them. Plus, you are using THEIR service, so you must abide by their rules. Point. Blank. Period. It's not about fairness. It's about the terms of service. If you want to complain that you won't let a website tell you what to do, then don't go there. They aren't banning people for using adblockers. They have no way of knowing that you are even using one unless you open your stupid ass mouth and mention it. They are just banning people from teaching other fucktards how to block the ads using their forum as the means of communication. And further more, if half of the retards just took 5 minutes and search Google for how to block ads, there wouldn't even be this stupid predicament. They deserve to be banned.

    It would be like having a groups of kids hanging out in a Target food court teaching other kids how to secretly remove security tags from their products. How do you think Target would handle that situation? They would kick the kids out of the store. The same situation applies here. You break our rules, we remove you from our establishment.

    Also, for all of you idiots who've talked about a bad business model, you obviously have no experience with online business. Maybe the advertising they use isn't the best and their web design could use some restructuring, but the business model is far from bad. How many of you fucktards forget about Google, the now largest online entity in the world. It's entire business model started in online advertising. That is where they still, to this day, make the most revenue from. How about Facebook? I could go on, and on...

    If you are all so adamant about it, why don't you get off your lazy asses and do something about it? Why don't you spend the time creating a replica of the site without ads? Let's see you do that, and then see how long the site lasts. No, you'd rather troll the ends of the internet, bitching and moaning like the selfish pricks that you are.

     

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  87.  
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    abc gum, Apr 21st, 2010 @ 6:02pm

    Re: Who cares...

    "It would be like having a groups of kids hanging out in a Target food court teaching other kids how to secretly remove security tags from their products."

    - It is not like that at all.

    "you idiots who've talked about a bad business model, you obviously have no experience with online business."

    - Obvious? Really? You are an expert then I suppose. You seem to claim that it is good business practice to treat your customers with little to no respect. Perhaps you could explain just how this works when said business does not have something that everyone needs.

    "How many of you fucktards forget about Google, the now largest online entity in the world. It's entire business model started in online advertising."

    - I do not see Google whining about use of ad block. In addition, I do not recall Google hosting obnoxious BW hog ads. Did I miss something here?

    "why don't you get off your lazy asses and do something about it?"

    - I think they have ... it is called ad block.

    "you'd rather troll the ends of the internet, bitching and moaning like the selfish pricks that you are."

    - Calling people names will not add to your credibility. Possibly, you should seek professional help.

     

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  88.  
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    Peter Blaise Monahon (profile), Apr 21st, 2010 @ 6:09pm

    Re: Who cares...

    Oh my, you're so right. I hadn't thought about it like that. Thanks for sharing your alternative insights. You've really made me think. Thank you.

    By the way, I think the site owner was complaining about their income model not working out very well. Got any ideas to help them change and grow and learn new things to make money?

    And Google has like 50 words on their opening page, less if you don't even mode your mouse. How clean is that? Is anyone complaining about Google advertisements or begin banned from Google because they broke Google's own version of a non-negotiated TOS. Oh, wait a minute, Google doesn't have a TOS that includes the kind of self-serving silliness the web site in question tries to inflict on their otherwise free and open Internet visitors (read: cu$tomer$).

    But otherwise, your thoughts are right on, whatever they were. Lemme summarize: "... don't like a site's policies, leave, don't complain ..."

    But, I do think the owner said, "thanks for coming back" however ... oh, wait a minute, no, the owner did not say that at all, did they? Hmm ... so who's the one having problems getting their feelings of entitlement satisfied here after all?

    Click!
    Love and hugs,
    Peter Blaise dot com

     

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  89.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 21st, 2010 @ 7:24pm

    Re: Re: Who cares...

    abc gum:
    "Obvious? Really? You are an expert then I suppose. You seem to claim that it is good business practice to treat your customers with little to no respect. Perhaps you could explain just how this works when said business does not have something that everyone needs."

    First off, I never stated that I was an expert. I stated the obvious. It is no secret that advertising is the number one cause of online revenue. I did not claim that it is good business practice to treat customers with little to no respect. I didn't even mention ANYTHING about business practices at all. That is a totally different topic for another day. I mention how a majority of online revenue is created through advertising and by The Escapists' using it, they actually had a good business model. The key word being model. Maybe you misread that the first time?

    "I do not see Google whining about use of ad block. In addition, I do not recall Google hosting obnoxious BW hog ads. Did I miss something here?"

    Did you even read my post? Or did you just sift through it for things you wanted to argue about? I stated that perhaps their choice of ads could be different. And as I recall, The Escapists' aren't whining about adblock, they are telling you that if you use their site, you are not to discuss the matter. That is their right, just as I explained in my Target analogy.

    "I think they have ... it is called ad block."

    If they have done something about it, then why is there still 50 comments on this website bitching about it? If you've solved the problem, then why are you still complaining about it. Seems like a waste of time to me.

    "Calling people names will not add to your credibility. Possibly, you should seek professional help."

    Obviously, credibility wasn't what I was going for... Otherwise I would have used my real name.

     

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  90.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 21st, 2010 @ 7:49pm

    Re: Re: Who cares...

    Peter:
    "By the way, I think the site owner was complaining about their income model not working out very well. Got any ideas to help them change and grow and learn new things to make money?"

    Absolutely... (Now, I'm not sure what techniques they are using currently, so please don't roast me if the site already has these methods in place.) They could use Commissions/Affiliate links. This could drive traffic to other sites offering products or other services their users may be interested in. They could also sell their own advertising. Using something like Google analytics, they could find out exactly what kind of traffic is coming to their site. In turn, that would allow them to sell their advertisements to other Ad networks hosting similar content. This method is great because they don't have to actually share their revenue with an Ad network and can keep the profits for themselves. They could offer paid content, which is a method I think they recently implemented.

    "Is anyone complaining about Google advertisements or begin banned from Google because they broke Google's own version of a non-negotiated TOS. Oh, wait a minute, Google doesn't have a TOS that includes the kind of self-serving silliness the web site in question tries to inflict on their otherwise free and open Internet visitors (read: cu$tomer$)."

    Well, they main difference is that Google is offering a search engine, not a forum... A forum is a means of communicating while a search engine is not. It would be like using a phone line provided by AT&T to talk to others about how to steal phone service from AT&T. If you were caught, they would cancel your service. You mention that Google doesn't have a TOS that includes "the kind of self-serving silliness the web site in question tries to" inflict on it's users. You are 100% incorrect. Googles' TOS states that information that you entered into their search engine will be logged and harvested, and in turn, they sell that information to 3rd party clients that advertise with them. Why do you think if you search for, let's say "Spray paint," that on the site listing page their are Sponsored ads for Spray paint?

    "But, I do think the owner said, "thanks for coming back" however ... oh, wait a minute, no, the owner did not say that at all, did they? Hmm ... so who's the one having problems getting their feelings of entitlement satisfied here after all?"

    No, he didn't say thanks for coming back. I don't think he has too. He offers a straight forward service, and you either choose to use it or not. When's the last time you purchased something from Sears and the CEO said "Thanks for coming back?" I don't think that he needs his entitlement satisfied anymore anyhow. Thanks to this glorified story about nonsense, it probably doubled the traffic to his site. If he thanks anyone, it should be techdirt.com.

     

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  91.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 21st, 2010 @ 7:58pm

    Re: Who cares...

    BTW, thanks for the support Peter, assuming you weren't being sarcastic. ;-) I think Maya Angelou said it best though. "If you dont like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude. Don't complain."

     

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  92.  
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    CheezePavilion (profile), Apr 22nd, 2010 @ 2:31am

    The former users of that site care

    That guy in the thread isn't the owner. The closest thing the site has to an owner from what I can tell is Archon. That Kuliani joker is just some staff member. I think I remember a conversation with the owner Archon a few years back about ad blocking software. He thanked the people who turned it off for The Escapist.

    That's why you're seeing all the drama on that thread: The Escapist used to be this really welcoming place where the staff valued the community. When I joined, they didn't even really have 'bans': that's how friendly the place was.

    Now they act like...well, you saw the thread.

     

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  93.  
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    Peter Blaise Monahon (profile), Apr 22nd, 2010 @ 5:33am

    Re: Re: Who cares...

    Thanks for the additional insight on what the site owner could try in order monetize the results of their efforts. I notice that you didn't mention anything they could do to to better serve their customers. Hmm ...

    Also, below is a post that implies that the brouhaha was caused by an overzealous volunteer co-administrator. I see this happen all the time.. For example, it's rampant on Wikipedia where newbie editors are surprised by, and can't stand, "all the work" it takes to deal with the rabble masses, and so they quickly call for banning, and become delitionists.

    The owner of the site apparently has better things to do, and has backed off to a hands-off position after turning over the reigns to an admin. This "attitudinizing admin mass bans members" shenanigans frequently happens when a newbie comes to power unchaperoned.

    Regardless, I wrote "cu$tomer$" with dollar signs because that's what's been forgotten -- the customer is the source of the money, so follow the customer, not some arbitrary rules that apprently are there only to make the site owner happy, such as "don't talk with each other about solving site use problems if the discussion includes browser or ad blocker information".

    Of course no owner HAS to say "thank you" to their "customers". Yet, owner's who forget that "customers satisfaction" is the only way to succeed are doomed to miserable failure. Hence this thread about another owner who ignored their customers, and then whines about their lack of success (well, an admin whines anyway).

    Sadly, your advice was for monetizing their site, not for satisfying their customers. You and the site admin are still missing the point -- customer satisfaction is the primary goal, all other goals depend on and are subservient to customer satisfaction first.

    And of course I was being sarcastic. But I got interrupted before I could respond to your insulting, emotional post. When I revisited your post, I had cooled off a bit and could laugh at your energies. Your emotions had swamped your intellect. This happens to me quite often in my first response to whatever bothers me, too. After a break, I could laugh at both of us, and dig deeper to the intellectual basis buried within your post.

    In asking you questions back, it gave you a chance to dig deeper, too. I just think you were digging in the wrong place. I think customer satisfaction come before monetizing those customers.

    Click!
    Peter Blaise dot com

    PS - You weren't whining about all of us whining, were you? ;-)

     

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  94.  
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    hl2, Apr 22nd, 2010 @ 6:09am

    Re: Re: Who cares...

    "If you dont like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude. Don't complain."

    Pick up that can

     

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

  95.  
    icon
    CheezePavilion (profile), Apr 22nd, 2010 @ 2:30pm

    More context on the brouhaha

    Just to clarify some misunderstandings I may have introduced, I believe Kuliani is a staff member, and not just a volunteer mod--he's got a green name, and those usually indicate staff and contributors. The volunteer mods have some other color and are called the Red Guard. The site started off without a forum: just a comments section attached to each article in the webzine (and before my time, I don't even believe they had that). They had one staff moderator--Joe--and when he left/around the time he was leaving, they started giving some users mod status: that's the Red Guard.

    I guess that's when Kuliani wound up more involved in the moderation aspects of the site, sort of in charge of the volunteer mods is my guess. Nothing was ever spelled out because, well, we never needed it when I joined: we didn't even really have 'bans' back then. The only people who would get permabanned were spammers.

    That's what is causing a lot of the drama: it went from a site where not only were the owners/mods fair, but we felt like we knew them and could talk to them, to a place where permabans are given out without a second thought. The first major permaban of a popular user resulted in a thread where the users and staff had an open dialog, and now, well, you saw: people being permabanned out of the blue.

    I thought maybe my experience was the result of some individual grudge some of the new mods/Kuliani in his new, more active roll had against me (my ban stems from an incident where another user accused me of highly illegal and immoral sex acts, I reported it as they ask us to, and the whole thread was closed on all of us with no visible consequence for that person, ending with Kuliani giving me a fake reason for my permaban), but, it seems the problem is a much more systemic one. I tried to warn them that their behavior was coming across as capricious and unbecoming a forum that claims to be The Internet's version of the Lighthouse of Alexandria; the worst I thought would happen is they'd continue to undercut what they used to pride themselves on in regards to the forums.

    Never thought it would would lead them to making one of those missteps that winds up all over the Internet! I had a lot of good conversations with the staff there, especially the CEO Archon, so I'm sad to see it come to this; on the other hand, this seems an appropriate fate for a site that decided to stop treating its users the way it became known for.

     

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  96.  
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    Peter Blaise Monahon (profile), Apr 23rd, 2010 @ 3:36am

    Re: More context on the brouhaha

    Wow, I see this all the time.

    I co-moderate a few dozen archived discussion groups. I have to fight all the time against fellow co-moderators who want to ban anyone for anything as if it's "their" group -- as others above have commented, "it's the owner's group, don't like it, leave".

    No, it's not the owner's group, regardless of who pays the domain registration and hosting fees.

    Once a second person joins, it's 50%/50% each member's group.

    And once a third person joins, it's 33%/33%/33% each member's group.

    And so on.

    To consider participating members as mere fodder rather than giving them equivalent consideration as co-authors of the content is suicide, as well as just plain dumb and discourteous.

    I have to remind fellow co-moderators that when they are trying to ban someone else, it is only because of their own impatience and incompetence to deal with it, and their own lack of trust in the group's fellow members to grow and learn how to deal with uncomfortable posts from fellow members.

    I'm not talking about spam -- however we've learned to not even ban spammers, instead we leave them in the membership with reduced posting privileges.

    Once some co-moderator or admin one pulls out the banning weapon, they get carried away. I call them "vladmins" after Vlad the Impaler -- look it up. And, there's no way to prove to new fellow members down the line that someone in the "banned" list is a only a spammer, not someone a co-moderator just doesn't like. So we're proud of our "banned" list being empty.

    All this boils down to respecting the customer as the reason for being, and treating the customer as sacrosanct. Not the owner. Not the advertisers. The customer.

    Without the customer, there are no advertisers. And without advertisers, unless the owner has deep pockets from some other source, then eventually, there is no owner.

    Customers first and foremost.

    Customer's second.

    Customers third.

    And so on.

    Funny, I didn't mention advertisers and owners, did I?

    Because owner's and advertisers NEVER get on the priority list.

    Ever.

    They are there only to serve the customer, never themselves.

    Get it?

    No?

    Then die a painful, fruitless Internet death, having learned nothing!

    It seems people need to relearn this every single frickin' day.

    Click!
    Love and hugs,
    Peter Blaise dot com

     

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

  97.  
    icon
    Peter Blaise Monahon (profile), Apr 23rd, 2010 @ 3:44am

    Re: Re: Re: Who cares...

    Earlier: "... If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude. Don't complain ..."

    An excellent lesson for the co-moderators to try being patient, considerate, and to overcome their own failure of imagination on how to deal with the issue: monetizing the customer's eyeballs is NOT the customer's responsibility .. unless you PAY them. ;-)

     

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

  98.  
    identicon
    Samurai Goomba, Jan 15th, 2011 @ 4:13am

    Interesting.

    Huh. I figured I'd do some searching, maybe see if anyone else online is feeling as disillusioned with The Escapist as I am. These days I really only visit for Zero Punctuation, but I was pretty active in the forums for a couple years. As Cheeze Pavilion said, things definitely seemed nicer back then. Debates were more spirited, and debaters had more personality because there was more wiggle room in personal expression.

    I think a big part of the problem was that as the site became more popular, the mods started to think more like promoters of the site, and perhaps a bit less like moderators for and enablers of discussion. The idea that one could get banned for advocating the use of legal software (regardless of how it affects their bottom line) is patently ridiculous.

    I've stopped by the forums in the last few months, and little has changed. There's no point in engaging moderators in debate, because certain among them have shown in the past they will ban someone because they don't agree with him/her. Maybe it's just me, but the mods also seem a lot less polite than they used to be.

    When the whole "publisher's club" thing was being debated during its debut, at least one person said he didn't like the idea of paying to disable ads the company had no right to make him watch (you also supposedly get high definition video out of the pub club, but HD Zero Punctuation looks as crap as regular definition-it's a freaking slideshow). The poster was pretty much told to screw off by Mr. Pitts (incidentally, it's not smart to give your first and last name on a website if you're going to treat forum members like dirt, no matter how big of an internet celebrity you think you are). At the time, I suggested he should set an example (as a mod), and at least be civil. To paraphrase his response: "I know we're not going to get any money from him, so screw him."

    The concept of repeat business or winning over costumers seems foreign to some of these guys.

    In fact, that seems to be the general attitude of the Escapist moderators. If you're not paying money, why should they "owe" you anything? The "magazine" will give you what they're going to give you, and if that's not what you want you can get lost.

     

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


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