Companies Keep Asking Us To Track You; We'd Rather You Be Protected From Tracking
from the the-ads-biz dept
We’ve talked in the past about the ridiculousness of the online advertising business. Over the last few years, the dollar value of most online ad revenue has declined drastically. Remember how musicians whined that their revenue dropped precipitously due to changes on the internet? I know how they feel — though rather than lash out and blame the internet or demand legal changes, I’m hoping that we can find a better way — and part of that is by reaching out publicly for support. Here’s the thing, though: while the dollar value on ads has continued to decline, there’s still been an explosion in companies filling up the online ad space. We’re contacted by between one and five internet ad companies every single day, asking us to put their ads on our site. They often make bold promises, which few can actually live up to. We ignore most of these requests. Many are obviously scammy or fly-by-night. Others use language that immediately turns us off. For example, there’s one company that emails basically every week promising to help us “fix” our “ad blocking problem” by forcing people using ad blockers to see ads. I don’t even want to bother letting them know that we let users turn off ads themselves if they want.
In the meantime, we are always looking for ways to help keep Techdirt funded that are good for everyone, rather than ones that undermine trust or treat our community poorly. That’s why we have this ongoing partnership with Private Internet Access, the popular and excellent VPN service that helps stop companies from tracking you so carefully. And that’s why we’ll do things like make money off of affiliate fees from helping protect your privacy, instead of selling out any good will and trust by treating you “as the product” (as the slightly ridiculous saying goes). So we’ve told the tracking company no thanks and to take a hike. I doubt most other websites would do the same, but we thought it was the appropriate move and, in the interest of transparency, wanted to share our decision with you.