If You Use An Adblocker You Hate Free Speech, Says Internet Ads Guy

from the swing-and-a-miss dept

Mother of God. You may recall that we recently discussed the Interactive Advertising Bureau's (IAB) unfortunate decision to refuse Adblock Plus' registration for its annual conference. At a time when adblocking software is seeing its greatest use, it seemed to us that the IAB and its members might have a great deal to learn from Adblock Plus and that, rather than walling off its conference to them, the IAB could instead try to learn why so many people are using that software and software like it. That is because I had thought at the time that the IAB's refusal had mostly to do with it seeing such software as a threat to its members' business. Well, the conference has begun and in the keynote speech delivered by IAB chief, Randall Rothenberg, we learn that barring Adblock Plus from the conference wasn't about ad revenue at all. It was about freedom of speech, an appreciation of diversity, pushing back on racist Republican presidential candidates, and good old apple pie America.

Yeah. Fucking seriously. Here is a transcript of the speech, but I warn you not to have eaten anything just before reading it, or else be prepared to wear your meal on your shoes. The whole thing starts off with a several-hundred word introduction on the history of the IAB and just how unimaginably awesome it is, at the conclusion of which Rothenberg states with a straight face: "Of course, we are not here, you are not here, to celebrate the past." Well, hey, thanks, how about giving us back the last twenty minutes of our lives then, sir.

But, no, Rothenberg then states that we're all listening to him to discover how online advertising is going to generate "The Next $50 billion", except only moments later we're not really talking about that and we're instead talking about how we're going to create something much more valuable through advertising: altruism.

But if money is your only goal, then you risk falling into relativism – a pernicious trap, for you begin weighing all potential returns based on the single metric of how much more money you can make. Truth, beauty, fairness, justice, honesty, civic pride, neighborliness – they become means to an end, rather than ends in themselves. That is debilitating, and ultimately deadens the soul. I want you to confront that challenge. I want you to remember that there are greater and longer-term values than the mere promise of financial wealth that attracts so many to the digital advertising industry.
Those values are then outlined and explained. Diversity is first up, with Rothenberg decrying Republicans for the statements by some of their presidential candidates. Not sure what that has to do with anything, but okay. Freedom of speech is up next, with Rothenberg declaring that open access to speech is important for the internet and digital advertising. Which, fair enough. He goes on to note that free speech and advertising are linked, in that advertising is a form of content and should not be censored. Keep this notion in mind as Rothenberg pivots his speech jarringly into the following rant.
And this is why I hate the ad-block profiteers.

Now, you may be aware of a kerfuffle that began about 10 days ago, when an unethical, immoral, mendacious coven of techie wannabes at a for-profit German company called AdBlock-Plus took to the digisphere to complain over and over that IAB had “disinvited” them to this convention. That, of course, is as much a lie as the others they routinely try to tell the world. We had never invited them in the first place. They registered for this event online. When we found out, we cancelled the registration and reversed their credit card billing. Why? For the simple reason that they are stealing from publishers, subverting freedom of the press, operating a business model predicated on censorship of content, and ultimately forcing consumers to pay more money for less – and less diverse – information.
He then, hysterically, goes on to deliver a whining anecdote about how Adblock Plus convened a meeting with online publishers to discuss how to improve advertising on the internet -- the very thing we here at Techdirt thought made sense -- and that at the meeting almost nobody showed and those that did felt slighted that Adblock Plus wouldn't hand over every last detail of its business model, centering around its "Acceptable Ads" program. In other words, Adblock Plus wanted to open a conversation with these people, didn't simply allow advertisers to dictate to them how to behave, and as a result the IAB wouldn't let them at its conference...and its Adblock Plus that's against diversity and free expression. Yeesh.

He goes on to complain that these publishers didn't receive follow up calls or messages after Adblock Plus' conference. Gee, maybe they thought they'd be at the IAB conference you won't let them into?

After detailing several other barbarians banging at the IAB gates, he goes on to complain about their business model.
The ad-block profiteers are building for-profit companies whose business models are premised on impeding the movement of commercial, political, and public-service communication between and among producers and consumers. They offer to lift their toll gates for those wealthy enough to pay them off, or who submit to their demands that they constrict their freedom of speech to fit the shackles of their revenue schemes.

They may attempt to dignify their practices with such politically correct phrases as “reasonable advertising,” “responsible advertising,” and “acceptable ads”; and they can claim as loudly as they want that they seek “constructive rapport” with other stakeholders. But in fact, they are engaged in the techniques of The Big Lie, declaring themselves the friends of those whose livelihoods they would destroy, and allies to those whose freedoms they would subvert.
Here's how a free market, another value worth holding onto, actually works. Let's say Adblock Plus or another software provider was blocking useful ads with fun content from a publisher and instead injecting its own advertising to generate revenue. Advertising that wasn't as useful or entertaining as the original publishers. Why would anyone use that software? They wouldn't. It would defeat the entire purpose of using an ad blocker. The problem would solve itself. Or let's say the other practice was employed, with ad blockers getting publishers to pay to let the ads through that users were trying to block by using the software. Why would anyone use that software? The problem would, again, solve itself.

No, this ends up being about what it's always been about: the content and quality of the advertising. Content is advertising and advertising is content and the only way that ad blockers get used is by letting more good content in and keeping more bad content out. And Rothenberg knows it.
But the best news of all is that the ad-block profiteers have done this industry a favor. They have forced us to look inward – at our own relentless self-involvement – and outward, to the men, women, and children who are our actual customers.

IAB Senior Vice President and Tech Lab General Manager Scott Cunningham put it best and most succinctly in an October IABlog post: “We messed up. As technologists, tasked with delivering content and services to users, we lost track of the user experience.”
It goes on from there, noting just how shitty digital advertising has become. So then why in the sweet hell are you putting ad blocking software, for profit or otherwise, in the crosshairs at all? They're the symptom of the very disease you yourself have properly identified: shitty ads. You fix that and you fix everything.

But, no, instead we get a speech all about how awesome the IAB is and, strangely, how ad blocking software is in favor of racism and speech censorship, so long as it makes any money. We're here, after all, to talk about the next fifty-billion dollars we're going to make. But not because of the money. Because of our altruistic values.

Please.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 26th, 2016 @ 11:44am

    > operating a business model predicated on censorship of content

    Umm. Ads are not content?

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

  2. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 26th, 2016 @ 11:51am

    I work at an Ad Agency and we love our ad blockers.. Guess what buddy, if your ads aren't working it's 'cause you're doing it wrong.

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

  3. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 26th, 2016 @ 11:55am

    "to the men, women, and children who are our actual customers"

    And there you have it.

    The unethical, immoral, mendacious coven self-identifying as the IAB regards children as "customers". In their own words. Somebody needs to protect the CHILDREN oh wait, there's an ad-blocker for that. Does the IAB not want to protect the CHILDREN ?

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

  4. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 26th, 2016 @ 11:58am

    Re:

    I imagine it's the best legal thing for you to block out competition.

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

  5. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 26th, 2016 @ 11:59am

    These guys apparently subscribe to the out-of-the-blue definition of free speech.

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

  6. identicon
    Jason, Jan 26th, 2016 @ 11:59am

    Censorship?

    Um, no.

    If I buy a pair of headphones so I don't have to listen to the guy ranting out on the sidewalk while I'm trying to work, that's not censorship, even if the company selling the headphones makes a hefty profit doing it.

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

  7. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 26th, 2016 @ 12:03pm

    A human problem with the internet is that there's too much information and too many messages. It's a great problem to have. It's a lot more preferable to not having enough information available. But the problem is dealt with at an individual level wherein each individual must filter out information and messages. Advertising is usually the most superfluous of all messages. An advertiser doesn't (and shouldn't) know if I can afford their product. I'm responsible enough to know if I need to pay attention to their messages or if I'm in the market for something. And if I am in the market for something, I'll find their ads (while I'm looking for reliable reviews). Freedom of speech is useless if everyone can't filter out all the useless speech to find what they're interested in (or need).

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

  8. icon
    TKnarr (profile), Jan 26th, 2016 @ 12:05pm

    Two words, Mr. Rothenberg: Forbes malware.

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

  9. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 26th, 2016 @ 12:06pm

    Like many people who wish to impose their views on others, he is confusing free speech with other people freedom to ignore his speech. Free speech rights do not guarantee an audience, let alone permit someone to force an audience to listen to them.

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

  10. identicon
    mcinsand, Jan 26th, 2016 @ 12:08pm

    Rothenberg just helped Adblock a little bit

    Ads don't bother me too much, but Rothenberg's speech did. I went to the site to buy a license, but it's freely available. However, you can easily make donations, and I took advantage of the convenience.

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

  11. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 26th, 2016 @ 12:09pm

    Nah, not really, I just like my systems malware-free. Thank you very much.

    Also: if I have to search for the "content" between/underneath/etc. your advertisements, something has gone horribly wrong somewhere.

    On mobile connections there's also the concern for the data caps imposed by the carriers. If I can stay fast longer by cutting out ads, I never wanted to see, I'm doing that.

    And last but not least, I really do value my privacy. I don't have social media accounts, I don't enter raffles and avoid all the other traps of being permanently tracked, as best as I can. So, I'm not going to hand all that data out for nothing.

    On the other hand I'm willing to pay for stuff I like and that includes news.

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

  12. icon
    Violynne (profile), Jan 26th, 2016 @ 12:11pm

    If?

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

  13. icon
    jupiterkansas (profile), Jan 26th, 2016 @ 12:15pm

    If it's free speech, why are they paying to put their ad in my face?

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

  14. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 26th, 2016 @ 12:16pm

    Well then I guess I'm a proud freedom hating uBlock Origin user.

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

  15. icon
    sehlat (profile), Jan 26th, 2016 @ 12:17pm

    FREE speech?

    You've got to be kidding. Considering the bandwidth usage advertisements add to web pages and in an era of artifical caps to moneti$e the users, advertising can be very expens$ive $peech indeed.

    The cost to the user of malware can be astronomical.

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

  16. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 26th, 2016 @ 12:28pm

    Re:

    Exactly. A right to freedom of speech does no equate to a right to be listened to. Otherwise, sellers of earplugs are opposed to free speech. I am opposed to free speech if I cross the street to avoid speeches at a rally or I don't buy a ticket to a politicized (and boring, poorly produced, free of artistic merit) play.

    Freedom of speech doesn't mean you can shout "fire" in a theater and everyone must listen to you and panic, it means the government can't ban you from attending a play because it thinks you might shout "fire".

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

  17. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 26th, 2016 @ 12:29pm

    Freedom of Speech != Forced Listening

    Freedom of speech does not mean you can force me to hear/see your speech/add.

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

  18. identicon
    mcinsand, Jan 26th, 2016 @ 12:32pm

    this is like the swinging fist analogy

    Calling forced ads on *MY* system with *MY* paid-for bandwidth reminds me of the old swinging fist analogy; you're right to swing your fist ends at my face.

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

  19. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 26th, 2016 @ 12:34pm

    Heed well the wisdom of David Canzi

    (Yes, I posted this last week in another discussion about the need to exterminate advertising.)

    All children should be aptitude-tested at an early age and, if their main or only aptitude is for marketing, drowned. --- David Canzi, news.admin.net-abuse.email, 2001-03-21

    Nearly 15 years have gone by since he wrote that, and every day that's passed groups like the IAB put more evidence on the table that this is necessary.

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

  20. identicon
    Decmaster, Jan 26th, 2016 @ 12:37pm

    So by the same logic I assume he has issue with the mute button on my TV, skipping ads via fast forward and dumping the junk mail in the recycle bin without looking at it. Wonder how upset he would get if I stood there with my fingers in my ears & hummed while he talked?

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

  21. identicon
    Loki, Jan 26th, 2016 @ 12:39pm

    It's only going to get worse for them. Even if they solve all the other problems, like security issues, as companies like Comcast and the phone companies continues to squeeze customers with data caps, those customers are gonna find ways to shed data.

    When you're limited to say 10 gig of data, a being forced to watch a 30 second video on YouTube just isn't going to work.

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

  22. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 26th, 2016 @ 12:51pm

    Re: Rothenberg just helped Adblock a little bit

    Ads should bother you; many are laced with malware. While the guy's shouting at you to buy his toothpaste, his confederate has stolen your keys and robbed your house.

    Ads barely bother me at all; I installed my first DNS blocklist in the 90's.

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

  23. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 26th, 2016 @ 12:52pm

    Re:

    Er, I don't recall writing this, but you sound like me.

    Guess there's more than one AC out there :D

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

  24. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 26th, 2016 @ 12:55pm

    Re:

    We should free their speech and stop tethering it to web sites and digital services.

    Someone needs to ln -s /dev/null/ /dev/freespeech/

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

  25. identicon
    That One Other Not So Random Guy, Jan 26th, 2016 @ 1:11pm

    Re:

    Funny... I dont EVER remember being a "customer" of an ad agency.

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

  26. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 26th, 2016 @ 1:11pm

    Funny how the elephant in the room is ignored.

    Content would not be blocked were it content the public wished to see. Simply most ads aren't content worthy of attention. That's why ad companies are so in your face about getting your attention. Otherwise there is no chance in hell the public is going to pay any attention at all.

    The subpar content is so bad that advertisers are doing every thing in their power including blocking the content you came to see in attempting to get their ads noticed. It's gotten so bad that no one other than those making money off it want it.

    The other sneaky not being mentioned is datamining. It comes hand in hand with advertising. No one wants to be spied no and tracked across the net for the furthering of profit motives. I call your attention to this same group doing everything it could to scuttle Do Not Track. Privacy seems to be the enemy of advertising but desired by a large portion of the public.

    Nor are the advertising groups interested in you having a better surfing experience. Instead without our permission, they are stealing our bandwidth, loading our caps with excess traffic undesired and expecting us to pay for it.

    There is a reason why ad blockers have become popular. It's because ad companies have become pest companies very closely resembling spam.

    Part of the free speech that is also being ignored is that there comes with it responsibility for one's actions. Do not be surprised when you act like an ass people call you an ass and then treat you accordingly.

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

  27. identicon
    That One Other Not So Random Guy, Jan 26th, 2016 @ 1:11pm

    Re:

    Go sit in traffic.

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

  28. identicon
    That One Other Not So Random Guy, Jan 26th, 2016 @ 1:14pm

    Re:

    Confusing? Convoluting, and its done on purpose.

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

  29. identicon
    Capt ICE Enforcer, Jan 26th, 2016 @ 1:14pm

    I don't hate.

    I don't hate your ads, that would be wrong. I hate ALL ads. So that makes it alright.

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

  30. icon
    Derek Kerton (profile), Jan 26th, 2016 @ 1:20pm

    Inviting and Disinviting

    "AdBlock-Plus took to the digisphere to complain over and over that IAB had “disinvited” them to this convention. That, of course, is as much a lie as the others they routinely try to tell the world."

    Um...posting a website that promotes an industry meeting, and offers an open invites people to register for the conference is not just the equivalent of "inviting" -- rather it is the definition.

    Thus, cancelling their registration is also the definition of "un-inviting".

    So, if that is the core of what Rothenberg sees as lies, I can only conclude that he is either a liar, or unable to use words correctly and perhaps worthy of ignoring.

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

  31. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 26th, 2016 @ 1:21pm

    Re:

    ...A human problem with the internet is that there's too much information and too many messages...

    Including BAD information and BAD messages. Ads that are geo-targeted based on my ISP's node rather than where I'm at are bad enough (VPN's are fun for this!). But when an ad has no escape and you cannot access what you want unless you endure the ad goes too far.

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

  32. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 26th, 2016 @ 1:32pm

    Re: Censorship?

    It's absolutely censorship, but an empowering rather than oppressive kind.

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

  33. icon
    JBDragon (profile), Jan 26th, 2016 @ 1:35pm

    Re:

    Exactly! You're free to spout out your speech and I'm free to ignore it! You're free to throw out all your crap ad's, and I'm free to block every one of them from getting to me.

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

  34. icon
    JBDragon (profile), Jan 26th, 2016 @ 1:43pm

    Re: FREE speech?

    I have Ghostery installed. What I like is I can block everything, or pick and choose what to block or even whitelist a site. What is interesting is going to a site and seeing how much crap they are actually trying to feed to you and how much crap you're grabbing from so many other sites. Even here it's blocking 13 things. I've notice when I unblock some things, a bunch of other junk now wants to load up form sites all over.

    Here Techdirt we have Amazon Associates, Double Click, Quantcast for advertising and then there's a bunch of Beacons, Widgets, Analytics and so on and so on. I'm sure if I allowed some of this stuff, even more crap would try to come in the door.

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

  35. icon
    JBDragon (profile), Jan 26th, 2016 @ 1:44pm

    Re: Heed well the wisdom of David Canzi

    Can that work for Lawyers also?

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

  36. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 26th, 2016 @ 2:00pm

    IAB wants Idiocracy

    quote:
    they are stealing from publishers, subverting freedom of the press, operating a business model predicated on censorship of content, and ultimately forcing consumers to pay more money for less – and less diverse – information.
    /quote

    Oh, the irony... i think we might have just found our perfect definition of the RIAA / MPAA cartels and their head-in-the-sand approach in regards to internet distribution.

    quote:
    profiteers are building for-profit companies whose business models are premised on impeding the movement of commercial, political, and public-service communication between and among producers and consumers.
    /quote


    yes, what you have there is a fitting description of MPAA/RIAA.. one of the few good descriptions if i've ever seen one...

    Also, wtf are they thinking?.. advertising used to be about educating and informing... not about consuming ads. Do they think that i have become so dumb as to become a consumer of advertisements without a backing product or relevant information?

    Their CUSTOMERS are the content producers paying them for advertising, not the PUBLIC. The public is the one that CHOOSES to receive the information that is already paid for. If i choose not to be crapped upon by idiotic ads then i have the right to block and not look at them.

    I suggest (re)watching IDIOCRACY at this point - and while watching it, keep in mind that these IAB guys are almost certainly the ones that will replace water with "Brawndo" for plant irrigation and for everything else - their budget bottom line depends on it, see their membership fees.. http://www.iab.com/iab-membership/

    Finally, i propose renaming the Interactive Advertising Bureau to the Idiocracy Advertising Bureau... nobody will notice the difference anyway.

    /end rant.

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

  37. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 26th, 2016 @ 2:09pm

    Re:

    If he worked for the TVAB instead of the IAB, then damn strait he'd be pissed about your communist mute button.

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

  38. icon
    Deimal (profile), Jan 26th, 2016 @ 2:10pm

    Re: Re: FREE speech?

    I've reached a similar point. Using uMatrix you see every single request that's being made to every URL. The sheer volume of third-party scripts and embeds MANY sites use these days is utterly appalling. So many places running so much crap in your browser, pretty much without your knowledge. uMatrix was a big eye-opener for me.

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

  39. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 26th, 2016 @ 2:13pm

    Re:

    A human problem with the internet is that there's too much information and too many messages.

    That is not a particular problem of the Internet, but rather just a human problem that is more visible because the Internet allows access to much of human knowledge.

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

  40. icon
    eaving (profile), Jan 26th, 2016 @ 2:13pm

    You are guaranteed the right to SAY something, you are in no way promised that I have to listen.

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

  41. icon
    DocGerbil100 (profile), Jan 26th, 2016 @ 2:17pm

    Randall Rothenberg

    I followed the link. What a speech. I thought politicians were bad, but they can't hold a candle to this guy.

    For those who can't be bothered, it's much as Mr Geigner says: Rothenberg talks about diversity, freedom of speech and a great many other things. He has a single legitimate point to make about some of the more questionable ad-blockers out there, but that's it as far as truthful and useful contributions are concerned.

    To be clear, I don't currently work in the tech industry and have never had anything to do with any ad-blocking companies, beyond installing and using the things.

    I am, however, the person in and amongst my family and friends who knows the most about computers, which means I'm the one they turn to for help when things go wrong. I'm the mug who has to sit there and plough through one anti-malware solution after another, through full system reinstallations, in the worst cases, all to clear off the crap that Rothenberg and his industry friends make a large part of their money from supplying.

    Rothenberg talks about his industry earning billions of dollars and about extortion by ad-blocking companies. He doesn't talk about how much of those billions were earned from enabling criminal activity by real extortionists using his industry's networks to deliver malware.

    Rothenberg talks about diversity and equality. That's actually fine by me, since he and his friends - be they black, white or sky-blue pink - are all equally a shower of parasitic shit-ticks who all equally deserve to go out of business and spend the rest of their miserable lives in equal penury.

    Curiously, he doesn't seem to mention how many millions were earned supplying ad services to sites and companies peddling racist, sexist and homophobic propaganda.

    He talks about freedom of speech, but doesn't seem to have a problem with his industry taking millions for crapflooding the internet with armies of corporate trolls and astroturfers, who shout down legitimate, grass-roots public speech in comments - and spam the likes of Amazon with endless fake reviews designed to actively defraud potential customers.

    He talks about his industry needing to clean up its act - but until it actually does so, it's all so much hot air, designed to obscure the fact that they are still causing chaos, still enabling criminal activity, still engaged in fraud on a massive scale - and still making millions upon millions from doing so.

    All the signs are that the next fifty billion will be just as dirty as the last one.

    Mr Rothenberg likes to portray himself and his industry as pooor, misunderstood victims, but I think I understand them perfectly well:
    they are the enemies of free speech, equality and democracy;
    they are the enemies of law and justice;
    they are the enemies of truth and legitimate business.

    They are fraudulent criminal scum of the worst kind.
    The sooner they all go to jail, the better.

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

  42. icon
    madasahatter (profile), Jan 26th, 2016 @ 2:25pm

    Re:

    "Guess what buddy, if your ads aren't working it's 'cause you're doing it wrong." - Very true, the whole point of advertising is customer awareness of one's products.

    Advertising, per se, is not evil, its just a method for sellers to reach customers. The key is not to needlessly antagonize the customer. Ad-blocker usage should be a clue the customer is irritated at the many of the advertisers' antics.

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

  43. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 26th, 2016 @ 2:26pm

    I think it would be poetic if his speech were constantly interrupted by random loud invasive ads projected on the wall behind him.

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

  44. icon
    Deimal (profile), Jan 26th, 2016 @ 2:33pm

    Re: Randall Rothenberg

    I went to the speech as well, and I just want to thank you for being able to put in here so much of what I was thinking so succinctly. Well done

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

  45. icon
    madasahatter (profile), Jan 26th, 2016 @ 2:33pm

    Re: this is like the swinging fist analogy

    Ads are a guest on my system. Websites I chose to visit are guests on my system (I enjoy Techdirt so I come often). Software is a guest on my system.

    Note, if I do not perceive a value, I will either block ads, not visit the site, or never install (or remove) the software. These are my rules. To the IAB you must abide by my rules, it is my ISP account and my equipment you are using.

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

  46. icon
    madasahatter (profile), Jan 26th, 2016 @ 2:39pm

    Re:

    The are a few ads I think most will tolerate and occasionally pay attention to. Static ads that a reasonably generic that relate to the website. IP based ads for local companies. And emails from vendors you have dealt with and are likely to buy from. Of the 3, the emails are probably the most effective - there is an existing relationship and interest in some of the products.

    Otherwise no dice.

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

  47. icon
    madasahatter (profile), Jan 26th, 2016 @ 2:42pm

    Re: Randall Rothenberg

    Amen, particularly the part about having to clean up the mess that him and his fellow goons caused on innocent users.

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

  48. icon
    TechDescartes (profile), Jan 26th, 2016 @ 2:57pm

    Which one was that, again?

    But if money is your only goal, then you risk falling into relativism – a pernicious trap, for you begin weighing all potential returns based on the single metric of how much more money you can make. Truth, beauty, fairness, justice, honesty, civic pride, neighborliness – they become means to an end, rather than ends in themselves. That is debilitating, and ultimately deadens the soul. I want you to confront that challenge. I want you to remember that there are greater and longer-term values than the mere promise of financial wealth that attracts so many to the digital advertising industry.
    So when he chose not to take their money, was he displaying truth, beauty, fairness, justice, honesty, civic pride, or neighborliness?

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

  49. identicon
    Anonymous Cowherd, Jan 26th, 2016 @ 3:10pm

    Re: Censorship?

    I suppose that those who are blind, therefore unable to SEE the ads, as well as the deaf, who can't HEAR the ads, are the chief Free Speech Haters and should be dealt with appropriately. God help Helen Keller!

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

  50. icon
    Agonistes (profile), Jan 26th, 2016 @ 3:27pm

    Internet ads killed Abe Vigoda.

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

  51. identicon
    Whoever, Jan 26th, 2016 @ 3:52pm

    I'll stop using an ad blocker when...

    I'll stop using an ad blocker when websites are prepared to guarantee that none of the ads contain malware, and should an ad actually contain malware, pay for professional cleanup, and any losses that I might incur, including my time (as an IT contractor at a very modest rate of $150/hour), inability to do my job because my computer is being cleaned up, and any losses and/or inconveniences I might incur in the future (for example, not being able to e-file taxes because of identity theft).

    Don't want to take on that risk? Then suck it up when people want to use an ad-blocker.

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

  52. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 26th, 2016 @ 3:57pm

    There is another thing ad companies fail to own up to and it is missing in this little tirade too.

    Where do you think malware writers learned how to write malware that didn't require installs? Simply put, they learned it from the advertising groups who were so intent on capturing the data that they could not be concerned with security purposes of what else those methods might be used for. Advertising put the money into figuring out how to track users and capture data without the web surfer having to acknowledge and allow. Malware writers captured these methods to insert their crap on to the web surfer as well.

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

  53. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 26th, 2016 @ 4:00pm

    On my PC adds block you

    My add blocker is really simple.

    If I visit a site and the adds are annoying I stop visiting that site.

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

  54. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 26th, 2016 @ 4:25pm

    Whatever? Is that you?

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

  55. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 26th, 2016 @ 4:53pm

    Re: Heed well the wisdom of David Canzi

    Marketing in the non-traditional sense has *exploded* on the Internet since then. Paid shills, viral marketers, astroturfers, and fake trend-ginning has substantially harmed trust in the authenticity of new cultural expressions. It sucks. I don't know how to get these assholes to stop. Adblocker isn't gonna cut it.

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

  56. icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Jan 26th, 2016 @ 5:05pm

    Because nothing says you care about customers like having an autoplay video ad extolling the virtues of not being embarrassed by ED.
    Or an ad that infects the computer leading to hundreds in repair costs.
    Or a system that rewards those who seek to game the system earning income for hacked clicks.
    An entire industry that refuses to admit that shitty/hostile content has driven users to find ways to block the ENTIRE industry to avoid these worst practices that they keep fighting to find new ways to inflict on people.

    You can dress it up in all the free speech rhetoric you like but the industry ignored consumer complaints and are now reaping the repayment of not giving a shit of what it does to the other guy.

    We don't care about your business model because you shit on us... it worked out well for the **AA's so keep charging forward.

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

  57. icon
    Wyrm (profile), Jan 26th, 2016 @ 5:06pm

    The problem of that Rothenberg guy is that he mistakes censorship (prohibiting someone from speaking) from personal filtering (deciding for oneself not to listen to someone else).

    If I decide to block his ads, that's not censorship.
    If I use someone's tool to that effect, that's still not censorship, even if the tool provider is making a profit out of it.

    And for the record, what he did - one-sided cancellation of someone's registration to the convention without any reason other than not liking that someone's opinions - is not censorship either. It's petty and it's exactly what he complains about, but it's not censorship.

    To sum it up, "free speech" is not the right to force others to listen.

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

  58. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 26th, 2016 @ 5:09pm

    Re: Randall Rothenberg

    Now now, there are good parts of the advertising industry. Adland for example is an excellent blog that routinely promotes good advertising practices and shames bad ones.

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

  59. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 26th, 2016 @ 5:15pm

    Re:

    No ... content is ads

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

  60. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 26th, 2016 @ 5:17pm

    Re: Re: Censorship?

    He is not stopping the asshole from spewing, he is simply not listening - there is a difference.

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

  61. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 26th, 2016 @ 5:21pm

    I miss in his speech freedom of choice for people who use an adblocker in the first place. Guess that is a freedom IAB missed out on.

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

  62. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 26th, 2016 @ 5:25pm

    Who was that guy who said - If you use the toilet during commercial break you are stealing tv -

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

  63. icon
    Wyrm (profile), Jan 26th, 2016 @ 5:33pm

    PS: I forgot the mandatory xkcd reference.
    http://www.xkcd.com/1357/

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

  64. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 26th, 2016 @ 5:40pm

    I'm not even American and I can tell you freedom of speech only affects the government censoring citizens. Companies can do whatever they like. And for that matter, a German company is not subject to American laws, no matter how much America wishes or pretends otherwise.

    And for that matter, how does any ad blocker "steal" from anyone? Seriously? "Steal" is becoming as overused and irrelevant as other buzzwords like war, epidemic or pandemic.

    For mere "techie wannabes", they must be doing a damn good job. People want AdBlock Plus. People don't want ads. See your problem here yet?

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

  65. icon
    Whatever (profile), Jan 26th, 2016 @ 7:31pm

    Re:

    "Funny how the elephant in the room is ignored. "

    I think that part of the problem here is that the internet comes with a sort of trade off similar to OTA television: To see the programs, you have to put up with the commercials.

    People's solutions for TV generally is to use a Tivo style device to record the programs and then skip over the commercials when they come on. It's so common now that many networks have moved to change the timing and length of commercial breaks to get people to watch some of the ads. They also use more and more product placement, in stream ads (such as the announcers on a football broadcast mentioning the sponsors in a non-commercial break situation), and generally having sponsorship logos and messages in places where you cannot avoid them. It is the essential trade for services which powers and pays for the products to exist.

    Online you have the same issue. Techdirt is paid for in no small way by your interaction with ads, which pay for the site to exist. It's such an important part that Techdirt has actually moved to using posts (which you generally won't ignore) to push a product of the day. Using posts means that this advertising also gets into your RSS feed and gets picked up by search engines as a post rather than just an ad. If everyone blocked all of the ads and never interacted with the pay for play adverpostings, Techdirt would pretty much run it's course and disappear unless there is some other means of support that isn't visible.

    Adblockers may be good for you on an individual case basis, but they do break the basic business structures of the internet which allows so many of these sites to exist. More and more sites are moving towards "advertising articles" or adverpostings to pay the bills. Lots of sites also mention or refer to products and include links to their amazon accounts to try to entice you to buy, turning ordinary posts into a form of unmarked advertising.

    Ad blockers may succeed in blocking out banner ads and video ads. However, that appears to be leading to content being subverted and turned into advertising. Over time, it may get hard to tell what is and what is not an ad.

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

  66. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 26th, 2016 @ 10:36pm

    Without TOO much modification...

    We ad profiteers are building for-profit companies whose business models are premised on modifying the movement of commercial, political, and public-service communication between and among producers and consumers. They offer their services for those who pay them off, or those desperate enough submit to their demands that they modify their speech to fit the shackles of our revenue schemes.

    And now, the shoe is on the other foot. Walk a few blocks, tell me how it feels.

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

  67. icon
    techflaws (profile), Jan 26th, 2016 @ 10:37pm

    Why would anyone use that software?

    Why would anyone allow acceptable ads when using an adblocker?

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

  68. icon
    techflaws (profile), Jan 26th, 2016 @ 10:39pm

    Re: Re:

    To see the programs, you have to put up with the commercials.

    Or switch channels, phone/text friends, go to the bathroom...

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

  69. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 27th, 2016 @ 12:40am

    Re:

    Customers?

    The men, women and children aren't the customers. They are (or rather: their attention is) the product that is sold to the real customers: the companies that pay to advertise a product.

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

  70. icon
    OldGeezer (profile), Jan 27th, 2016 @ 12:43am

    People will accept advertising that is done cleverly. Some of the funniest moments ever in television have been advertisements. I grew up in the time when great comedians like Alan Sherman were producing ads. Smart companies produce hilarious ads and they go viral on YouTube. I could care less about sports but I sometimes have recorded the Super Bowl to scan through the boring game to see the debut of the best new ads of the year.

    There are acceptable ads on the internet. I went to a site recently and at the top of the page was a request to turn off ad block and click on a few ads to help them with their server costs. I gave it a try and all the ads were in a column down the right side of the page. Any videos were muted unless you clicked to turn up the audio. No popups, no redirects, no malware crap telling me to upgrade flash player or warnings that my computer is infected with a dangerous virus. Just unobtrusive ads for legitimate products. If all sites were like this one we wouldn't need AdBlock.

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

  71. icon
    Ninja (profile), Jan 27th, 2016 @ 1:50am

    Re: Re:

    Techdirt is paid for in no small way by your interaction with ads, which pay for the site to exist.

    Mike has already told us that this actually doesn't generate that much revenue. Besides, the regular TD reader is usually tech savvy and will be using adblockers. I do.

    Techdirt would pretty much run it's course and disappear unless there is some other means of support that isn't visible.

    Insider shop? Consulting the company does exactly because TD has become that famous? It's not a surprise to see you talking as if you've just arrived here but for the Mother of God...

    More and more sites are moving towards "advertising articles" or adverpostings to pay the bills.

    Yes and people are actively avoiding those articles. And eventually the site altogether. I've dropped one already because of this shit.

    Ad blockers may succeed in blocking out banner ads and video ads. However, that appears to be leading to content being subverted and turned into advertising. Over time, it may get hard to tell what is and what is not an ad.

    Eventually the inevitable abuse that will happen will either drive users away of the abusers or spawn the next generation of adblockers. The current state of affairs is just a symptom of the systematic abuse by advertisers in general.

    And I do believe ads would generate more money and be more valuable to companies in general if they weren't diluted by the widespread abuse.

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

  72. identicon
    Anonymous Howard, Jan 27th, 2016 @ 1:52am

    So many points I could raise, but...

    they are stealing from publishers

    Yeah, well, you're stealing my data allowance. Theiving motherfuckers.

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

  73. identicon
    Yes, I know I'm commenting anonymously, Jan 27th, 2016 @ 4:23am

    Aren't ad-agencies supposed to be good at telling untruths?

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

  74. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 27th, 2016 @ 5:18am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Or switch channels, phone/text friends, go to the bathroom...

    Of course, they call it "stealing" when you do that, you dirty thief!

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

  75. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 27th, 2016 @ 5:21am

    Aren't ad-agencies supposed to be good at telling untruths?

    That's their specialty!

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

  76. icon
    Dark Helmet (profile), Jan 27th, 2016 @ 5:48am

    Re: Re:

    "However, that appears to be leading to content being subverted and turned into advertising."

    No, no, no, a thousand times no. Content has always been advertising, and advertising has always been content. The reason why the posts about deals and specific product sets on this and other sites, where they are clearly marked, aren't received negatively is because they're both unobtrusive and USEFUL. Useful being the key part.

    Ads can be one of two things: useful or entertaining. If they are not one of those two things, they will blocked or ignored. It's always been that way, nothing is breaking anything, and, again, if ad companies would simply make ads people found useful or entertaining, the problem would solve itself....

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

  77. identicon
    Wendy Cockcroft, Jan 27th, 2016 @ 5:52am

    We had never invited them in the first place. They registered for this event online. When we found out, we cancelled the registration and reversed their credit card billing.

    We didn't disinvite them, we pre-kicked them out.

    For the simple reason that they are stealing from publishers, subverting freedom of the press, operating a business model predicated on censorship of content, and ultimately forcing consumers to pay more money for less – and less diverse – information.

    There's a massive difference between the right to speak and the right to be heard. We are Constitutionally guaranteed the former, not the latter. Nobody owes them an audience. IPR shills take note.

    They offer to lift their toll gates for those wealthy enough to pay them off, or who submit to their demands that they constrict their freedom of speech to fit the shackles of their revenue schemes.

    Is this guy projecting, much? My ad-blocker is free but I voluntarily donated to it (please do the same, people, these guys have rent to pay) to keep unwanted speech out of my browser so I could experience the content I was actually interested in. I actually boycott those products and services that are aggressively pushed on me. I wonder what they'd call that? Most of us would call it "Voting with your wallet."

    Here's how a free market, another value worth holding onto, actually works. Let's say Adblock Plus or another software provider was blocking useful ads with fun content from a publisher and instead injecting its own advertising to generate revenue. Advertising that wasn't as useful or entertaining as the original publishers.

    I'd stop using it, Tim. That's an ad-injector, not an ad-blocker. In any case, how in the world would you make such a comparison? You wouldn't be able to see the useful/fun content without taking off the ad-blocker. Sorry, that's a strawman. The truth is, I don't mind ads sitting in the margins or sidebars of websites. I can choose to click on or not click on them. It's the intrusive, in-your-face, instant looped video for your viewing pleasure! crap that got me searching for an in-browser ad-blocker. I also don't want them on my YouTube videos. I'm there to see kitties or pop videos, not ads for stuff I neither use nor want. Suggested correction:

    Here's how a more free, open market, another value worth holding onto, would actually work: let's say publishers worked with the websites that host ads to provide useful or fun content that we can choose to investigate further instead of forcing interstitials, pop-ups, looping videos that won't let you skip till your eyeballs have finished melting, or malware-riddled scripts upon us. Advertising that is as useful or entertaining as the original publisher's. People would voluntarily click on those ads to find out more about the goods or services. Some ads are classics, posted on YouTube long after they've finished running on TV because they're entertainment in their own right. Make ads we actually want to see, then we will view them. The problem would then solve itself.

    So they accept that the dire quality of their ads and the horrible user experience is the problem, but believe that the solution is continuing to force them on us? Cognitive dissonance, much?

    Overall, I think you're right, Tim, but flip me, what a douche that man is!

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

  78. identicon
    Wendy Cockcroft, Jan 27th, 2016 @ 5:54am

    Re:

    And Barnyard Boy's. Nobody owes them an audience.

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

  79. identicon
    Wendy Cockcroft, Jan 27th, 2016 @ 5:55am

    Re: Re:

    Damn straight!

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

  80. icon
    DannyB (profile), Jan 27th, 2016 @ 6:33am

    Re: Re: Censorship?

    So if I cover my ears when you talk, am I engaging in censorship?

    Did I prevent others from hearing you?

    If I sell other people ear plugs so they can avoid listening to you, is that censorship? (Note: I'm not forcing anyone to buy the earplugs, and they could instead just put cotton in their ears, or their fingers in their ears.)

    Is it my duty to ties people's hands to their sides so that they can't plug their ears?

    If you could, would you put your advertisements on the insides of everyone's eyelids using implants mandatory at birth?

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

  81. icon
    DannyB (profile), Jan 27th, 2016 @ 6:33am

    Re: Re:

    Hey, when that happens, I just never visit the site again. The close box works wonders.

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

  82. icon
    DannyB (profile), Jan 27th, 2016 @ 6:38am

    Re:

    Me too.

    I hate freedom so much that if I happen to watch an over the air news broadcast and an ad appears, I hit the mute button. Usually I see news recorded earlier on my TiVo and can just fast forward which demonstrates my deep abiding hatred of free speech.

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

  83. icon
    DannyB (profile), Jan 27th, 2016 @ 6:40am

    Re: Heed well the wisdom of David Canzi

    Long, long ago, I saw a Dilbert cartoon, possibly from one of the books in dead tree format. That cartoon explained that Marketing is what one does when one finds that they have grown up and have no useful talent or skills.

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

  84. icon
    DannyB (profile), Jan 27th, 2016 @ 6:44am

    About those Security Issues

    They could solve those security issues instantly, if they wanted to.

    STOP using any form of executable content. No Flash. No JavaScript. No ActiveX. No Silverlight. No Java Applets.

    Your ads should be static content. Text. An image. An animated image.

    An ad network could eliminate security issues by making sure that those three things are the only acceptable form of content from an advertiser that can be run on their ad network.

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

  85. icon
    DannyB (profile), Jan 27th, 2016 @ 6:48am

    Re: Re:

    > To see the programs, you have to put up with the commercials.

    Bzzzzzt. Wrong.

    I will not watch ads. Period.

    I pay to watch TV. Netflix. Hulu Plus. Prime. Etc. And there is other excellent free content like PBS and TED. And you'd be amazed at the educational content you can find on YouTube.

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

  86. icon
    DannyB (profile), Jan 27th, 2016 @ 6:50am

    Re: Inviting and Disinviting

    Fun fact: advertisements almost universally contain or simply are outright lies.

    So what do you expect from someone who represents such an industry?

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

  87. icon
    rebrad (profile), Jan 27th, 2016 @ 6:57am

    Free Speech

    The really great thing about "Free Speech" besides being able to voice your believes is that no one is required to listen to it.

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

  88. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 27th, 2016 @ 7:42am

    Advertising is content? Not on TV. Ads in paid content is nothing more than an adulterant. Like the old days of watering down milk and using sawdust to bulk up foods, it's garbage that steals value from those paying for the real product.

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

  89. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 27th, 2016 @ 8:36am

    if an adblocker blocks government mandated popups...
    is it trrrism ??

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

  90. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 27th, 2016 @ 9:38am

    Free to ignore

    Just because you have freedom of speech, does not mean that anyone is required to actually listen to you.

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

  91. identicon
    AndrewLee, Jan 27th, 2016 @ 9:55am

    I don't block ads because I hate them.

    I block ads because shitty opsec practices by 3rd party providers leads to malvertising. I have not been hit by malvertising since I started blocking ads in 2006.

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

  92. icon
    Almost Anonymous (profile), Jan 27th, 2016 @ 10:47am

    Re: Re: Re: Censorship?

    "So if I cover my ears when you talk, am I engaging in censorship?"

    Well, that depends. If I am a millennial, then absolutely, you are engaging in censorship. Not listening to anything I have to say is oppression. Unless I'm in my safe space, in which case you aren't even allowed to be here.

    Otherwise, no.

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

  93. identicon
    bryan shoemaker, Jan 27th, 2016 @ 11:02am

    i hate spam, this is my reason

    adblock? thats old school. i use blacklist now, if a page has ad's i dont even want to go to it. sorry but theres nothing you can say that would make me want to watch ads. born 1979, 80's i did listen to to radio but didn't have much of choice. 90's, high school, love music but cant stand the radio because of commercial so every time i bought a boom-box first thing i did was brake the antenna off. i hate hearing commercials so much i didn't even want other people to turn on the radio. 2000's finally.. basically a adult, first tv. i had it for 2 month and then got rid of it. reason, commercials and still today i do not watch tv or listen to radio. now.. droids and apps. i do not use any apps with ads. no matter how good they are. also i prefer to pay for apps anyways for quality of programing. now why do i hate commercials so much. #1 stupid annoying themes and music. #2 they don't actuals display anything i would every buy. it don't matter how many times you show a Honda, im not gonna buy it. #3 is it just me or are these ads always displaying the worse products? i guess im a responsible shopper. quality over quantity. i also pay attention to where the product come from. is the said country manufacture responsibly? pollution, humans right ect. which i guess is #4 ignorance .. i have a big problem with ignorance and waste. lot people are making bad choices, out of sight, out of mind as some would say. #5 resources, i push my gadgets to the extreme non stop. every KB, every MA, every Celsiuses is important. so maybe this will help the companies understand why ads are hated so much and the the chain reaction from ads. do to being spam from everywhere i have became detached from America society. now most of my music and entertainment comes from japan, little from south Korea and Taiwan. beds to cooking supplies also come from japan now. although my more technical needs, solar panels, water pump ect are all American made.

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

  94. icon
    Monday (profile), Jan 27th, 2016 @ 11:41am

    HOLY SHIT!!!

    Did this guy transfer over from the fucking NRA?

    I swear I thought I was starting a reading of another bullshit defensive response over another mass shooting, and it was kinda eerie. Most of his speech - IAB's Randall Rothenberg (has to be made up 'cuz he could soon be a target for Malibu Media) - reads like it came straight from the a̶n̶u̶s’ annals of the NRA.

    That's so fucking weird...

    At least Scott Cunningham's expertise and insight isn't lost in the kerflooey. It means whimsical revelry... :D

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

  95. identicon
    New Mexico Mark, Jan 27th, 2016 @ 1:41pm

    Re: IAB wants Idiocracy

    Funny, I was thinking of "Idiocracy" while reading this as well, but more along the lines of, "Wow, I hope Mr. Rothenberg has not and will not produce offspring. However, if the intro to Idiocracy holds true, he probably already has great-great-grandkids, and more being conceived in the bed of a pickup somewhere even as we discuss this."

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

  96. identicon
    Sup, Jan 27th, 2016 @ 11:14pm

    If you have prisons you hate people i guess

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

  97. identicon
    David, Jan 28th, 2016 @ 12:26am

    Re:

    Actually, they are subscribing to the "A Clockwork Orange" definition of free speech. Except that Burgess and Kubrick were not visionary enough to figure out that in the 21st century it would be labelled a "freedom of speech" issue to tie someone in a chair and forcefeed him content.

    Sorry folks, you get to keep your dystopia. We got one of our own.

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

  98. identicon
    David, Jan 28th, 2016 @ 12:30am

    Re: Re: Censorship?

    If the market numbers are right, they'll figure out how to make the braille lines crawl over with ads and pay the firmware developers to translate the "blink" tag into electric shocks for an "enhanced reading experience".

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

  99. identicon
    Suomynona, Jan 28th, 2016 @ 1:23am

    Re: Re: Re: Censorship?

    "He is not stopping the asshole from spewing, he is simply not listening - there is a difference."

    TL;DR: If a tree falls in a forest and hits a marketeer, does a stopping chainsaw still make a sound?

    If I can't force you to listen then I won't make a potential sale. If I can't make a sale I can't stay in business. So I/we will spend any and all resources making everyone listen, since that's exactly equivalent to a sale. After all, every one of our sales pitches are exactly targeted to promote our perfect products to exactly the right customer at the right time. Or, to promote one of /.'s taglines: "Support mental health. Or I'll kill you."

    And also: "It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it."

    It's the same problem the MPAA/RIAA has: ANY thing watched that you didn't pay them for reduces their sales -- even if they didn't make what you're watching in the first place. And if they did; that just makes it worse. Your distracted attention is the absolute worst thing in the world, followed by not giving them money.

    But why is that the money one not first? Because they've already got you and lose the opportunity to show yet MORE ads. Go to a movie theater and count how many previews you see. Twenty-five (30?) minutes later and the movie actually starts.

    Just because you didn't use their available services doesn't mean you don't still owe them for all of that time they didn't supply you with.

    -----

    Maybe off topic: a decade or so ago I read an article (that I now can't find) about Walt Disney and early (before the standard wars) "VHS" tapes. The promoters showed him the great (for then) quality and sound of his own movies in the comfort of your own home. When it was done, he looked at the presenters and confusedly asked: "But how do I charge each person in the room for every showing?"

    Needless to say, that meeting flopped.

    $s per residual performance is where it WAS, IS, and WILL BE at. That I can charge for something live is one thing, easily duplicating it a billion times over is even better. (Just ask the US Treasury Department.)

    The only thing partly negating this is NetFlix/Hulu with an AYCE approach. It's cheap enough so that "renting" only 1% of the movies you want to watch and can easily locate is worth it. Like the base tax on all blank CDs that Canada has for music, NetFulu has most movies on most of the time except for the last few months.

    I presume I'm just cheap. Someone else can pay for new movie development costs unless I decide to support the producer. (Exception: I saw 2 movies the day they opened: 13 Hours: Benghazi (2016) and Zero Dark Thirty (2012))

    Yeah, got WAY way off topic there. Sorry; haven't yet talked to anyone today.

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

  100. identicon
    Missing A Witty Name, Jan 28th, 2016 @ 3:26am

    By his logic, if you consider how much malware ads spread, and how many ads have malware-like behavior in and of themselves, he's a sponsor of worldwide cyber-terrorism at the very least, if not an outright worldwide cyber-terrorist.

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

  101. identicon
    Nat Asshole Services, Jan 28th, 2016 @ 9:49am

    typical fucking yankie scum...as per usual

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

  102. identicon
    paul, May 13th, 2016 @ 7:44am

    So?

    If I block my ears because I enjoy silence I hate free speech too?

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


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