German blogger calls Adblock Plus 'a mafia-like advertising network'

Discussion in 'other software & services' started by Pinga, Jun 26, 2013.

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  1. SnowWalker

    SnowWalker Registered Member

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  2. Dave0291

    Dave0291 Registered Member

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    Ghostery concerns me due to it seeming like it is very close to the advertising industry. Though I will readily admit that ABP is heading down that same path. Disconnect doesn't seem to communicate with users very well. I don't believe they have released a change log in months. Your creation interests me and I really need to spend some more time studying it and giving it a chance. After looking at your provided link, it seems neither Disconnect or Ghostery are all that wonderful. However, and I do not at all mean this as insulting, many would be skeptical that you could do what those other extensions could not. You have to remember, almost all of them use the same "They don't, but we do!" line when they are comparing themselves to the competition. If you absolutely can do as you claim, then bless you. Users don't need more empty promises or someone deciding what is and isn't okay for someone else.
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2013
  3. gorhill

    gorhill Developer

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    I feel completely the same, I have a short fuse when it comes to what I perceive as bad faith claims. This got me into a bit of discussion with a Disconnect dev on Hacker news.

    It's a bit difficult to compare ADB+, NoScript, Ghostery, Disconnect, HTTPSB, because they don't claim doing the same thing anyways.

    ADB+ is not really geared toward protecting privacy (at least that's my finding on Chromium/Linux).

    Ghostery/Disconnect do not do a bad job at protecting privacy, but both are far from a complete solution (meaning they will let stuff go through without the user having a way to know). They both work using a custom blacklists and nothing else. You can't add to it, although you could fork GPLv3 Disconnect and add to it (Ghostery is closed source). Both can be said to have links to ad industry, and both are backed by for-profit entities (Disonnect, Ghostery).

    NoScript is not geared toward privacy, it's first and foremost a script/plugin blocker. Hence why most people use it along with something else, like ADB+ (which the EFF advise to install, but from what I found on Linux, that's unfortunately a bad advice). ADB+, Ghostery and Disconnect do not block scripts.

    HTTPSB blocks everything you want, and so the side effects of this main feature is it is a script blocker, an ad blocker and a complete privacy tool (better than Ghostery/Disonnect, though less attractive UI-wise).

    ADB+ add significant overhead memory-wise. Ghostery adds a good overhead CPU-wise (see).

    What I think is the best feature, is it tells you *all* about where the browser is trying to connect. When I decided to report all connections earlier in my extension-as-an-experiment project, I have to say that was an eye opener to see all the crap that was pulled from everywhere. This is what motivated me to go on with this project, which is a hobby for me:

    "HTTP Switchboard is the fruit of a personal project, there no company of any kind involved, therefore no agenda other than giving users the tools to be in complete control of their browser (I appreciate the thought, but I do not want donation, now or in the future.)"

    Where I am currently disappointed with my work is that I wanted to have an easy UI for non-geeky users. I think I missed there. It is indeed geeky. But maybe that is the price for allowing full-control. In any case, once I reach v1.0, I will take a break and see what can be done (if anything) to make it more accessible to non-geeky users, without sacrificing full control.
     
  4. Dave0291

    Dave0291 Registered Member

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    I've noticed that Disconnect can make "heavy" pages feel like you are swimming through syrup at times. I never cared for that. From your screenshots, yes, there is quite a lot of information there for users in regards to what is wanting in and wanting to connect out. I find your UI perhaps a bit overwhelming with all of the information available. However, I also think it is less complicated to figure out than say NoScript with its ABE and other functions. If you give it an overload of functions and options, then you risk security newbies-who arguably need the protection more than experts-, getting frustrated and not using the extension or, worse, using it incorrectly and making matters worse. If you make it too simple though, inevitably the more advanced users will complain that they can't do this or that and keep you very busy with tweaking the program.

    I think you have just the right amount of functions, but might need a bit more than your quick tours to explain it to the uninitiated. Perhaps a help file or even a "tutor" that pops up when someone goes to configuring it the first few times..although let us not put "Clippy" in there. That could be a bit much :D
     
  5. Gullible Jones

    Gullible Jones Registered Member

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    Re "ad-free internet"... No. I don't mind if some ads get through. I just don't feel the need to let Google and friends track me all over the place.

    ATM I use Polipo as an HTTP filtering proxy. Half a dozen regexes take care of the more obnoxious banner and tracking ads.
     
  6. Pinga

    Pinga Registered Member

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  7. Dave0291

    Dave0291 Registered Member

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    If it turned out that ABP really was whitelisting ad companies in exchange for a percentage of their revenue, that could likely be the one thing that would drive users away. Because at that point, you cannot possibly call yourself an ad-blocking organization. You're also likely to drive almost every small-time advertising agency right out of business.
     
  8. Pinga

    Pinga Registered Member

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  9. safeguy

    safeguy Registered Member

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  10. mirimir

    mirimir Registered Member

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    As long as I can turn off the whitelist, I don't care. I'd even pay for a whitelist-free version.
     
  11. Dave0291

    Dave0291 Registered Member

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    Doubleclick is Google, so I don't separate those two. But yes, those are indeed whitelisted. The thing is though, I am pretty darn sure those companies are not sharing their revenue with Till. They paid to get on the list of course, but that is a bit different from continuing payment.

    Mirimir, it is my belief that the time when we could block everything we wanted is coming to a close.
     
  12. WSFuser

    WSFuser Registered Member

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    Any reason you say that? Between addons like AdBlock Plus, NoScript, Disconnect, etc what do you find not being blocked?
     
  13. Dave0291

    Dave0291 Registered Member

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    Well, look at it this way. The common methods of tracking and such are going by the wayside. So those programs will become less effective. Also, websites have been continuing to warn visitors when adblocking programs are installed at the very least, with many now denying content access until these programs are disabled. Most websites know when ABP is installed or enabled, so that is a fairly easy thing for them to control. More complicated is NoScript. Yes, if scripts are disabled, you take a lot of tracking and ad companies out. However, how many websites do you come across these days that don't require at least some third party scripts to be enabled? Force the right scripts to have to be enabled, and NoScript starts to be less useful for that purpose as well. Websites tend to be stuck in the middle of this war between users and the ad industry. They know ads can be atrociously annoying, but they also know without them, most would shrivel up and die.
     
  14. safeguy

    safeguy Registered Member

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    Advertising on the web is important to accomodate the costs of running a site and to earn money for the content or service. It is easy for people accustomed to blocking ads to forget that.

    Does anyone here really wants to see a time whereby the majority of the web becomes a paywall system? Sure, some people may afford it but not everyone. It would also be much more annoying to have yourself validated as a paying visitor across a lot more sites if that were to occur.

    Here we have arguably the most popular adblocking tool (which gets more and more users as time goes by) trying to find a middle ground to the situation while self-financing it's project (because donation model for the most part isn't effective) and guess what - it gets attacked by certain parties from both sides. The very same sides with their own agenda.
     
  15. gorhill

    gorhill Developer

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    I don't buy that line. I find it sad people buy into that.

    It's an artificial market, the supply in ads is completely unrelated to the demand for ads, because seriously, who demands ads?

    And it's also a fallacy to believe that ads allow us to get free things. Nothing is free, and the cost is just neatly hidden in the extra price they charge for their goods/services in order to pay for their ads. So on top of not really getting free stuff, we get annoyed, and even worst they invade and trample our privacy.

    The ones really benefiting from ads are not the users, neither the sellers, it's the ad brokers. And they sure like to push that line that ads are needed so that we get free stuff.

    Ads and subscription models are old thinking. Content providers need to adapt to a new reality, and this new reality is that in general people don't want to enter a monthly contract for a rigid set of content.

    The new approach is to let people tip whatever content they like.

    I liked an article, gave me a new perspective, made me think, helped me, etc., I will gladly tip a cup of coffee or more depending. When it will be that easy and cheap, without having to commit for all the other content we don't care, the volume I believe will work toward the content providers, without having to rely on this old time thinking that "we need ads".

    The ads are an artificial market, and an unwelcome third-party between users and content providers.

    I say let the market works itself by giving the users the mean to not play in this artificial market, and things will sort out themselves.
     
  16. Dave0291

    Dave0291 Registered Member

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    Gorhill, if you are speaking of donating to websites or providers, time has shown that very few are willing to donate. Subscription models, I don't think we will ever be rid of those. Corporations don't get built on thank you cards and gifts. I understand your point and think, if all parties involved would put in enough effort, it could work out well. But I just don't see it happening. As much as I wish we could be, I don't believe we'll ever be rid of annoying advertising. Too many corporations and ad agencies believe the more in your face it is, the more people will open their wallets.
     
  17. mirimir

    mirimir Registered Member

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    It's an arms race, and time will tell. If sites have paywalls or ads that can't be blocked, I look elsewhere.
     
  18. Pinga

    Pinga Registered Member

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    There is a whitelist-free version, it's free and open source:
    https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/adblock-edge/
     
  19. Nebulus

    Nebulus Registered Member

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    I know some people are big fans of AdBlock Edge, but they should be aware that latest Edge is not a fork of the latest Plus. As for Edge being "open source", it is true, but it is also true that all Firefox addons are open source as well (because they are written in JavaScript, and you can look at their source if you wish) :)
     
  20. woomera

    woomera Registered Member

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    AND some people say Hitler was a saint!
     
  21. Mrkvonic

    Mrkvonic Linux Systems Expert

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    Godwin's Law strikes again.
    This time it took 221 posts to reach p=1.
    Mrk
     
  22. Cloudcroft

    Cloudcroft Registered Member

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    I had to Google Godwin's Law....now I understand, LOL.
     
  23. Pinga

    Pinga Registered Member

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  24. accessgranted

    accessgranted Registered Member

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    I do the same. Once a year, I also send approximately 10 to 15 bucks to the developer. No big deal, but it just seems to me the best solution and the right thing to do.
     
  25. Kirk Reynolds

    Kirk Reynolds Registered Member

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    These advertisers and their ilk need to be shaken down. I want a cut! :D
     
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