Why Ad Blocking is devastating to the sites you love

Discussion in 'other software & services' started by Dogbiscuit, Mar 8, 2010.

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  1. Dogbiscuit

    Dogbiscuit Guest

    ars technica
     
  2. andyman35

    andyman35 Registered Member

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    I'd have some sympathy for them if it weren't for those annoying banner ads,pop-overs and stickies,etc.A few discreet advertisements placed unobtrusively on a site wouldn't be an issue,but the rubbish that litters many needs blocking in order to retain your sanity.
     
  3. allizomeniz

    allizomeniz Registered Member

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    Exactly what I was thinking. I would never have started using an ad blocker if it weren't for all the annoying in-your-face type of ads.
     
  4. leofelix

    leofelix Registered Member

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    @ Dogbiscuit: Yes I'm aware of the issue you reported.
    Generally I disable my adblocker for my favourite forums and blogs.

    But from time to time there are some ads which are really irritating, especially those which bring to malware (for example Quad Cleaner rogue ads which I come across frequently in some forums)
     
  5. Dogbiscuit

    Dogbiscuit Guest

    What if other websites decide this approach might get people to turn off adblockers in order to view the site's content?
     
  6. dw426

    dw426 Registered Member

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    I appreciate the fact that many websites allow us to view them for free just for putting up with a few ads. A few ads vs a 5, 10, 20 dollar or more subscription should be a no-brainer, and hell yes they have families to feed just as we do. However, too many just let any advertiser come along and put up whatever the hell they want just so the website can get some revenue. Here's what I will and won't put up with:

    Will put up with:

    1. Small text ads placed on top, bottom, or to either side of content.

    2. Small banner ads in said positions. They can even blink if they like, so long as the blinking doesn't come at an epilepsy-inducing speed.

    3. Small to medium sized "photo" ads. (Think billboard-like)

    Won't put up with:

    1. Text, photo, banner (blinking or not) ads that follow you down a page as you scroll. No, get it away from me. I viewed it, now get it out of my way.

    2. Intellitext (spelling?) ads. I can deal with it if I must, but I don't have to like it.

    3. "Commercials". Those freaking Flash near-movies that play and take up half the width of the page. I can handle just about anything but that, yet they seem to be the most common.

    4. Malicious payload ads. I needn't explain myself, if a website is so careless to prevent that or, worse, allow it, they don't deserve my business.
     
  7. kC_

    kC_ Registered Member

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    hate ads, have always & will always block
     
  8. mvario

    mvario Registered Member

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    Two words: Flash ads.

    I started blocking ads when so many went to Flash. Not only extremely annoying (and often noisy), but back in the day on a slow machine there was a noticeable performance hit.

    These days there is the additional downside that not only is Flash insecure, but it is one of the biggest attack vectors. When Flash ads go away talk to me about turning my blocker off.

    [EDIT] I took a quick look and their ads are served by DoubleClick. Even a cursory Google search shows that on multiple occasions they have been used to serve up redirects to malware. There's no way I'm letting Flash and DoubleClick get together on my machine.
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2010
  9. Rmus

    Rmus Exploit Analyst

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    I've never used an ad blocker for the reasons given in the article, and also because I've known people who use ads to support their business.

    However, I put my foot down at

    • animated ads -- Animation is turned off in the browser
    • flash ads -- Plugins are disabled in the browser
    When both of these started to appear years ago, I would send a quick contact message to the web site complaining that it's an unnecessary intrusion. In a couple of cases, I actually emailed the company that was advertised. Well, it became so bad that I just started disabling those functions. Many sites will load a static ad in place of the flash ad when the site detects Plugins disabled, which is OK with me.

    A side benefit: Disabling Plugins prevents the drive-by attacks from PDF and Flash exploits.

    When Flash is required for content, I just enable Plugins for that site and that's that:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The other irritant is a large ad placed in the middle of the content, rather than in a frame to the side. Opera has a nice feature to Show or Not Show images : Toggle with SHIFT + I. So I just do that when such an ad appears in the content. I have no sympathy for such intrusion. Fortunately it doesn't happen on my regularly visited sites, but when going to a link from a forum or blog, it often happens.

    ----
    rich
     
  10. Defcon

    Defcon Registered Member

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    As usual, look to Google for the answer. No one has ever felt the need to block gmail/google's unobtrusive text ads off to the right where they don't block content, I even find them useful on occasion. And they have made Google billions.

    I feel guilty about running an ad blocker but the guilt dissapears quickly when I view the web on other pc's and see the nightmare that it is. I also configure my blocker to skip sites I know are ok (ars is one of them) and that I support.
     
  11. ameyap

    ameyap Registered Member

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    unobtrusive ads placed on the page itself instead of a popup are the way to go. then no one will have to "block" ads that pop
     
  12. andyman35

    andyman35 Registered Member

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    Those intrusive pop-up ads that hijack the whole page are self-defeating ultimately.I'd be very doubtful that anyone would feel in the mood to purchase what they're selling after having their page visit disrupted in such a manner.
     
  13. HAN

    HAN Registered Member

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    IMO, the colorful, flashy, attention grabbing ads are just short of harassment. I loathe them. My feeling is that if sites used text ads like the ones @ Gmail, I would have no issues. But because they won't do their ads that way, I will block them! And every PC I touch is also set that way. (And I touch lots of them!)
     
  14. leofelix

    leofelix Registered Member

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    By the way: I've just found this interesting article

    Don't Blame Your Community: Ad Blocking Is Not Killing Any Sites (Via Donna Security Fash)


     
  15. Dogbiscuit

    Dogbiscuit Guest

    Another side of the issue worth considering, once you get past the indignation and all.

    I wonder if their business models are similar?
     
  16. noblelord

    noblelord Registered Member

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    The restaurant argument is a bad analogy. There was a place in London that abolished prices on its menu for a month - diners were free to order what they want and then leave appropriate remuneration, with no obligation to leave anything at all. Some people did just that and left without paying a penny. However most people actually paid above and beyond what they would have normally paid because they found the food and the service was excellent. I have found in general that people will happily pay for content that is interesting, original and cannot be found elsewhere. I happily pay a subscription to read the Financial Times both in print and online because it is content I cannot read elsewhere. If a tech website is able to provide such a level of content then I would happily pay for it. Until such a time I will continue to block ads as they waste my bandwidth and are (often) irrelevant and annoying.
     
  17. allizomeniz

    allizomeniz Registered Member

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    If I ultimately have to decide whether to stop blocking ads or have content restricted, for me it's a no-brainer really. It'll be adios amigos. :D
     
  18. Searching_ _ _

    Searching_ _ _ Registered Member

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    Fresh install of NoScript whitelists Doubleclick.net allowing it's ads.

    Brought to you by:
    [​IMG]
    Particularly annoying are the white light blinking ones, especially in a darkroom.
     

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  19. dw426

    dw426 Registered Member

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    I don't have Doubleclick on my whitelist. I may have removed it at some point, I don't recall. You know, slightly off-topic, but I've ran across a few websites lately that have explicitly told me I had to turn off AdBlockPlus or I wouldn't be allowed access. What's worse, some are now adding not only that warning plus the ads, but forcing you to take a survey. This is happening mostly on video websites.
     
  20. siljaline

    siljaline Former Poster

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    You can whitelist whatever you like depending on how you block ads.
     

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  21. noblelord

    noblelord Registered Member

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    Indeed - I find using a HOSTS file is the easiest and most reliable method of filtering.
     
  22. siljaline

    siljaline Former Poster

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    Assuming you run IE as your preferred Browser.

     
  23. clwnhat

    clwnhat Registered Member

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    I'll keep blocking third party ads for security reasons. :thumb:
     
  24. dw426

    dw426 Registered Member

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    I don't understand, a HOST file covers all browsers because it works at the DNS level.
     
  25. LenC

    LenC Registered Member

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    This is amazing - everyone agrees on something. That's an absolute first on this Board - everyone hates intrusive ads:D
     
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