back to article Forgive me, father, for I have used an ad-blocker on news websites...

A survey of people using ad-blocking has mixed news for publishers. Thirty per cent of users deploying adblocking software were less inclined to visit websites that forced them to “whitelist” the site. On the other hand, in reality many do whitelist one or two favourites. 77 per cent of adblock software users have whitelisted …

No guilt at all

When websites GUARANTEE that they'll not try to explopit me using 'malads' then I'll consider it .. of course this means Hell will freeze over since the ad networks make zero effort to deal with the malware-punting ad agencies and websites rarely if ever cease dealing with ad networks that are shown to serve ads to their [the website's] visitors.

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Stop

Re: No guilt at all

None here.

Maybe if they showed ads that didn't blink, use up half my processor, and, crucially, offer me something I was actually interested in, I might consider unblocking them. As it is, ads are firstly, a nuisance and secondly. a conduit for malware, so they remain blocked.

The worst sites, BTW, are the news sites (present company excepted), and the worst among those are the local TV stations.

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Re: No guilt at all

Plus tone down the ads, I'd let them back in if they weren't so bloody annoying. Flashy graphics, irritating animations with awful spundtracks that just constantly distract me from the articles on the page I want to see.

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Re: No guilt at all

When a page loads instantly when using an ad-blocker, but takes 30 seconds to a minute when the ad-blocker is turned off while also slowing your pc to a crawl as processor use goes from 15% to a constant 100% for that period, then no, no guilt whatsoever. Nobody needs so much malware flinging flash and javascript in their lives.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: No guilt at all

I am viewing this page with an ad-blocker and I feel terribly guilty.

Oh wait no, never mind. It was just gas.

This forum page has at least four animated ads on it. If I felt that websites even tried to meet me halfway I'd probably stop using the ad-blocker.

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Re: No guilt at all

Same!

It's the auto playing videos that irk me.

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Re: No guilt at all

Maybe if they showed ads that didn't blink, use up half my processor,

The Register this morning on a 1GHz 64Bit Athlon thin client (yeah, I know, relatively ancient by todays standards):

Without ad blockers, before noscript - loadavg 0.76 one window opened, idle, machine usable. Two windows open, loadavg goes above 1. Four windows (or tabs) open, the machine becomes unusable.

With ad blockers and noscript - loadavg at 0.01.

While I would not mind to contribute some ad revenue for my favourite site, it is definitely not going to be at the cost of using half of my CPU. As far as scumbags like Forbes which insist on an advertisement whitelist they can suck a chainsaw with the engine on. I am more inclined to pay a reasonable annual subscription than to turn ad-block off.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: No guilt at all

"that just constantly distract me from the articles on the page I want to see."

That is the POINT of advertising. They want to stop you doing what you want to do, and attract your attention to what the advertiser wants you to do. And if they are going to distract you, then they might as well do a good job of it with flashing adverts, loud music and expanding animations that cover the page if you move the mouse over them. (where mouseover is defined as 200px wide adverts reaching from the header to footer on both the left and right hand sides of the page, plus a 600px wide banner advert across the top) thereby making it virtually imposssible to read the content on the page until you adblock ahem, close said advert.

This without mentioning the fact that the ads are usually of comparable quality to the product the salesdroid is pushing, which means that in a far from zero set of cases they cause the adobe plugin to hang, making that page in your web browser unusable. In the cases it's actually trying to display an advert instead of trying to install the latest zero day trojan.

And so do I feel guilty in blocking adverts...? Ahahahaha. Ah, no. Not really. Because if I don't, then I can rarely actually visit any websites to read the content and I probably wouldn't be able to spend any money on what's being advertised anyway because all of my money would have been cleared out by banking trojans.

If the advertising industry would perhaps like to address these points then I might be inclined to stop disabling their adverts. Until then...

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Re: No guilt at all

I have little guilt for using a host file based adblock however, I understand the plight of these sites. There business models are being turned upside down. In reality when the fight with Adblockers is over we're going to either be left with significantly fewer sources of free content or the current status quo will continue with more and more sites limiting access when they detect adblockers.

In reality, I do feel bad about freeloading however, I don't block add because they annoy me (they do but not enough to put those sites I enjoy at risk) but I do use them because they are often insecure and break rules on tracking way too often without consequence.

In regards to "Antron Argaiv " comment:

"Maybe if they showed ads that didn't blink, use up half my processor, and, crucially, offer me something I was actually interested in,"

I'd rather the adds didn't know me well enough to target specific ads at me!

I'd more than happily agree to have ads, even some popups, if the ad stream in questions were controlled, vetted and as some have put punished for breaches.

That said to give this power to a single completely biased entity like adblock is a dangerous precedent. the only sustainable approach would be to have an advertising body that would grant licences to multiple advertisers with all adblocking software whitelisting these licenced bodies. These licences could then be pulled for malware or other such breaches of acceptable advertising standards. However, if that were to happen we'd have to pay for adblocking software or hope that the big browsers were to incorporate the software.

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Re: No guilt at all

While I would not mind to contribute some ad revenue for my favourite site, it is definitely not going to be at the cost of using half of my CPU.

This.

It's not the Ad's per se that are annoying but the amount of resources they take. Many sites become virtually unusable without some form of ad blocking. Either through the dozens of trackers and beacons or intrusiveness of ads or both.

So long as websites serve ads that ruin the viewing experience I'll keep blocking them without guilt.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: No guilt at all

Local TV and Local News rags for me

http://www.bathchronicle.co.uk/ and

http://www.bristolpost.co.uk/

are two of the worst pages I have seen.

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Re: No guilt at all

I never use an adblocker. Watching the ads is the way the site pays for the content. If the ads are annoying I don't go there as the 'cost' to me is too high.

I know this will be downvoted to hell (just checking if I care.... nope) but it looks to me there is a lot of entitlement here. You expect to consume the content, and not pay the price.You have no right to the content on a site - if you hate the ads then don't go there.

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Happy

Re: No guilt at all

I will disable my (fairly fierce) adblocking where experiment and experience show that a site has what I regard as an acceptable advertising policy. Fortunately, El Reg falls into that category. Adblock Plus and Ghostery are disabled here, and I value the content I get to see as a result. I have to add that this is one of only four websites where I have chosen to do this.

By and large, when faced with a decision on content vs adbombing, content usually loses. I have deleted (decluttered?) a lot of bookmarks recently, for sites I will no longer bother to visit, and you know what? I am no worse off, AND I seem to have a lot more time to do productive work.

My personal fallback is to install two (unsynchronised) browsers, one fully adblocked, and the other unprotected. If I really want to visit a less-than-favoured website, I will simply use the unprotected browser. Doesn’t happen often, though.

Do I feel guilty? Hell no.

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Re: No guilt at all

> You expect to consume the content, and not pay the price.

I have no ads on my sites. So that is what I expect on other sites. I call that reciprocity...

If the content-for-ads model becomes completely untenable, I am fine with that. It mainly promotes clickbait anyway. Yes, running the servers is not free so someone has pay. In my opinion, if the thing is worth it, someone will (whether producers or consumers or in what ratio, that depends).

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got a bone to pick

>Nobody needs so much malware flinging flash and javascript in their lives.

I would dare guess at least half the javascript on the internet is unnecessary and only there for either slightly (or not so slightly) nefarious purposes or because the web "developers" are inept. My recommendation would be for any web developer who is trying to reach the widest audience possible to at some point test their web site on the dillo web browser. Javascript honestly should enhance a site but not be a requirement for the majority of them. Rant over.

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Re: No guilt at all

Fcuk me! 36 ads on the Bristol Post website....! And thats in addition to Ghostery and Shodan kicking off. I see what you mean. I'm not even going to temporarily disable ADP to see what that would look like naked.

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Re: No guilt at all

My early object to ads was the intrusive flashy nature of a lot of them, plus having to close the annoying pop-up and pop-under windows. Limited bandwidth also predisposed me against stupid large images too. Now I'm motivated primarily by security - unless a site is prepared to indemnify me for losses incurred due to their site serving up malware then I'm going to keep matters in my own hands and block ads. Ironically, they'd fix pretty much all of it by serving ads from their own sites, not via a broker's site, and by doing so server-side with no scripts or flash on my machine. I'm sure a blocker would be hard-pressed to reliably block a static image from the host site. However, that would break the whole ad industry and the way they track people, so I doubt if it would happen. Not to mention the fact that all the sluggish scripts slowing down your PC would now have to run on the server, so they'd have to upgrade their end of the link.

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Re: No guilt at all

>That said to give this power to a single completely biased entity like adblock is a dangerous precedent.

Agree - that's why privoxy is your friend, and no plugins required. Amazing how many "adblock detecting" sites assume you're running AdBlock.

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Re: No guilt at all

Not only do i feel no guilt, i block adverts at the proxy filter level for our entire company. All 450 users see almost no ads.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: No guilt at all

>Agree - that's why privoxy is your friend

Yes it is. Really the only knock on privoxy is to really fine tune it you kind of need to have a basic understanding of awk syntax. Granted this is useful for IT pros anyway but perhaps not for relatives. That said the basic out of the box settings work brilliantly unless you keep seeing the same disgusting CNN image of fish guts on a women's head and want to block any element or page containing the hack Japanese artist name for eternity at your router.

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"the fight with Adblockers"

There's no fight.

Adblockers don't block adverts coming from the same site as the content. There are other tools for that (frame blockers for the annoying ones)

If you want to curate your own adverts and take responsibility for them, then I'll let them display.

Adbrokers have amply demonstrated that they can't be trusted. If you have them on your web site: more fool you.

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Re: No guilt at all

I've specifically told my local rag's editor that I block adverts because they're intrusive and a malware vector, but on the other hand i also buy paper copies of said rag.

The ironic thing is that he uses adblockers too, for the same reasons.

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Re: No guilt at all

"I have little guilt for using a host file based adblock however, I understand the plight of these sites. There business models are being turned upside down."

Their business models were being turned upside-down 20 years ago. The time to start working on solutions to that problem was then. The fact advertisers chose to spend the interventing time on what amounts to advertising their claims that advertising is necessary to pay for advertising so you can keep seeing advertising should tell you all you need to know about the way the industry thinks and works.

Personally, my opinon is that advertising is an insidious social cancer that hijacks human emotions (needs, desires), human constructs (organisations and companies), and much of the human environment (most of what you see and hear) in order to do nothing more than grow and reproduce itself. That's why I have no guilt at all about using an adblocker. The irony of the fact that ~7 years ago it was the slow-loading ads on The Register that lead me to first install Adblock (then Adblock Pus, then later uBlock and uBlock origin) is just the icing on the cake...

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Re: No guilt at all

OK, I get it, I understand that the site gets revenue from the ads and that's what helps support the site... but if you never click on or respond to the ads or act upon them in anyway then they are simply irrelevant and thus never going to generate any business for either the advertiser or the site. If the site charges the advertiser on a "per served ad" basis and you use an adblocker because you're not going to act on the ads then you could argue that you are actually doing the advertiser a favour by not loading the ad and saving them money.

So: if a visitor doesn't respond to an ad, ignores them and never watches or responds to the CTA then should that person never visit the website or "consume" the content?

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Re: No guilt at all

"I have no ads on my sites. So that is what I expect on other sites."

I give my content away for free therefore everyone else should.

Yessss, that's exactly how things work....

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Re: No guilt at all

None at all. Pimping out the internet has a downside.

If they don't like it, they can go back to print, or, solicit donations. Wikipedia and Spamcop did fine without ads.

If Reg took US checks and real credit cards (not bogus sham PayPal), I'd be happy to contribute.

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Re: No guilt at all

Antron, in order for the ads to display things you may be interested in, they will have to track you and create a database of things that interest you. Is this what you want?

I'm happy getting ads for very random things. It shows that they don't have good information on me.

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Re: No guilt at all

"I never use an adblocker."

Nor anti-virus?

I admire your principles. Someone has to have some because the malvertising scum don't.

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Re: No guilt at all

"The ironic thing is that he uses adblockers too, for the same reasons."

The really ironic thing is that that will apply to many if not all of the advertisers. However, they're not really advertising, they're giving the readers the benefit of their valuable marketing messages which the readers wouldn't want to block.

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Re: No guilt at all

"If Reg took US checks and real credit cards (not bogus sham PayPal)"

Real, non-sham PayPal is an alternative. Especially for those who don't want to spread their credit card details, including the security code, far and wide to people they've never even met, maybe not even on the same continent.

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Re: No guilt at all

"Antron, in order for the ads to display things you may be interested in, they will have to track you and create a database of things that interest you. Is this what you want?"

Think about this a bit more.

I'm reading a page about, let's say growing mangel-worzels. If you know that then you know quite a lot of things I might be interested in. Growing mangelworzels, growing other cruciferous vegetables, growing things in general, possibly eating vegatables or selling them.

And you don't even need to track me to know that. You don't even need to know who I am. You know anyone reading the page is liable to have those interests. The contents of the page are the best and surest guide to the reader's interests and hence of what might most usefully be advertised at that point. Information gained from tracking the user is more often than not best described as post-relevant because it so often ends up trying to sell the user capital or at least durable items he's already bought*.

That's why many of us keep saying that static ads, tied to the page, on the site itself are not only acceptable, they're the form that stands the best chance of selling what they're advertising. Why don't advertisers and sites do that? Because the advertising industry makes lots of money by selling its services in tracking people and pissing them off. The one thing that the advertising industry is interested in selling is its own services. They put ads out there, maybe associate a few sales with them, they get paid. The vast majority of people who got the ad thrust at them are so pissed off they decide never to buy that product again? No skin off the advertising industry's nose.

*Not online advertising but an outstanding example of the same mentality. When I bought a new car 3 years ago within a few weeks the dealer started spamming me with texts inviting me to all sort of events presumably aimed at selling me a new car. The only thing they've achieved is to ensure I will never, in the remainder of my life, ever do business with them again.

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Re: No guilt at all

For me it's not only about "malads". I'm on mobile broadband during working hours on weekdays. Those video ads mess with my quota by eating them up in record speed. Bad enough I have to deal with Windows 10 slurping up my quota because you can't flag a Mi-Fi mobile hotspot as a metered connection.

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stop being annoying

People generally don't mind adverts, they mind them being annoying. If they stopped randomly playing videos, making pages unreadable and such people would ease off the blocking

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Re: stop being annoying

Oh good god you're not wrong... Recently I've been making some clean installs (with no adblock at the time), and opening some sites has full volume video automatically start... It takes a while to find the damn things too, as there are several moving, animated panels, and only one of them is the video with the sound on.

I didn't realise the web had become so full of shit and noise...

Adblock/disconnect rapidly installed.

As you say, I've got nothing against a few adverts, but when you open a page and 70% of the screen is full of non-content, you know there's something wrong.

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Re: stop being annoying

Exactly. I'd feel far more guilty if I was one of the morons who worked in actually producing the ads and putting them on otherwise useful websites in the first place!

(As I write this, there is an ad to my right. Thanks, El Reg).

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Re: stop being annoying

"they mind them being annoying"

And carrying malware. Of course if the ads were guaranteed to be simple passive text that would solve both problems.

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Re: stop being annoying

The other extreme bit of advert related fuckery is the post-page load ads that are inserted into content after the page has "finished" loading. The kind of fuckers that as you scroll down a page slightly to view the next line of text suddenly get added above the fucking text that you're reading moving it all down a bit more. These tends to get inserted just as I try to click on a link that I want, inevitably inserting themselves under where I clicked on what I wanted.

As a result, AdBlock is essential - and anything this misses I have a local hosts file for. Java? installed on my system but not permitted anywhere near the browser. Silverlight? Never. Flash or any other Adobe provided plugin? Not on your life.

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Re: stop being annoying

I don't block adverts, I don't even have an ad-blocker installed. However, I do have FlashBlock, NoScript and Ghostery installed. The very few adverts which get through those are generally not too intrusive and highly unlikely to carry malware.

On the other hand, I do come across sites which refuse to load the content and accuse me of having an ad blocker installed. I don't recall ever coming across a site like that which would be compelling enough to allow scripts to run, especially 3rd party ones, but there are site where I allow their own hosted scripts to run to make the site work. Again, that rarely lets adverts through though.

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And to answer your question...

Nope.

Did the advertisers feel guilty for commisioning autoplayed video ads?

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Holmes

Hats off to El Reg for leading the way by never showing any ads

Oh, wait ... that's what that APB thing up there means?

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Re: Hats off to El Reg for leading the way by never showing any ads

they got past that via sponsored articles, did you forget DevOps already !!!

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Re: Hats off to El Reg for leading the way by never showing any ads

"did you forget DevOps already"

As far as possible, yes.

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Re: Hats off to El Reg for leading the way by never showing any ads

"did you forget DevOps already"

I've been trying so hard to

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Anonymous Coward

Some are downright annoying!

There's a website I know of which continually asks you to unblock them, yet when you do it fires off ads in popup windows on seemingly every click ... which makes me block them again - sheesh!

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Re: Some are downright annoying!

I've encountered a few sites like that too. Makes me wonder, if you hunt down the little "Webmaster" hyperlink and send them an email explaining that you'd consider unblocking their ads if they weren't so damn annoying, I wonder if any of them would listen.

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Re: Some are downright annoying!

I've encountered a few sites like that too. Makes me wonder, if you hunt down the little "Webmaster" hyperlink and send them an email explaining that you'd consider unblocking their ads if they weren't so damn annoying, I wonder if any of them would listen.

That's what "whois" searches are for.

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Re: Some are downright annoying!

I doubt they would be able to hear you unless they were using ABP - lol

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I do not feel guilty

Advertisers have no respect for me, why should I have any respect for them? When they start treating me respect -- that is to say, when they start respecting my privacy and stop tracking me and stop trying to determine my physical location -- then I will treat them with respect. Lead by example; do not ask me to do something unless you do it first. Until they treat me respect, I will continue to use whatever tool I need to maintain my privacy.

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Re: I do not feel guilty

Well said sir!

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Re: I do not feel guilty

Me neither. I used to use ABP but now that's switched off & I've got uBlock & Ghostery. Ghostery has one or two holes in to make my online banking work but otherwise it's mostly blocked. I get blocks on a few sites I follow links to, but they can go forth & multiply. Forbes, interestingly, puts up a blank page for 10 sec & then brings up the article from the link I clicked.

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