back to article 'To read this page, please turn off your ad blocker...'

The Jeff Bezos-owned Washington Post has become the largest newspaper to refuse to serve readers who filter out advertisments. The Post described it as “a short test” to gauge what users who use blocked blockers will do next. “Often, we run tests like this not in reaction to a problem, but to learn,” said the paper in a …

  1. phil dude
    IT Angle

    liability....

    when ad servers take liability for the software they run on my machine, perhaps I'll reconsider my use of ad-blockers.

    In the mean time, since the adverts make money for the free-to-use websites, perhaps there should be a counter on the website telling users how much money they are being paid for each advert....

    Yeah, didn't think so...

    P.

    1. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge

      Re: liability....

      What, you mean all that risk cross scripting issues?

      or did you mean that someone has embedded a nasty virus that attempts to take over my PC and then extort money?

      Or did you mean the flash security holes?

      :-P

      Yes, agree 100%. What I find funny is the following:

      "“Sorry ad-blockers, I assume you mean well and you have a point about page-load times and ads junked up with tracking tools and Trojan horses and the like,” wrote Advertising Age editor Ken Wheaton, recently. “But theft is still theft, even if it's dressed up as some sort of digital Robin Hood act. You're not just interfering with pixels, you're interfering with business.”"

      -=-

      There is no theft here. If there was value in the content, we'd pay for it. I have a WSJ account because I find value in the articles. Watching some silly cat video someone sent? Really?

      If you don't like it, change your business model. Ooops! That comment was from the guy who's business model goes to pot when they shift away from ads.

      1. beep54
        Devil

        Re: liability....

        re: Ian Michael Gumby

        “You're not just interfering with pixels, you're interfering with business.” Isn't that business model a bit like the one that goes, "Nice plate glass window ya got there. Shame if somthin' were ta happen to it..."

      2. mdubash

        Re: liability....

        And the business model needs to include paying people who generate content, not shoving malware-laden visual crap at the user.

      3. nijam

        Re: liability....

        > There is no theft here.

        Well, actually there is. The advertisers are stealing our bandwidth, our time, and our security. Plus, have you *ever* seen an advert for something you actually might buy?

        1. Tom 38 Silver badge

          Re: liability....

          All the adverts I see are for stuff I might buy - normally because I bought it yesterday. Yes, Snow and Rock, I would like a new ski jacket - that's why I bought one from you yesterday. Thanks for stalking me all over the internet though.

          1. Roland6 Silver badge

            Re: liability.... @Tom 38

            "Yes, Snow and Rock, I would like a new ski jacket - that's why I bought one from you yesterday."

            But didn't you take a look at ski jackets and then wait a day or two? I've found that if you do this (and if interested click through but still don't buy) the price/offer in the ad tends to get discounted...

        2. John Sturdy

          Re: liability....

          Very occasionally (maybe a couple of times a year), I'll see a web advert for something I might have bought had I found about it some other way; then, to discourage (or rather, not encourage) advertising, I don't buy it.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: liability....

        That's balls Robin.

        Their business model is to show content that some people want to consume and to pay for it and make profit by showing adverts.

        If you don't like it, don't go to the website.

        Ad blocking is just sneaking into the cinema via the back door and saying you'd buy a ticket if the film was worth watching.

        1. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

          Re: liability....

          Actually ad blocking is more akin to turning up to the pictures 30 minutes ( or whatever, I've not been for years ) after the stated start time, in order to not have to watch the adverts.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: liability....

          >Ad blocking is just sneaking into the cinema via the back door and saying you'd buy a ticket if the film was worth watching.

          Untrue.

          They publish their content on the public internet.

          It's more like the cinema projecting their movie on the outside of the building and calling everyone who watches without paying a thief.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: liability....

      Washington Post recently started tripping over my content blockers such as Privacy Badger, never fully loading and causing the tab to hang. They can go to hell.

      1. paulc

        Re: liability....

        "Washington Post recently started tripping over my content blockers such as Privacy Badger, never fully loading and causing the tab to hang."

        report it as a broken site then...

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: liability....

      I understand that ads do support "free" websites but for fucks sake stop the ones that jump all over the screen and throw billleeeeeeons of pop-ups that ends up like a game of whack a mole, most irritating of all are auto-start video ads.

      1. Roland6 Silver badge

        Re: liability....

        >most irritating of all are auto-start video ads.

        Whilst these are irritating and can easily kill a mobile broadband contention that is good enough for basic internet activity, I actually find the auto-start audio ad's more frustrating as there is no obvious connection between the audio and what is on-screen and hence permitting you to shutdown the ad whilst still having audio enabled.

  2. Rono666

    Guess who won't be reading any of their crap then.

    1. John Tserkezis

      "Guess who won't be reading any of their crap then."

      I went there for the first time, curious as to what they were spewing.

      Disabling NoScript had no real effect, still no ads. Perhaps they turn that off for Oz.

      However I still won't be going there for news, because as far as they know, only politically related stories are worthy of their front page. And their science pages are just plain wrong.

    2. werdsmith Silver badge

      Yep. These idiots still haven't worked out how much goodwill and therefore business is lost from them shoving unwanted apps in our faces.

      Skip ad is probably the busiest button on to web.

  3. Mike Flugennock
    Mushroom

    So, Ad Age thinks I'm a "thief" who's "interfering with business"?

    Somebody call the WAAAHHHHHmbulance!

    I'm not obligated to assist your goddamn' "business", Advertising Age. I cordially invite you bastards to bend over and smooch my ever-widening...

    1. MrT

      “Often, we run tests like this not in reaction to a problem, but to learn,”

      Dear (cough) Ad Age, listen to your 'Friends' (cough cough) at WaPo, then look at Mike's post above and ^^^learn from that^^^.

      Well said, sir.

    2. BillG
      Megaphone

      Re: So, Ad Age thinks I'm a "thief" who's "interfering with business"?

      The Jeff Bezos-owned Washington Post has become the largest newspaper to refuse to serve readers who filter out advertisments. The Post described it as “a short test” to gauge what users who use blocked blockers will do next.

      What they will do next - they will go to another website for their news.

      I did not start to use an AdBlocker because I dislike ads - on the contrary, I have my own websites with ads. I use an AdBlocker because some reputable websites are so filled with video, Flash, and inline ads, all coded in horribly inefficient JavaScript, that loading the webpage is a nightmare. The load time takes forever, then just when i think it's finished and I'm scrolling, the page will repeatedly keep jumping to the top so I have to scroll down again.

      Then there are the ads that are so intrusive, with or without annoying animations, that I can't concentrate on what I'm reading. Before AdBlockers I used to put my hand over the most distracting ads so I could concentrate and read the text.

      But I must admit that it wasn't until the popup ads on CNN.com that greyed out the screen and hid the "close" button that finally drove me to install an AdBlocker.

      I understand, I understand that we get to read the content for free because the ads pay for them and I appreciate that. But the ads have become so annoying it's like having a bum on the street constantly nag you because he wants your spare change.

      It reminds me of the U.S. car manufacturer's war on Japanese imports in the 1980's. Instead of building better cars in the USA, they wanted to punish Japanese automakers. So today's online advertisers should come up with better, non-intrusive ad practices before blocking AdBlockers. Because if the ads were polite and non-intrusive I would not have one installed now.

      1. Captain DaFt

        Re: So, Ad Age thinks I'm a "thief" who's "interfering with business"?

        "Because if the ads were polite and non-intrusive I would not have one installed now."

        But polite and non-intrusive is against the entire ethos of the ad industry.

        Let me explain it from the advertiser's perspective (please don't hurt me!):

        If the ad is not flashy, intrusive, in-your-face and attention grabbing, then it's failed, because you're either looking at:

        A. Some other, flashier ad, or

        B. HORRORS!, looking at the content served as the bait for the ad they paid for you to see.

      2. WylieCoyoteUK
        Devil

        Re: So, Ad Age thinks I'm a "thief" who's "interfering with business"?

        And where does the money come from to pay for the advertising?

        Out of the customer's pockets that's where.

        I pay for unwanted advertising almost every time I buy something. Who's the "thief" now?

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: So, Ad Age thinks I'm a "thief" who's "interfering with business"?

          "I pay for unwanted advertising almost every time I buy something."

          Alternative view. If advertising gets pushed in my face I won't be paying for it. Because the only effect it will have will be to ensure I avoid whatever it's advertising.

          1. LucreLout Silver badge

            Re: So, Ad Age thinks I'm a "thief" who's "interfering with business"?

            @Doctor Syntax

            Alternative view. If advertising gets pushed in my face I won't be paying for it. Because the only effect it will have will be to ensure I avoid whatever it's advertising.

            Yes, quite. Unfortunately too many "others" don't see it that way, and mindlessly click on ads. Think about it this way, had nobody ever responded positively to spam, it would have died out more than 20 years ago.

            There's just to many people out there that will click on literally anything.

            1. Simon Harris Silver badge

              Re: So, Ad Age thinks I'm a "thief" who's "interfering with business"?

              And as for those ads that try to sell me the thing I've just bought...

              If I just bought a washing machine from you, what are the chances that your advert is going to convince me to buy another one right now? I've already given you my money, so now you're just stealing my time and interfering with my business.

      3. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge

        @BillG Re: So, Ad Age thinks I'm a "thief" who's "interfering with business"?

        To your point,

        I agree. Most of the time, the older banner ads and page ads were pretty much ignored. I mean I didn't block them, They just never registered in my brain. (I learned to ignore them on site.)

        And of course the biggest issue is the security concern... but hey, we all know that advertisers are the most ethical lot on the net. (SPAM anyone?)

      4. Speltier

        Re: So, Ad Age thinks I'm a "thief" who's "interfering with business"?

        I have a subscription (!) to some of these paywalled sites, and I still get pelted with ads including those incredibly annoying "cover the text" ads.

        Malvertising finally pushed me over the edge to ABP and RP (fairly lightweight, I mostly just want to stop malvertising and drivebys) -- although if one of the paid for sites blocks access because an ad blocker is present I may block their payment... and let them know. Finally, NoScript disables too many features sad to say.

        Ad support is all well and nice, but at least sterilize the ads first.

        1. Tony Paulazzo

          Re: So, Ad Age thinks I'm a "thief" who's "interfering with business"?

          Finally, NoScript disables too many features sad to say.

          Websites have too many scripts they want to run is the main problem. And you can always run 'Allow all this page' if you trust it. It's perfect for sketchy sites tho, allows you to see what scripts they have.

          As for WSJ perhaps they should take a page out of The Guardian... a discreet little ms at the bottom of the browser, 'We see you're running an adblocker, if you would like to subscribe...' or something to that effect.

          Forcing people who don't want ads will ensure they go someplace else, and whilst Youtube has a large presence on the net, like Wordperfect, NCR, IBM, Altavista, Yahoo and AOL, etc, Google is not too big to fall, and many video competitors are snapping at their heels.

          1. Joel 1
            Headmaster

            Re: So, Ad Age thinks I'm a "thief" who's "interfering with business"?

            Does no-one understand the meaning of "theft"? Theft involves taking something such that the original possessor no longer has use of it. Blocking ads in no way prevents the site from being used by anyone else.

            Oh, and if you think that copyright infringement is piracy, I would suggest that the media moguls head to Somalia, as I hear that there is a lot of piracy going on in that neck of the woods, and clearly some angry lawyers letters could sort things out nicely.

            1. Hey Nonny Nonny Mouse

              Re: So, Ad Age thinks I'm a "thief" who's "interfering with business"?

              'fraudster' may be closer to the mark but let's not give the leeches any ideas.

              Ad Age I would hope will be losing a lot of business for calling their client's clients thieves.

    3. P. Lee Silver badge

      Re: So, Ad Age thinks I'm a "thief" who's "interfering with business"?

      You are not Ken's customer. You are also not Ken's audience.

      1. nijam

        Re: So, Ad Age thinks I'm a "thief" who's "interfering with business"?

        > You are not Ken's customer. You are also not Ken's audience

        So why the f*** is he stealing my bandwidth to pester me?

    4. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: So, Ad Age thinks I'm a "thief" who's "interfering with business"?

      If I didn't read or click on the ads before I installed Adblocker and modified my HOSTS file, than why is that by installed Adblocker I'm suddenly a thief? The reason I installed it was malvertising and intrusiveness. By intrusiveness I mean the ad covers up whatever I'm trying to read.

      The ad agencies need to get a grip and face reality. Until that happens... I guess I won't be going to any pages like the WSJ. Simples.

  4. msknight Silver badge

    And it's perfectly right...

    ...IMHO, that Google, etc. make it easier to install Ad Blockers.

    "Ironically, the survey also found that the largest digital advertiser Google had helped the rise of ad-blocking, by making them so easy to install and use."

    It's my choice whether to use them, and my choice whether to not bother with sites that don't want me if I use them.

    It's my choice whether or not I used them ... not anyone elses choice as to whether they should be difficult for me to install, because they don't WANT me to use them.

    *walks off, grumbling*

  5. IHateWearingATie

    Downvotes

    I'm going to get downvoted to hell, but I don't think what Google, Washington Post etc are doing is wrong. I don't like adverts, but I also like visiting places like El Reg for free, and I can do that as they are ad supported. I see it as the cost of using these sites - I pay by watching ads rather than pay with money.

    It's not theft as per the quote in the article (stupid hyperbole from that bloke), but it doesn't feel particularly ethical to visit a site like El Reg and deliberately block their method of getting payback for that.

    1. Philip Lewis

      Re: Downvotes

      Whielist the site in your adblocker. I have,

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Downvotes

        Surely his point is that it's unethical to go to a site supported by ads and read their content whilst deliberating blocking the ads..

        If it's unethical for this site surely it's unethical for all them.

        I guess you could whitelist everything... I see little point.

        1. Roland6 Silver badge

          Re: Downvotes

          "Surely his point is that it's unethical to go to a site supported by ads and read their content whilst deliberating blocking the ads.."

          So it isn't unethical to use the mobile site? As many sites, such as El Reg either display very few or no ad's on their mobile site...

    2. Mark 65

      Re: Downvotes

      I don't agree. I'd actually pay to read El Reg content - not a lot, mind, but I would do it - because I read an awful lot of their articles and see interest in what they offer even if I don't agree with some of what is written. I would miss not being able to read it.

      However, news sites have the issue that most of what they contain is bullshit, propaganda, or both. Most of it is just syndicated shite with no value-add overlay that is just redistributed around the ether. That I will not pay for.

    3. a well wisher

      Re: Downvotes

      Trouble is they don't remove the adverts if you do pay ! - so they want their cake and eat it too

    4. Joel 1

      Re: Downvotes

      Oddly enough, it was El Reg which caused me to install AdBlock in the first place. Do you remember that annoying ad a while back which had some animated woman push back her office chair and slide out from the "ad box" confines and all over the screen?

      Previously I had been happy to have the ads served to support the site, but when they start getting in the way of the content of the site, it had gone too far. AdBlock gets installed (but with a fairly minimal set of rules).

      "You're not paying any attention to my ad - I'll show you! Stop looking at that article and pay attention to me!" <block>

      Sheesh, it's worse than the cats sitting on my newspaper when I'm reading it. And they have claws I respect!

      1. gazthejourno (Written by Reg staff)

        Re: Re: Downvotes

        Did you tell us about that ad at the time?

        We're pretty hot on nixing crappy ads like that precisely because it narks everyone and encourages readers to de-whitelist us from their adblockers.

        The ads pay everyone's wages here and we quite like having food and a roof overhead. Support El Reg, whitelist us today!

        1. Lyndon Hills 1

          Re: Downvotes

          Like Mark 65, I'd be prepared to pay to read El Reg, so long as there were no adverts for 'subscribers'. How much I don't know, but I wonder if it's been considered?

          1. GregC

            Re: Downvotes

            @ Lydon Hills 1 yup, and me as well. There is only one site on my "frequently used" list that offers the subcribe to remove ads option, and they charge £10/year for it (you also get other benefits, but the ad removal is the important one to me). I'd pay similar, or a bit more* actually, for ad-free access to El Reg.

            *I'm not saying how much more just in case they do implement - don't want to give them ideas.....

        2. launcap Silver badge

          Re: Downvotes

          > The ads pay everyone's wages here and we quite like having food and a roof overhead.

          > Support El Reg, whitelist us today!

          So do you get paid for just displaying the ad or only when someone clicks on it? If it's the former then I'd be happy to whitelist but if it's the latter then whitelisting you would be pointless because I don't click on ads..

          1. grek

            Re: Downvotes

            I would also be willing to white list if i knew that you got paid for views and not only clicks. I would also have to do other masking things to avoid the profiling but I would be willing. If your only getting paid on clicks, then there is no point.

            And to the guy that says me directing my computer to go to their website makes it theft, seems to forget they connected the computer to the internet and directed it to respond.

            1. gazthejourno

              Re: Downvotes

              I don't know the precise details (it's a commercial thing - editorial and commercial here are two completely separate operations, and never the twain shall meet) but as far as I know we earn our shekels through displaying the ads as well as clicks.

              So please do whitelist us. Those Friday afternoon beers won't pay for themselves, y'know!

              1. PDC

                Re: Downvotes

                or holidays in girly pink rooms

          2. Roland6 Silver badge

            Re: Downvotes @launcap

            >So do you get paid for just displaying the ad or only when someone clicks on it?

            If you bothered to take a look at ad networks you would know that a website like El Reg will get up to three slices of revenue from ad's:

            1. Circulation: Just like print circulation figures are important, so a website will want to have good data on its readership: total number, dwell time, repeat visits etc. as this is information that helps determine the price they can obtain from the ad networks for the placement of ad's.

            2. Click thru's: Here a website may get an additional (micro) payment for the first time they 'introduce' a potential new customer to a third-party merchant.

            3. Purchase: Here a website can receive a referrer's 'commission' if the click thru' results in a purchase.

            Obviously, all of the above are paid out by the ad network, hence whilst the ad network may get the full commission on a purchase (can be substantial - just visit sites such as topcashback), El Reg may simply get a small consideration.

            So the blocking of ad's can to some extent impede business, as if you were needing a new laptop, you could of clicked on a relevant El Reg ad and made your purchase, with El Reg getting a small consideration, whereas going directly to the website means El Reg miss out.

        3. John Sturdy

          Re: Downvotes

          Sometimes I've found ads on El Reg so visually intrusive that I've copied and pasted the whole article text into an editor and read it there. I can't remember any specific articles; the last one was a while ago.

          1. Roland6 Silver badge

            Re: Downvotes

            "Sometimes I've found ads on El Reg so visually intrusive that I've copied and pasted the whole article text into an editor and read it there."

            Next time try replacing "www" with "m" in the article URL and refresh the page. In the case of forum URL's add the prefix "m.". This will give you the mobile webpage layout. (Interestingly, this isn't necessarily the version of the website that is served to smartphones...)

            If you prefer to permanently see websites in the mobile format then you may need to investigate tools that change the browser string so only mobile content is served.

          2. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

            Re: John Sturdy

            "Sometimes I've found ads on El Reg so visually intrusive that I've copied and pasted the whole article text into an editor and read it there"

            Psssst: insert Print between the .co.uk/ and the /2015 to get a cleaner view, eg:

            http://www.theregister.co.uk/Print/2015/09/15/to_read_this_page_please_turn_off_your_ad_blocker/

            C.

        4. Joel 1

          @gazthejourno Re: Downvotes

          "Did you tell us about that ad at the time?

          We're pretty hot on nixing crappy ads like that precisely because it narks everyone and encourages readers to de-whitelist us from their adblockers."

          Looking through past comments, I complained about it in 2007, 2009, 2011 and 2012. Are you telling me someone finally listened? Do I dare trust El Reg enough to whitelist? Can someone who isn't blocking give an opinion about whether they are behaving themselves?

    5. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: Downvotes

      "I don't like adverts, but I also like visiting places like El Reg for free, and I can do that as they are ad supported."

      If ads weren't intrusive and/or a vector for drive-by malware infestations, then people would be a hell of a lot more tolerant of them.

      Adverts on web pages were around a long time before ad blockers arrived - what prompted them was intrusive advertising and noxious popups.

      1. Indolent Wretch

        Re: Downvotes

        So you'd be happy if adblocker and the others changed the way they work so that they only block intrusive ads and left all the other ads in place?

  6. GrumpenKraut Silver badge
    Pint

    Fight!

    This is going to be interesting to watch.

    The web site of one (well known) German tabloid is already not loading when adblock is on.

    1. Mike Flugennock

      Re: Fight!

      What seems so ironic to me about all this is that most of the sites pulling this shit are the kind of sites I almost never visit... like the Amaz... uh, Washington Post.

      Besides, we already get the print edition (for what it's worth) at our house.

    2. Someone Else Silver badge

      Re: Fight!

      Isn't it nice, then, that there are other (also well known) German tabloid sites...

      (...and what's an intelligent German guy like you doing reading tabloid sites in the first place?)

      1. Vic
        Thumb Up

        Re: Fight!

        ...and what's an intelligent German guy like you doing reading tabloid sites in the first place?

        That's a strangely ironic comment on El Reg...

        Vic.

  7. Charles 9 Silver badge
    Mushroom

    And so it begins.

    The all-out war between ad-blockers, ad-blocker-blockers, ad-blocker-blocker-blockers, and so on until everything on the Internet slips behind either a mandatory adwall or a paywall, with full registration and credentials required just to get past them.

    And of course, all the ad kings will station themselves in countries like China who will only be too glad to respond to complaints with one finger and two letters (the second being "U"). It'll be Take It or Leave It no matter where you go, meaning bend over or abandon the Internet. Meanwhile, the real world is still flooded with spam calls, junk mail, and radio and TV ads carefully timed so that no matter which channel or station you tune, the ads are still there.

    Forget being the product instead of the customer. We're just gristle for the mill, and if we disappear, well, there are more where we came from. Take advantage of your fellow man before your fellow man takes advantage of you, and if you can't do that, too bad, game over, better luck next life...

    1. riking

      Re: And so it begins.

      > ad-blocker-blockers, ad-blocker-blocker-blockers

      Actually, the third step is adding exception rules to the adblockers so the site fails to detect.

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: And so it begins.

        Which are in turn challenged by putting exception rules to the exception rules...or simply switching to an "untouchable" ad-blocker that sticks to unconditional rules and lives outside the ad men's reach.

    2. Someone Else Silver badge

      Re: And so it begins.

      And so it will end...with the greedy bastards killing the goose that laid the golden egg. Life imitates fairy-tales.

    3. Sotorro
      Pirate

      Re: And so it begins.

      When there was no Kazaa light yet, I wrote my own program in Pascal, to simply replace every single ad to a picture of my choosing.

      The adblockers simply have to let the website think it's loading all the crap, and silently replace the advertisement before it is rendered in the browser.

      At the moment all the stuff is simply blocked, but it should not be too difficult to beat any adblockerblocker, Google and friends already lost this fight.

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: And so it begins.

        "The adblockers simply have to let the website think it's loading all the crap, and silently replace the advertisement before it is rendered in the browser.

        At the moment all the stuff is simply blocked, but it should not be too difficult to beat any adblockerblocker, Google and friends already lost this fight."

        But one of the reasons for ad blockers is to conserve metered bandwidth. The only surefire way to fool the ad-blocker-blocker is to spend the bandwidth to download the ad, which is counterproductive.

        1. Serif

          Re: And so it begins.

          "But one of the reasons for ad blockers is to conserve metered bandwidth. The only surefire way to fool the ad-blocker-blocker is to spend the bandwidth to download the ad, which is counterproductive."

          True, it's nice not to have to waste bandwidth and time downloading the stuff, but personally I'd be happy to switch to a blocker that downloaded but didn't display ads if that was the only workable alternative. If the ad pushers were to escalate things to the point where that was needed though, I'd also start thinking along the lines of virtual click and discard in the background on ads, just to mess with their pay by click model.

          1. Alan Brown Silver badge

            Re: And so it begins.

            "I'd also start thinking along the lines of virtual click and discard in the background on ads, just to mess with their pay by click model."

            There are a couple of add-ons which do precisely that already. I've been sorely tempted to deploy them.

        2. Alan Brown Silver badge

          Re: And so it begins.

          "But one of the reasons for ad blockers is to conserve metered bandwidth."

          _One_ of the reasons, along with setting your browser to not download images.

          Most of the reason is not being irritated by crap which pokes you in the eyes to get attention.

        3. This post has been deleted by its author

    4. tim 13

      Re: And so it begins.

      Grist, not gristle

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grist

  8. From the States

    I wonder if he has ever changed a TV channel

    Ask the Ad Age guy if he has ever changed the channel on this TV. So that's not stealing? I fail to see the difference.

    He also completely absolves his industry of any responsibility for malvertising networks, with no concern about infecting people's machines. All we need is a bowl of clean, warm water and a fluffy towel so he can wash his hands of everything.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: I wonder if he has ever changed a TV channel

      You will find that changing the channel doesn't help much these days, as the ad spots are commonly clustered together so that changing the channel to dodge an ad simply dumps you into another one.

      1. JeffyPoooh Silver badge
        Pint

        Re: I wonder if he has ever changed a TV channel

        Chas: "...changing the channel to dodge an ad simply dumps you into another one."

        What you described is true primarily for the brain-Pabulum channels.

        You need to watch better channels.

      2. WylieCoyoteUK
        Megaphone

        Re: I wonder if he has ever changed a TV channel

        Just record in advance on a PVR and skip the ads on playback.

        Or pause the live TV and make a drink, then skip forward.

        This comment is brought to you by the makers of Humax Personal Video Recorders, Hauppuage PCTV cards and MediaPortal software.....

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Humax PVRs (Youview flavour)

          "This comment is brought to you by the makers of Humax Personal Video Recorders"

          Did you know that the Youview boxes built by Humax *don't* allow you to skip the ads?

          I can see how this works for Internet-sourced (ie "on demand") content.

          I've been told that home-recorded content also gets the "no skipping adverts" treatment. Clarification welcome.

          1. Charles 9 Silver badge

            Re: Humax PVRs (Youview flavour)

            "I've been told that home-recorded content also gets the "no skipping adverts" treatment. Clarification welcome."

            I haven't seen this yet with cable-box recorders. With On-Demand, yes, you can't fast-forward. But with home boxes like Hauppauge recorders and anything that records to a standard, non-DRM format, you can always edit the commercials out later.

          2. tim 13

            Re: Humax PVRs (Youview flavour)

            Mine lets you fast forward the ads on pre-recorded programmes and ones that I've paused so I'm watching behind 'live' It doesn't on ITV, C4 and 5 on demand

          3. Alan Brown Silver badge

            Re: Humax PVRs (Youview flavour)

            "Did you know that the Youview boxes built by Humax *don't* allow you to skip the ads?"

            Until you install an addon to disable that.

          4. Quando

            Re: Humax PVRs (Youview flavour)

            Not true for home recorded content. They have a great +1 minute button on the remote, so the standard 3 or 4 minute break can be jumped in seconds once you get used to it. -15 second button too for when they are 3.5 minute breaks. Also has the standard x2/x6/x12/x30 ffwd button too.

            On demand players for the commercial channels do restrict it - but that is the develover of the demand player not Humax limiting it.

        2. Dwarf Silver badge

          Re: I wonder if he has ever changed a TV channel

          Alternately just give up on watching TV and go and do something more interesting that doesn't have adverts.

          I've not watched TV in 3 years.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: I wonder if he has ever changed a TV channel

            3 years?

            I had a telly for one year in the last twenty or so (it might be more like thirty but I just can't remember). the one year I got a TV (on a friends insistence) was enough to realise once "off" it going back was dangerous, my body was no longer capable of taking the input. Having been weaned off many years before coming back to the "The Wire" and all that pan and snap type shots was just too hard, it was like someone rattling a babies toy to keep my attention on every shot, enough!

            I am thinking of getting a wood burner so the TV license people can give me a few seconds of warmth every two weeks, right now the letters just stack up for recycling.

            1. Tony Paulazzo

              Re: I wonder if he has ever changed a TV channel

              RE TV License:

              Go on their website (or write to them), telling them you don't watch live broadcasts, they'll stop hassling you for a year or two.

            2. Schlimnitz

              Re: I wonder if he has ever changed a TV channel

              I must admit to being tempted by Norwegian-style slow TV. Never actually seen any, mind you, but it sounds like a nice idea.

          2. SundogUK

            Re: I wonder if he has ever changed a TV channel

            16 years and counting...

      3. launcap Silver badge

        Re: I wonder if he has ever changed a TV channel

        > You will find that changing the channel doesn't help much these days

        It does if you live in a country where decent, free-to-air TV exists without adverts (like the BBC). Sure, we pay for it other ways but I'd far rather subscribe to a set of channels that have watchable content without adverts than zillions of free-ad-supports channels full of crap..

      4. MJI Silver badge

        Re: I wonder if he has ever changed a TV channel

        Ads are easy to avoid.

        Record EVERYTHING you want to watch OR only watch BBC

  9. Dazed and Confused

    What next

    making it illegal to put the kettle on in ad breaks on telly?

    1. John 104

      Re: What next

      yes. You would be stealing because you are depriving the adverts from delivering their worthless junk.

    2. WylieCoyoteUK

      Re: What next

      Yes, they have already considered TVs that can pause LiveTV if they detect the room is empty during an ad break.

      1. MJI Silver badge

        Re: What next

        Live pause for adverts

        I would NOT buy that TV

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: What next

          "Live pause for adverts

          I would NOT buy that TV"

          What if ALL TVs were like that? Would you unplug instead?

  10. Dwarf Silver badge
    FAIL

    Must make sense to a marketing droid somewhere ...

    So the user says no thanks to the adverts they are not interested or perhaps they don't want the bandwidth charge as they are on metered Internet or a slow connection or something.

    In response, the site decides it has to force it down your browser anyhow. Nice.

    Think I'll install the add blocker and visit these sites to show that I don't want that either.

    Learn from the end user rather than try and force feed them rubbish they don't want.

    Time is precious, I've not got the time or inclination to watch adverts, I just click close if its forced on me. My eyeballs are under my control, not yours..

    Other options are to minimise the amount of adverts rather than plastering the page, the backdrop, the auto-play sound, flashing adverts and other things that we already know people detest.

    I can state categorically that if I get one of those, I close the page and go elsewhere.

    1. Indolent Wretch

      Re: Must make sense to a marketing droid somewhere ...

      Brilliant, if you get everybody to do it you'll eventually bankrupt them as well!

      The Internet Wins!

      ... hang on

  11. swschrad

    Response: erase the sites from Favorites

    hey, you. the gatekeeper. we don't hate you. much. what we hate are the singing, dancing, sparking and screaming autoplay ads that go full screen when we mouse down to shut them off.

    hate that crap like we never hated anything before.

    so we don't get to see your news stories unless we allow that nonsense? hey, son, fixed it. deleted your URL from favorites. not subscribing. you are as dead to me as Pets.com.

    in conclusion, with millions or billions of other netizens... die, bastard, die.

  12. Haku

    "But theft is still theft"

    Exsqueeze me? A baking powder?

    Ken Wheaton is saying viewing web pages with the adverts filtered out is theft?

    His dealer must be getting him the really good stuff.

    1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      Re: "But theft is still theft"

      You're not just interfering with pixels, you're interfering with business.

      No, your pixels and your business are interfering with my computer.

      Screw you, Ken Wheaton

      1. Indolent Wretch

        Re: "But theft is still theft"

        That computer that you deliberately pointed at their website on their server?

    2. DropBear Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: "But theft is still theft"

      Hey, we might as well just get this over with - why bother restraining oneself calling copyright infringement "piracy", ad-blocking "theft" - I propose we just go the Full Monty: call anything anyone doesn't like to see done on the interwebs MURDEROUS GENOCIDE, agree that the minimum punishment is a hundred consecutive life sentences and be done with it! Wouldn't that be so much simpler...?

  13. Slap

    Note to advertisers

    Note to advertisers:

    Static ads are fine, I'll even click on them occasionally if something interests me.

    However animated ads are the fastest way to ensure that I will never buy anything ever from the company who's products are advertised.

    1. heyrick Silver badge

      Re: Note to advertisers

      And those adverts that take up the whole screen on a mobile device, that try to tell me my phone is infected with {RND} viruses, or the best of all, that push an apk package (paid for on my data tariff) every fucking time the advert reloads (making said site utterly unusable) - those are sites that I make a mental note to blacklist and stay away from. Wait, I don't see any of you site owners offering to reimburse me because your advertising steals from me? Funny, that...

      I also habitually use ABP at home on the PC because my connection is slow and the time difference in page loads between blocking and not blocking is an order of magnitude.

      Sorry, commercially sponsored sites, but you have shown time and again that you are not too picky about who you'll let advertise in association with your site. Sure, some sites use AdWords and small static adverts but on the greater web they are by far the minority.

      As such, I am taking the means necessary to better protect my machines (no random third party scripts and content) and my bank balance (download what I want, nothing else). If you dislike this, fair enough. If you want to take measures to block this, fair enough, it's your site.

      But listen and listen good - what you think is important enough to make access conditional upon accepting advertising . . . isn't. It likely isn't the only copy on the web (newspapers report similar stories, if I can't read one I'll just find another).

      Your business model is only penalising those who want to block adverts because you - Google and Bezos - are perhaps the largest legitimate (as opposed to "your phone has a billion viruses" and "cheap Canadian meds") advertisers. It isn't a surprise you feel this way.

      Now try understanding how we, the users, feel.

    2. Graham 32

      Re: Note to advertisers

      I completely agree. It's why I disabled animated GIFs in Firefox years ago.

      Now if only there were a search engine that would allow options such as "never show results for Tapatalk-based websites".

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Move right on, nothing to see here

    Title pretty much says what my user action was.

  15. Eddy Ito Silver badge

    Clearly they just don't get it. It's not ads that I'm trying to avoid, it's the annoying crap I want gone. Simple not obnoxious ads don't particularly bother me if I can read the piece I'm interested in peace. Audio, overlays that moving shit over and obscure the text and hideous videos should be hung, drawn and quartered.

  16. Neil Barnes Silver badge

    Theft is still theft?

    So watching something you throw out into the wild in the hope that I will also watch the adverts is theft, if I choose not to watch the adverts? My hairy arse it is...

    Get something worth paying for and I'll pay for it. I won't be forced to suffer adverts.

    1. ~mico
      Mushroom

      Re: Theft is still theft?

      Theft is still theft. Ad companies steal our internet bandwidth, electricity (yeah, those CPU cycles, they cost money), our brain bandwidth (when they flash, dance and sing) and our time (when they obscure the view). Or did they think only their time and bandwidth cost money?

      I hereby judge them to perpetual adblock, no payroll.

  17. riking

    > "Has been compared to ransom"

    Yeah, that's why nobody uses AdBlock Plus anymore.

    1. Uncle Slacky Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      uBlock Origin

      Beats Adblock Plus hands down.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: uBlock Origin

        ha! My adblock edge beats you uBlock Origin! :D

        ...

        and I pile ghostery, noscript, privacy badger, better privacy, element hiding helper, and a couple of other that linger somewhere there. Actually I'm surprised I ever get past the google start/search page in the first place.

        Mind you, my Google search page is 100% kosher, a blank screen with a search window in the middle...

      2. launcap Silver badge

        Re: uBlock Origin

        Indeed. Migrated all my FF usage over to it now. Considerably lower CPU & RAM usage results..

    2. John Tserkezis

      RTFM (You know, Read the manual, Sir)

      > "Has been compared to ransom"

      Yeah, that's why nobody uses AdBlock Plus anymore.

      Firstly, the "randsom" refers to advertisers who wish to be whitelisted within Adblock Plus. If you're not wanting to whitelist your website, it won't matter. Unless you are, in which case, screw you.

      Secondly, if you ACTUALLY read the Adblock Plus documentation, this whitelisting can be disabled, so you just see what you allow:

      "On Firefox: click the Adblock Plus icon and choose Filter Preferences from the menu. Uncheck "Allow non-intrusive advertising" and you are done."

  18. GregC
    Mushroom

    ODFO

    “Sorry ad-blockers, I assume you mean well and you have a point about page-load times and ads junked up with tracking tools and Trojan horses and the like,” wrote Advertising Age editor Ken Wheaton, recently. “But theft is still theft, even if it's dressed up as some sort of digital Robin Hood act. You're not just interfering with pixels, you're interfering with business.”

    Dear Advertising Age editor,

    Please feel free to fuck off. Here's some news for you: If by blocking ads, I'm interfering with the business of advertising then that's a good thing. The web wasn't invented for your benefit. One other thing... you do realise that the people like me, who go out of their way to block your shite, are the ones who were never going to click on the damn things anyway, don't you?

    I favour a blunter instrument alongside ABP myself, a good hosts file is a wonderful thing...

    1. Salts

      Re: ODFO

      @GregC

      Can I we add "hey you, sheriff of Nottingham, fuck off and die"

    2. xslogic

      Re: ODFO

      Indeed.

      And I'm sure if there weren't so many obtrusive adverts out there - and that's not just counting the Trojan horses and the tracking tools of which he mentioned - he may have had a point.

      It isn't theft for my browser to ignore parts of the data you've tried to give it any more than it is theft for me to run a virus scanner. (Also, I do wonder how many websites break either the computer misuse act or the data protection act)

      On the other side of the coin, it's okay to block browsers for not displaying adverts. That is not theft either

      1. Captain DaFt

        Re: ODFO

        "On the other side of the coin, it's okay to block browsers for not displaying adverts. That is not theft either"

        No, but it is the advertisers cutting off the website owner's nose to spite their face.

        "Won't look at our ads? Fine, we'll just insure you go elsewhere to view content, and deprive this website of viewers!"

        Which leads to less viewers, which leads to even less chance of the ads being seen, which means you've wasted even more ad money... and reduced the desire of web site owners to use your ads. So there!

    3. Tromos

      Re: ODFO

      "a good hosts file is a wonderful thing..."

      Absolutely. And if any advertiser would like to get around this, I'm willing to accept cash payments just like the leaky ad-blockers.

  19. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Flame

    No necon post any longer?

    ... so what.

  20. TheProf
    Mushroom

    “But theft is still theft, even if it's dressed up as some sort of digital Robin Hood act. You're not just interfering with pixels, you're interfering with business.”

    You OWN ME for long load time, headache inducing flashing adverts, loud unexpected unwanted audio, stealing bandwidth and CPU time.

    Plus that fucking 'Wirral housewife earns £10000000000 an hour using this one weird trick'.

    NO SHE FUCKING DOESN'T!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Of course not she moved to Alderley Edge after a couple of hours work.

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      "You OWN ME "

      You OWE ME

      Don't you just hate typos in the middle of a good rant?

  21. PJI

    Priceless!

    >>“Sorry ad-blockers, I assume you mean well and you have a point about page-load times and ads junked up with tracking tools and Trojan horses and the like,” wrote Advertising Age editor Ken Wheaton, recently. “But theft is still theft, even if it's dressed up as some sort of digital Robin Hood act. You're not just interfering with pixels, you're interfering with business.”

    Just adore the ironic humour. I was trying to understand why the 1 GB of included data allowance in my mobile 'phone subscription was exhausted by the third week of each month when it used to be more than adequate for the whole month, despite my usage being less if anything. Then I realised: it is the wretched advertisements and decoration on web pages, that seem to have increased noticeably, slowing down page load times and eating up my data allowance. Now, that is theft as I gave no permission to use my data allowance to advertise their goods and services on my device paid for with my money, while worsening my internet service quality.

    Interfering with business! Talk about a sense of entitlement. Is he serious? Every time I refuse to buy something, walk into a shop and leave without buying, ignore the advertisements in the newspaper or on billboards, put down the receiver on cold callers, put a "No advertisements" sticker on my letterbox, I am interfering with business, by his definition.

    What right does he think "business" has got over my rights? How many votes does "business" have (ignoring for the moment the power of business to corrupt through lobbying, straight payment or threats). I can survive without business. Business can not survive without customers, including me.

    I have never bothered to install an ad blocker as Safari has got a nice "reader" mode built in on both the iPhone and computers. But I am inclined to install one now just to spite this silly nonentity.

    He just reinforces my long held theory that most businessmen and women are pratts incapable of doing a more demanding, useful job and so doing something where no manager or required skill will catch them out. I begin to find Corbin almost appealing.

    1. nijam

      Re: Priceless!

      "He just reinforces my long held theory that most businessmen and women are pratts incapable of doing a more demanding, useful job and so doing something where no manager or required skill will catch them out. I begin to find Corbin almost appealing."

      Fair point, albeit rather naive to think there's any way in which Corbin is better.

  22. Notas Badoff

    They say it's just a few ¢, I costs me $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

    I'd love to read NYT and WaPo at will, even if it costs $. But an obvious problem is that you have to read more than one outlet to find the 'truth' that lies somewhere between them. And each outlet says it's only ¢ to read. But when I look at the prices it's $$$$$$$ per month! And then times two or three outlets to find the truth twixt the 'tainment.

    So it's the old lament: price it low so everybody wants and can get it, or maintain the high paywall so you can say only the elite read it.

    You want answers? You can't handle the truthcosts!

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Re: They say it's just a few ¢, I costs me $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

      I'd love to read NYT and WaPo at will

      To find out how we are being lied into the next few wars and how money printing is good for you?

      Seriously, just drop them.

      1. Chris G Silver badge

        Re: They say it's just a few ¢, I costs me $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

        I stopped buying and reading newspapers in the mid '90s, every one of them is biased in their own particular way and I bacame sick of it. Online they are no different, add to that, the 'in your face' ads that are so much more irritating online than in a printed paper I want even less to read an online rag.

        Living in Spain there is less control over the types of ads that can appear even when reading the Reg so I use an ad blocker full time, I can't afford to keep punching my lap top so no ads for me.

        As for Ken Wheaton; he can pull his head out of his arse and take a long walk off a short plank over the Grand Canyon, if he films it I'll watch that.

        If anyone really wants to know what's going on in the world, newspapers and mainstream TV are not going to give the whole story (if any), it's necessary to read a good few different sources and then try to arrive at a conclusion that is somewhere near the truth.

        1. Captain DaFt

          Re: They say it's just a few ¢, I costs me $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

          "As for Ken Wheaton; he can pull his head out of his arse and take a long walk off a short plank over the Grand Canyon, if he films it I'll watch that."

          I wouldn't. It probably be pay-per-view at the highest going rate, and the miniscule window showing it would be swamped out by all the advertising around it and overlaying it.

  23. Graham Cobb

    Theft is indeed theft

    It is nothing to do with blocking ads

    1. Wibble
      Mushroom

      Re: Theft is indeed theft

      Oh, you mean it has everything to do with them stealing my CPU cycles, heating up my computer and therefore costing me more in electricity to display their distracting animated nonsense?

      It's nonsense as I refuse to look at it and specifically adblock any new instances and reload the page (if I can be bothered with staying on that site).

      Now, why is it that Google's popular? Could it be the benign (i.e. non-distracting) nature of their adverts? Let me look at Yahoo!!! for a moment just to check.... Aarrgghhh, my retinas are bleeding, that's hideous!

  24. Tim Schutte
    Stop

    Adblock +

    I have been force-fed advertising on TV, radio and print for 60+ years. I refuse to look at that crap on the Web!

  25. This post has been deleted by its author

  26. Tommy Pock

    Good grief.

    So going to make a cup of tea during the adverts is theft, is it?

    Dealing with a site with drastic anti-adblock measures is as simple as deleting a bookmark.

  27. Bucky 2
    WTF?

    Who /doesn't/ ad block?

    The issue for me with many ads isn't that they're unattractive (many are) or that they slow down page load (they do).

    My problem is that many ads masquerade as part of the host site's content--often mimicking featured content blocks.

    I would have thought that outfits like the Washington Post would be against things that lure their readership away from their site. Guess not.

  28. mstreet

    "You're not just interfering with pixels, you're interfering with business"

    Sooo....when I'm doing research, and have to sit through an add every time a page loads, this isn't interfering with MY business?

    It's getting to the point were advertising on the web is getting more annoying than on TV. There I get to sit through 10-15 minutes before getting annoyed by adds. On the web these days, just clicking the refresh button means a whole new chance to buy crap I don't want.

    I've already reduced my TV time to 10% of what it once was, just because the content delivered wasn't worth sitting through the add spam. I think the same will be true with my surfing time soon.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Theft?

    "But theft is still theft, even if it's dressed up as some sort of digital Robin Hood act. You're not just interfering with pixels, you're interfering with business"

    Really Ken Wheaton? No, by not downloading (as part of viewing a page) something I am stealing?

    Unfortunately I had reason to view a web page without an ad-blocker running recently. It was a horrifying experience and looked ghastly. Took ages to load too.

    Ken, my pixels are my own. You can have your own, but you really should not expect to have any influence over mine.

    Ken, did you realise the the additional domains registered for on-line ads cause DNS lookups to take longer (yes, infinitesimally), and more DNS lookups are required (my internet bandwidth, and the processing required by the DNS provider) - you are stealing time from all and sundry. Your ad domains also require electricity to operate, and thus you are killing the planet! The very dominion of man will fade because of you.

  30. Andy Non Silver badge

    Interesting development in the arms race.

    If I'd got to allow ads to view a page it would very much depend on the site. Random websites I'd just leave and go elsewhere; others e.g. El Reg I'd experiment with white listing, but Flash ads still wouldn't get through as I've uninstalled it. Depending on the intrusiveness and irritation level of the ads I'd then abandon the site or put up with the ads.

    Can't say that it bothers me if Adblock comes with some sites pre-white-listed as the first thing I do is wipe that list!

    Final comment: I've never, ever, bought anything as a result of an internet advert. If I want to buy something I do the research myself.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    They can both...

    ...fuck right off then. I'm sick of being force fed a diet of flashy, jiggly, obtrusive crapverts for products I don't want. If that onanist Bezos thinks I'm going to tolerate that to access any news content, then he's got another think coming, and likewise Scroogle. Cat videos aren't funny enough to tolerate garbage.

    Admittedly the Washington Post isn't aimed at the right side of the pond, but I'm sure Turdoch and his mates are thinking the same thing. The key point here is that newspapers don't own the news anymore, but clearly don't want to recognise that fact.

    Oi! Bezos! Shove your newspaper where your Fire tablet had to be shoved!

  32. Gary McCabe

    “But theft is still theft"- ?

  33. Spamfast Bronze badge
    FAIL

    Another arms race

    So, someone simply builds an ad-blocker that mimics the behaviour the web site is expecting to see - at the end of the day, it's just looking for further transfers in a defined pattern, based upon what a HTML/CSS/Javascript renderer would do. But the ad-blocker lets the client choose not to have to see/hear the content that is being exchanged. (AdBlock's 'element hiding' does this already at the DOM level - it just gets taken to the next level.)

    It's really inefficient as the content provider and client still have to pay their respective pipe supplier for the bandwidth to transfer the media that goes straight to /dev/null.

    Then the provider makes the content rely on more subtle interactions between the data flows or weaves the ads into the content ("product placement" anybody?) ... so the blocker develops more sophisticated suppression that can analyse within individual streams.

    And so on and so on. More and more bandwidth, more and more CPU cycles, more and more juice wasted.

    What a farce.

    1. Ian Emery Silver badge

      Re: Another arms race

      ABP already ask people to report sites that wont work with ABP enabled, so they can program workarounds.

      Can anyone suggest a good alternative search engine, for some reason my usual one wont load!!! (JOKE)

      I keep ALL Google services switched off unless I specifically NEED then, so Google havent a clue what I get up to on the net, unless GCHQ and the NSA tell them.

      Lets face it, BUZZFEED is the worst, it has about THIRTY different scripts waiting to run on each and every page; even on a hi-rez screen, the list often rtuns off of the bottom of the screen!!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Another arms race

        I use ghostery + an adblocker. Ghostery's bubble won't fit on a screen on a lot of sites. I have it turned off now.

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Another arms race

      "So, someone simply builds an ad-blocker that mimics the behaviour the web site is expecting to see"etc

      Actually there should be zero incentive to the ad-spewing industry to escalate this. They'd be sending what the advertiser wants them to send so they'd be getting paid for it. The content provider would get paid in turn. The advertiser would actually gain over the situation that would exist if the ads were shown because he wouldn't piss off potential customers. If the industry were to make a big song and dance over it the advertisers might realise that they're getting ripped off by paying to piss off those potential customers so the industry would be the eventual losers.

      But yes, a farce indeed.

      Actually the industry ought to shut up about the present situation. The more noise they make the more the chance that the message might get back to their customers that advertising can carry negative value.

      1. Vic

        Re: Another arms race

        The more noise they make the more the chance that the message might get back to their customers that advertising can carry negative value.

        And, of course, the more chance that the uninitiated will learn that they *can* block ads...

        Vic.

  34. Tom Maddox Silver badge
    Facepalm

    We'll see what happens

    I run Firefox with uBlock on my phone because autoplay video ads are so disruptive and ABP wasn't getting the job done. If the advertisers would play nice instead of using autoplay and other bandwidth-sucking approaches, I could be convinced to use a less-forceful ad blocker, but for now I guess I'll have to forgo the dubious pleasures of the Washington Post.

  35. shyted
    WTF?

    Theft?

    Advertising Age editor Ken Wheaton, recently wrote. “But theft is still theft,"

    Err sorry Ken to burst your bubble, but since when has not viewing an ad, been theft?

    If you want to play that game, then you not reading this post, has deprived me of the million pounds, you should be paying me to teach you some common sense.

    After all "theft is theft".

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    But theft is still theft (when you block ads)

    Fuck off.

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Weird reasoning..

    Sorry ad-blockers, I assume you mean well and you have a point about page-load times and ads junked up with tracking tools and Trojan horses and the like,” wrote Advertising Age editor Ken Wheaton, recently. “But theft is still theft, even if it's dressed up as some sort of digital Robin Hood act. You're not just interfering with pixels, you're interfering with business.”

    Well, yeah, what a good way to win an audience by calling them thieves, which is a real pot & kettle thing. Want revenue? Set up a paywall, which works for the FT, Telegraph and plenty others, and offer the users subscription zoning so they can choose to decline ads. But if you want to talk about theft you should also talk about the bandwidth and resources stolen from users to foist crap upon them, supported by frankly heinous privacy violations (which, by the way, also rely on theft and deception). Oh, and let's not forget trackers - those are *definitely* theft as they act without user permission. So those are just *out*.

    I have been around for quite some time, and I have seen many magazines come and go, also on paper. Those that started as good magazines and gradually overwhelmed their audience with advertising - they died. Adblockers were not invented for interesting ads, they were invented when marketeers started with pop-overs and pop-unders (why do you think we have popup blockers in browsers?) and generally made it a pain to use sites. Those who do not like ads will also not click on them if they were visible, so revenue remains zero. However, if your material is good it will also be recommended by those people, so you get your audience on the rebound.

    I disable ad blockers on sites that I know to depend on ad revenue, but that still doesn't mean I actually click on an ad (again, blocking due to the whole idiotic idea of making active content ads which allows a lot of malware to equally benefit from mass distribution). Thus, I'm not sure how "unblocked but unclicked" is going to be any better than "blocked".

    Block a website for adblockers? Fine, no problem, it's your content after all. Just don't expect much in the way of improvement. Not after calling potential customers thieves, f*ckwit.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Weird reasoning..

      I have been around for quite some time, and I have seen many magazines come and go, also on paper. Those that started as good magazines and gradually overwhelmed their audience with advertising - they died.

      =use wanted to point at an advertising vehicle done right. Computer Shopper. Which is my touchstone when looking a eBay or Amazon. Bozos really needs to think about his paper's business model on paper versus on the Web. Newspaper ads lay there and I will give them a glance. Ditto magazines. On the Web it's anything but on most sites. El Reg earned itself a blanket block on regmedia.co.uk for Dancing Jesus (lifted. For now).

      Which takes me back to business models. Amazon.com doesn't have craptastic ads on Mr. Bezos. Why is that?

    2. keithpeter
      Windows

      Re: Weird reasoning..

      Oh, and let's not forget trackers - those are *definitely* theft as they act without user permission. So those are just *out*.

      Just went to Washington Post home page. I use Firefox with noscript, Privacy Badger and https everywhere enabled. 60+ scripts and 17 trackers reported but all editorial text visible. The little images next to each story lead did not render, presumably using javascript based display.

      Then lowered the shields (noscript set to allow scripts globally, and Privacy Badger set to Deactivate on this Site). One lone advert top right, and lots of editorial images appear. Site takes *ages* to load fully (my main reason for using noscript - adsl is on the lower end of UK Broadband speeds on a good day). But text is readable before the full page completes loading. Not too bad an 'experience'.

      Pity the content is basically crap.

  38. Irongut

    It's not the ads I object to but the trackers that go along with them and most web devs insistance on using Google Fucking Analytics (it's full name). I have no problem with non-intrusive ads from companies that don't think that 1984 and the NSA are something to aspire to.

    I object to sites that tell me to turn off ad blocking or they won't show me some content. I'm not blocking ads, I'm blockiing the dozen or more trackers that you have on the page for Google, Facebook, Adobe, a bunch of ad agencies and god knows who else.

    In the words of Otis Lee Crenshaw - "women call it stalking."

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    this is more widespread

    I have recently seen such a message on other papers' websites, so it appears a new trend. But when they present this message, I pause for a second and the obvious question comes up: can I be bothered (to disable my blockers)? Nah, fuck you and your "article".

  40. Simon Ward

    Dear Advertising Age editor Ken Wheaton

    Go fuck yourself.

    You steal my bandwidth, I'll steal your revenue - you can pry uBlock Origin out of my cold, dead hands.

  41. Mike Flugennock
    Mushroom

    What these clowns don't realize...

    ...is that there are many, many, many other places I can go on the 'Net for unbiased, unfiltered -- and often underreported and mis-reported -- news and information entirely free of marketing bilge slowing my load time and attempting to dump malware on my computer.

    Bite me, Bezos.

  42. Triboolean
    Devil

    Ad blockers, who cares

    I only use a host file (winhosts).

    Never did like the idea of yet another add blocking plugin soaking up my cpu cycles and bandwidth (and probably phoning home to do some tracking of its own). Free ad blocker = you are the product.

    Host file = one install protects all four browsers on my machine in one shot.

    Sending those ads on a trip to 0.0.0.0 for years.

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Happy to say no

    I happily forego sites that employ these tactics, which most often happen to be dispensers of timewasting nonsense or shameless propaganda-spouts.

    On the other hand, I happily consume well-crafted PR regarding topics and products that happen to tickle my fancy, of which there is also plenty. It often leads to me actively seeking out more advertising material, sometimes resulting in significant purchases.

    Effective advertising is very hard work that takes tremendous amounts of skill, creativity and discipline. Any approach that is forced by any means is doomed to fail. Because, as Howard Luck Gossage put it:

    “Nobody reads advertising. People read what interests them; and sometimes it’s an ad.”

    So you better know your target and come up with an interesting message – and as a platform or media channel you need to provide means to spread said message in a way that reaches the target in a way that is not disturbing.

    If forcing flickering ads upon people is the sole resting pillar of your business-plan ... yeah well: You have a problem.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Happy to say no

      A-fucking-men. I have a few simple rules. My computer, my rules. Pissing and shitting on the property is right out. On the flip side,it seems that you skipped potty training your people, processes and hardware. So here's notice: You are banned from my property. I'll be serving you notice by mail. Don't let the door hit you on the way out.

      Now the fun begins. Digital forensics. I hadn't had a real reason before. And my friends all updated their products.

  44. Ian Bush
    Mushroom

    A Doctor Writes ...

    Well you can fuck right off then

  45. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    PLEASE track me. PLEASE use cookies to target ads for me. If you can show me things I care about, I'll be interested in your ads. But it's nowhere near happening yet, I still see ads for things I have zero interest in. Get better at that, AdvertCo, if you want to improve ad revenue from the net.

  46. ST Silver badge
    FAIL

    Sorry, but ...

    there is no statutory, moral or ethical obligation on my part to look at ads I don't want to see.

    Under Ken Wheaton's logic - apparently subscribed to by Pravda/Amazon and Google - Best Buy can come to my apartment and force me to look at ads for toasters or dishwashers, simply because I might go to Best Buy some day and buy an USB cable. Would that be legal?

    On the other hand, we are talking about Pravda/Amazon and Google. Not really a surprise here. Google doesn't provide services for free, and neither do Amazon or Pravda. All of them sell my personal information to other interested parties, and make money off it.

    Ken Wheaton: why do you even have a job?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Sorry, but ...

      The funny odd part is that everyone does know my preferences. I've always allowed ads from those that show me nothing but drool-worthy computer hardware and software. But all the morons that don't follow the instructions I've cheerfully let them gather can just blocked.

  47. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Adds only work on stupid people

    As if they'd only just noticed, the prime market segment seems to overlap with the demographic who use ad-blockers. I work on a simple rule, if you need to put effort into selling it, there is a better deal elsewhere (assuming I'm in the market).

    If I'm not in a shop, get out of my lounge.

    The only ads I click on are the scum who try and scam those who can least afford to loose - just to increase their costs.

  48. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Almost interested to take a look

    I block scripts on most sites. One site blocks its content if I block all advert scripts but it didn't take much to work out which advert script also delivered the content. I'll accept the one.

  49. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why don't these ad blockers (optionally) *simulate* to the content server/ad network that the ad is being displayed (i.e. by loading the blocked resources into a shadow DOM tree that is exposed to clientside monitoring scripts)?

    Sure, the user might lose some privacy (ad networks that disregard "do not track" privacy settings would be able to track and profile their browsing)—but then the content provider might already be sharing their behaviour with the ad network anyway, so this is probably not much of a loss.

    Besides, if all the ad network does with that information (yes, that's a big "if") is to select different ads to serve at the user, and which the user continues not to be shown thanks to their ad blocker, then any such privacy loss is of little practical value anyway.

    1. DougS Silver badge

      I've thought they should do that too but I suspect the reason they don't is because it hasn't really been necessary, and the benefits of bandwidth reduction/faster browsing are lost. If checking for ad blockers becomes more prevalent I'm sure someone will write one that does this.

      I hit maybe one site in a thousand that tells me I can't view it because I have an ad blocker enabled. I just leave the site and don't come back.

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        There's also the realization that the mere requesting of that information (not the actual retrieval, just the requesting) can fill demographics. So just enabling the ad can become an invasion of privacy.

  50. Shinku

    You started it.

    I could've probably let it slide if you'd kept with a few simple text based ads, you know, just a few little unobtrusive low-bandwidth non-malware links. But no. You had to keep upping the ante, an image here, an animation there, then a sprinkling of Flash, and before we knew it you were hijacking webpages with animated autoplaying videos with audio that expand across the rest of the content if the cursor is in the wrong place. Stop fucking doing that shit. You wonder why people are pissed off with ads? This is why. You took the piss. You wouldn't just stop at a sensible limit, you had to push it, and push it, and push it, and push it.

    Now half the web looks like someone ate a department store discount deals brochure, some tapes of QVC and a copy of the Ladybird book of Scams and vomited them into a disorganised pile over the content we actually want to see.

    Oh, and YouTube? Your platform is about discovery, I'm not going to sit through preroll ads to find out whether I give a flying fig about RandomGuy89732's video about his shelf of collector edition figurines. To all the broadcast networks who offer online video? Half the reason I don't care for your TV channels is I'm sick to the back teeth of having the shows I like interrupted by breaks every 5 minutes (and/or having to watch 5 minutes of the exact same shitty ads before every episode), I'm sure as shit not going to put up with that on the internet too. That's why I stopped giving a damn about 4oD, I just don't care about your content enough to subject myself to that, and if I did then the pirates beat you for quality of service. This means you're doing it wrong. I would begrudgingly tolerate brand logo DOGs in the corner of the screen before I'd accept preroll/midroll ads again, and that's saying something, because those annoy me too.

    So you may call me a thief, you may call me immoral, you may call me whatever you wish, but as long as you track us, feed us malware, make it difficult to view the content your ads are supposed to be paying for, chew up our bandwidth and CPU time and assault our eyes and ears, you don't get to hold the high ground and you don't get to be surprised that we eventually told you to shove it up your arse.

  51. DougS Silver badge

    iOS adblockers

    As recently as a year ago viewing the web on an iPhone was a pleasant experience. Mobile advertising was becoming a big business, but most of the ads were unobtrusive. Sure, there were a few sites here and there that abused it with ads that cover the page or scroll across it and make it hard to hit the tiny 'x' to close it. The worst abusers tried to send you to a page to download their app, apparently not realizing that only results in a dialog to open another app (the app store app) that you can cancel. But such things were only a few percent of sites, most did not cause a problem at all and I didn't wish for an ad blocker.

    But lately it has become a horror, with more and more crap being slung on a higher and higher percentage of sites, and worse as the ads slowly load and cause the page to reflow you miss the link you were trying to click on because it moves between the time your brain thinks "click there and aims your finger" and the time your finger hit, so you click on the ad! I somehow suspect they have arranged things deliberately to make that happen...

    They have no one to blame but themselves, Apple didn't support adblockers before because they weren't really necessary, but the shit the advertisers have been feeding us lately has made it necessary. Too many PC users had installed adblockers so they started pushing crap on mobile, and now they're going to wail and cry about how we're "stealing" from them by reading content without viewing ads. If they check for an ad blocker and won't let me on the site, I'll just leave the page. Almost all content is available elsewhere, I'll go where they don't check.

    1. Shinku

      Re: iOS adblockers

      Oh, right, the page reflow, how could I have forgotten?! Even on a desktop that annoys the piss out of me, on a mobile where the experience isn't as fast and smooth it's worse!

      "Oh, that looks interesting, I'll just read that..." *aim finger* *tell finger to poke* *page reflows* *pokes something entirely different* "FUCK."

      It's probably a bad enough sign that the page is so bloated and full of scripts and 3rd party server content that it takes so long to load in the first place, but that it rearranges after whatever undefined length of time it takes to eventually load makes it incredibly frustrating.

      So yeah, add me to the list of people annoyed about that.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: iOS adblockers

        Ah aha! So happy to hear that's it's not just me who's missclicks into ads cause the page reflowed!

        1. DougS Silver badge

          Re: iOS adblockers

          I really do believe they have deliberately instituted a delay of multiple seconds when downloading ads specifically to make the page reflow. It isn't a browser or device performance issue, it sometimes happens 5 or 10 seconds after everything else has loaded and I've read the page (on one of the more and more common 'slideshow' type presentations where you have to click next 20 times to read 20 items, instead of having them all on one page, to maximize the number of ad impressions)

          The new 6S I have on order will be a lot faster than the 5 I'm using now, but I'm sure that's not going to help page load times at all since that's all internet slowness - and in this case probably deliberate on their end.

  52. davtom

    It's about time accurate use is made of the word theft.

    If I plug my mobile phone charger into a power point in a hospital or something like that when it is not authorised to do so, I'm guilty of theft. Similarly if I steal somebody's wallet, or pick up a £20 note on the street without handing it over to the police to see if they can trace the owner.

    If I download an MP3 of an artist singing without paying anything to do so, that may be a violation of copyright but it is NOT theft.

    Similarly, if I visit a website with my ad-blocker turned on, it is NOT theft. It is my response to the invasive, distracting, flashing ads that have been served up over the years.

  53. Will Godfrey Silver badge
    Unhappy

    I've been using ad blockers for so long now that when I saw a familiar page on a friends computer it took me several seconds to recognise it, and found it totally unusable.

  54. gerdesj Silver badge
    Gimp

    Knob in the media

    I can't remember seeing an issue raising this much ire. Good to see.

    FUCK OFF KEN

  55. Bob Dole (tm)
    Trollface

    The timing of this article is funny

    Yesterday I was looking through news.google.com and was wondering to myself if it would be possible to filter *out* all of the Washington Post stories. Every time I click on a story by them my phone throws up a little due to all the ad crap that comes across.

    1. John Tserkezis

      Re: The timing of this article is funny

      "Yesterday I was looking through news.google.com and was wondering to myself if it would be possible to filter *out* all of the Washington Post stories."

      With the exception of the main news.google.com page, yes.

      You need the "GreaseMonkey" add-on, and the "Google Hit Hider By Domain" script.

      On google finds, it adds a [block] button on each entry so if blocked, you'll never see anything from that domain ever again. Unless you manually edit it out of the blocked list.

  56. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    my bandwidth is paid for by me...you're the thief!

    Autoplay video files burn my mobile bandwidth more than anything else... mobile bandwidth for me is email and the odd pub-quiz-google... so i don't buy much (still pay $ for it though, not cents that i am "stealing").

    Since we need to be looking and clicking on your ads how about someone (maybe me) writes a little ad clicker bot... hit ads hundreds of times to make them simply unviable and bring the ad-peddler into disrepute.

    Or, sites could be responsible about their advertising... like this site... but then we would not have new words in the lexicon like "click-bait". Actually, now i think about it, its how much i trust a site that decides if i click on their ads....

  57. Someone Else Silver badge
    Mushroom

    “Sorry ad-blockers, I assume you mean well and you have a point about page-load times and ads junked up with tracking tools and Trojan horses and the like,” wrote Advertising Age editor Ken Wheaton, recently. “But theft is still theft, even if it's dressed up as some sort of digital Robin Hood act. You're not just interfering with pixels, you're interfering with business.”

    Fuck you, Ken, and the Advertising Age horse you rode in on. It is most assuredly not theft, it is self preservation. Only a fatass like yourself would consider we mere mortals protecting our machines from "tracking tools and Trojan horses and the like" as "interfering with business" (as if that's some sort of mortal sin or something). No, it's actually allowing us to survive on the 'net, and maybe even allows us to participate in the business you're blathering on about.

  58. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Somehow, I fail to see why I should give them money

    Seriously. I have high speed internet. No TV channels. Nothing like that. I refuse to pay for cable TV (or satellite, or whatever crap is broadcast these days) because of adverts. I refuse to pay to watch commercials that the provider is getting paid to show me.

    Screw you and your ads. If I want something, I'll research it and buy it. My mobile provider doesn't distinguish between data usage on adverts, and on legitimate traffic. So those advert companies are stealing from *ME!* Class action lawsuit, anybody? Sue them to get back the cumulative costs of data spent loading their shitty ads?

    Or how about we drag them into the street and give them a lesson with a brick in a sock that demonstrates how most users feel about obnoxious advertising. Stamp my logo into their forehead with a white-hot brand, then sue them when they try to get it removed because they're depriving me of advertising dollars, aka, *stealing* from me?

    Or simply print all their inane ads on thick cardstock, fold it until it's all sharp corners and forcibly use the resulting totem pole of shame to clean out their colon?

    I'd love to see them all reduced to begging in the streets for spare change, and being ignored by scowling well-to-do ad executives busy on their smart phones closing all those annoying ads.

    Maybe sew them into a cheap lion costume and turn them loose in Africa. That'd be reality TV worth watching.

    1. SundogUK

      Re: Somehow, I fail to see why I should give them money

      Go on, tell them how you really feel...

  59. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    “But theft is still theft… you're interfering with business.”

    You claim the right to put ads on your device.

    Fair enough. Rights come with responsibilities. You therefore take responsibility for that ad.

    If an ad causes an infection on a computer, you are hereby requested to compensate the end user for all time and expenses caused by the infection. In the situation that a number of ad-supported sites are being viewed simultaneously: the owners of all share the burden.

    Now if only there was a way to get that written into international law… maybe they'd then think twice about how they go about advertising.

  60. DiViDeD Silver badge

    You're interfering with BUSINESS,Goddammit!!

    With apologies to Douglas Adams:

    "Here are the internet people. They're happy, healthy, prosperous. They learn and share together, they band together to get their message out, despite censorship and government restrictions.

    In fact, there's only one major problem with them. They're not making money for our business"

    "So?"

  61. Ozzard

    NoScript, NoAdBlockerBlocker

    Amusingly, I hadn't even noticed. I browse with NoScript turned on, and the Washington Post's blocker requires Javascript to run...

    1. Graham Cobb

      Re: NoScript, NoAdBlockerBlocker

      I run RequestPolicy (yes, it can be a real pain, but I have got used to tweaking when necessary) and the WaPo works fine for me. No ads and no complaints.

  62. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Dear Ad Networks and Web Masters

    I'll turn off the adblock software and or hosts file if you turn of the tracking, or at least respect DNT headers, While you are at it get out of my face while I'm trying to read with your obnoxious shite designed to try sell me a fridge I don't want in the first place while burning my retinas.

    "But theft is still theft" so what are you doing with my bandwidth? if I want to go to abc123.com you hop on board and force my browser to go download crap from xyz321.com oh and you are trying to steal my eyes from what I wanted to read in the first place while also stealing my sanity.

    Dear Web Masters, I'd be happy to pay a sub if the content you deliver is worth it to me.

    Get in my face I'll go elsewhere, blocking me because I block ads will just force me to go elsewhere anyway.

    Who really looses...

    BTW non tracking txt ads are fine with me its the tracking and malware laden shit I object to.

  63. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Anybody here still use LinkedIn?

    Ken's on LinkedIn.

    Be nice.

  64. Wade Burchette Silver badge

    Message to advertisers

    I have some very easy to satisfy criteria that, if you meet, I will disable NoScript + Ghostery. It is easy to satisfy because the internet became as important as it is when these requirements where standard.

    (1) Absolutely no tracking of any kind, no exception.

    (2) Absolutely no ads that obscure part or all of a website or require some interaction from me to dismiss, no exception. This means no pop-up or pop-under ads.

    (3) Absolutely no ads that use my IP address to attempt to determine my location, no exception. For example: no ads that says "Shocking secret [city name] man discovers".

    (4) No videos ads except before a video in which I explicitly told to play; a video should never ever autoplay, no exception.

    (5) Absolutely no ads that require javascript or require an add-on of any kind, such as Flash, no exception.

    (6) Absolutely no ads with sound, except video ads before a video that did not autoplay.

    If advertisers were able to profit once when my requirements were met, then they can profit again.

  65. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    They do say how much they make

    "In the mean time, since the adverts make money for the free-to-use websites, perhaps there should be a counter on the website telling users how much money they are being paid for each advert..."

    Some of the sites I go to say "Your ad here! $2.20" or whatever. (That would be per 1000 views). That price is surely $0.05 or something above what the ad already displayed is paying, so effectively they are already telling me what they are being paid.

    Anyway, it's your choice I guess. Block ads, and have some sites block you for it. Or don't.

    I do have to throw in here, the guy in the article who claims not watching ads is theft is a jackass. That said, I do think it's within site owner's rights to not serve anybody. If their content is worth it, people might turn off the ad blocker. If the content is not worth it, they'll just go elsewhere (for example, the Washington Post? Why would I change anything to view what is most likely an AP article, when 100s of other sites will have the EXACT same article?)

    Personally, when I did run Adblock, I ditched the default block list, I had no interest in blocking every single ad, I wanted to block obnoxious ads that A) force popups, B) unauthorized noise (banner ads that start making noise by themselves are right out. A video site ad, like youtube or netflix ad, I expect it to have sound since the video does.) C) CPU hogging garbage (one ad network that was making the CPU run 100% FOR A STILL BANNER due to piss-poor Javascript). I should note, since I wasn't indiscriminately blocking all sorts of ads, I even went to a few sites people complained wouldn't work for them due to ad blocking, and they worked for me. This brings up a point -- PLEASE don't block based on the existence of Adblock, block based on your ads being blocked. Thanks.

    Luckily, the ad networks themselves seem to follow a code of conduct*; when Adblock became briefly incompatible with firefox, I found I only had 3 sites on the blocklist, 2 had cleaned up their acts (the other is a CPU hog, that only seems to affect 1 web site I go to.... I just make sure not to leave the browser on that tab if I value my battery life.) I don't even run adblock any more, I was getting more static from Adblock reminding me it's updated itself or whatever than I was having it block.

    *Except porn, warez, and "couchtuner-style" video sites. No advertiser's code of conduct there.... That's the land of the endless popups, they'll do whatever they want. I don't run Windows though so at least I won't get any viruses.

  66. Joe User
    Holmes

    What a muppet!

    "The Post described it as 'a short test' to gauge what users who use blocked blockers will do next. 'Often, we run tests like this not in reaction to a problem, but to learn,' said the paper in a statement."

    - "What users who use blocked blockers will do next": Go somewhere else (i.e., you still won't get our eyes on your ads).

    - "We run tests like this . . . to learn": You learn that some people truly despise web ads (which is why they blocked the ads in the first place).

  67. Frank Bough

    What exactly is an adblocker?

    I use Safari's Reader view to block ads, though this has to be done after the page has loaded.

  68. John 104

    “Sorry ad-blockers, I assume you mean well and you have a point about page-load times and ads junked up with tracking tools and Trojan horses and the like,” wrote Advertising Age editor Ken Wheaton, recently. “But theft is still theft, even if it's dressed up as some sort of digital Robin Hood act. You're not just interfering with pixels, you're interfering with business.”

    Hey, Ken. Get fucked.

  69. sisk Silver badge

    Ad blocking, meh

    I haven't used an ad blocker in years. I don't really mind ads. I do, however, use NoScript, which tends to catch a metric crap ton of ads, because it's stupid to allow every random site out there to run every random script. I also block any adserver that I know to have a history of serving malicious ads in my hosts file. Anyway near as I can tell very few sites can tell that ads are being blocked at all on my machine.

  70. Someone_Somewhere

    Dear [Insert name of carbuncle on the backside of humanity here]

    I hope your business fails.

    I hope you lose your home.

    I hope your children are cold, hungry, miserable and without gifts this Christmas.

    I hope your spouse leaves you, taking the children, and gets a restraining order preventing you from ever seeing them again.

    I hope your children forget who you are or what you look like...never to remember you for as long as they live.

    I hope you end up a ranting, homeless, alcoholic tramp with pneumonia,pleurisy and leukemia...ridiculed and avoided even by the other insane dregs on the streets...beaten and raped in dark alleyways...pissing your last in the bottle that kills you...uncared for, forgotten and unnoticed...your corpse ravaged by feral cats, dogs, crows and rats...leaving not even a stain on the street to remind the World that you were ever here...

    I would wish you the Season's Greetings, but, frankly, I hope it's your last...and besides, I can't find a Christmas card with the motto "Die, you bastard!"

    Regards,

    [Insert your name here]

    1. Steven Roper

      I like you. May I add...

      I hope some sadistic bastard finds you, [Insert name of carbuncle on the backside of humanity here] and locks you in a cellar where he starts sawing off your extremities, at random intervals ranging from 5 minutes to 5 hours, 1 centimetre at a time, with a rusty blunt hacksaw blade dipped in sulphuric acid, beginning at the tips of your fingers and toes and working upwards, while repeatedly dosing you up on crystal meth to enhance your nerve sensitivity and preventing you from losing consciousness, and sealing the resulting wounds with hot wax so you don't die of blood loss, and thus makes it last a minimum 3 months of screaming, unrelenting, excruciating agony before he finally lets you die, you fucking cunt.

      I have a sick and vivid imagination. And I watch/read too much Game of Thrones and its ilk.

      1. Someone_Somewhere

        Re: I like you. May I add...

        > I have a sick and vivid imagination

        You and me both ;)

  71. Your alien overlord - fear me

    Ken, you steal my screens real estate whilst trying to install trojans.

    Ken, you steal my bandwidth which I have to pay for (no unlimited tariffs on broadband or mobile where I live).

    Ken, you're a douche bag. Yep, that one's free.

  72. Len Goddard

    whitelist

    To be fair to eyeo, they do publish instructions on how to disable whitelisting. It takes 3 mouse clicks and "non-instrusive ads" (do such things exist?) are gone forever.

  73. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    And today

    browsing BBC from Canada on phOne I've noticed ads becoming increasingly more annoying. Then today that started putting full page overlays up, so every page requires me to close an ad to see it and they wonder why people are using blockers , total tossers

  74. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Fuckwit

    You feed me trash, I block trash. Simples.

    I object to the bandwidth hogging video ads, the flash ads, the animated ads, popovers and popunders.

    Popovers in particular and animated ads in general are, basically, bloody rude. If you think otherwise just try this: You are having a serious conversation with little Johnny’s father. Little Johnny is leaping up and down yelling “lookatme, lookatme, lookatme, lookatme, lookatme, lookatme” and pulling a funny face. Do you

    a) think how wonderful little Johnny is and how comical he is or

    b) wish his dad would give him a thick ear and explain that its rude to interrupt people like that and that he should wait and ask politely for attention when the conversation finishes.

    I submit b)

    I also heartily detest targetted marketing – all that seems to do is to follow me round the web after I bought a widget, or even just LOOKED at a widget, showing me links to places that sells lots of widgets. Hello guys, but I am all widgetted out and you’re only succeeding in pissing me off.

    I detest having some kind of subscription based “free” delivery platform forced down my throat. Hullo Jeff Bezos of Amazon, thanks for that. If you REALLY did targeted marketing, you would realise just how much I hate that inane money grabbing. Its why I now start shopping someplace else rather than suffer your Prime marketing.

    While I have Bozo's attention, ’d also love an explanation of why I should be interested in what other people bought when I want to order a widget. Why the hell should I care?

    Jeff Bezos also mentions theft. OK, try this; you want me to review your content, make some kind of decision and take some kind of action. That sounds like consultancy to me. How about I charge you my consultancy rate of100 per hour to review your drivel and act on it as I (in my sole opinion) see fit.

    I also have a big problem with the gaudy splash ads at the sides of some online

    journals. Thank God AdBlock kills THOSE stone dead. – We are back to that little sod Johnny.

    Show me a “special offer” and I’ll start checking round. Funnily enough I can almost always do better than the “special offer”.

    Look at it this way: At advert time a company is trying to impress me with its product – that’s a given. It is also trying to impress me as being an outfit I want to do business with. Mindless ads that seem designed specifically to hack me off are scarcely going to make me want to do business. At best my interest will be in spite of the ads and even then I’d be looking for some place else to go. Think Darwin and survival of the fittest.

    It’s not as if minimal ads don’t work; Google seemed to be doing very nicely for a long while (although even they are now getting on my tits a bit with the mindlessly ad seeded and uniformly useless “search results”).

    In summary; as far as I am concerned there is one reason and one reason only driving my use of AdBlock. The stupid mindless actions of the advertisers (and their principals) themselves. It a mess of your own making. Fucking quit whining and sort your act out.

  75. Camilla Smythe

    Web We Want...!!!!11111!!!!!

    Thank You Thank You Thank You.

    As an addict I am...

    Last time I checked a 12" black and white TV was perfectly acceptable.

    I could get used to it again.

    Now.. How about you take your fucking shite and shove it?

  76. Graham Marsden
    Boffin

    "YouTube viewers using AdBlock Plus had to sit through the full ad"

    Or they hit "mute" on the speakers and checked e-mails or browsed another tab until the ad had finished and *then* watched the video...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Fuckwit

      "b) wish his dad would give him a thick ear and explain that its rude to interrupt people like that and that he should wait and ask politely for attention when the conversation finishes."

      And then when the dad does try (b) Johnny then replies by jumping up and stomping so hard on dad's foot that it breaks and now you need to call an ambulance...

    2. Da Weezil
      Mushroom

      Re: Fuckwit

      What He said!!

      Strikes me that Clockwork Orange had the right idea for "re-Neducation" for these advertising fuckwits, hook up thier eyelids and subject them to scrolling comment pages like this until they get the message.

      Google and I parted ways years ago, search results tainted by top placed results being less relevant than my "exact" search". You Tube advertising - again its become intrusive and annoying and the content just isn't compelling enough, if I cant skip the ad Mr Adtard, I will avoid the site altogether which means you have lower traffic levels on which to base your ad sales pitch.

      My Sister has low speed ADSL, its an infrastructural problem that Openjoke refuse to invest in to fix (knackered copper). As a result she has issues with sites where the advertising is a bigger payload than the content she is seeking, It consumes the meagre monthly bandwidth allowance she has and slows the page load to a ridiculous level, pages hang "waiting for xxxxxxxxx".

      I agree advertising is a good way to fund some content, BUT there are limits and for far too long the Ad wanks have been indulging themselves in our bandwidth, spaffing our machines with nasty loud resource hogging crap, in some cases the content seems secondary to the site/page content.

      We only have ourselves to blame I guess, this should have been a major issue long ago, and as a society we should have dragged these arrogant shysters to heel well before this, however the incredible arrogance displayed by Bezos and his ilk, coupled with the (almost) criminal negligence of advertisers who serve us malware infected data should now be a catalyst for action, ironically the day after reading the "theft" rant we see that even eBay.co.uk (amongst others who should know better) has been serving malware to some of its unfortunate visitors. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.

      "Interfering with business", that's an interesting phrase. Business has a responsibility to behave in a responsible manner and to have responsibility for its actions AND those of its agents and partners, so where an ad network serves Malware there should be DRACONIAN legal penalties, huge fines and jail time for directors who fail in their duty of care. Data protection should be expanded into the area of policing the distribution of tainted advertising.

      For far too long the advertising fucktards have had a sense of entitlement, we have to suffer intrusive volume increases during ad breaks, product placement, and now they demand the right to take as much bandwidth as THEY choose often detracting from or even completely hiding the content on a site, all of this while being almost criminally negligent about checking content they serve to our machines.

      Its time for a change - and some humility from these arrogant jackasses who contribute NOTHING useful to society.

      You want people to watch your output? make it interesting or amusing, like the Cadburys' Smash aliens or the tea Chimps, or that clever Honda car ad from years ago where they played "music" on parts of the car. DON'T try taking over my machine with "screaming shouty flashing jumping up and down like a hyperactive puppy on caffeine" shit, and - if I try to click close - DON'T remap the page because I can guarantee you, That alone will give me a very poor opinion of the product and persuade me NOT to buy it.

      Oh and a final thing, DNT means just that. Its MY data NOT yours, you have NO right to follow me around and use my browsing to try to second guess what I want/need, I don't need phony ads about things in "my town". keep it unobtrusive. small and quiet and I might.... might look at it, put it smack in the way of what I am doing, or assault my ears and eyes with crud, or slow my browsing with huge payloads and I can guarantee you that you will have the opposite effect to the one you are seeking.

      I remain convinced that the cookie law sold us out, we should have a basic right to refuse to be tracked without being denied the content, you have maybe a right to look at my actions in YOUR site BUT NOT EVERYWHERE ELSE I GO! That is what the laws should have reflected.

      You may think your latest and greatest ad creation is the mutts nuts but in truth you are in a very small percentage holding that view.

      Now Mr adtard... please FOAD!

  77. Ben Boyle
    FAIL

    I tried turning off the ad blocker on my tablet

    As above, I turned it off for a day or so, but the number of times an ad displaying on reddit or imgur pushed me to some crappy application in the play store before I could see the post i was trying to get to pissed me off and I turned the blocker back on.

    That's the kind of shit that forces people to take steps against the ads. police the ads that your customers are pushing through your ad networks and maybe that trend will reverse. Stopping visiting a site doesn't work either because the same damned ad gets served on multiple sites and you can never predict which ad network is being used where.

  78. Camilla Smythe

    I'm not sure why they bother.

    Last time I checked the target audience had already, mistakenly, installed 49 free tool bars and could not see the adverts let alone that superfluous web thing.... Ah, now I understand the reason for the 'you bought some socks. Buy more socks' audio thing.

  79. JoeKrozac

    I caught that 'test pilot program' from the Washington Compost the other day, so I entered one of my throw away email accounts and for good measure, when their first spam message came in (as I knew it would), I flagged it as spam. Screw the Washington Post.

  80. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    Suggestion

    Those of you who work in businesses with substantial advertising budgets draw your marketing department's attention to this thread. Introduce them to the world outside their little bubble.

  81. Mad_Max
    WTF?

    Ken Wheaton, “You're not just interfering with pixels, you're interfering with business.”

    Only a lowlife scumbag piece of garbage would try to make spam into something you should love and embrace.

    Mr. Ken Wheaton, you can turn off my ad blocker when you take my PC out of my dead cold hands!

  82. Cincinnataroo

    Easy to fix this problem

    0.0.0.0 idvisitor.washingtonpost.com

    0.0.0.0 www.washingtonpost.com # added 2015-09-16 08:53:20, Bezos / WApo are blocking ad-blockers. No need to waste my time. Subscription model is a fail for me. Bye, bye.

    They spy on you for:

    Adobe Test & Target

    Amazon associates

    ChartBeat

    Criteo

    Effective Measure

    Krux Digital

    MediaMath

    Moat

    Omniture (Adobe Analytics)

    OpenX

    Polar Mobile

    ScoreCard Research Beacon

    SpotXchange

    So using them is a danger to your privacy. Good riddance?

  83. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Theft

    Advertising on web pages is theft of my bandwidth. Can't we band together and take a class action lawsuit?

    1. Busby

      Re: Theft

      Not sure about going after them for theft but I think the stalking laws should be tightened up so they can be used against trackers. I have no problem with a site owner knowing what I'm doing on that site but it's none of their business where else I visit and what I do there, that goes double for Facebook!

      1. Will Godfrey Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: Theft

        I run my browser via a little script, which on exit deletes everything except my preferences and bookmarks. Anything remotely sniffy on a site and I just close and restart.

  84. Florida1920
    WTF?

    Just to be clear

    If I don't glance at the ads in [enter names of magazines I read] I'm stealing? Or if I mute the sound or go do something else during TV ads. Someone needs a wakeup call.

    1. Neil Barnes Silver badge

      Re: Just to be clear

      Hell, I'm probably stealing if I don't read the thirty-one pages of advertising wrapped around five columns of editorial in the free local paper.

  85. NoOneSpecific

    If I have to make a choice...

    If I have to make a choice between my Ad Blocker and your content, your content is going to lose. Every time.

    Now, I get that you need revenue but when you tell me that it's Jeff Bezos. I think he can afford it.

  86. Unicornpiss Silver badge
    Flame

    Really simple

    Any site that forces me to suffer annoying ads to view any content, I can do without. I am not going to watch a shitty 30-second ad just to see someone's cheesy Youtube video. Never. I don't care what it is. And I make a point of never buying anything that is intrusively marketed to me regardless of how good a deal it is or even if it's something I need or want. If everyone did the same thing, the web, and likely the world, would be a better place.

    I know sites need to make money, and marketing is part of the process, just like having bowel movements is a part of being human. If it's a tasteful, non-intrusive ad that doesn't waste my time before getting to the content I want or block anything on my screen, or blink or otherwise make itself obnoxious, I will tolerate it and maybe even consider what it's hawking. (The ads on this site are a good example overall of what I will tolerate)

    As a final note, I'm sure someone will come up with a way to thwart whatever measures are being used to thrust these down our throats. Build a better mousetrap and smarter mice will evolve.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Really simple

      "Any site that forces me to suffer annoying ads to view any content, I can do without."

      Even if it's the one and only site on the Net that has that obscure driver you need to get something running? I've actually had that happen to me, and this kind of scenario means money is involved (as in if I can't get the thing to run, the device has to be scrapped and replaced at cost).

  87. Garymrrsn

    If advertisers posted their ads as plain graphics files like the other pictures on the pages, my ad blocker would not even notice them. Plain pictures work. If they didn't there would be no billboards on the highways.

    Tracking me and placing video ads that eat my bandwidth doesn't make me want to buy a product it makes me want to boycott a product.

    If I can't block the intrusive ads I block the whole page.

  88. Howard Hanek Bronze badge
    Trollface

    Jeff Bezos

    I want to thank Mr. Bezos for giving me a compelling reason for not visiting the WaPo website. As for Google I vaguely recall other search engines I can use and other sites for photo and document sharing that suddenly became more appealing.

    Nothing like alienating your customer base and establishing a reputation for increasingly annoying your users to firmly establish your position. I stopped using Google Chrome because of all the unwanted 'extras' it insisted must be installed and constantly updated.

  89. thomas k

    the WaPo has an on-line site?

    I did not know that.

  90. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

    A Note about ads in other media

    Let's look at other media. Print ads are easy to ignore and most readers basically ignore them. They are rather ineffective if the reader can not remember the ad. TV/Radio ads are basically a good time to take care of the #2 business,raid the fridge, or channel surf. Many ads are never seen rendering them totally ineffective. So what is the issue with an ad blocker, again?. Ads one never notices, sees, or hears are totally ineffective no matter what the media.

  91. Ian Joyner Bronze badge

    Advertising is the scourge of modern society.

    Says it all really. These companies are trying to shove their message down your throat all the time, and since most of what they advertise is junk they are wasting my time. I don't thank them for that.

  92. Ben 54

    Let's talk about youtube pre-roll ads

    I have a two little ones who like to watch Team Umizoomi (a baby program) and other kid programs on youtube. And this is some of the ad content the past two months :-

    1. Skin care products (Yes, my kids are REALLY interested in that, mmm)

    2. A taxi service

    3. Local noodles

    4. Oil for motorbikes

    If you cannot make your ads relevant, don't force it on people.

    1. Steven Roper

      Re: Let's talk about youtube pre-roll ads

      Making ads "relevant" is the reason behind all the tracking, spying and profiling. I personally would rather put up with irrelevant ads than be profiled and exploited. Different strokes for different folks I guess.

    2. nijam

      Re: Let's talk about youtube pre-roll ads

      My grandson also likes some stuff on youtube. So, when he clicks on something and an ad comes up (strangely, he's not interested in whatever ad it might be), I say "nobody likes ads" and click the "skip ad" button. Now, of course, he also says "nobody likes ads" as well. My little contribution towards his education.

    3. jelabarre59 Silver badge

      Re: Let's talk about youtube pre-roll ads

      Kind of like Hulu not considering the content/type of show they attach an advertisement to. If my 9-yr old daughter was watching "K-On", she doesn't need to see ads for Viagara or "Masters of Sex".

      1. Call me Deckard

        Re: Let's talk about youtube pre-roll ads

        Funny, I never get ads in YouTube but I hear all about them from annoyed friends and family. I don't use Chrome and I have Firefox kitted out with privacy and security plugins and a host file blocking script (I don't use Ad Block or Ad Block Plus). I have a jailbroken iOS device and no YouTube ads on that either.

  93. Number6

    Script Blocking

    That's interesting, if I look at the Washington Post site with both NoScript and Adblock enabled, I can read articles. If I allow the washingtonpost.com site in NoScript, I get shunted to the "you're running an ad blocker" page. If I disable scripts from the site again, browsing is restored.

    There's my answer, WashPo - if I can't read your stuff while engaging my security precautions then I'm just not going to bother. If you serve banner ads from your own machine as normal images with no scripts, no nipping off to some possibly dodgy site, then they'll be displayed as I'm not filtering your site, merely all the unknown third-party sites.

  94. raving angry loony

    Odd, works for me?

    OK, so I visit the various sites have apparently done things to stop ad blockers and... works fine for me. With no ads. I'm running a full suite of blockers under Firefox: Ghostery, NoScript, PrivacyBadger, Adblock Edge, and a couple of others, and I'm seeing the content without any major issues. YouTube showing videos without ads as well.

    Either they stopped trying to do that, or I'm blocking the anti-blocking blockers. Time will tell if they come up with a way to block the blocking anti-blocking block blockers.

    My deal is this: you want to show ads, I have no problem with that. What I have a problem with are jittery ads, ads that trigger nausea, ads that take over my screen, ads that try to download software to my computer, ads that try to mess with my settings, ads that break the rest of the content, or ads for products that don't fucking exist in my market, even though you know which market I'm in and they're perfectly capable of delivering ads for that market. Either the advertiser fuckwits get their shit together and stop being anti-social asshats, or I will continue to block the damn things. Yes, I do turn them off for new sites that ask nicely. So far not a single site has managed to come up with an advertising model that doesn't completely sicken me within minutes. I don't mind still ads along the sides of what I'm reading. Sometimes they're even useful in discovering new products. But no, they can't seem to stay with that. The pop-under/pop-over/slap-the-monkey culture is still alive and well and trying hard to continue their ways. I'll fight them to the end.

  95. rcp27

    It's a new irregular verb

    I have a new disruptive technology

    You interfere with my business

    He commits theft

  96. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    No-one likes ads

    I'm sure that Ken Wheaton doesn't want to understand this, but no-one like ads. At all. Even in the pre-website days we all threw away all the magazine inserts (as a public service I used to remove the inserts from magazines I browsed in WHS).

    I run everything in an ad blocker on my iMac at home; if a site doesn't work under this configuration, I don't visit it again. I'm hoping iOS 9 will finally let me do the same on my iThings. I used to read trustedreviews.com on my iPad: they thought full page intrusive ads were a great idea. As a potential consumer I disagree. They've lost a reader.

    If you run a website that makes money from advertising, it's probably not a sustainable business model: the click/tap through rates must be truly appalling and I assume that ad agencies and folk like Ken Wheaton have so far managed to hide this uncomfortable fact from their clients (almost like theft really).

    Content providers: get brave. If your content is worth anything, the market will pay. Ads are not the future.

  97. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hidden display

    If I must have adds for some content I want the adds on a part of the screen hidden from view.

    I truly can't abide the animated crap, even gif looping avatars piss me off.

    Kind of like the old days of scrolling around the desktop when the graphics card was incapable of the resolution, I just want it unscrolling, fixed on the content window, all that other stuff drawn around the outside OK? Browser is happy as it sent the information to my display, I'm less red faced as I can actually read the text.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: No-one likes ads

      "Content providers: get brave. If your content is worth anything, the market will pay. Ads are not the future."

      Really? Every newspaper or magazine I have ever read had adverts in it. It's possible that sites could offer advertising-free subscription, but I suspect a lot of people wouldn't like the price, and then comes the work to offer special deals.

      The main thing that's needed, and has been lost, is _control_ over the adverts. It would be an interesting experiment to have a company charge different subscription prices depending on your tolerance for level of obtrusiveness.

  98. Tom 7 Silver badge

    Evolution will win

    The next level will be an ad wiper - loads all the adds but makes them invisible.

    A parasite that kills its prey dies out. If the parasite learns to be a benefit to the host and the environment in general it will become very popular. That rules out most ad agencies at the moment.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Evolution will win

      But if you did get mitochondriadvertising, people would complain that the advertisers know too much about you.

  99. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just visited Washington Post using Epic Browser. 7 trackers blocked (apparently). No adverts, though it did ask at one point for my email address (which I didn't enter).

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I use uBlockO in Chrome. When you set it up as an advanced user then turn it off and reload the page you can see how many trackers and ad sites you connect to with no blocking.

      The Washington Post just showed 46 connections, the Boston Herald will show north of 120 connections.

    2. Vic

      it did ask at one point for my email address (which I didn't enter)

      Ken Wheaton's email address is available from adage.com...

      Vic.

  100. Mystic Megabyte Silver badge
    FAIL

    Tarred with the same brush

    I was shopping for a new ISP and went to the Virgin site. Flanking the page were adverts for online gambling which are obviously low-life, rip-off, throw-your-money-down-a-drain sort of enterprises. Surely only a company with equally low ethics would want to display this sort of garbage. So Virgin lost a potential customer and I went elsewhere. Oddly, if I had been running an adblocker I might have subscribed to Virgin.

    Suck on that Ken Wheaton!

  101. This post has been deleted by its author

  102. Esme

    Dear Mr Wheaton

    Having read your comment regarding ad-blocking, I would just like you to know that I am in full agreement with the majority of views expressed above. Blocking ads is not theft, and we wouldn't feel inclined to do so if the ads were not so intrusive these days, and if whomever serves them did so in a way that the content is checked for malware and refused if it contains any malware. Given that they are so intrusive and liable to be full of malware, they get blocked. If your site won't work at all with ad-blocking on, then it wont; get visited, simple as that.

    Further, the main beneficiaries of advertising are employees and shareholders of advertising companies. People would still buy things if there were no adverts whatsoever. All that endemic advertising does is to affect to some extent where peoples money is spent, it doesn't increase the amount they have to spend. Companies exist to serve humans, not the other way around. If you stop stealing my bandwidth with obnoxious ads, I may have more sympathy about your need to stay employed, although I'd rather you were employed doing something more useful than advertising, something that benefits humanity rather than making life more annoying. Advertising that annoys merely ensures I won't buy the product. Learn - if you can.

    Also, El Reg - I for one, would welcome our Accipitrine overlord to the extent of titheing on a monthly basis, were it possible to do so in return for being able to view El Reg without ads.

  103. Handy Andy
    FAIL

    Has no one realised how dysfunctional these current ads and ad servers are, if so many of your target audience turn them off?

    Web advertising is broken, it needs fixing, its too intrusive, too irrelevant, too ... just shit.

    (telly advertising is no better, and playing the ads louder just gets the sound muted - idiots)

    Put interesting, engaging, relevant ads on and things might turn around.

  104. kz20fl2

    Ken Wheaton also suggests suing ad-blocking companies - see his idiocy here http://adage.com/article/ken-wheaton/ad-blocking-parasite/300342/

    1. John70

      We should sue Ad companies for using up our bandwidth.

  105. kz20fl2
    Unhappy

    Ken's a real nasty

    He now thinks suing the ad-blockers is the way forward, and that we're all parasites

    http://adage.com/article/ken-wheaton/ad-blocking-parasite/300342/

  106. Gareth Perch

    Check out Charlie Brooker's Black Mirror s01e02 "Fifteen Million Merits" for the advertiser's dream future.

    I would say that I don't mind Google's text only ads, but since Google don't seem to care that legitimate searches are hijacked by misleading / fraudulent outfits that try to profit from otherwise free software (e.g. charge you for VLC) or attempt to trick users into believing that their driving licence renewal site is the real government one (a friend was tricked into paying ~£90 instead of £14 at the .GOV site) I've come to realise that even they can't be trusted.

    The best form of advertising is word of mouth, especially given the exponential potential of the internet (look at sales of Harry Potter books). Unfortunately that relies on you selling a decent product at a good price, so it doesn't take much working out as to why the advertisers use less palatable tactics.

    I wonder if the advertisers are aware that they're widely detested, whether as a company or as an individual "in advertising"...

  107. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Instead of blocking ads, someone should make an ad clicker which clicks every advert and kills the resultant tab/window. When companies pay per click for advertising, a couple of thousand users using this and visiting their site would surely put them off advertising. It may also bankrupt them, but it'd be deserved.

  108. Matthew 17

    The new piracy

    The industry of advertising and collecting data is worth $billions, however almost no-one buys anything due to a pop up or banner, if the companies who are questioning the value of paying for these ads then they can be assured that the reason for poor sales is due to blockers.

    Just as the reason people BT TV programmes and films is because they're pirates and fund terrorists!

    If they try to mask their browsing habbits, perhaps with TOR then they're paedos or terrorists, or both!

    If I download an album I'm an evil pirate who is preventing the artist from making a living, I must be fined $10000, instead I should use Spotify from which the artist makes no money.

    I don't want your dodgy intrusive 'ads' on my computer, I won't and will not ever click on one or buy your product, if you insist on having them and preventing me from blocking them then I simply will not use your page.

  109. dave 93

    Lazy ad sales teams (and web editors) are the problem, not ad-blockers

    If online publishers took the same approach as print publishers and sold ad space directly to clients, then the ads would be more relevant to the publication, and less irritating.

    Crucially, if web editors made more effort, and 'hand crafted' client's ads into web pages, then the ad blockers couldn't block them anyway.

  110. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I just disabled javascript so I don't see that pop up at all and I can click and read any story they have. Not a very powerful tool imo.

  111. Wolfclaw
    Big Brother

    Dumped Adblock after they sold out and now use Origin plugin for Firefox.

  112. eclairz

    Adverts pay for the content, people do not like the content enough to watch the ads, but are willing to the content for free. What it boils down to is that pirates want it all, they want to see the content without paying for it and expect more to content to be created by being subsidized by other users willing to watch the ads.

    But as revenues fall, the amount of time and money each person is willing to put into an article decreases, thus creating the cycle of crappy content because the amount of capital used to research is reduced, making the content crappy. People complain why they should pay for content if it is this crappy, so they install ad blockers, which is how this cycle begins.

    In my opinion we are spending way too much time on websites if we have to resort to ad blockers, and find time for hobbies (unless your only hobby is to continually watch TV, go on websites) which do not require watching ads. A few seconds of my life is okay because I have more interesting things to do with my life, if the websites have too many ads I just don't go to those websites anymore, as usually the more invasive ads, usually has the least capital and the most likely re-syndicated content.

    The best way to punish websites which have invasive ads is to go elsewhere, they will either notice and change their ways or die off, but by using these ad blockers and continually going to their websites means they can show off to the ad companies that they are still popular enough to keep using these bad ads and thus penalising the users who are subsidizing the pirates.

  113. Drefsab_UK

    Im the theif?

    So you try to force me to waste my bandwdith, cpu cycles, and electricity to download and render your crap that I dont want / need / never asked for.

    You put my security and privacy at risk, make me vulerable to malvertising etc?

    And they have the cheak to call me a theif for using an adblocker to say no to it?

    Well tough luck, your the theif and don't want and will not have your crap. I will not view your ad's I will not turn off my blocker I instead will just stop using the sites.

    It's your own fault for polluting the internet with your filth, when websites I goto end up being more ad's than content then you failed, then you did the stupid / video / sound / pop out ad's. I want the content I requested anything else will be ignored. If you force it in myface I just will make sure to never buy your products.

    If that interfears with your "buisiness" well then good the quicker you go bankrupt and fail the better off the rest of humanity will be.

  114. smartypants

    A new plug-in: Don't ad-block, ad-monitor instead!

    I accept that sites have to raise revenue with advertising, but right now, the advertisers are paying me nothing for use of my infrastructure to display said adverts.

    I hereby present a new idea for a plug-in for your browser. "Ad-monitor".

    It will collect statistics on a site-by-site basis that represents the total cost of displaying ads, taking into account capital depreciation costs, percentage of the machine's resources dealing with the ads, and the percentage of pages covered with ads (screen not used doing something useful).

    It will then send an invoice to each company on your behalf each year to demand rental of your infrastructure - just like happens with billboard site owners!

    (I'm not going to write this myself. It all seems too much effort!)

    1. GrumpenKraut Silver badge

      Re: Im the theif?

      Gave you an upvote, but .... TZE SPELLINK, IT BURNS!

  115. PassiveSmoking

    When ad servers can make an absolutely cast-iron promise, backed up with substantial cash compensation for victims if they fail to live up to that promise, that they will absolutely never ever ever expose the public to malware, and if they promise to never ever let an ad drop anything onto my computer (including tracking cookies, supercookies, etc etc), I might possibly consider dropping AdBlock (assuming they also promise to make their ads discrete and not utter abominations and/or bandwidth hogs).

    Until then, no way.

    Ads aren't an annoyance, they're a security threat.

  116. Amorous Cowherder
    Mushroom

    Don't come it you fecking troll advertising dirtbag!

    Thief?! Moi! Excuse me but who rips off ideas and re-uses them over and over? Advertisers! Advertising and publicity people are for the most part, the suckers of Satan's dong. Turning every single thing they see into money, assigning a dollar value to everything around them. Even pond slime doesn't screw each other over with sexist bullshit to try to sell cars, watches, dunkies and gawd knows what! How dare you accuse me of taking the food out of your babies mouths just 'cos I won't view you mindless pap.

    See the basic problem is that here in the West we're encourage to collect more and more tat all in the name of making us look better than the Joneses. We buy a load of plastic and electronic shite we have no real need for, we just want it to proof to others how great we are. So no Mr Advertising Age, I have no wish to look at adverts until I am in the market for product XYZ. When I want to buy a car, I will look at ads. When I want a new PC, I will look for adverts for parts. When I want porn...well I can find that for free if you do a Google search.

    So no, I have no issues blocking your shite. You're not hurting me or yourselves, when I block ads and the site blocks me, who loses out? The site. I will simply do a Google search for the same thing and find it elsewhere! With the added advantage that I won't ever come back and I'll probably tell my friends and family what a crock of shite the website is.

    Sorry Mr Advertising Age but long gone are the days when one person didn't matter. Social media has allowed all the whingers to band together, we share our discontent and many people find out what others think about product X very quickly. Long gone are the days it was just one crank moaning, lost and forgotten, now there there is a little bit more people power. The people demand you grow up and realise that the world has changed and it's no longer Mad Men and 1962.

  117. Domquark

    To Youtube:

    Forcing me to sit through the full advert just makes me (and I am sure others) to hit the back button very quickly. I can't be bothered to sit through a boring advert (life's too short) and I am quite willing to forgo watching whatever I wanted to watch originally because it can't be that important. And the more people who can't be bothered to watch, because they are being forced to watch adverts, the less Youtube will be the main place to go to watch videos.

  118. davemcwish

    adage.com

    23 connections and 11 trackers blocked by uBlockO and Ghostery

  119. Andy the ex-Brit
    Facepalm

    Theft? Really?

    "But theft is still theft, even if it's dressed up as some sort of digital Robin Hood act. You're not just interfering with pixels, you're interfering with business."

    Yes, in the same sense that it was theft when I used to pull all the ad supplements out of my Sunday paper and recycle them without looking at them.

    Or, if I were pay one of my sons to put stickers over all the advertisements in my magazines before I started reading them. Yup, theft.

  120. heyrick Silver badge
    Mushroom

    http://i.imgur.com/kpWNn2w.jpg

    Hey - El Reg - sort this shit out.

    http://forums.theregister.co.uk/my/posts popped up the "warning" depicted in the screenshot and then redirected me (after I pressed the back button on my phone) to the URL shown (well, it was already loading) which replaced YOUR page with some bollocks about virus scanning.

    Is this what you intended when you included third party adverts?

    1. Drewc (Written by Reg staff) Gold badge

      Re: http://i.imgur.com/kpWNn2w.jpg

      Thanks for the screenshot - but it is unclear what is being triggered here. Forwarded to our ops team.

      BTW we have included third party adverts on El Reg since 1998.

      1. heyrick Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: http://i.imgur.com/kpWNn2w.jpg

        Thanks. Most of your third party advertising is fairly inoffensive, so I was surprised to see something so obnoxious.

  121. This post has been deleted by its author

  122. Kubla Cant Silver badge

    Why not ask for payment?

    Early in my working life I had a job in publishing calculating cost-per-thousand for display ads using readership statistics*. To judge from a quick Google, this is still how advertising space is evaluated. That being the case, it should be simple enough to calculate the ad revenue per reader and offer to remove the ads on payment of this amount.

    The payment for content model has always worked for books and learned journals. Both have successfully transferred it from print to digital media.

    * I'm a reformed character now. You can tell how long ago it was from the fact that I had to use a slide rule.

  123. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Can we stop pretending the value is in the advertisements and start addressing the fact that what actually pays for these websites is my personal information. Can we stop calling it free content, when the only way its actually free is if you use an adblocker and a bunch of other things that make infeasible for the general public? Can you PLEASE stop blaming the ad blockers for the bad deal webmasters get from the advertisers, no one accuses me of theft when I talk during the commercials, and no one is paid less.

  124. long-in-tooth

    Sorry mate - I can't read your paper anyway. Someone has covered it with adverts. Bye

  125. OScoder

    This is bs - ad blocker is the best way to stop malware and sites that break my browser. Also there are so many terrible ads. If ad slingers don't let me select the content I want and track me without my consent, what do they expect?

  126. andy29

    Nope

    Back in the late 90s ads started to get more and more annoying, with all the pop-ups and pop-unders and probably a hundred other things which I've probably forgotten at the moment. It was great when you could start blocking the crap. Personally I remember AdWords coming along and thinking that at last, these were ads which didn't try to pester you and grab your attention too much. Don't know how much tracking they did back then, probably more than I think, but still.

    Then unfortunately computers got more powerful and connections got faster, and so people no longer needed to keep things sane. So now you're downloading many megabytes of ultra-obnoxious crap, waiting half a minute for a page to load, with an auto playing video hidden somewhere, with the page jumping around like an idiot until it's done. Plus you now have the added bonus that they will now track everything you do and eventually give you malware when you're unlucky (and being the one trying to do the 'right thing' - the good guy gets the pain, as usual). I sometimes think I'll try to be nice and whitelist some sites. It doesn't last long.

  127. Richard Neill

    Why not just accept micropayments

    I'd love to have a feature where I can block the ads, and automatically pay say 0.1p per view to the site owner instead. I really don't mind paying for good content, I just hate the advertising.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Why not just accept micropayments

      This is where traditional payment methods fall down in my view. Too expensive to process most transactions for anything less than a few dollars/pounds/etc. (Unless you're paying in Zimbabwe dollars, then you never have enough zeros between the significant digits and the decimal point.)

      This could be Bitcoin's niche, maybe. Then there's the thorny issue of taxation. GST in Australia for example is 10%, is it worth bothering to declare 10% of 5 cents from some anonymous viewer? (You could probably declare it as a lump sum, but then some anal retentive will want to know the detail — I guess they can have it too.)

  128. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Reminds me of David132 comment on Windows 10 forced download

    This reminds me of David132's wonderful comment on the Windows 10 forced download article.

    Ultimately, it is (or should be) MY browser, and how I choose to view content on it is none of your fucking business. When I choose to view a site and its contents, my initial attitude is that of having some trust (if I thought your site was full of malware, why would I visit ?) and some favourable interest (if I thought your content was crap, why would I visit ?). If your business model involves changing that initial attitude of trust and interest into hate and frustration, THEN THERE IS SOMETHING WRONG WITH YOUR BUSINESS MODEL.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Reminds me of David132 comment on Windows 10 forced download

      " If your business model involves changing that initial attitude of trust and interest into hate and frustration, THEN THERE IS SOMETHING WRONG WITH YOUR BUSINESS MODEL."

      If there's something wrong with the business model, then how come EVERYONE is doing it? If being a jerk is the only way to survive in this world, then Welcome to the Jungle. It's their content, their rules, and if it's not available anywhere else, then get ready to either bend over or go without, even if it's vital for your business. Anyway, we're rapidly entering a world of Don't Trust Anyone, so trust is rapidly disappearing anyway.

  129. artma

    Just visited the WP webpage to see blocking in practice. I am on MFF and have an adblocker (not adblockplus) and content blocker installed and active. And I use only fonts installed on my machine (no downloadable fonts).

    Well, the page loaded fine.

    P.S. The moment I've registered here to post a comment I've got a port scan of my machine :)

  130. Don_in_Odessa

    Yes and they don't get my eyeballs at all anymore.

  131. jelabarre59 Silver badge

    Rhetoric

    It's the Washington Post here, folks. You don't need an ad-blocker for the site, you need a Baseless-Liberal-Rhetoric-blocker. Oh, wait, then there'd be *no* content on the site...

  132. James 100

    Blockers

    I remember a few years ago checking out a friend's new website, and finding the navigation section didn't load at all. After a bit of digging, it turned out she'd innocently named it something like "banner", since it was a banner along the top of each page ... which, of course, got it filtered out by the regex-based filters of the day.

    Until fairly recently, I was content with the lack of ad blocking on my mobile - then hit a couple of sites which were infected with non-mobile-compatible ads. The page itself worked fine, but the ad generated a fake window complete with close button - then shoved some irritating content into that window, which resized itself so the close button was off-screen, leaving me with part of an ad and no access to the actual story I was after. Funnily enough, I will be blocking them now.

    I imagine this trend has Google changing their trousers though: virtually all their income still comes from web ads. Strategically speaking, it may also push more publishers down the "app" route - can't block in-app ads the same way you can web ones - which of course drives more revenue to Apple's iAd while moving content out of Google's home turf, the web. Lose-lose for them.

    1. Call me Deckard

      Re: Blockers

      "can't block in-app ads the same way you can web ones - which of course drives more revenue to Apple's iAd"

      I use a jailbroken iOS device and run a host blocking file that blocks all ads in all apps. And if you find an ad that isn't blocked, inform the dev and he'll update the tweak.

  133. Call me Deckard

    The ad supported Internet isn't sustainable

    The whinging and moaning is becoming deafening (I found this piece via an article crying about ad blockers). What ever happened to the bold innovation the tech industry is (or likes to think it is) renowned for?

    Discreet adverts were never a problem for most people. But the nature of advertising being what it is ad revenue per click is steadily decreasing. As people get used to gimmicks like banner ads their efficacy (i.e. profit potential) diminishes. Hence, Google et al. must continually update their bag of tricks to keep the click money coming. Eventually the ubiquitous flashing, squawking, up popping and redirecting ads that eat bandwidth and slow down the Internet became so annoying that ad blocker plugins and host blocking scripts caught on with a wider public.

    The only "innovation" this inspired was a steady drip of stern, lecturing articles that (lol) equated ad blocking with theft. Otherwise, the whinging and moaning continued unabated. The "we notice you are using ad blocking software, please consider contributing by subscribing" reminders I have no issue with at all, and I have never had any qualms about supporting media websites I frequent.

    The big issue here is the sustainability of an Internet underwritten by advertising. Google and a few hundred of its closest friends already harvest enough data about you to know everything you've ever done on the Internet or whilst carrying your mobile device and they monetize that any way they can. At some point the ad supported Internet model was bound to reach critical mass and begin to crumble.

    Apparently some people have decided that Apple blocking all ads (except its own iAds of course) from its browsers and mobile platform means Armageddon for the creaking ad supported Internet has finally arrived. Had Apple not started with the content blocking (and I have no idea how pervasive it is) another event would have triggered the increase in panic.

    Which brings me back again to my main point. The ad supported internet isn't sustainable but there seems little enthusiasm for finding a workable alternative. Jaron Lanier has written a few books about this and made some widely ridiculed suggestions but at least he's actively thinking about what could replace the current model. I leave you now with some wise words from Mr Lanier.

    'Funding a civilization through advertising is like trying to get nutrition by connecting a tube from one's anus to one's mouth.' -- Jaron Lanier

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The ad supported Internet isn't sustainable

      "'Funding a civilization through advertising is like trying to get nutrition by connecting a tube from one's anus to one's mouth.' -- Jaron Lanier"

      And yet television in the US is thriving, mostly through commercials. The exceptions are the big movie channels like HBO, that can draw direct revenues through exclusive movie tie-ins and in-house programming not subject to as much censorship, and channels like C-SPAN that have government funding.

      "Which brings me back again to my main point. The ad supported internet isn't sustainable but there seems little enthusiasm for finding a workable alternative."

      Because everyone weaned on the Internet has gotten used to the "something for nothing" model. Try to impose paygates for all but HBO-like content (a la Netflix) and people will tend to vote with their feet, perhaps even to pull the plug. It's practically becoming no-win: they won't pay, they won't accept ads, and if forced to one or the other are likely to take the third option and walk away.

      1. WylieCoyoteUK
        Devil

        Re: The ad supported Internet isn't sustainable

        Actually, TV in the US (excluding subscription channels like Netflix etc, which have no Ads) is declining.

        http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/e6c79d46-4104-11e5-9abe-5b335da3a90e.html#axzz4H0yYqgDR

  134. teebie

    "theft is still theft"

    And the word "theft" still doesn't mean what you think it means

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