back to article Ad flog Plus: Adblock Plus now an advertising network, takes cash to broker web banners

The maker of ad-busting plugin Adblock Plus (ABP) has opened up a market to let publishers and advertisers link up on ads that it will not filter out. A new "Acceptable Ads Platform" (AAP) marketplace will allow advertisers to pay to get around the ABP settings, while also providing site owners and publishers the ability to …

  1. JeffyPoooh Silver badge
    Pint

    Wouldn't take much for someone to Copy and Paste the AdBlock concept

    It's probably already been done.

    They're not irreplaceable.

    1. bpfh

      Re: Wouldn't take much for someone to Copy and Paste the AdBlock concept

      uBlock did this ages ago along with a handful of others...

      1. illiad

        Re: Wouldn't take much for someone to Copy and Paste the AdBlock concept

        ... except Ublock is not as easy to use by non geeks... and there are other 'versions' of adblock plus, to say nothing about **adding** a filter to stop the ads that get through/... :P :/

    2. asdf Silver badge

      Re: Wouldn't take much for someone to Copy and Paste the AdBlock concept

      Privoxy is open source and works for any browser (including even on unrooted phones) quite well.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Wouldn't take much for someone to Copy and Paste the AdBlock concept

        How does Privoxy handle HTTPS sites?

        1. Kubla Cant Silver badge

          Re: Wouldn't take much for someone to Copy and Paste the AdBlock concept

          How does Privoxy handle HTTPS sites?

          Privoxy is a proxy. It filters on the basis of URL patterns, so HTTPS and HTTP are both handled the same way.. That obviously isn't foolproof, but it works well enough.

    3. DropBear Silver badge

      Re: Wouldn't take much for someone to Copy and Paste the AdBlock concept

      I think they are quite aware that they're replaceable - they just figure that as long as they're making small and subtle enough changes most of their current user base will not see a need to move on elsewhere; and they're quite likely right.

  2. Oldgroaner

    'Acceptable ads' -- oxymoron.

    1. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken Silver badge

      Not as such - but definitely a white elephant.

      1. Hollerithevo Silver badge

        white elephant??

        A white elephant is an unwanted gift you have to maintain to stay in good with the giver. Not seeing the parallel. We don't have to stay in good with the giver.

    2. Jan Hargreaves

      Optional

      Nicely written FAQ page that explains everything.... that links to the ad criteria:

      "What are the criteria for an ad to be declared an Acceptable Ad?

      The criteria for what makes an Acceptable Ad can be found here​."

      https://acceptableads.com/criteria

      404 page not found. Nice work guys!

      1. GrumpenKraut Silver badge

        Re: Optional

        Here is the link that works https://acceptableads.com/en/about/criteria

        If one accepts that acceptable ads are possible at all then the criteria do make sense to me. Still, I am critical about "buying" ads (delivery) from adblock.

    3. streaky Silver badge

      They're offering companies the ability to pay them to not block their ads. We used to call this racketeering..

      1. DropBear Silver badge

        "We used to call this racketeering"

        Well, yes and no. There are subtle differences between saying the classical "nice outfit you got here, it would be a shame if anything happened to it" and saying "you might be interested to know we left an unguarded open crate of machine guns and grenades right next to your door - would you like us not to do that?"

        1. Alan Brown Silver badge

          Acceptable ads

          In this context means - non-irritating/dangerous ones.

          IE:

          NO animations/noises/interaction

          NO popups

          NO scripts

          NO pageunders

          NO massive advertising frames.

          NO tracking

          ie:

          small, static adverts that don't annoy.

          That said, I moved to ublock years ago and experience with any whitelisting service is that sooner or later some outfit will come along that will ignore the rules, then sue when their accreditation is withdrawn.

        2. cd / && rm -rf *

          There are subtle differences between saying the classical "nice outfit you got here, it would be a shame if anything happened to it"

          It's changed to "Nice ad you got there, it'd be a shame if anything happened to it". Still racketeering, really.

          Not that I give a shit. People are sick of being annoyed by intrusive, flashing, pop-over, pop-under, screen-dimming, inescapable, fraudulent, tracking, privacy-invading, top-volume-video-playing, blatantly misleading malware-infested crap being foisted on them using the bandwidth they pay for in an attempt to buy shit they don't want or need at prices they can't afford. They've simply said "enough is enough" and installed an ad-blocker.

          You made your bed, ad-flingers, now fucking lie die in it.

      2. Terry 6 Silver badge

        Probly still should.

      3. BobChip
        Unhappy

        "Protection money"

        Essentially demanding money with menaces. I thought this was illegal. Mind you, when Al Capone did it, they could only get him for tax evasion ........

        1. Alan Brown Silver badge

          Re: "Protection money"

          "Essentially demanding money with menaces."

          Pay us money to maintain a list of acceptable adverts or people who CHOOSE to use us and CHOOSE to allow acceptable adverts from a list they trust us to maintain won't see you.

          The alternative being "not to be seen at all"

          Advertisers seem to assume they have a _right_ to shove stuff in our faces without the _responsibilty_ of not pissing us off in the process and like many others I've stopped using sites in the past due to intrusive adverts.

          Right now a baby's nappy holds more responsibility than the vast majority of advertising agencies.

          They should be thankful we're taking the tack of shunning them. The alternative (distributed clicking networks) would bankrupt them in short order.

      4. thomn8r

        "That's quite a nice ad you've got there. It'd be a shame if someone were to block it..."

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Acceptable ads - oxymoron.

    1. Steven Roper

      Not completely.

      I don't like advertising but I understand that businesses need to be able to promote their products and services, that running websites does cost money and website owners are entitled to some renumeration for their costs and efforts.

      Its the advertising industry itself, with it's philosophy of "how do we get inside people's heads and make them want to buy the product" that I find unacceptable, not the web site owners trying to scratch a living with a few ads on their site. So my criteria for acceptable ads are:

      1. No tracking or profiling of my online activity. This is non-negotiable. If you want to serve "relevant" advertising, base it on the page content, not what you've gathered about the person viewing it. So if a page is about cars, have adverts for cars or car parts. If the page is about home improvement, have ads for hardware stores and such. If I'm on such a page long enough to read it all, I'm more likely to be interested in an ad that relates to that page, and there's no tracking or profiling or "personalisation" necessary.

      2. No obscuring or blocking page content. That not only includes scroll-overs and popup divs obscuring the page, it also includes "click-through" pages requiring me to click off a dozen or more "offers" before getting to the content. Have the ads in a sidebar or split in the article or similar, not as an obscuring invasive block getting in my face.

      3. No animation or sound. If your ad is a constant distraction from my ability to focus on the article I will block it so I can concentrate. So bouncing monkeys, jiggling credit cards, cycling colours and waving girls are not acceptable. Neither are sudden voices or music interrupting the music I'm currently listening to while browsing the site. It's not going to make me buy your product, it's going to make me hate you.

      4. Preferably text-only, no imagery. Advertisers tend to use distracting, vivid images to try to pull your attention off the page to the ad. In some cases that can be as bad as animation for distraction, so a Google-style text-only ad is a better way to go. (An example of this is Jim Wales' "puppy-dog eyes" guilt-trip banners on Wikipedia during their funding drives. Those get blocked the moment they come up.)

      5. Adverts must be clearly marked as such. This means that it's not sneakily made to look like part of the article, it has to be clearly captioned as being sponsored or an advert. It also includes deceptive ads made to look like Windows error dialogs and similar things to try and fool people into clicking on them, which is something I think should be charged as fraud or misrepresentation.

      I think a majority of ad-blocker users would agree with me that if the advertising industry conformed to these five criteria, most of us would be willing to unblock ads. All the advertising industry has to do is take some social responsibility and understand that people are not robots to be programmed. But sadly I feel it'll be a cold day in hell before anything like that happens.

      Wherefore I will continue using an adblocker.

      1. Jan Hargreaves

        I agree with everything you say but tests have shown that ads without animation, or imagery are almost useless to the masses. Take an old magazine with ads in the back pages (e.g. Loot) .. be honest.. even I would probably look quickly at the ones that stand out the most. The simple one liner text ones imply that the advertiser is very stingy and will spend as little as possible on their ad, so why buy anything from a company like that?

        It's an interesting debate. I don't like ads either, and have never bought anything from an online ad. I prefer subscription or donation for websites I use but a lot of websites don't have this on offer. And I realise I am in the minority who are willing to pay for content.

      2. the spectacularly refined chap

        I don't like advertising but I understand that businesses need to be able to promote their products and services, that running websites does cost money and website owners are entitled to some renumeration for their costs and efforts.

        Personally I hold the site operators equally responsible here. The ultimate driver for many issues is simply the over-reliance on advertising by too many sites - it seems too many sites tack on ads as an afterthought when they realise they have no other business model.

        Ultimately this doesn't scale, there are too many sites out there, advertising is only going to be a niche area of the economy, and therefore there simply isn't the money to go around. This is why you get so much online advertising, why so much of it is intrusive, and why so much is from undesirable sources: the funding gap needs to be filled by whatever means. This goes even for respectable sites - for example go to any of the Johnston Press local newspaper sites and you'll instantly see display ads for obvious scams not good but presumably they are the only people who will pay.

        I suspect what is ultimately needed is a genuine micropayments model with wide levels of adoption. Unfortunately when that has been tried greed seems to take over. I may happily pay 5p or 10p to read an article of genuine interest but would be less happy to pay e.g. £5.99 a month for the vast majority of sites I only visit a couple of times a month.

        1. Alan Brown Silver badge

          "go to any of the Johnston Press local newspaper sites and you'll instantly see display ads for obvious scams "

          It strikes me that a call to your local trading standards office would disabuse newspapers of the notion that they can allow these in the online version any more than they do in the print versions.

      3. Alumoi

        ...businesses need to be able to promote their products and services

        If only they could set up some kind of website with nothing more than ads so that any person interested in ads could browse... You know, something like the ads pages in the old newspapers.

        Of course most people won't go to such site, the same as most people used to trash the ads pages, but it would be a win-win solution for everybody: businesses would promote their products and people would get rid of ads.

        ...that running websites does cost money and website owners are entitled to some renumeration for their costs and efforts.

        Entitled????? Did anybody force them to put up those sites?

        Oh, you mean they've made a business decision and hoped to make some money. In this case paywall the site and wait for the money to roll in. Not happening? Then your business model is broken and it's high time to pack.

        1. illiad

          As is said so often, It is not SO difficult to put 'acceptable' ads on your website!!!

          do it the SAME way you add pictures... :/ no need for flash or any other stuff... :)

  4. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge
    Holmes

    The proof will be in the pudding. If the ads are genuinely non-intrusive and no malware gets through, then maybe. El Reg should certainly sign up.

    1. Captain DaFt

      "If the ads are genuinely non-intrusive and no malware gets through, then maybe."

      And when (not if) malware gets through, this could bite them in the arse, since it makes AB+ the target to sue.

      1. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

        IANAL, but if that's possible I'd imagine AB+'s contractual arrangements would pass the liability on to the advertiser. It would be stupid not to. But the bigger damage will be we'll all uninstall.

        As to "when" verses "if". At the moment, advertising networks aren't under much pressure to block malware -- it's reputational damage. And they have to deal with complex iteractive ads.

        AB+ will only have to deal with static images or text, so the pool of undiscovered exploits must be diminishing. And there users are technically literate and willing to switch to competition so they are motivated to block these things. Getting out malware should mean hacking into AB+; or hacking an advertiser and pushing out an add with a zero day. This should be more than an exploit kit or a scam company can achieve.

    2. nematoad Silver badge
      Headmaster

      Nearly!

      "The proof will be in the pudding."

      Oh you mean like the silver threepenny piece that they used to put in Christmas puddings?

      The actual quote is "The proof of the pudding is in the eating."

      If you use a quote the best policy is to get it right otherwise you lose the impact.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Nearly!

        The proof of the pudding is in the eating

        Maybe, but.... that's more of a metaphysical statement than anything to do with coins.

        It suggests to me that you cannot be certain of the pudding's existence without eating it.

  5. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
    Mushroom

    Big mistake....

    First, this opens a door to another company to create an ad blocker to replace ABP.

    (Its a free market)

    Second, now ABP can be accused of shaking down sites by saying... Look, we're going to continue to block ads as people look at your site unless you cough up the cash... IMHO that could get them in trouble with the law.

    Not a smart thing to do.

    1. Phil W

      Re: Big mistake....

      "Look, we're going to continue to block ads as people look at your site unless you cough up the cash"

      I'm not sure this is really an issue, since they're making their money by taking a cut of the sites advertising revenue rather than charging them a subscription fee. If they make their percentage too large then publishers will simply abandon the service. Sure by doing so they'll loose ad revenue from visitors using ad blocker but they'll still be getting 100% of the ad revenue from the ones not using an ad blocker.

      For anyone other than large websites/publishers at some point paying the ABP tax, plus the time to select acceptable Ads from the market, wouldn't be worth the commission ABP want. Anything >=50% would seem like it wasn't worthwhile to any small or medium sites I suspect.

      So the question then is, would ABP rather get 30% of something or >=50% of nothing.

      If ABP wanted to hike their fees this way, they could implement a sliding scale where their commission goes up based on the number of hits per day your site gets.

    2. fidodogbreath Silver badge

      Re: Big mistake....

      First, this opens a door to another company to create an ad blocker to replace ABP.

      It's been done, many times over.

    3. inmypjs Silver badge

      Re: Big mistake....

      "this opens a door to another"

      Opens the door? are you shitting me?

      Anyone still using ABP is a fool or living under a rock.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Big mistake....

        Anyone still using ABP is a fool or living under a rock.

        Only the cool kids use uBlock/uBlock Origin.

      2. Fungus Bob Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: " are you shitting me?"

        Wouldn't shit you, you're my favorite turd!

    4. Known Hero
      Thumb Up

      Re: Big mistake....

      @Ian Michael Gumby

      RE: hole in the market

      Spot on the mark, I came to the comments section with the express intention of looking for other suggestions (Ublock I suppose)

    5. cd / && rm -rf *

      Re: Big mistake....

      First, this opens a door to another company to create an ad blocker to replace ABP

      Eh? There's *loads* available. ABP isn't the only player in the game.

  6. Crazy Operations Guy

    Not really much of a market

    The people that use ABP are the same type of people that aren't very likely to click on ads anyway. At the very least, not nearly an amount needed to justify the 30% surcharge to have them displayed.

    Advertising only works when the advertiser can prove to the client that the client is no making more money than they spent to hire the advertising company and to run ad campaigns. The fact that ABP users aren't very likely to click on ads, let alone purchase the item advertised, causes the whole advertising 'value proposition' to fall on its face. No one is going to spend a million dollars just to increase profits from sales by a few hundred dollars.

    1. Dwarf Silver badge

      Re: Not really much of a market

      I fully agree. We block because we don't want adverts at all - I know when I want to go and buy something.

      However, I expect that if we look through the marketing window, the view is they spend more, they get more sales.

      I really hope that people move on to other ad blockers and the message is received that its not what people want.

      uBlock seems to work very well for me. I can't recall the last time I saw an advert and any whining web site that complains about the adblocker gets closed and I go elsewhere. I've not seen any negative. The only real change is that I've purchased from different sites than the one I originally expected to visit - their loss.

      1. Phil W

        Re: Not really much of a market

        "The only real change is that I've purchased from different sites than the one I originally expected to visit - their loss."

        Actually it may well be your loss as well. That advert, whether you click on it or not (don't forget in some cases ads pay for being loaded on the page as well as when actually clicked) is a revenue stream for that company. Having that revenue stream may well enable them to offer you a better deal on whatever it is they sell since they also have the ad income.

        You wouldn't refuse to go into a supermarket and buy food there simply because they also have other things on display you don't want to see on the way in and demand they only display the things you want. As long as the other products aren't clearly in the way and preventing you getting to what you want there isn't a problem. It's no different with ads as far as I'm concerned.

        As much as intrusive ads (and by intrusive I mean autoplaying videos and ads that cover the sites own content) are a genuine problem, a banner across the top or side of a page is really not a problem to anyone. You can try and argue that it's a problem to you, and that you don't want to see it and you'll decide when you want to buy something but if that's really the case you have a sufficiently capable brain to simply ignore the advert.

        1. Known Hero

          Re: Not really much of a market

          @Phil W

          6 years ago I felt I was wronged by the Co-Op group, a family of 5 have spent little to no money there (only when there is no other shop available). The same goes for Ebuyer (Best decision EVER)

          Some people do stand by their convictions, I am one of them.

          The advertising industry Fucked society hard and I have lost ALL trust for them, I detest any form of advertising, if I need something, there is a great product called google that is really useful for finding things.

          1. Phil W

            Re: Not really much of a market

            " if I need something, there is a great product called google that is really useful for finding things."

            So because you hate advertising, you find the the things you want by using a search engine, which displays ads (or sponsored results if you prefer to call them that) in your search results and which is run by one of the largest advertising companies on the planet. Congratulations on successfully sticking to your convictions there....

            1. Known Hero

              Re: Not really much of a market

              @phil W

              No I use Google to SEARCH for a product I want not what somebody tells me I want.

              I still find it hilarious that the most effective tool of finding what your looking has made Billions through advertising, this is simply burning the candle at both ends and not letting it burn out. AMAZING work imo.

              Just because they made a load off advertising does not mean that their search engine doesn't work, Ad's were about before google and will be about after google.

            2. thomn8r

              Re: Not really much of a market

              So because you hate advertising, you find the the things you want by using a search engine, which displays ads (or sponsored results if you prefer to call them that) in your search results and which is run by one of the largest advertising companies on the planet.

              Between uBlock and NoScript, I don't see said ads or sponsored results.

          2. I Like Heckling

            Re: Not really much of a market

            I'm the same, I firmly believe that the true value of any company is what they do when things go wrong... Ebuyer have been amongst the worst companies I have ever dealt with, lies, constant cock ups, they even deleted my account because I complained about the bad service and lies their staff kept telling me.

            I've not used their site in almost 5yrs and I never will again... Not even if they're the cheapest, I'd rather pay a few extra quid with a company that has proved itself reliable and easy to deal with.

            As for the Co-Op... they're overpriced and only to be used in last minute desperation when no other shops are open... Which is normally on a Sunday evening when all proper Supermarkets are closed.

            1. Known Hero

              Re: Not really much of a market

              @the heckler in the third row ;)

              RE: Ebuyer, It was 7 years ago I stopped buying due to a massive cockup with a steam mop. But I was then building a computer for a mate, the parts list was done on Ebuyer so re-opened my account there for a one off purchase on his behalf. Closed the account within 2 hours £850 goes elsewhere ....

              May I recommend Scan.co.uk for bloody good customer service, same computer build as above, called them up ordered .... found out we could actually get the GPU cheaper through them, called up to add it to the order, not 30 min later was told "No sorry you cannot add it to your order, it has already been picked and awaiting shipping", so they offered (not asked) to drop the postage fee, and then out of the two they dropped the postage fee for the more expensive package !!! They have most certainly earned a good rep with me, and havn't tarnished my view of them yet, and to top it all off, they are actually quite competitively priced.

              *Disclaimer, I do not work for scan, I doubt I ever could as they have such yummy computer parts in storage :D

        2. Alan Brown Silver badge

          Re: Not really much of a market

          " a banner across the top or side of a page is really not a problem to anyone."

          The problem with banner ads can be surmised as follows:

          Site allows advertising banners and has a written agreement with the ad network to NOT allow such adverts.

          They show up anyway. Users complain _loudly_ and some go elsewhere.

          Site finds it has no legal recourse over breach of contract and despite assurances form the ad network, it keeps happening. Half the time the ad network doesn't actually pay up anyway.

          This isn't theory. I've seen it occur on a number of sites. The reality is that advertising networks have been shitting on users and site operators alike for years and for the most part it's not actually worthwhile to allow adverts on your website.

        3. desht

          Re: Not really much of a market

          "You wouldn't refuse to go into a supermarket and buy food there simply because they also have other things on display you don't want to see on the way in and demand they only display the things you want."

          Sure, but I also wouldn't shop at a supermarket whose staff stopped and lectured me for not looking at the adverts for things I don't actually want to buy.

          1. thomn8r

            Re: Not really much of a market

            You wouldn't refuse to go into a supermarket and buy food there simply because they also have other things on display you don't want to see on the way in and demand they only display the things you want

            How about if the stockboys nicked your wallet, or you came out and your car was gone?

        4. Alumoi

          Re: Not really much of a market

          You wouldn't refuse to go into a supermarket and buy food there simply because they also have other things on display you don't want to see on the way in and demand they only display the things you want.

          Hmm, let's see: you walk into the supermarket looking for food and a gang of naked men surround you and start shouting 'buy this pill, it will make your dick longer'.

          After dodging them you turn a corner and happen upon a band playing some really annoying tune while dancing people cry 'buy this shit NOW!'

          Having survived the band you head to the shelves displaying the item you want. In front of the shelves there's a mob trying to sell you all kind of useless junk, not even related to the item you want.

          And let's not forget all those helpfull (hah!) drones shoveling pieces of food or beverages into your mouth, spraying you with a dozen perfumes or asking for a moment of your time to complete a survey.

          Would YOU refuse to enter such supermarket?

          1. illiad

            Re: Not really much of a market

            A very good description of WHY we use adblock!

            hey, clueless ones!!! :D You can always add new filters to adblockplus, and even get an addon to block individual elements!!

    2. taxythingy

      Re: Not really much of a market

      "Advertising only works when the advertiser can prove to the client that the client is no making more money than they spent..."

      Not quite. Advertising can be shown to work when it meets certain metrics. However, much advertising is done to increase brand exposure, and while that can be measured, it often is over time-scales that make attributing revenue increases to advertising expenditure next to impossible. But it still works, at least sometimes.

      Getting your ad through the ABP filter makes that kind of exposure more valuable.

    3. ShelLuser

      @Crazy

      "The fact that ABP users aren't very likely to click on ads, let alone purchase the item advertised, causes the whole advertising 'value proposition' to fall on its face."

      You seem to be under the impression that those advertisers actually think these things through. Would you buy something from a firm which has (proven!) infected your computer with malware which made your browser automatically go their website dozens of times (unwanted), even up to a point where your PC slowed down to such extremes that you called in some help from a friend to "clean up" your PC?

      I don't think so either. Yet malware is still heavily spread around and actually being used.

      You seem to forget the golden rule of advertising: It doesn't matter how they talk about you, as long as they are talking about you. (your product, brand, etc.).

      Here in Holland we have a TV show which allows viewers to vote for the most irritating TV commercial of them all. The intend (or so we're led to believe) is to shame those companies for annoying so many people. Guess what? The "prize of shame" is actually highly appreciated by companies, and they're actually proud if they won it. Why? Simple: because that prize is also solid proof that dozens of people were talking about their product, the undeniable fact that their commercial actually raised product awareness, right up to a point where people voted for it, which is all they care for.

  7. ZSn

    Optional

    From the ABP site:

    Can I still block all ads?

    Of course. Adblock Plus will NEVER take away the ability to block all ads.

    As I suspected, this is a non-issue for the end user. Just make sure that you untick the 'allow some non-intrusive advertising' box and you're good to go.

    1. Greg Fawcett

      Re: Optional

      ...and given ABP users were motivated enough to install ABP, surely every single one of them will switch off this option. This seems like a huge amount of development/marketing effort for absolutely no gain.

    2. MJI Silver badge

      Re: Optional

      Just ask yourself one question.

      Why did you originally install it?

      Was it to completely remove all advertising, or to stop those really irritating ones which annoy you?

      They never bothered me until they invented automatic pop ups and hover over, and of course noisy ones.

      Animated GIFs, not too bad.

      Blame the advertisers for pissing off the users that we felt the need to block them. Not the users who wanted to be able to surf the internet.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Adblock Plus will NEVER take away the ability to block all ads

      just like the Whatsapp will NEVER... remember their promise? And countless others before (do no evil, etc.). The "never" word is as meaningless as "FREE". And it has NO LEGAL VALUE.

  8. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I've got your ad block right here...

      ^ from someone who obviously doesn't understand how webpages and adverts work...

  9. Aaron 10

    Origin, here I come

    Well, let's remove Ad Block Plus... done... and install Origin... done. Problem solved.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      But do it the ironic way

      Buy an AdBlock approved advert to show users how to do this

    2. Paul Woodhouse

      Re: Origin, here I come

      aye, me and people I advise are currently using uBlock Origin, Ghostery and Privacy Badger, I know there's a bit of overlap between them but the 3 of them do seem to work well together...

  10. oiseau Silver badge

    Long ago ...

    1. Remove Ad Block Plus

    2. Install Origin

    3. Done, quite some time ago ...

  11. Martin Summers Silver badge

    So basically, it's turned from a white Knight for its users into a protection racket for ad publishers.

  12. ratfox Silver badge
    Mushroom

    Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal!

    1. DougS Silver badge

      Sudden? They've been letting through paying ads since version 2.0 was released several years ago. They are just extending that concept with this announcement, and there is still a checkbox where you can uncheck the "allow some non-intrusive advertising".

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I've never clicked on an ad. Not even by accident, or back in the 90s.

    1. Graham Dawson

      I have, a few times, before I got around to rooting my tablet and installing adaway. The damn things fling the page around so much that you can end up tapping on them when the link you thought you were pressing suddenly shifts half a screen down to accommodate the enormous image that wasn't there a moment earlier.

      The reg is particularly prone to this one, with those enormous banners that appear at the top and push the entire site down by a good quarter of the screen.

      1. MJI Silver badge

        The Register

        But they have no adverts.

        1. Kurt Meyer
          Happy

          Re: The Register

          @ MJI

          "But they have no adverts."

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I dunno - that X10 girl was kinda cute back in the day...

    3. DropBear Silver badge

      I actually do sometimes - on those text-only Google ad results (the only kind of ads I ever see), whenever I happen to be actually looking for something explicitly and they seem to be offering it. I don't see anything wrong with that, those ads do meet my "non-intrusiveness" criteria and I don't see why I would purposefully avoid them if they're actually advertising exactly what I'm looking for - if I didn't go to a specific retailer's site directly it means I'm open to reasonable suggestions...

  14. Chris G Silver badge

    What part of no

    Friggin' ads don't they understand?

    I don't wnat no steenkin' ads! Not now, later or tomorrow, whether they are non intrusive or irritating.

    UNDERSTAND?

    Oh, by the way did you know I now stock the wonder product Stibbo Premium? And it's on special offer this week for one week only at £25.99 a crate, makes your teeth whiter than white, prevents infestations of all kinds and promotes regular bowel action.

    May contain traces of nuts, gluten, gamma radiation and cyanide.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    When you sell your credibility....

    ... you've lost.

  16. Magani
    Unhappy

    Harrumpf

    AB+ together with NoScript have kept me happy to date.

    Until sites actually write the ads into their own pages, there is still a link one can sidestep on the way to an ad-free browsing experience.

    As an aside, I started using these add-ons (no pun intended) because I was at the end of a very thin connection, paid by the electron for my connection and didn't see the need to pay (or wait) for ads to use my meagre download allowance.

    Since then, I now have a reasonable connection, both in capacity and cost, and I no longer have to wait while ads load. My curmudgeonliness has changed to where I just don't want to see ads, period! For exactly the same reason, I no longer watch commercial free-to-air TV nor purchase the local Murdoch tabloid/rag whose every second page is a full-page ad.

    As mentioned above, if I want to buy something, I'll go and research it. Just because you try and stick it in front of me while I'm trying to read something on the InnerTubes does not mean you get my custom.

    1. Phil W

      Re: Harrumpf

      "Until sites actually write the ads into their own pages"

      Frankly this is how it should be done. Sure it would require more work but it would massively reduce the possibility of malware laden ads since the site publishers themselves would be vetting and uploading the content before you see it, rather than simply sticking in a URL to somewhere else the content of which could be changed at any time without their knowledge.

      It also takes care of any overly intrusive ads, since the site operators themselves would have to check they're behaving before you ever see them.

      Surely in a situation where you can trust the ads not to contain malware, just as much as you trust the rest of the site not to, and a situation where the site publisher is having to make active effort to ensure the ads aren't intrusive you could tolerate one or two ads?

      The added bonus then is that if the site you want to visit displays too many ads, or annoying/intrusive ads, you can blame them directly and not their ad supplier.

      1. Pigeon

        Re: Harrumpf

        Yahoo had a "stitcher" which placed vetted ads in reserved places. This was back in 2000. The ads were vetted, but even though, some bogeys got through. Moving gifs were frowned upon. Those were the days of dialup, and pages would display in less than two seconds. Times have changed... (and I got sacked).

      2. MJI Silver badge

        Re: Harrumpf

        I got really peed off when a forum I used moved from own to adtech.de and where does adtech.de live?

        In my HOSTS file.

        I actually used those ads, because they were 100% targeted at me.

        So the one place I liked the ads at I lost the ads.

        I reported the issue, but they were trying it out. I said it was a dodgy site, so it was blocked and left them to it.

        So no longer little animated GIFs with nice buyable things on them, but instead an error.

        Now I have to check the manufacturers directly to see if anything exciting released.

        To all the anti advert regardless people please look at a hobby forum. In general they are supported by advertisers directly targeting the users, eg car forums would have parts suppliers advertising, modelling type hobbies would have kit manufacturers and the like. And of course it goes on.

      3. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: Harrumpf

        "site publishers themselves would be vetting and uploading the content before you see it"

        This is particularly the case with media companies.

        They wouldn't dream of NOT doing it in their print media so why the FUCK are they passing off vetting to 3rd parties who've clearly demonstrated on multiple occasions that they're incapable of doing the bloody job?

    2. Steven Roper

      Re: Harrumpf

      "AB+ together with NoScript have kept me happy to date."

      The bugbear with NoScript these days is the tendency for sites to fetch javascript from 50 different domains, all of which have to be enabled for anything to even display. Coming on to a new site with NoScript running goes something like this:

      - Blank page or a message that says the site needs Javascript to work properly.

      - NoScript->Options->list of domains 3 screens high appears.

      - Scroll through list of domains to find maindomain.com and temporarily allow it.

      - Nothing happens.

      - NoScript->Options->list of domains is now 5 screens high because the bit of javascript you've allowed wants to fetch more javascript from another 20 domains.

      - Get frustrated and go NoScript->Options->Temporarily allow all this page.

      - STILL nothing happens because all that javascript you just allowed wants to fetch more javascript from even more domains to get anything to display.

      - Give up and go elsewhere or just go NoScript->Options->Allow scripts globally (not recommended) to let the entire internet run javascript as the site wants.

      I used to just walk away from sites that did this shit but since EVERY FUCKING SITE on the internet now seems to be doing it, my options come down to: put up with it or stop using the internet.

      So now I just do all my internet and email on my Linux Mint box, and my Windows boxen don't see the internet at all any more. Since there's no real malware for Linux (and what little there is relies on social engineering to try to trick me into installing it rather than doing drive-by downloads) I can safely browse the web with javascript on and the browser set to clear history and cookies at end of session, and get my internet experience back.

      1. Martin an gof Silver badge

        Re: Harrumpf

        Steven Roper: Upvoted for eloquently mirroring my frustrations, but:

        Since there's no real malware for Linux [...] I can safely browse the web with javascript on

        Nah, wouldn't do that even so.

        To be honest I've never used AB+; my desktop browsers have NoScript and Ghostery and on the phone I use Opera in proxy mode (or whatever it's called) which not only saves my meagre data allowance but also seems to filter out the worst offenders. Its main downside is that the BBC news site thinks you are an "international" visitor.

        There is almost always a combination of script allows that makes a website work without letting it load unnecessary cruft or track you every time you pick your nose. A new website may take a few minutes to sort out, and maybe a couple of visits to get just right, but if the content is worth it, so is the effort. These are the sites that get permanent unblocks. If the content isn't worth it, blocks are re-instated and I move somewhere else.

        I don't mind seeing the occasional non-intrusive advert. Disallowing Javascript blocks the worst offenders while often letting the quieter ones through. It also had the side benefit of blocking Flash by default, in the days before Firefox decided to do that anyway.

        M.

        1. DropBear Silver badge

          Re: Harrumpf

          Hallelujah! Finally, someone who understands blocking scripts with any granularity is simply flat-out not an option if you're actually trying to use any websites at all. None of them will even display, let alone let you navigate. As you say, one either has to put up with this or stop using the internet, full stop.

          "There is almost always a combination of script allows that makes a website work without letting it load unnecessary cruft"

          Except 99.99999999% of the sites I go to are sites I never saw before nor will again any time soon. Sure, I could spend hours per site _trying_ to painstakingly engineer a recipe that works for each of the less-than-a-dozen sites I visit regularly (and would likely end up having to accept to run every single script they want me to anyway), but those are so small a blip on the total of my browsing that they don't even register.

      2. frank ly Silver badge

        @Steven Roper Re: Harrumpf

        In the NoScript menu, select Options and then the General tab. Right at the top you can automatically enable maindomain.com to three levels of granularity.

      3. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: Harrumpf

        " Coming on to a new site with NoScript running goes something like this:"

        If I have to go around more than twice, I block the site.

        If the site requires javascript from something I've previously blacklisted, I don't bother.

        1. VinceH Silver badge

          Re: Harrumpf

          " Coming on to a new site with NoScript running goes something like this:"

          I don't find visiting new sites with NoScript anywhere near as much a chore as you describe. Especially the need to go through options. I have three NoScript icons on my toolbar:

          Two that I consider "emergency" icons - one to "Temporarily allow all this site" (which I've never felt the need to click, but it's there if I ever do) and one to "Revoke temporary permissions" (to undo the first, and/or anything else I've temporarily allowed).

          The third icon is the main one - it gives a menu listing the scripts that are blocked on the page (with entries to temporarily allow or to white list, and when either is done they are replaced with one to revoke that permission) - and you can enable more than one script without closing the menu. Granted, some scripts don't appear there until the page has refreshed and the scripts you've allowed start calling scripts from other sources - but I find it usually only takes a couple of goes to get enough working.

          For me, it's a combination of NoScript and Ghostery - and the latter is arguably unnecessary because my cookies (along with my history and cache) are always cleared on exit. (I don't tend to leave the browser running with millions of tabs; I tend to visit a few sites/pages, then quit).

      4. NonSSL-Login

        Re: Harrumpf

        Using uBlock/HTTP switchboard it's a similar annoying process but after saving your settings for a site, repeat visits are seamless. Although it becomes a problem for just new sites you visit, there are still enough of them to make it annoying. Just got used to it now though.

        One of the features is being able to block Disqus domains for example on all sites except one, is a nice granular approach and stops Disqus from tracking you for example but allows me post my two-pence on the one site I wish to do so. I'm a linux user too but much prefer this control than say using a fresh VMware/Virtual box image reset every day.

  17. NanoMeter

    How Adblock users accept "acceptable ads"?

    One tenth of a percent?

  18. Oengus Silver badge

    Cash for Ads

    I thought I read that ABP had started accepting "Cash for Ads" ages ago. That was when I uninstalled ABP and went to uBlock Origin.

    First things I do with a new PC - Install Firefox, download uBlock Origin, Ghostery and NoScript.

    1. Not That Andrew

      Re: Cash for Ads

      Yup, back when they released 2.0 with the option to disable ads unchecked . there was a massive shitstorm so they backtracked and released 2.0.1 (IIRC) with the option enabled by default and a screen explaining the acceptable ads policy on install (which seems to have disappeared).

  19. Sean Houlihane

    Ads are for certain people only.

    The native view of web pages shocks me every time im exposed. The only ads I _ever_ click are the obnoxious ones who I want to cost money (ppi, free solar, etc). I understand some people like ads. They're free to look at them, but I chose not to.

    1. DropBear Silver badge

      Re: Ads are for certain people only.

      Agreed. By the way, the same goes for Youtube - whenever I accidentally end up seeing it in its original form I recoil in terror...

      1. MJI Silver badge

        Re: Ads are for certain people only.

        Youtube

        I know, real pain on PS4 as I have to get rid of the ad to see how to grab that collectable.

        PC a mix of ABP and Greasemonkey, oh and consent lives in the HOSTS

  20. SUMMONER
    Thumb Up

    Brilliant! I so hope that ABP can bring some sense to the advertising market. Most times I turn ABP off for a website I see auto playing animated, blinking, audio playing adverts.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    sadly

    Anonymity is all but dead and the obvious way to get back some fragment of it is to figure out what the herd is doing and do that. For starters, use IE8 on Vista and don't block ads but [decide what your imaginary person likes, and then] click on some of them. Also be sure to "like" things left and right. Just be careful you don't slip and fall into pop culture's icky embrace...

    1. Dwarf Silver badge

      Re: sadly

      The "Like" and "Follow" rubbish is, er, well, rubbish.

      I like a curry and I like my dog - but I don't like my dog in a curry.

      I follow the car in front of me, not because I want to, just because we go down the the same road.

      I never follow any of the made-up "idol's of the day" as they are paper thin and add no value.

      Similarly, I'll never "like" my toilet roll provider. Perhaps the best word is "use".

      I use a brand of toothbrush and a type of peppermint - that's all.

      Oh and the "like us for discounts" is just a bribe to make the marketing people feel important.

      Don't try to make the words mean more than they do.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: sadly

        Of course that approach is limited to web browsing-- doing the herd thing at a store and getting the silly rewards card will de-anonymize your cash purchases from that point on. It's just more conditioning to get you where they want you IRL: "here, jump through this hoop and we'll give you a treat, it's so simple." Ahh, ...no.

        1. DropBear Silver badge

          Re: sadly

          There's this little game I have to play every! single! time! I go to a certain pharmacy (hey, don't judge - it's right next to where I stay), going "got a card?" - "No." - "would you like one?" - "No!". From the first question I surmise that it's still working...

        2. tiggity Silver badge

          Re: sadly

          There is the approach where you and a few friends all get "loyalty" cards, then periodically swap cards, when everyone has all done at least 1 shops with all the cards you then stop using them.

          Works best with both genders and good age range in terms of messing up their analysis.

          1. MJI Silver badge

            Re: Loyalty cards

            I do not mind Tesco knowing what I bought from them as they give me lots of vouchers. In 2014 got about £300 of tiles using them.

            Its not like I am buying anything embarrasing like imported ciders.

            Those vouchers will also save us a few hundred pounds when we redecorate the bathroom, oh and IF we use Homebase Nectar points.

            We know our information is being used but they purchase it off us.

  22. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Unhappy

    Playing Devil's Advocate. Let's get to the real issue. Everyone wants content.

    No one want to pay for it.

    So how does that work out then?

    1. Greg Fawcett

      Re: Playing Devil's Advocate. Let's get to the real issue. Everyone wants content.

      Start paying for it. I pay a few pounds a year to the Guardian to support good journalism.

      If I had a popular advertising-supported website, I'd offer a PayPal button for a yearly recurring charge of for however much the punter felt the service was worth, in return for removing all ads.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Playing Devil's Advocate. Let's get to the real issue. Everyone wants content.

        Start paying for it. I pay a few pounds a year to the Guardian to support good journalism.

        I just did too. Kinda hard to do with El Reg, though, but I comfort myself with the notion that they still owe me *quite* a lot of beer :).

      2. Kevin Johnston
        Joke

        Re: Playing Devil's Advocate. Let's get to the real issue. Everyone wants content.

        So, how's that going for the Grauniad? Have they got enough for a Spellchecker yet?

      3. Alister Silver badge

        Re: Playing Devil's Advocate. Let's get to the real issue. Everyone wants content.

        I pay a few pounds a year to the Guardian to support good journalism.

        Wow, did you just use "The Guardian" and "good journalism" in the same sentence?

        Blimey!

      4. MJI Silver badge

        Re: Playing Devil's Advocate. Let's get to the real issue. Everyone wants content.

        Gaurdian and good?

        I'd say better than Mail, but not that good, too many articles from annoying people.

  23. taxythingy

    Filter for sponsored stories?

    That's what I would like.

    Too bad if some news publications have half of their content stripped from the main page.

  24. Big-nosed Pengie

    uBlock Origin

    That is all.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: uBlock Origin

      .. except for OSX MacOS (that'll take a while). Their lack of support for Safari means you're forever between the uBlock and uBlock Origin camp where uBlock points at uBlock Origin and uBlock Origin mainly states that paying uBlock doesn't get to uBlock Origin.

      From an attitude perspective that makes me prefer the non-Origin camp, petulance is just irritating.

      1. wolfetone Silver badge

        Re: uBlock Origin

        "Their lack of support for Safari..."

        Plenty of support for Firefox, and it's on a Mac.

        You don't have to spend all your time inside the walled garden, come out for a play amongst the flowers x

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: uBlock Origin

          You don't have to spend all your time inside the walled garden, come out for a play amongst the flowers x

          .. which is the exact attitude that keeps others away from Open Source. Your implied assumption is that I use OSX because I'm not aware of anything else, whereas it was actually a deliberate choice as I've been using IT for a good 35 years, and that includes developing electronics, firmware and hand coding stuff because I didn't have an assembler to hand (early days :) and quite a lot of Unix variants, so not just Linux from it's early terminal-only must-compile-a-kernel-for-each-hardware-combination beginnings.

          Yes, I know Firefox, and I also have Opera and Vivaldi installed. If you would actually leave your mother's basement for a moment (after taking a shower) you might discover that, amongst that curious stuff called fresh air and daylight, creatures exist that do more than just bash away on computers, and quite a few of them just use what's installed. For some odd reason, those default facilities require just as much in the way in the way of plugins as Firefox and all the other browsers out there so no improvement there - at all.

  25. Ketlan
    Thumb Down

    No options

    '...And you can still choose to block all ads with Adblock Plus if you wish, meaning you'll see no banners at all.'

    For all their bluster and bullshit, I wonder how long that option will remain. Not much longer, is my guess.

  26. Tristan Young

    I use ad blocking to hide intrusive ads, and elements which are hugely problematic, such as video boxes which play when you accidentally (or on purpose) mouse over them.

    I generally block sports-related video boxes from news sites, because I have absolutely no interest in sports. I also use it to block elements which open up and block other elements.

    Today I began uninstalling adblock on all my machines, and am switching to ublock origin. So far, I'm impressed. I had some problems with Adblock Plus, and find blocking the right elements much easier in ublock.

    So Adblock Plus - you've been kicked the f**k out of my life.

  27. cs94njw

    So, essentially, ABP becomes one of those crappy extensions installed by Microsoft/Yahoo, that "insert" ads into pages.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      They're not replacing ad content yet, but you're right - I can see that happen as a logical next step.

    2. illiad

      try to discover the 'preferences' and 'element hider' part of ABP, where you can block **anything** ...:)

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Adblock in partnership with Yelp?

    We'll let your ad thru for $

    We'll block your bad review for $

    ?

  29. wolfetone Silver badge

    Bittersweet

    While I enjoy the privacy AdBlock gives me, I don't like the idea that they feel the need to make deals with the advertisers I don't want to see so that their adverts can still be shown to me.

    That said, I do miss those hot girls in my area who are looking for men such as myself. I haven't seen any mention of them since using AdBlock.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Bittersweet

      Natasha is mine, I tell you!

      Hands off.

      1. wolfetone Silver badge

        Re: Bittersweet

        Mate it's all about Lynda, 43 from Reading. Husband never around, house to herself, thats what I call a woman.

  30. Lee D Silver badge

    "Company sells itself out to its competitor"

    "Wonders why everyone starts running away from it"

  31. raving angry loony

    Ditched.

    Got rid of AdBlock within days that I heard they were going from an ad blocker to a protection racket.

    However, let's restate: the issue is not advertising. It's privacy. Want to show ads on your site, go for it. Most ad blockers won't touch them. What they'll touch is the privacy busting ad-mongers.

  32. Ed Mozley

    Is this news?

    This has been like this for ages!

  33. Drone Pilot

    How many non-users of ABP?

    Most people I know use a phone or laptop.

    Most people I know don't have anything to do with IT (they're normal folk)

    And all of them don't use ABP.

    What's the percentage of users v. non-users?

    I imagine most el Reg users are IT related and as such, have some form of ad-block in use. But what about the masses? Surely this is not a big deal?

    1. Not That Andrew

      Re: How many non-users of ABP?

      Well, I'm not in IT any more, but despite the death threats still occasionally get called on to fix relatives computers. The first thing I do is install uBlock Origin. I imagine a lot of techie types do this, whether it's uBlock or Adblock Plus

      1. Terry 6 Silver badge

        Re: How many non-users of ABP?

        Yes, I'd suspect that many of El Reg's commentards propagate ad blockers to the friends and family. It's when they bring round the laptop that's downloading even slower than you'd expect for their limited internet speed and find that the available bandwidth is being used to carry all these whizzy, bouncing, flashing ads.

    2. Lee D Silver badge

      Re: How many non-users of ABP?

      I don't use ad-blockers anywhere.

      As far as I'm concerned, I block only because of technology involved.

      If a site has made a conscious decision to forfeit content for adverts, that's their decision and I do what's necessary. I will either suffer it, or move on. Blocking their ads is just a waste of effort on my part to get to content I want against that content-makers will. It's just easier to say "Oh well" and move on.

      Same way I've stopped buying movie discs. 20 minutes of unskippable ads at the beginning of a Disney DVD, are you kidding me? Precisely the antithesis of a product for entertaining children. So I don't buy them. "Sorry, darling, but Disney are horrible people and don't want you to see The Little Mermaid. Let's find something else". I'm sure that message will stay with my daughter into the future.

      I'm not concerned about privacy. Well, not in terms of those ads, anyway.

      I'm concerned about the security of my computer, so Flash gets blocked, and Java, etc.

      I'm also concerned about getting to the content I want. Hiding it behind a paywall, an interstitial, in a mountain of ads? I treat it exactly how I'd treat the same in a newspaper. I won't pay someone to chop out the ads for me and just give me the article I want, and I'll just throw it away as junk if it's too ad-heavy. And the more obnoxious the ads, the less likely I am to bother to do anything but recycle the next edition.

      If you want "free money" from my eyeballs hitting your site, don't make the front page a giant "PAY US MONEY" and then have nothing worth paying for or no sensible way to get round it. No other business in the world thinks that that would actually work, even if it's a dream scenario.

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It doesn't sort the key issues

    1 - Adblock selects on publishers, not on the ad channels they use. In other words, as far as I can see, the primary threat*, malvertising, is not addressed with this. This is my argument for blocking ads other than being total bandwidth hogs and delaying page load.

    2 - Their acceptable may not be my acceptable, especially in areas such as politics and just causes, and that means that we're basically around the corner of censorship.

    3 - I'm no fan of grey areas as they have a habit of creeping. AdBlock started with, well, blocking. Then it went to partially blocking, followed by paid gatewaying. As far as I can see, that was the plan all along so they lied to people. They should change their name to ThoseWhoDontPayGetBlocked.

    I think I know what their end goal is, because I lived through all of that with Microsoft: they aim to get bought out by Google.

    * For me - your opinion may differ

  35. Chris 125

    I don't mind a well placed, non-intrusive advert. I get why some websites have them, to raise cash to pay for the hosting and whatnot, and I whitelist them.

    A forum I frequent is run by a chap in his spare time, as well as installation and config of the board software we've had a server go titsup and then general forum moderation which is always going to be necessary when people come together, shielded by keyboards. I'm not going to begrudge him a few pence a month, so I whitelist the site and hopefully others do to - importantly, he's never asked us to. They're at the bottom of the screen, if you never scroll down that far you never even see them.

    Yet go on a site belonging to a multi billion pound business and they'll throw up a massive full-screen advert, or if you have an ad-blocker you get a huge full screen banner complaining that it's unfair. Had they stuck to unintrusive stuff they'd be let through, but they're being a bully.

    Or not even just adverts - Pintrest nag you into signing up, even if you leap in via a search you get a 25% shade on the screen demanding you log in, which then covers 100% as you scroll down. This isn't even their content they're protecting, by definition it's stuff "borrowed" from elsewhere on the web!

    In my eyes, it's like Channel 4 disabling your kettle or automatically closing your living room door during the advert breaks. "We need to show some adverts, but we absolutely need to know you're watching them. You can't watch the rest of the show until we know you've seen them so sit back. And don't close your eyes, we know if you've done that"

    1. Martin an gof Silver badge
      Flame

      Pintrest nag you into signing up, even if you leap in via a search you get a 25% shade on the screen demanding you log in, which then covers 100% as you scroll down

      I came across this a couple of times recently with Facebook. I don't use Facebook, I don't have a log-in and yet it is assumed that I do. I was looking for information about a couple of performers (musicians) and the messages I got were effectively "go to my Facebook page for more information".

      No bloomin' good if FB blocks the content with a big white rectangle asking me to log in!

      M.

    2. DropBear Silver badge

      Oh, I'd reserve a special level of hell for the fuckers that "dim" the whole page and throw up some ransom demand, be it monetary, ad- or login-related. Generally I just leave and never return but occasionally when leaving is not an option for some reason I just make a point of NOT complying but whipping out a page-editing add-on that lets me point to a page element and disappear it with a click. It usually takes 3-4 clicks to remove the dialog, the dimming courtain, its transparent but still page-obscuring full page parent div and its transparent but still page-obscuring full page parent div, but after that I'm clean through their aggressively pretentious would-be gate keeper.

      1. MJI Silver badge

        Ahhh delete element

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Right-click (on offending junk)-> Inspect Element. Then delete the offending lines. Sometimes the web programmer is even helpful enough to put a comment in telling you what parts only exist to annoy you.

  36. Pat 11

    pi-hole

    Network-level blocking on a pi!

  37. DasWezel

    An ad-blocker that permits adverts

    ... is not an ad-blocker.

    Installed uBlock a while ago and ditched ABP because, well, it's not really an ad-blocker now, is it?

  38. tiggity Silver badge

    Trying to make ads less nasty / support sites

    Why are people so worked up about this?

    ABP lets you block "all" ads if you wish (where all means all matching to rules lists)

    However, also allows you to choose an "allow acceptable ads" option - and this relates to those acceptable ads.

    The idea of acceptable ads is that they will not be obtrusive (as it's intrusive ads people object to most) & will allow site to serve ads (whether they make any money off the visit is depending on whether they earn via ad loads or ad clicks but at least gives potential to earn unlike no ads) - essentially acceptable ads is an attempt at a compromise to stop sites / ad slingers accusations of "freeloading" (a useful micro payments system would help but never seems to happen)

    Disclosure, I have no commercial relationship with ABP, I do use it on my phone browser Firefox (as installed way back when little choice on mobile browser ad defence add ins & ads on mobile are PITA for killing data use & jiggling screen around). I tried the acceptable ads option (but found I got too much that I regard as intrusive) so switched it to block all (I have not changed settings recently so it may have improved, or it may not). It does the job on phone with disable all set.

    My main ad blocker on PC browsers is not ABP

  39. SimonC

    Pointless

    If a website puts "Hey, we see you're using an adblocker - we will display tiny unobtrusive ads because they fund our site" 99% of the time I'll hit adblock > disable on this site.

    Especially if I'm getting good content, and I believe that it's the sole funding for their venture.

    Honestly, I think some of the burden lies in actually asking me nicely, which websites don't seem to do. Some of them disable the content or ramp it up to try and bypass my blocker, but if they had nice ads and asked politely, they'd get me to make that one click.

    99% of the time we don't even realise a site has ads. I browsed around on a friend's pc at all my regular sites and was surprised to see how bad some of them were and that some regular ones had banners.

    Until then, I'll install adblock plus adblock (or equiv).

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Isn't this actually what we've all been asking for?

    Seriously - the number of times on El Reg you see the comment 'I would love to support website X, but they use syndicated adverts full of malware, so I have to block all their ads', and 'if only the advertisers would put their house in order so we could trust them'.

    Well, isn't this what AdBlock are doing here? They have a large install base which means advertisers will be motivated to comply with the standards that AdBlock set - in fact, AdBlock are pretty much the only people capable of acting as a de facto regulatory body for the on-line advertising industry; so as long as they keep their standards high, I'm happy to give Ad Block a chance to do something positive about the advertising industry. And as others have pointed out in this thread, there are alternatives to AdBlock that should help to keep them on the straight and narrow.

    So let's not have a knee-jerk negative response, but look at the big picture and hope for something positive out of this.

    1. Paul Shirley

      Re: Isn't this actually what we've all been asking for?

      Setting up their own ad broker/server and pre-approved, locally stored content potentially makes injecting malware from compromised sites impossible. They'd need to hack the adblock server or use MITM interception downstream of it.

      Acceptable ads promises are warm and fuzzy but the tangled mess of intermediates serving ads prevent it being safe or trustworthy without a system like this. An entire industry needs tearing down and rebuilding with safety as a goal. They won't do it voluntarily, if nothing else this might force their hand.

    2. Patrician

      Re: Isn't this actually what we've all been asking for?

      I'd like to see the "Block All Ads" be the installation default; we know how to switch to it but many Adblock+ users don't know there is a choice.

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    you can still choose to block all ads with Adblock Plus if you wish

    for now. Because, frankly, if a business running Adblock (or any business) could increase their margins AND GET AWAY WITH IT, which one wouldn't? I'm sure they run various surveys and calculate if is has already come to the point when turning off an option to chose brings them more profit than loss.

    But it doesn't matter, the arms race is on. Some people will move to other ad blockers by default, others will, when they notice that their adblocker "leaks" ads more than they deem acceptable.

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    adblock evolution, business case

    1. a developer with a genius idea to save humankind from evil ads

    2. success

    3. fast forward: developer gone, enter the business

    4. business = profit. How to make profit from blocking profitable ads

    5. a genius idea: let's unblock profitable ads brand the rest: evil, poinsonous, unwelcome. Profit!

    6. a problem: convince users we're still for them, not for profit, so they don't go elsewhere (ublock, etc.)

    7. dress up as good guys (acceptable ads, etc.). Fuck that, most people stick with what they got anyway.

    8. waiting for a Buyout from google / facebook / etc.

    9. deal made for an undisclosed amount, estimated to be worth several billions USD.

    Rinse, repeat.

  43. Kubla Cant Silver badge

    Look and learn

    It goes against the grain to cite Google as an example of virtue. But it's the biggest ad publisher on the web, and it got that way with unobtrusive, text-only ads. Most of the search engines that plastered their pages with annoying display ads are dead.

    Maybe there's some kind of lesson here.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Look and learn

      It goes against the grain to cite Google as an example of virtue. But it's the biggest ad publisher on the web, and it got that way with unobtrusive, text-only ads.

      .. and a God-awful amount of tracking everything that moves, which is objection #2 I have against ads.

      If you want an example of just how much sh*t lives underneath Google, do this:

      1 - go to your local Google search engine (say, http://google.co.uk)

      2 - do "view source" and look at just how much code hides behind this misleadingly blank page.

      (fi you load it in Vivaldi you can actually see just how much you're downloading).

      Do not, ever, assume virtue in Google. They do do evil.

  44. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Paradigm shift ....

    The time has come for a paradigm shift.

    Thanks to mobile data allowances/charges, people have suddenly woken up to the fact that they are PAYING to receive adverts. Hence the initial rationale behind ABP.

    I wonder when Sky subscribers etc also realise that not only are they PAYING for the content. They are PAYING for the adverts which their pirating compatriots aren't.

  45. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    AB+ who cares...

    switched to uBlock when they even suggested this a while ago.... I recommend it

  46. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Needs a name change

    ABP needs to change its name. I suggest Ads Sorta Sorted.

  47. bobajob12

    Spitballing here, but...

    Ads are broken because they are ridiculously low signal-to-noise, intrusive and all the rest. Subscriptions are broken because every website has their own subscription system.

    Pay per use is broken because there's no enforcement, hence the NPR/Wikipedia begging model of fundraising.

    Seems to me that the logical path is to centralize subscription payments. So broadband providers fund a neutral organization (like they do with C-SPAN). Let's call it Alice. Part of my broadband bill each month is a fixed payment to Alice. I can pay more than this but never less.

    Now the critical part: I get to choose which sites get my Alice money. If the Alice fee is $5 and I spend 90% of my time on El Reg and 10% on Bob's Home Cookie Blog, Bob gets $0.50 and the Reg gets $4.50. If I have been particularly entertained that month (maybe a Stob column, hint hint?) I volunteer to pay a little extra. I choose sites by URL and can choose anything I want month to month.

  48. Colin Tree

    loose the adds - Icecat

    Install Icecat web browser, run it alongside your current browser, notice the difference.

    Right now there's no add at the top of this web page.

    It does things like jumps adds on a certain surfcam site for continuous surf viewing

    https://www.gnu.org/software/gnuzilla/

    if you can't trust a GNU, who can you trust ????

    1. illiad

      Re: loose the adds - Icecat

      why would I do that when my current one works well, and easily adapts???

  49. Piro

    Been using uBlock Origin instead for some time now. I suggest everyone leaves AdBlock Plus well alone.

  50. lukewarmdog

    My local online newspaper has started putting up a massive footer to tell me I'm browsing them from behind an ad-blocker.

    http://www.oxfordmail.co.uk/

    "Did you know that advertising supports local journalism and promotes local businesses? Find out how to turn off your ad blocker."

    Me not clicking on adverts supports local journalism? Pretty sure the first law of thermodynamics paraphrases to "you can't make something from nothing".

  51. ATeal

    What's the name of a good adblock?

    I need a new one.

  52. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ive said it before...

    ...and ill say it again. The golden age of ad free porn was in the 70s when you could find it blowing through fields in the wild.

    These days porn is sadly extinct in the wild thanks to overfilming and councils working hard to clear it up. The generations to come wont know what it is to hold hardcopy porn or slowly experience the tracking on a VHS failing due to overuse.

    Im disghusted that modern day processed porn has a wide variety of un-natural additives like plot, unnecessary sequels, plastic tits, hairless genitals and worst of all 'battery porning' where they cram 8 or more pornstars into one small flick filmed in a garage in the Midlands somewhere.

    Its time we did something about it. We dont need to be as extreme the hippy dippy dogging lot (the weird vegans of the smut world). But we should take more interest into what goes in our porn.

    We need a Jamie Oliver figure for porn. To fight against the turkey twizzlers of grumble flicks.

    Join me brothers and sisters. Fire up your dot matrix pinters and fling hard copy porn out of your windows. Lets reintroduce it as a species in the wild.

    Then and only then can the next generation live ad free.

    CAN YOU DIG IT?

  53. This post has been deleted by its author

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