It really is like a war ...
So, Google moves the the ridge, meanwhile, the enemy (i.e. people who don't want to see adverts at all) develop their capability at the network level ...
An rPi, running pi-hole is
a) a start
b) dirt cheap
Publishers will get a six-month headsup before Google kills intrusive advertising on Chrome, sources close to the ad giant have reportedly said. Google will also hand online publishers a special tool to make sure that their ads are "compliant", the firm blogged yesterday. It will be called "Ad Experience Reports" – ostensibly …
But the first hint of malware, guess who will be held responsible in law ? (Hint: not the advertisers).
Would you allow your website to serve ads that you would be held responsible for ?
Private Eyes regular feature "Malgorithms" might be worth a read ....
All kinds of print media used to contain ads which were indeed "served" in the same printed pages the content was. Didn't seem to be a particular problem.
And if it meant that the ads served were less intrusive (imo preferably simple passive images and/or text), I would even be prepared to turn off my ad blocker on such sites.
ads which were indeed "served" in the same printed pages the content was. Didn't seem to be a particular problem.
I used to buy printed weekly news magazines, until I noticed that I was paying more and more to be "served" more and more ads, so I stopped giving them my money.
Same thing with cable: stopped paying for it when I noticed that there were as many (if not more than) ads than open channels.
So, when it became a problem I voted with my wallet. I am the one who decides when ads are intrusive and/or inconvenient.
All kinds of print media used to contain ads which were indeed "served" in the same printed pages the content was. Didn't seem to be a particular problem.
Right. But they couldn't blink, move, play sound and video, slow down my page turns, block my view of the article until I sign up for their newsletter, track me through my entire life like a cow with an ear tag, or infect my kitchen table with malware.
Whatever the print ads did or didn't do, the point is that the publisher didn't mind inheriting the responsibility for them, presumably because they went through their ad department, were checked, and were passive.
So even now, publishers big enough (eg newspapers) could use their own servers to serve passive ads as checked and deemed acceptable by an internal department - and they would not be in any danger of extra "responsibility" than they were for print.
 They could be if they served video or flash ads ... but to reiterate, that wasn't the point being made.
> "If it's done server-side then they're not running potentially malicious code on my machine."
Of course they will, it'd be the same ads, just served as part of the content rather than a link.
FFS I'm not saying ads are great, just that there are ways to work around ad-blcokers, and that responsibility for the content is not a show stopper. The agencies could even form contracts with the publishers where they carry the financial consequences of action that results from their ad.
That they are annoying is irrelevant, of course they are annoying.
"All kinds of print media used to contain ads which were indeed "served" in the same printed pages the content was. Didn't seem to be a particular problem."
But you didn't have to peel several layers of adverts off before you could read the contents every time you opened print media....
Ah, you have never experienced the false ad cover over the real cover on a magazine or a special advertising section wrapped around a content section in the newspapers.
There were (are? I no longer consume magazines.) magazines that had several pages of ads before the table of contents with the only option to sequentially page through to find the TOC to find out on which page a cover story starts.
The difference with Print advertising and Web based advertising is rather significant.
1. Print ads don't make you read the ad before viewing the content
2. Print ads don't harvest and phone home metrics on where you have been and what you have been doing
3. Print ads are required to conform to an ethical standard set by the relevant media authority
4. Print ads are traceable to their creators
5. Print ads don't contain malware intended to back door or hold your files to ransom
6. Print ads don't try to scam you with fake errors or issues trying to get you to pay for bogus support you never needed.
In my opinion the more like Prind ads that online advertising becomes the better. If Google is forcing standards and ethics on advertisers then great, about time someone did
> Would you allow your website to serve ads that you would be held responsible for ?
Yes, in the same way that Private Eye has ads and is similarly liable for their content.
I'm not sure that you're protected by virtue of it being a link anyway, you've still put in the instructions to send that content to the browser.
I already hold the sites responsible for the ads they serve, even if they are are using ad networks. If they serve intrusive ads, or if they trip the antivirus/malware scanners on the systems that I support, I just block the sites or don't come back depending on severity. Whether their servers served up the ad is immaterial -- they allowed their website to be used for the purpose and that is enough for me.
They could embed content server side, then you'd have to identify the ads from the content of the ads.
Some responsible sites would never do that, not even to peddle seminars and conferences on DevOps. Seminars that could increase your knowledge, intelligence and follicle count, for a very, very low price, only 200.000 tickets left.
They could embed content server side, then you'd have to identify the ads from the content of the ads.
Firefox + AdNauseum = everyone wins
I see no adverts on my page, but in the background the ads get shown and clicked on
The site get the click throughs, I don't see the ads and (even better) it polutes the metadata aggregator profiles so they don't know who I am or what I am actually interested in.
"ad-blocker in a dominant browser could mean the world's dominant ad network could be filtering out rival ad networks, which has competition implications".
Discouraging intrusive advertising is a good idea. But it's the wrong agency doing it. It should be a governmental responsibility, not left up to Google. I know, I know... but not all governments are as clueless and clumsy as the UK one; nor should the likes of Ruddy Awful be taken as the template for all possible governments.
If Google developed tools for this, and then made money selling them to governments to apply them fairly and across the board, what would not be to like?
Beer because it's Friday.
"If Google developed tools for this, and then made money selling them to governments to apply them fairly and across the board, ..."
So, Google develops software/plugins, sells them to Government which then forces us to install them? I'm not sure how your revolutionary idea would work. Please explain.
It's not that revolutionary an idea. How are intrusive ads going to be discouraged, except by some kind of authority? The question is: which authority? Governmental authority (which means that the UK gov in particular need to start their learning curve by buying a few Internet for Dummies books), or Google's own authority, which is technically competent but beyond anyone's control?
I suppose making these tools available but optional is what you're hinting at. Trouble is, how much effect is that going to have on the scum who sling ads round the Internet? The whole Internet ads ecosystem is so (deliberately) fragmented that market pressures just won't work on it.
"The whole Internet ads ecosystem is so (deliberately) fragmented that market pressures just won't work on it."
The stupid is strong in this one. Consider:
Website owners deploy obnoxious adverts - third party develops ad-blocking software - I haven't seen any ads for over ten years.
Exactly, this is nothing more than Google the ad slinger taking the role of ad gatekeeper in a market that isn't really broken.
The problem for website owners is that because of their use/allowance of obnoxious and at times malevolent adverts it becomes increasingly difficult to go the other way unless they go to totally passive ads they serve themselves. Note that Google and others don't want that since it would mean their fancy data miners have a much harder time serving up targeting ads.
.... their fancy data miners ....
And there, folks is where i suspect the evil A to G is really interested.
I'll lay a bet that the scumbags will have something inserted in all this to let them mine more luvverly data.
We'll now need a 3rd party data scraper blocker to go with the ad blocker, which we'll still need of course.
If the price to pay to not see ads was comparable to the average ad-revenue earned for each page-view (i.e. around 1/10th cent), then (as long as Google made it easy to set up an account with them, and they then dealt with the micropayments, and gave me some generic options for maximum to pay, or maximum before asking) I'd be very happy with that.
In fact I even suggested the idea to Google - they're the obvious people to implement such a system, at least for their own ad-network.
"(i.e. around 1/10th cent)" ... was on a site the other day that wanted 40c (South African)(== USD 0.31)
On 1000 pages that's R400 which is vastly above typical (I would image, certainly above my < R30) page RPM via Google Adsense...
So I didn't offer to join the micropayments scheme they were running ...
I would actually consider to pay a reasonable amount to El Reg if that means I stop SEEING THE GODDAMMED LADY SHAVING HER MOUSTACHE IN THE NAME OF GOD I HATE THAT AD WITH A PASSION AND I WILL NEVER EVER BUY ANYTHING FROM TINTRI EVER
whew! that was cathartic. As many people, I am stuck with a browser without adblockers due to company policies: I just can't install add ons, paying for an ad-free experience sounds very tempting in this particular case
Oh dearie dearie me, these people just don't get it do they.
Have a wild stab in the dark guess about why people use Ad-blockers...yep, you guys are pushing total crap through Ads along with opening holes for other people to throw all manner of malwareSpam at us so we are fighting back. Clearly the Ad-blockers are now having enough impact that revenues are threatened so I would say that is a win.
I use Vivaldi and it isn't bad at all. Problem is it's based on Chrome and also I dunno how they're making their money. There's been a couple of recent bits like the history monitoring thing that are a bit worrying.
I want a browser that just plain doesn't store history beyond the session you're currently in and doesn't send it anywhere; but that doesn't seem to exist.
I mainly use palemoon and firefox, but recently I found chromium makes twitter usable, quite noticeably faster than firefox. Chromium is supposed to be chrome with the more obnoxious google data-gathering removed.
So I was surprised a few days ago, following a link about webrtc, to see that a German group, iridium.de, has gone further, using the chromium base to strip out, they say, even more google snooping. I suppose iridium is to chromium what palemoon is to firefox.
But back to the topic - privoxy and ublock origin seems to block almost all unwanted content. Hard to see a downside to a web with few, and simple, adverts.
Ad slinging pages have themselves to blame here - Ad-blockers are popular because ads are annoying, and to a lesser degree (though more serious) potential ingress routes for malware.
The more pages sling annoying ads, the more people get annoyed with them (surprising, eh?) and want to stop them. So the more people block them.
Advertising in the street may or may not be eye-catching, but the majority is billboards in set locations, or bus stop advertising boards, or on the side of busses. It is passive, and people generally just get on with their lives.
If the web had followed suit, and restricted themselves to static banner ads on web-pages, then we probably wouldn't be talking about this now. People would just accept it and get on with their lives.
But no, we get popups, pop-unders, banner ads that spread across the page, ads that get in the way of what you want to do on the site, auto-playing videos, auto-playing videos with audio, and combinations of the lot.
So we want them gone. Is anyone suprised?
I don't see pay-per-view being a popular choice either. Most things don't exist in just one place on the internet.
I recently went through the process of selecting a few news outlets to support by actually paying a small amount per month. I rejected one which looked promising because their polite request to disable the Ad-Blocker opened a deluge like CNN (CNN is my go to example with 20 sites serving script and over a dozen trackers/beacons/etc). The outlet I eventually went for has no ad-block blocker, just a polite, non-intrusive nagging banner once per session asking for a bit of support if you like their content to either allow their ads or subscribe.
After a few weeks being able to read their content 'for free' with my ad blocker still on, they have received a far more positive, probably more lucrative response to the polite-nag-banner than putting up an in your face paywall or forcing bucket-loads of trash ads through my blocker to see the content.
Maybe this only works for the discerning purchaser, but this business model works in my book - offer a service your customer wants at a reasonable price and make it a practical, pleasant experience to decide to buy. Then provide that service and don't pollute it by extracting more then was originally agreed.
"One simple trick" & "Things you didn't know"
I don't bother clicking them anymore as its always vinegar or lemon juice.
It works though as I now have perfect vision, women throw themselves at my feet and I got a free iPad. The only downside is I smell of vinegar and lemon.
> Google will also allow publishers to charge users who use ad-blockers ... via "funding choices", which will allow publishers to set a "price per page view" for ad-block-using consumers to pay.
May be Friday afternoon syndrome kicking in but, try as I might, I just cannot decompile this statement into anything comprehensible.
"Publishers" is advertisers? So Google will let someone who buys ads on their network tick a box which causes Chrome to circumvent the default behaviour of any third-party ad-blocker plug-in installed and instead redirect the user to a paywall?
And Google believes AdBlockPlus users on Chrome would be fine with that?
This is where my comprehension abends.
I suspect rather than a paywall for each site implemented by that site owner, rather you will have a payment card linked to your google account and google will keep track of the sites you visit and then take & make payments appropriately. It would be seamless to the user after initial setup. If you don't have a method of payment, then yes you will receive a paywall or other webpage.
Thanks. I can maybe see it offered as a kind of "subscriptions as service" API in that way, yeah, good thinking.
Still, in your face paywalls because you installed an ad-blocker seems like the kind of nonsense that motivates people to install ad-blockers (or change browsers to be able to do so) in the first place.
Has "served-up web page site content" been contested legally? (What You See Is Not What You've Got due to the ability of the Web Designer to detect the device being used to view content, and to serve up appropriate content).
The Ad-Blockers just need to go the "extra step" of blocking some element of the "If you block the following content, you will be charged" agreement. If payment is taken then your defence is that you didn't see the contractual agreement. The Ad-Blocker could even mischievously press the I Agree button for you.
Sounds silly, but that's how silly it is to stick sticking plaster over sticking plaster in the first instance.
Whenever the subject of ad blocking & paying websites to view their pages pops up (sorry, pun was intented), I always cast my mind back to the 2nd episode of the first season of Black Mirror, Fifteen Million Merits (full episode), where the population are bombarded with adverts on screens on a regular basis but can skip them by spending merits.
However the population can be forced to watch adverts as the technology can sense when you're not actually looking at & listening to the advert, and pauses it then shows a warning until you open your eyes & uncover your ears.
Dystopian sci-fi films & tv shows should be left at that, a bit of escapism entertainment, not ideas for our actual future.
...until a site is willing to accept liability for damage and loss that may be incurred via their advertising, the adblocker will remain on. No if, but, or maybe.
This site is whitelisted, I feel I can trust it. If they (and others I trust) are willing to serve their own curated adverts from their own domain, then I'll see the adverts. Third party adverts, scripts, and contents are blocked. Period. No exceptions. And if they except me to pay because I'm not willing to include their random likely unvetted third party crap, don't think I'll be coming back to that site. Ever.
That's exactly the issue.
If a web site washes its hands of what ads are or are not served, and accepts no responsibility for them, then I'm certainly not going to accept the ads, either. That's fair.
If a web site wants to serve ads, but doesn't feel like it needs to commit any network resources to do so, then I don't feel like I need to commit any network resources to do so, either. That's fair.
If a site chooses to solve these problems, it has the side-effect that ad-blockers don't work well on them, either, if at all.
Fox publishes mission statement to improve security and quality life within chicken pens.
To anyone except foxes; and because noone, in the chicken utilization-nonvoluntary transacting industry should find it in their interest for their chickens have /too/ much egregious cause for objection to living in pens, because surely, that's detrimental for all concerned parties that matter.
I'll only whitelist so much - I'd genuinely prefer an alternative to being a post-webdev site-unscrewer, but that doesn't, however mean via ##% going to google along with the browsing history you actually paid for, and somehow, I just don't think this will improve this web much for me either.
"yet there's a core truth - content we value, needs paying for somehow."
I don't think the concept of ad-driven revenue is the problem - it's the direction in which online advertizing networking has evolved, using nano-second auction systems with zero oversight and then deploying deeply obnoxious tricks like the 'wait 10 seconds' bullshit.
Advertizing ought to be about informing potential customers of a product that they might like to buy, which microtargeting can make highly efficient and effective. Holding content to ransom, sucking bandwidth or drive-by installing malware is not making advertizing any better at achieving that objective, it's just making the consumer - the person the advert is meant to be convincing - resent it.
Any one read Philip K Dick's Ubik?
They have mini drones, not much bigger then bumble bees, that follow people around spouting adverts.
If I recall correctly they also have built in AI so if you to try to swat them, they plead for their life.
In another of his books your front door lock is connected to the powers that be - so if you fall behind on your bills you can't get into your apartment.
"I wonder if the reason there aren't more film adaptations of Philip K Dick, is that his stories are too cutting a critique of our culture."
I tend to think it's more down to his books, while brilliant commentaries, are also meandering and borderline incomprehensible mescaline trips. Which is why Hollywood often takes the setting and throws the storyline out entirely.
The page you arrived at via a search might be full of dross and not the information you are after, so you have been charged for content consumed but of no use - as, with search engine snippet, often no way to tell if content is worthwhile until you actually read the whole thing.
I foresee a market in junk page creation, they grab pay per view micro-credits and clog up the search results to gain cash.
Micro payment donations work, as you can donate afterwards i.e. if content was good, but visits tracked and cash auto taken (even if visit was just a quick look and thinking what a waste of time that link was, my cat could create better content) is a real Russian roulette game
Under consumer protection laws would there have to be some sort of refund option if you felt the page you just paid to view didn't meet your expectations?
"Dear website owner, when this site was advertised as containing pictures of boobys I didn't think it would be pictures of seabirds. I henceforth request a full and complete refund. Yours, Disgruntled of Internet."
Most of us will just keep using ABP on top of whatever Google puts in the browser. And hopefully Google's tech will appear in the Android version of Chrome, where it's substantially more difficult to install a third party blocker.
Everyone should have the following Chrome extensions installed:
>>Just use Firefox on Android, which makes it very easy to use an adblocker of your choice.
Even better: Root your Android device and install AdAway (using F-Droid). It blocks ads and other crap at the hosts file level. So you can use whatever browser you want, without seeing any ads. (And, of course, it also blocks ads within apps).
This initiative isn't about making the Web more palatable to users. It's a way to facilitate advertisers circumventing existing ad-blocking add-ons. Ad blocking must be working, as Google is apparently losing enough revenue to set people to work on this new "feature." This is one I personally don't need, and will deactivate it if I continue to use Chrome.
Google is the LAST company I'd trust to make decisions about which ads to block. Those "intrusive" ads won't be intrusive if a company pays them more, I'll bet.
Ad blockers should be written maintained by companies that accept donations from end users only, or charge a monthly fee of those users.
...literally half of my monitor space (I have 23" 1920x1080) is taken up by the fixed width web page that I am viewing and the the other half is taken up by ads. Or it would be taken up by ads if I didn't run an ad blocker. If I have to pay to view a site because I block their ads then I will not view that site.
They can kiss my ass.
I have put up with the overly intrusive advertising industry in every aspect of my life since I was born and I have reached a point where the best way to make me pissed off at your company and not buy your products is to shoves ads down my throat. I will not be told that it is now mandatory that I view ads on the internet. Ad blockers are literally the only sanctuary I have left in the digital world.
What percentage of users actually have ad blockers anyway? Not enough to do Google any real harm. Yes, the CEO's private jet might have been able to afford fuel for one more cross-country flight if we didn't use ad blockers. But with the US pulling out the it's climate agreements I think they might want to cut back on air travel and just use some Google branded app to hangout and have business meetings.
"What percentage of users actually have ad blockers anyway? Not enough to do Google any real harm."
ISTR an El Reg article sometime in the last few months claiming something in the order of 20% of users had ad-blockers installed.
Ah, found it, Ad-blocking ‘plateaus’, claims hopeful ad industry
The digital ad biz is hoping that ad-blocking has reached a plateau in the UK, after its rolling survey of users failed to detect an increase. The IAB's July poll, conducted by YouGov, found that 21.2 per cent of the sample used prophylactics, down from 21.7 per cent in February.
However the IAB notes that many users don't really know what an ad-blocker is.
Over 1 in 5 who claim to use an ad blocker incorrectly cited antivirus software or ad-blockers that don't exist, the IAB finds. Consequently, genuine ad-blocking levels might be lower than reported.
"Over 1 in 5 who claim to use an ad blocker incorrectly cited antivirus software or ad-blockers that don't exist, the IAB finds. Consequently, genuine ad-blocking levels might be lower than reported."
Or self selecting survey respondents are self selecting and tell you what they think you want to hear or complete nonsense. Doubly so if you pay them for it.
Given the number of people I know who install adblockers as part of a system setup for others, I suspect that a large number of users don't even know they are using one.
The whole situation is muddy.
I have no problem with none intrusive ads as running my own website I know how important it is to have ads when your giving your content away for free. But I don't force anyone who is using an ad-blocker to disable it before they can get to my website as I know how annoying this is myself. Instead I have back-up revenue option in the form of affiliate text links to Amazon products which aren't blocked by ad-blockers and users generally don't mind them.
If people running ad-blockers are going to be getting redirected to a paywall it sounds like the next big thing will be a paywall redirect blocker plugin.
1: Don't use chrome
2: Use more than one ad blocker
4: Privacy badger
Block anything that's not completely relevant to the content I want to see... that means all ads, trackers, cookies and anything else I've fogotten to mention. if it slips through, eentire elements are blocked, any site that manages to slip through a popup/over/under/tab is blocked at the domain level and cannot server up anything more than a completely blank page.
Any site... and I do mean any site that tells me I cannot see content unless I disable my blocking... doesn't get my custom and there isn't a web retailer out there that would try that kind of crap because it would lose them more business than they gain.
This 'war' is entirely the fault of both ad companies and those that choose to use their services. For the last 2 decades they have been fed lies by ad companies that ever more intrusive ads are the key... not enough clicks on your ads... let's add animation/sound/video/warnings to piss people of even more.
The end result is a large section of people who will 'never' trust anything they try to force ads upon the viewer, a large section of people (if 22% of UK adults is accurate) that numbers several million potential and now lost customers.
Serve up ads that make content harder to see, throw multiple ads in the middle of content so that a single article that takes up 2 page scrolls... now takes 5 page scrolls.. is intrusive and unacceptable.
I'm currently house hunting and have been training my blockers to stop serving up ads from the likes of rightmove and zoopla (amongst others)... the number of trackers and elements that have been blocked is ridiculous... But after a few minor annoyances, I can now house hunt in peace safe in the knowledge that I will see no ads, cannot be tracked by 3rd parties and have no degredation of my browsing experience.
If I see a house I like, I contact the agent directly... I'd never give my details to any site that wasn't delivering me something I specifically ordered and those that do require some kind of account... get fake details and my spamtrap email address... Say hello to Mr A Heckler of 123 My Street, Anytown, Anycity, AB12 3CD
tl:dr... trust no one, all ads are bad for you, do everything you can to block them.
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