No More Ads Please!

by phil.fontaine on September 18, 2013 - 1:14pm

As more people have access to the Internet every day, advertisement became the perfect way to fund websites and, at the same time, keep the Internet content free. However, as some ads are getting more and more intrusive and inappropriate, some people want to find ways to get rid of them all. AdBlock and Adblock Plus are two web software that allow a user to see no ads whatsoever on any website. Indeed, that includes the video advertisements on Youtube (maybe after knowing that you will directly go download it!). As an “adblocker” myself, I found this article very interesting because it highlights the good points of using these software. However, it misses the part where adblocking can have negative effects. These effects will be explained later, but simply put, you are selfishly not contributing to keeping the Internet free. So, is blocking advertisements while browsing the Internet unethical?

 

The great majority of all the Internet content is free to access. Most websites are able to run thanks to the advertisements they show on their page. From giants like Facebook, Youtube, Google or Amazon to small websites hosting 1000 members, ads remain the way to go to get a revenue out of their website. By enabling AdBlock, you are providing less money to the developers. As a result, they will search a way to compensate this loss, and that is where the negative effects come in. One possibility is that the website will show even more ads. Just think of Youtube: 5 years ago, only very few videos had ads before watching it. Now, for every single video, there is an advertisement of 5, 15 or even 30 seconds before. Also, we must think of people getting a living of creating Youtube content. Every ad you block will directly affect them since it will automatically mean less money in their pocket. Another possibility is that websites, after seeing that ads have become ineffective, will ask for paid subscriptions in order to access their service. This would mean that we are getting away from the free Internet we are used to. Finally, another possibility would be that advertisement will have to become more effective, and so more targeted to users. Inevitably, there will be more privacy intrusions even if there are already a lot. Blocking ads is somewhat selfish and unethical because other people will need to compensate for your preference of having a clean browsing experience, either by seeing more ads, paying more or being more intruded in their privacy.

 

I said it previously: I am an “adblocker”, I love AdBlock and I love browsing the web without advertisement. Who wouldn’t? Companies are doing everything for you to click on their ads so they are developing techniques such as opening tabs or videos in the background, making misleading images or statements on their banner or simply popping the ad in your face. These are all intrusive and unacceptable ways to advertise a product, and it is in those situations that I am glad I can block it. I think one of the worst type of ads out there are the Youtube ones. Banners on the side are fine since you just don’t have to look at them, but preventing me from watching my video and forcing me to watch an advertisement is simply too much obtrusive. I can’t accept that. That is why I use AdBlock and I understand everyone who does so, despite that it is somewhat selfish and unethical. As suggested in the article, one way to reduce the effects of AdBlock is to whitelist the websites on which you find the ads acceptable. But who does that? A better way would be that all websites are whitelisted from the start and then you only block the ads that you find abusive. Wouldn’t that be a better idea?  

Read the article here: http://www.houstonianonline.com/viewpoints/why-adblock-is-good-for-the-internet-advertisers-1.2834030#.Ujj0p1FDtRQ