#1 Edited by spartica (68 posts) -

EDIT: Ethical is a poor word choice here. Is it an acceptable practice for a consumer to bypass ads via Adblock?

I've heard both arguments:

EDIT: I'm sure there's more point of view but these are the ones that I've heard that seem to be popular.)

(Yes, it is.) I don't want those really intrusive adds plaguing my browsing. They're obnoxious. It's my browsing experience.

(No, it's not.) If you use Adblock you're depriving sites of ad revenue, which keeps them up and pays employee salaries.

Personally, I disable it on sites that I frequent and respect. The rest of the time it's left on.

Thoughts?

#2 Posted by billymagnum (769 posts) -

you've already heard both arguments...so...you kind of already know everyones' thoughts, no?

http://mrwgifs.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/Leonardo-DiCaprio-Shrug-Reaction-Gif.gif

#3 Edited by Milkman (16611 posts) -

"Ethical" is a weird word to use in this situation. If people want to use Ad Block, they should. I'm not into the guilt tripping of people who use it like they're somehow destroying the internet.

#4 Edited by joshwent (2156 posts) -

Internet ads are a horrible way of making money for most sites, for designers, and for users, but without pressure specifically from people being able to block them, the model will never change. Companies are trying interesting innovations with ads everywhere except for most of the internet. It's not gonna be 1998 forever folks!

The pervasiveness of things like ad block, in forcing sites to find more effective ways to present ads/create other revenue streams, might just turn out to help those who profit from page views in the end. No matter what hyperbole people like Alex and Patrick throw around.

#5 Posted by Darji (5294 posts) -

if you like the content people produce on youtube, twitch or whole sites turn it of to support them. That is the least you can do to support the stuff you like.

#6 Posted by Aetheldod (3541 posts) -

No

#7 Posted by vikingdeath1 (945 posts) -

no, i'm just an asshole, and I don't care.

#8 Posted by len1444 (30 posts) -

No because it's my choice in whether I want to support you or not. Even if I use adblock, it doesn't mean that I'm stealing from you, and it doesn't mean that I'm an asshole either.

The basic premise is that I don't really owe you anything, and using adblock is not illegal in any way. If you don't like it, I don't know what to tell you, but don't start throwing witch hunts against people who use them like its money you already own.

It's like donations. You wouldn't force anyone to donate, would you?

#9 Posted by Veektarius (4741 posts) -

Is blocking your mom on a messaging service ethical?

#10 Posted by mandude (2669 posts) -

If terrible fucking ads are ethical, then I don't want to be.

#11 Posted by Kidavenger (3526 posts) -

What the fuck is with all the adblock threads lately... I guess it's better than feminism threads, but holy fuck, lets talk about games and stupid shit.

#12 Edited by Darji (5294 posts) -

@len1444 said:

No because it's my choice in whether I want to support you or not. Even if I use adblock, it doesn't mean that I'm stealing from you, and it doesn't mean that I'm an asshole either.

The basic premise is that I don't really owe you anything, and using adblock is not illegal in any way. If you don't like it, I don't know what to tell you, but don't start throwing witch hunts against people who use them like its money you already own.

It's like donations. You wouldn't force anyone to donate, would you?

actually you bypass something to see self produced content. IT is like not paying for cable to watch your shows. They offer you a service you take for free. Peronally i see it as stealing.,

#13 Posted by len1444 (30 posts) -

@kidavenger: No one's forcing you to be in this thread.

@darji: That's your opinion and I respect that. But it's not illegal. Stealing is.

#14 Posted by Darji (5294 posts) -

@len1444 said:

@kidavenger: No one's forcing you to be in this thread.

@darji: That's your opinion and I respect that. But it's not illegal. Stealing is.

Not yet but mostly because our laws are far far behind times and internet is still a very grey area.

#15 Edited by Kidavenger (3526 posts) -
#16 Edited by len1444 (30 posts) -

@darji: Speaking of gray areas, lets look at this from the point of consumers. Draw a sharp contrast between billboards and internet/TV ads.

The former is just there, and you can choose whether to look at it or not. On the internet, assuming you don't have adblock, it's forced upon you. You are forced to watch this before you can watch the content you came for. And why? Because some marketing agency paid for that to be there. And so, if I am using adblock, am I really stealing? Who said that I am legally obliged to have these ads being poured down my throat. Why is it only like this on the internet and TV? Speaking of TV, most of the people who have cable paid for it. So then, why am I forced to watch ads on top of that? I paid for a service, and you're going to make me watch further filler because some asshole in a marketing agency wanted to shove it down my throat.

Do you understand how it's frustrating for both sides?

#17 Edited by joshwent (2156 posts) -

Okay, we have to be real clear about this. It's not at all like not paying for cable and still watching the shows.

You still need to pay for access to the content; cable or in this case, the internet. The actual correlation, then, is choosing to skip commercials/ads. Both ways, you're still initially paying something to be able to see the "service" as you say. You're just declining to watch a certain part of it.

After that, TV and Websites are almost incomparable, as is the difference between TV ads vs. Web ads.

Basically, whatever your opinion is, just discuss the actual situation, not a completely erroneous comparison like that.

#18 Posted by subyman (595 posts) -

You have the right to filter whatever you want from your internet connection. Plenty of businesses filter entire websites. I can block images, javascript, on and on. It isn't our job to make sure a website makes money. If the way a website monetizes makes people go out of their way to block it, then maybe the website should rethink their business model.

#19 Edited by Darji (5294 posts) -

@len1444 said:

@darji: Speaking of gray areas, lets look at this from the point of cosumers. Draw a sharp conrast between billboards and internet/TV ads.

The former is just there, and you can choose whether to look at it or not. On the internet, assuming you don't have adblock, it's forced upon you. You are forced to watch this before you can watch the content you came for. And why? Because some marketing agency paid for that to be there. And so, if I am using adblock, am I really stealing? Who said that I am legally obliged to have these ads being poured down my throat. Why is it only like this on the internet and TV? Speaking of TV, most of the people who have cable paid for it. So then, why am I forced to watch ads on top of that? I paid for a service, and you're going to make me watch further filler because some asshole in a marketing agency wanted to shove it down my throat.

Do you understand how it's frustrating for both sides?

billboards are very interesting because you always are aware of these and you do not even realize it. It is more a psychological "reaction" In the case of ad blocks they are nowhere to find or you will not see the add on the youtube video. Is it allowed to cut out ads from TV? Nort recording but if its live right now on tv?

#20 Posted by len1444 (30 posts) -

@subyman: To add on to this, think about how you're able to delete yourself from marketing lists irl so that they don't call you every day.

#21 Posted by joshwent (2156 posts) -
#22 Edited by HerbieBug (4212 posts) -

It's just ongoing struggle between consumers and advertisers. Using adblock is a way of communicating to advertisers and site operators that the style of marketing currently in use is not acceptable. That it is garish and invasive.

Also, defeating adblock is trivial. Websites need only host the ad content on their own servers, or at least load them through their own domain, to circumvent the default capabilities of adblock. Yes, users can manually add exception rules, but most aren't quite that active about their ad evasion beyond just installing the plugin and forgetting about it. I strongly support site owners to do this, as I think it will allow the owners much greater control over the ads that appear on their site and should, I think, lead to a change in ad style that is less actively offensive to the eyes and ears.

Internet is still very young. These are just growing pains.

#23 Posted by fisk0 (3975 posts) -
@spartica said:

Personally, I disable it on sites that I frequent and respect. The rest of the time it's left on.

That's what I do, or better yet, when possible I sign up for paid memberships to support them, but I do try to whitelist pages I frequent unless they actively crash my browser.

I don't mind ad banners, but more and more ads are flash animations that directly impact browser and system performance or stability, and it's not porn sites or whatever some anti-adblock people say you have to be visiting to get ads of that type, I'm getting them on several news sites.

#24 Edited by coaxmetal (1602 posts) -

This has always been a weird argument to me. It isn't a question of ethics at all, its a question of a business model. If you are a content producer and your business model is ads, but your consumer base uses adblock, then you need to get a new consumer base or change your business model. Yelling at the people who use your site to behave differently isn't a very reasonable strategy. The idea that consumers are beholden to support antiquated business models for some reason is a strange one, and even more strange is the idea that it is an ethical concern. I do disable it on a few sites, but in general I would rather (and do) pay for a site than see ads on it.

#25 Posted by Sergio (2079 posts) -

@darji said:

@len1444 said:

No because it's my choice in whether I want to support you or not. Even if I use adblock, it doesn't mean that I'm stealing from you, and it doesn't mean that I'm an asshole either.

The basic premise is that I don't really owe you anything, and using adblock is not illegal in any way. If you don't like it, I don't know what to tell you, but don't start throwing witch hunts against people who use them like its money you already own.

It's like donations. You wouldn't force anyone to donate, would you?

actually you bypass something to see self produced content. IT is like not paying for cable to watch your shows. They offer you a service you take for free. Peronally i see it as stealing.,

No, it isn't. You can get an antenna and watch some television shows without paying anything to either the cable companies or the TV networks you are able to get a signal from. You can then hook up a DVR to record those shows and skip the commercials, which aren't for the cable companies, but for the TV networks.

To the OP, "ethical" isn't really the word I would use for this. You're already doing the right thing by disabling it for those you support. Sometimes I don't know where a link on twitter will go, so I keep adblock around to disable ads from sites I don't support, but might accidentally give a page view.

#26 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -
#27 Edited by spraynardtatum (2778 posts) -

I think approaching advertising in general from an ethical perspective is pretty dubious. A business built on manipulation...whatever, I think it is ethical to use Adblock. What do I know though, I'm just the dumbass that needs to be fed Colgate commercials in order for IGN to exist.

#28 Posted by ajamafalous (11929 posts) -

Ethical is a really dumb word to use for any type of marketing or advertising discussion.

#29 Posted by spartica (68 posts) -
#30 Posted by w1n5t0n (174 posts) -
@darji said:

@len1444 said:

No because it's my choice in whether I want to support you or not. Even if I use adblock, it doesn't mean that I'm stealing from you, and it doesn't mean that I'm an asshole either.

The basic premise is that I don't really owe you anything, and using adblock is not illegal in any way. If you don't like it, I don't know what to tell you, but don't start throwing witch hunts against people who use them like its money you already own.

It's like donations. You wouldn't force anyone to donate, would you?

actually you bypass something to see self produced content. IT is like not paying for cable to watch your shows. They offer you a service you take for free. Peronally i see it as stealing.,

I believe a large portion of TV watchers bypass ads aswell with a little device called a DVR.

#31 Edited by NegativeCero (2988 posts) -

I disable it on sites I frequent enough and most news sites I use because I know how much those guys are hurting revenue-wise.

#32 Posted by CaLe (3943 posts) -

No, it's antithetical to ethical conduct. That doesn't mean you shouldn't use it indiscriminately and without remorse. I hope I've made myself clear on the matter, and good day to you.

Online
#33 Posted by KoolAid (890 posts) -

@milkman said:

"Ethical" is a weird word to use in this situation. If people want to use Ad Block, they should. I'm not into the guilt tripping of people who use it like they're somehow destroying the internet.

I don't think ethical is the wrong word to use. Something shouldn't be qualified as ethical because people want to do it. If people want more money, should they steal?

Personally, I look at it the same way I look at meat and smartphones. I don't have a problem with the suffering factory farming causes because I like meat. I don't have a problem with the suffering surrounding the conflict minerals or sweatshop conditions involved in smartphones production because I'd rather have my smartphone. I don't think its super moral, but I still do it. And if you would rather have content providers not gain income for their hard work because you would rather not look at ads, fine. Just be true to what you are doing, that's all I ask of people.

#34 Posted by OtakuGamer (1226 posts) -

Using Adblock is fine. However, if you want to support Giant Bomb for example, make an exception to your Adblocker. If you want to take and not give back, just understand the implications of doing so.

#35 Posted by Zomgfruitbunnies (764 posts) -

Didn't we just talked about this like last week? And the week before that? And the week before that?

Fuck, man. It's like we're stuck in a infinite loop that never ends!

#36 Posted by FlamingHobo (4482 posts) -

Ethical is a strange word to use when discussing the use of AdBlock. It should be unanimous that it is unethical to take away the income of sites/personalities that go out of their way to provide content for their users/fans with no extra charge (bar advertisements.) However, that's not why I use the extension, I use it mainly because it eliminates tacky flash banners and pre-video advertisements on YouTube. I don't have it on all the time though, I tell AdBlock to stop running on sites like Giant Bomb and various YouTube users etc. because I like the site enough to sacrifice convenience in order to support them.

So in answer to your question, no, it's not really 'ethical' but I don't think that's the right word to use for this discussion.

#37 Posted by Nals (75 posts) -

@spartica: There are ads that deprive me of my enjoyment of the material I visited the site for. ( ads that jump over the video player/review, ads that wait a short period of time before starting, to make sure they interrupt what I was doing. ).

There are tons of security exploits in ads. ( some of the more complicated ads launch programs without your consent. If those programs have been comprised, guess whats now on your computer. )

If the site management cannot find a good, safe, reliable adhost for their ad needs, or doesn't vet ads before allowing them, then I'm not turning adblock off. Sorry. If they can't put in even that small amount of effort to vet stuff for safety, then they have no right throwing a fit that I'm not going to put in the small amount of time whitelisting them.

So far, I only know two sites that vet their ads for the users. Giantbomb and Something Awful. They are also the only two sites that I turn adblock off for. I also throw money the GB guys way, and if Jeff can get some more ads for things I'll actually buy, I'll use their promo codes to support the site as well. Everyone else gets adblocked.

#38 Posted by Microshock (341 posts) -

I hate Youtube ads. I don't want to see an ad for a short video. I did turn off the normal Adblock on youtube so the google ads show up.

#39 Posted by Oldirtybearon (4657 posts) -

Using Adblock is no different than DVR'ing a TV show and fast forwarding through commercials. It's the exact same principle if the execution is a little different.

The only difference I've seen so far is that whiny manchildren will bitch about the latter.

#40 Posted by Vrikk (893 posts) -

I use it. It's worthwhile for me. BUT I also pay for the content on sites I really like, and frequent. I don't know if it offsets the ad money these sites would make if I didn't have Adblock on, but... meh. I hate ads. It's of benefit to me across the board.

#41 Posted by SomeJerk (3203 posts) -

Because of hackers sneaking in trojans in banner rotations, sound ads, video ads, douchebag takeover ads, 30+ second video ads are a still a thing, it's impossible to whitelist everything by default and go by a remote blacklist and it sucks hard.

Whitelist trusty sites or be part of the problem.

#42 Posted by Klei (1768 posts) -

I started using AdBlock when I was assaulted with countless ads on GameTrailers.com. Especially that one about their xbox-live app. Every. Single. Video had you forced to watch the same fucking stupid ad. Then, two weeks ago, they ''bypassed'' my AdBlock with a little message, telling me they needed me to disable my AdBlock if I wanted to see the content, so they could pay for their XboxLive subscription, as a joke. I just stopped visiting the site for a week, and then when I came back, the AdBlock bypass was gone.

#43 Edited by ToiletBob (18 posts) -

Nothing wrong with using Ad Block. Quicker the gaming press burns to the ground the quicker it can be fixed.

#44 Posted by Little_Socrates (5675 posts) -