Adblock from an Advertiser, and Adblock from Me

So it's not surprising that after this weeks episode of Scoops and The Wolf (great video series, keep it up) that both Alex and Patrick's opinions would set the internet world on fire about the discussion on Adblock.

What's bothersome is that writers and journalists are ultimately going to be baised on this topic for the sole reason that most if not all writers and journalist all over the internet rely on advertising to keep the lights on and feed their families.

So ultimately opinions like

this guy

don't see the light of day in charge of having a fair conversation over the topic.

I'm not going to repost the whole thing here, but you should definitely check it out as it's adblock from the perspective of someone who actually works in advertising. Needless to say he represents a strong view from the other side of the debate on this topic.

A quote that sums up the point nicely is this one.

Here’s the problem with all the attempts to shame someone for using Adblock - you as an owner of a computer have an innate right to protect your shit by any means necessary. You have zero obligation to risk viruses and other malicious content on computer, regardless of some pretentious “content creator’s” “revenue stream,” and fuck them if they try to make you feel guilty for it. A large part of web ads are malicious, misogynist, full of malware/ransomware, and are a risk to your computer - the sooner the people behind websites stop playing the victim, clutching pearls and calling everyone on the Internet thieves, and abandon this revenue model, the better off we’ll all be.

Now I come from someone of a different perspective who is interested in computer security systems and the like. Ultimately going to any website in the world all you see coming back are packets of data. You own your computer, you own the hardware, and you have the right to do whatever you want to decide what data you want to filter to your computer. You are the receiver of the packets and it doesn't make any sense how you have some obligation to receive all the packets, instead of choosing to see the packets you want on a computer YOU OWN.

It's just like you have no obligation to open junk snail mail, pick up telemarketer calls, look, see, or hear anyone's advertising.

Alex makes the point that you can justify it 1000 ways but at the end of the day you are just stealing peoples money from their pockets. Guess what though? It's not your problem. It's not your responsibility to get someone else's salery paid, and it's not your problem if the business model they choose is not working. Someone out there relies on telemarketing calls, high pressure used car sales, and even junk mail to feed their families. Does that mean you should pick up every phone call and actually talk to them? Are you a human piece of shit for switching the channel on your TV when ads come on so their ratings clearly go down whenever ads come on? It's not your problem.

If you are relying on a system that requires 1's and 0's to be sent and and actively viewed by another persons computer that they own, and probably don't want to see those 1's and 0's, to pay rent and feed yourself, maybe you should think about a different more reliable system of revenue that isn't so easily circumvented.

After Patrick calmed down it seemed that he realized this.

The other tweet was that people who use adblock should die in a fire before he deleted it.

What's bothersome but predictable is that this conversation shows the double standard when it comes to consumer rights and content providers and that this really isn't about some big moral stance about advertising, it's just that people are looking after themselves.

Even during Scoops and the Wolf I just got the vibe that "Adblock is fine, so long as you don't do it to us."

Which then who cares about the guy down the next IP address right? That's whatever though, looking out for yourself is the normal thing to do, just don't be surprised when your audience does it as well.

And for all of those predicting the doom of the internet if adblock was to be used everywhere, grow up and realize the business doesn't run on sensationalist bullshit that the whole internet shuts down and every website is paid content.

What's more likely to happen is something akin to Free-to-Play games where some free content is placed on a website which subscribers will have to pay more to see more content on the website. Huh, sounds like a business model that is already in place today.

Two: realize that advertisers and websites are not really trying that hard to prevent adblock systems. I mean the way websites run ads are empty spaces that run advertisers URL's on another persons website thus being able to be black listed so easily. Twitch TV video players and how their advertising works on videos have two video players running at once and the other video player is controlled by the advertisers thus making blacklisting so easy. Just making the websites put up the advertisements on the native website would totally wreck havoc on the adblock system because it would be hard to detect if the image is from an advertiser or if it is actually a genuine piece of content on the website. Just that one simple thing alone would cause adblock problems. If Twich instead of running two players, just ran one player that ran ads and the content producer, it would also break the adblock system.

It's the classic armor vs firepower fight, someone's going to make a bullet penetrate your bullet proof vest, and someone is going to make a bullet proof vest to stop your armor piercing bullets. It's just that right now one side is barely trying. I can't really see screaming about the end of the internet when the other side isn't really trying hard to prevent this from happening.

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Posted by spraynardtatum

@nekroskop: yeah what a prick for mentioning something he cares about on his feature that he created.....

Edited by BeachThunder

I approve of this. That whole segment on The AM was a little awkward...

Edited by Darson

If the ads were not all scams and actually somewhat relevant then there would be no problem.

Posted by Darson

If the ads were not all scams and actually somewhat relevant then there would be no problem.

Edited by insanejedi

@koolaid said:

I don't really agree with this assessment of the situation. The OP compares the ads to junk mail and cold calls from used car salesmen and says we have no obligation to them. But this isn't a good comparison. A better comparison would be if we said we were going to buy the used car, drive it off the lot, and then never paid. See ya sucker!

Giant Bomb is selling something. The content is not free, but there are different ways to pay. You can spend money. or the site can have ads on it. I agree with Alex. You can justify it all you want. You are still a pirate. You are still taking something.

Hell, I'm not even trying to pass judgement. I've pirated games before. But just own up. My iPhone was built off the backs of slave labor. I still use it. The burger I ate last night came from the systemic torture of living creatures. I still ate it. But you're fooling yourself if you think your hands are clean. It's the justification that grinds my gears.

And that article from the advertiser is kinda dumb too. He doesn't seem to think too highly of youtube videos or video game websties and says it is right for market forces to get rid of the lame ones. He's right about that. But that isn't what we are talking about...? Ads aren't keeping shitty let's players afloat. Market forces will already force off shitty youtube channels. No views = no ads = no money. Good content providers are who get views. But that really doesn't help his narrative so I guess he left that part out.

Think about it in a technical sense of how literally your computer works with the internet. You go to a website, and a website sends you back packets which display into what you view as a website. Packets, as in data as in 1's and 0's that come through your Ethernet cord and compile so they display an image on your monitor. Do you think it's wrong once you receive some of those one's and zeroes that people choose to see some one's and zeroes and not all the ones and zeroes for a computer they personally own? Isn't it my computer MINE and the device I control? If so, why do I have to accept all the 1's and 0's when I want only some of it and not all of it? Using adblock is taking the entire website page's 1's and 0's and only displaying the 1's and 0's I told it to.

Edited by spraynardtatum

@darson: What do you mean by relevant? Do you mean relevant to the website or relevant to you specifically?

I personally find advertisements that are relevant to me to be worse (however weird and illogically that may sound) because they have to be doing some shady tracking of what I'm doing and what things I like.

I don't want advertisers tracking me or watching what I'm doing just so they can sell things to me.

Edited by spraynardtatum

@greatgrey: I'd disagree with Jeff or Vinny too. It doesn't matter the mouth it comes out of to me on this.

Posted by Razor

When the talk of ad-block with Scoops and The Wolf was happening. I couldn't believe what the ..... I was hearing and is this really happening, of all the websites I go to, Giantbombs own OG alex and somewhat OG patrick saying this?

Not to be a DICKHEAD about this, but isn't Giantbomb.com known for putting the slightest bad game that comes out on FUCKING BLAST LIKE NO TOMORROW? Then you later say, yeah, I know lots of people worked hard for this game but FUCK this game and DON'T BUY IT?

NIGGAS YOU FOR REAL?

Edited by fuzzybunny566

I just don't get why there is such hate for Adblock users. If they want to use Adblock, whatever. Let them, it's their choice. I use it, and I don't care if somebody else OMG HATES ME for it. It's not like someone who doesn't use Adblock or clicks on every advert should be put on a pedestal and given a Medal of Honor or something. I understand that many websites rely on this business model, but that's also their choice.

What if a telemarketer doing cold calls has to keep you on the line for at least 30 seconds of their sales pitch to make any money, and you hang up after the inital "Hello Sir, are you interested in changing your cable provider?" Are you a bad person because you kept the telemarketer from earning money? I'm just surprised to see all this hatred coming out because of this. We should be more pissed off at people who merge into your lane, inches from your front bumper, without signaling.

Posted by Demoskinos

People equating using AdBlock to pirating have no clue what that actually means and obviously can't separate the concepts of someone not getting paid and actually stealing something from someone. They are different things.

Edited by HurricaneIvan29

Your summing up of how it is our right to let packets into our property basically explains how adblock should be used.

It's our right, but if I feel supportive of a site, such as GB, then I'll unblock ads because I'M MAKING A CONSCIOUS DECISION TO SUPPORT IT WITH MY SLIGHT INCONVENIENCE.

It's my right to make a conscious decision of what I support. Advertising is not a guaranteed form of exposure no matter the medium, and the same goes with the internet/computers. Now to make it more fair would be to allow adblocking but still have a 30 second delay to the video. You can avoid the ad if you want whether it's on or off by switching websites anyways, but the companies DID pay for that time-slot, so you're basically stealing their money in a sense, but their paying for that spot to send whatever into your computer is unethical anyways. So that's where the Robin Hood complex (just made that up) comes into play. We're righteous for doing this by robbing those advertisers of their unethical purchases and the sites' money for their involvement.

Edited by RadixNegative2

I wish they would look beyond their local scope of "we're not going to get paid if you don't see the ads" to a more larger scope of "maybe there's a bigger issue here with ads and the ad industry."

I'm super happy that Giant Bomb is under an optional subscription model and that I can pay for the content instead of being fed bullshit down my throat. I just wish they would experiment more or find more ways of getting paid directly from the users so that hopefully they can throw out ads entirely.Though now that they're at CBSi, I highly doubt that will happen.

Posted by troll93

For quite a few years I had to use adblock on every site I went to, especially if it was a video player, for it to be remotely useable. This was due to the fact that I had slow internet. I would be happy to view your ad for this 5 minute clip that you produced, however the ad you have in front of it is consistently being streamed in a video quality the far, FAR exceeds my bandwidth capacity. I am fully willing to watch 30 sec of an ad before a video, however when that add is taking 6 minutes to load this nice full hd video of colgate telling me how good their toothpaste is, sorry, this is beyond the par. It was the same thing with pages putting up half a dozen animated gifs that I would have to wait for to finish loading before I could use the website.

Nowadays, I have nice super fast internet, so for sites like giant bomb and most of the time, youtube I am happy to run the ads. I also leave the add's on for giant bomb most of time because they are relatively inoffensive, right now I have a small corner add for Assassin's creed, a top ad for an olympus camera and an ad for a bank.

Honestly, I feel this whole thing is summed up very well by Jeff,

If you want me to provide you with my time/views, I expect you to give me more than 30 seconds of fart noises, or it's picture equivalent.

Edited by Christoffer

I agree with most of this. How to make free content profitable is completely on the content creator. Artists/writers/creators have struggled with this puzzle for as long as they have existed. Ever listened to a street musician without putting a penny in the hat, die now. Does this analogy work? I don't know. Maybe it isn't an analogy at all but the exact same thing.

The two things that doesn't add up are these.

Adblock isn't the same thing as skipping TV commercials, billboards, magazine ads, junk mail. In those cases you're a potential hit. If a newspaper reaches 50.000 households, that's what companies will pay for if want ad space. They have no means to determine how many actually reads the ad. Adblock is, put simply, one household less in this business transaction. No hit, no money.

And you seem to underline that it's your computer and is free to do whatever you want with it. If we want to install Adblock we shouldn't feel guilty because we own our computers. This argument seem to mix freedom and morallity in some seedy ways. I am free to do a lot of things that could indirectly offend or hurt other people. Doesn't mean I should do it.

That being said, I recently installed adblock. Mainly because I don't follow a lot of orginal content creators on youtube anymore (or on any other site for that matter). The ones I do follow I try to support in other ways. And off course, I already sub to giantbomb.

Posted by JRM
Posted by Darji

People equating using AdBlock to pirating have no clue what that actually means and obviously can't separate the concepts of someone not getting paid and actually stealing something from someone. They are different things.

No it is not it is like pirating TV channels. You get a service and it is like just other business. Fact of the matter is. IF you like content from certain people turn off our add blocks for this video or this site and support these guys and what they are doing or they will eventually stop doing the content you love. Subscription is a nother great way to support people like Giantbomb or twitch users for example.

Edited by konig_kei

I use adblock for bullshit ads like ones that appear before videos begin or when fat popups come up, if I didn't fucking love this site and paid for a premium subscription I'd be using adblock on here. Ads here a fucking terrible, 30 second unskippable video ad? fuck that. That tool bar thing that used to pop up? (not sure if it's still there but..) fuck that too. I don't mind ads as long as they don't get in the way.

Edited by Revan_NL

A few years ago, most ads were just a couple of banners on the top and sides of a webpage. In case of a videogame website, often it was an ad for a game that was recently released or about to be released. Not unlike 'traditional' ads in magazines. I am totally fine with that. However, these days most ads that appear on sites are about sexy college girls, new bullshit ways to earn money, lose weight or 30 second clips of another product I'm not even remotely interested in before a video starts. So no, I'm not feeling bad about using Adblock at all, fix the way ads are being displayed on sites and I'm happy to disable it.

Posted by Humanity

I approve of this. That whole segment on The AM was a little awkward...

It's just another bit of dissonance between gaming press and the public they write for. Being entrenched in the video game industry they tend to start viewing a lot of things very differently than the common person which I understand but it's not healthy.

After several years of working in a movie theater, building prints (when they still had 35mm prints) and previewing every movie that came out each week, I completely lost touch with the value of movies. Friends would tell me they won't "waste their money" on going to see something and I couldn't understand it - I mean I'm sure it will be fine and if it's bad we can just laugh about it. Seeing movies for several years for free on a weekly basis distorted their value to me in a way that set me apart from the common movie goer - so I can totally see how people like Alex and Patrick can start seeing things in a totally different light than the common gamer. This is why for Patrick Gone Home being less than 2 hrs long and costing $20 is a non issue, something that doesn't even bear any need of mentioning, because he plays everything that comes out for free throughout the year and among the tired masses of generic shooters this is a shining beacon of originality that outweighs it's price with ingenuity.

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Edited by Baal_Sagoth

@baal_sagoth said:

@starvinggamer said:

@baal_sagoth said:

@starvinggamer said:

So because they're not working hard enough to prevent you from stealing from them, you feel justified in stealing from them? What the fuck is this thread?

I think you've already lost any credibility at the point where you're calling an unwillingness to adequately support content you enjoy theft.

A business asks me to pay X for their product. I find a method to take their product without paying X. But because it's the internet suddenly it's not theft, but "an unwillingness to adequately support content [I] enjoy"?

Forgive me for using a pedestrian and easily accesible definiton for theft here:

"the generic term for all crimes in which a person intentionally and fraudulently takes personal property of another without permission or consent and with the intent to convert it to the taker's use (including potential sale)."

That is, quite simply, not a solid description for an internet user installing AdBlock. I consider it to be very problematic to accuse individuals of comitting punishable crimes to make a point of (potentially) morally questionable behavior.

Ok, so by your estimation, because it's the internet (or because it's digital and not physical) it's not theft. Got it.

No, the digital quality of the content complicates things but that's not what I meant. When I block an ad and thus prevent content creators from getting their expected profit I'm not taking something from them (but let's say denying them something is just a semantic difference for the sake of the argument) but, more importantly, I don't forcefully bring something into my posssession that they don't have anymore because of my action. I don't use what I got (a video or article probably) to resell it or further profit from it.

Think about this for a moment: websites could easily restrict access to content and put a paywall or ad in front before you even get to the actual site. A number of pornographic ones that do just that come to mind (which I won't link for obvious reasons). Circumventing something like that would be much closer to theft. So, why even gamble with giving away so much content without being able to guarantee profit? Because it gives exposure, because enthusiastic fans themselves act as viral marketing, because it's better to have a number of freeloaders among a big fanbase than no audience at all. And they know this, they consciously choose this business model and then they spit on their audience because they themselves can't make it work. Not because someone stole from them.

You can't go around claiming people comitted a serious crime when that's blatantly false. That act in itself can be a serious crime by the way! It's like if I'd make it my life's mission to let everybody know you raped a bitch when all you did was looking at a lady all mean. That's all I got on the theft thing, can't verbalize it better than I tried here. Feel free to chime in again but I think I've already said enough.

Edited by TruthTellah

@humanity said:

@beachthunder said:

I approve of this. That whole segment on The AM was a little awkward...

It's just another bit of dissonance between gaming press and the public they write for. Being entrenched in the video game industry they tend to start viewing a lot of things very differently than the common person which I understand but it's not healthy.

After several years of working in a movie theater, building prints (when they still had 35mm prints) and previewing every movie that came out each week, I completely lost touch with the value of movies. Friends would tell me they won't "waste their money" on going to see something and I couldn't understand it - I mean I'm sure it will be fine and if it's bad we can just laugh about it. Seeing movies for several years for free on a weekly basis distorted their value to me in a way that set me apart from the common movie goer - so I can totally see how people like Alex and Patrick can start seeing things in a totally different light than the common gamer. This is why for Patrick Gone Home being less than 2 hrs long and costing $20 is a non issue, something that doesn't even bear any need of mentioning, because he plays everything that comes out for free throughout the year and among the tired masses of generic shooters this is a shining beacon of originality that outweighs it's price with ingenuity.

You seem really stuck on that. At least Patrick has the self-awareness to acknowledge the possible difference in perspective, and he can accept that others may reasonably feel differently about it.

Posted by Humanity

@truthtellah: It's just the most recent and relevant example. My point being that as a result of being so entrenched in the video game industry, surrounded by other writers and game developers, they take for granted a lot of things that the general gaming public doesn't treat as lightly. This includes AdBlock although as they are also daily internet users it is hard for me to understand their radically skewed and borderline hostile stance towards people that choose to use AdBlock in an "on by default" capacity.

This reminds me of that time Vinny was playing the EuroTruck simulator and tried to download a cheat engine, and the ads were so bad that it was nearly impossible to tell which button was the actual download link on a page full of ads meant to fool the casual web user into clicking them instead.

I understand where they're coming from. I think anyone that works in an environment that specializes in a very specific field of work tends to inadvertently start looking down on the userbase as the "unwashed masses" that need to be educated. Jeff is just a bit more realistic about it.

Online
Edited by Batalskar

I agree the current business model is failing and needs an overhaul right away. However, your stance on it's not your/my problem is completely ignorant. Why would anyone who visits a website constantly not care if the creators are getting paid or not? If you need to go to those corners of the Internet that include large flashy things and 'ware that may cause your computer harm, then shame on you. Everyone flaming this subject probably wasn't using the Internet in its early days in the 90's, and if u did, them u know what real crappy advertisements really existed back then. Now a days people scoff at a banner ad or header ad. As far as everyone bitching about the GB and threatening to not resubscribe, I have been a member since arrow pointing down, and though the GB crew is a large reason I love this sight, it's the content that's been created by its users that has been the most exciting. We have created mailbags, we have created theme songs, we have created memorable moments that have helped this community thrive and become something awesome. (Everyone else more than me :). So for everyone self righteous ignorant person that cannot see that Patrick was a little hot on the subject, made a joking comment, and apologized, and you can't just freaking let it go, then please leave our community and make room for people that want to build this site and not tear it down.

Posted by thomasnash

That was a really disappointing read. He touches on something really interesting and important about how bloated and useless and aggressive the ad industry has become (My brother works in Market Research for the FMCG industry, and he says the piece of advice he most often gives clients is to reduce their social media budgets and just run a half-price deal for a month instead).

Unfortunately when he moves on to talking about adblock the article is full of really poor logic and frankly hysterical rhetoric that makes it hard to take him seriously. At one point he says that the adverts are shown to us "without consent," which to me seems to ignore the possibility that by navigating to a website, knowing that it has ads, we are entering into an implicit agreement that you are using a product and that they have control over how you use it. that The bit where he starts equating Ad revenue to government subsidies is just bizarre. The biggest problem for me were these moments:

the list goes on forever of how “content creators” should be guaranteed a revenue from the public...What kind of bizarre fucking anarcho-capitalist state did we wake up in where being a “content provider” should guarantee you make money?

Now I get that there's a free market capitalist logic to what he's saying here, but it doesn't hold up. The idea that no income is guaranteed kind of depends on the idea that people aren't using your product. I think web content providers are in a pretty unenviable position where people are using their product but that doesn't guarantee them a return. He can refer to "the invisible hand of the free market" all he wants but that entire structure of capitalism is doesn't account for products which get used, ie products which clearly have value, but which their creators are not seeing a return on.

Sure, he has "no responsibility to provide a guys salary," but that person equally has no responsibility to provide the content they do for free. Perhaps he is arguing that there is a "content" bubble, where there is too much content and the only line of capital that can support it is bloated and a bubble in itself (in that it provides no real value); so he might be suggesting that the market can bear a crash, with lots of websites going under. But is it even possible for a crash to only take some of the content providers out; will people suddenly be prepared to put up with ads if their choices are more limited? If that's the case, doesn't the demand justify the business model, irksome as it might be?

It's also not really clear to me what he feels is a viable alternative model, although as you might be able to see I do agree that it's not necessarily a sustainable method. The bottom of the article asks us to consider making a donation, but that sort of flies in the face of his statement that we're not responsible for the salary (time) of the content providers, surely? OK, maybe that's disingenuous - he is asking people to volunteer money, rather than have their eyeballs rented briefly. He's essentially asking a smaller group of people to shoulder more responsibility for the production of his content (and that is with lower overhead that most of the people he is talking about it). OK, so maybe the idea is that he is letting people decide whether something has value before donating. I would argue that by going to a website you are saying it probably has some (time) value, even if you wouldn't assign it a monetary value. If it has value what makes you insist it should be free?

I've dodged the issue of "malicious" adverts, but to a certain extent so does he, by never providing examples. I also haven't engaged particularly with what he says about analytics and the various ways our web experience is controlled by these things, because that is an issue that is worth talking about. In fact, in spirit I agree with a lot of what he says. It is a bad business model, and ads do look shit (although how hard are they to ignore, really?). I also think that the language used on the other side is pretty silly. Calling them thieves and Pirates is going overboard. Ultimately I would say that it's just a condition of a form of financial social contract that is inadequate for the internet age. So yes, he's right that new models need to be found, but he isn't helping anyone get there, and he's not doing much to make us feel like users don't have an undeserved sense of entitlement by writing such a hysterical article that completely misinterprets the way that value is assigned.

Edited by TruthTellah

@humanity said:

@truthtellah: It's just the most recent and relevant example. My point being that as a result of being so entrenched in the video game industry, surrounded by other writers and game developers, they take for granted a lot of things that the general gaming public doesn't treat as lightly. This includes AdBlock although as they are also daily internet users it is hard for me to understand their radically skewed and borderline hostile stance towards people that choose to use AdBlock in an "on by default" capacity.

This reminds me of that time Vinny was playing the EuroTruck simulator and tried to download a cheat engine, and the ads were so bad that it was nearly impossible to tell which button was the actual download link on a page full of ads meant to fool the casual web user into clicking them instead.

I understand where they're coming from. I think anyone that works in an environment that specializes in a very specific field of work tends to inadvertently start looking down on the userbase as the "unwashed masses" that need to be educated. Jeff is just a bit more realistic about it.

I don't think it's quite that. It's more that they have more understanding of what things like Adblock actually do to websites, while most people do not. They seem "out-of-touch" with users of the site because they have actual experience running a site with ads. They have plenty of reason to have a different, possibly more informed perspective on this, and while we can represent our side as people sick of bad ads on many sites, it's quite reasonable for them to push back against the notion of Adblock continuing to expand from just blocking intrusive ads to trying to entirely rid the Internet of ads.

Edited by TruthTellah

Edit: Ugh, posting issues right now are killing me.

Edited by Humanity

@humanity said:

@truthtellah: It's just the most recent and relevant example. My point being that as a result of being so entrenched in the video game industry, surrounded by other writers and game developers, they take for granted a lot of things that the general gaming public doesn't treat as lightly. This includes AdBlock although as they are also daily internet users it is hard for me to understand their radically skewed and borderline hostile stance towards people that choose to use AdBlock in an "on by default" capacity.

This reminds me of that time Vinny was playing the EuroTruck simulator and tried to download a cheat engine, and the ads were so bad that it was nearly impossible to tell which button was the actual download link on a page full of ads meant to fool the casual web user into clicking them instead.

I understand where they're coming from. I think anyone that works in an environment that specializes in a very specific field of work tends to inadvertently start looking down on the userbase as the "unwashed masses" that need to be educated. Jeff is just a bit more realistic about it.

I don't think it's quite that. It's more that they have more understanding of what things like Adblock actually do to websites, while most people do not. They seem "out-of-touch" with users of the site because they have actual experience running a site with ads. They have plenty of reason to have a different, possibly more informed perspective on this, and while we can represent our side as people sick of bad ads on many sites, it's quite reasonable for them to push back against the notion of Adblock continuing to expand from just blocking intrusive ads to trying to entirely rid the Internet of ads.

I can't speak for them or GiantBomb but I can speak from personal experience. I work in a company that deals in placing and promoting such ads on websites for various clients - specifically I make these ads that people hate seeing so much for big brands like Sony, Philips, Mazda etc. So I know a bit about it, although I handle the graphical end so I'm not as deeply entrenched in SEO and SEM optimization. It is a dying model and an uphill battle from year to year. Companies like mine aren't at all interested in people clicking these things, they just want some numbers to match and without going into details there are various ways to make those numbers come together at the end of each month. It is all such a complete farce I'm surprised that online ads exist at all without the help of AdBlock making them completely obsolete. Like Jeff said on his Tumblr, it is not up to the masses to help a dying business model hobble along. I'm simply surprised that Patrick and Alex would have such idealistic views about ads, when GiantBomb probably doesn't have to worry about that stuff that much anymore after joining CBS. Once again, I will refrain from talking for them or pretending to know their situation, but if CBS relied solely on online ads to fund their online frontend then they'd be in trouble.

Online
Posted by Humanity

@humanity said:

@truthtellah: It's just the most recent and relevant example. My point being that as a result of being so entrenched in the video game industry, surrounded by other writers and game developers, they take for granted a lot of things that the general gaming public doesn't treat as lightly. This includes AdBlock although as they are also daily internet users it is hard for me to understand their radically skewed and borderline hostile stance towards people that choose to use AdBlock in an "on by default" capacity.

This reminds me of that time Vinny was playing the EuroTruck simulator and tried to download a cheat engine, and the ads were so bad that it was nearly impossible to tell which button was the actual download link on a page full of ads meant to fool the casual web user into clicking them instead.

I understand where they're coming from. I think anyone that works in an environment that specializes in a very specific field of work tends to inadvertently start looking down on the userbase as the "unwashed masses" that need to be educated. Jeff is just a bit more realistic about it.

I don't think it's quite that. It's more that they have more understanding of what things like Adblock actually do to websites, while most people do not. They seem "out-of-touch" with users of the site because they have actual experience running a site with ads. They have plenty of reason to have a different, possibly more informed perspective on this, and while we can represent our side as people sick of bad ads on many sites, it's quite reasonable for them to push back against the notion of Adblock continuing to expand from just blocking intrusive ads to trying to entirely rid the Internet of ads.

I can't speak for them or GiantBomb but I can speak from personal experience. I work in a company that deals in placing and promoting such ads on websites for various clients - specifically I make these ads that people hate seeing so much for big brands like Sony, Philips, Mazda etc. So I know a bit about it, although I handle the graphical end so I'm not as deeply entrenched in SEO and SEM optimization. It is a dying model and an uphill battle from year to year. Companies like mine aren't at all interested in people clicking these things, they just want some numbers to match and without going into details there are various ways to make those numbers come together at the end of each month. It is all such a complete farce I'm surprised that online ads exist at all without the help of AdBlock making them completely obsolete. Like Jeff said on his Tumblr, it is not up to the masses to help a dying business model hobble along. I'm simply surprised that Patrick and Alex would have such idealistic views about ads, when GiantBomb probably doesn't have to worry about that stuff that much anymore after joining CBS. Once again, I will refrain from talking for them or pretending to know their situation, but if CBS relied solely on online ads to fund their online frontend then they'd be in trouble.

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Edited by Akyho

@nekroskop said:

To be honest I'd rather hear Patrick whine about ad-block users than "misogyny" in games. He can't go one 'Worth Reading' without mentioning or linking to something that has to do with "sexism" in video games. I'm one step from dropping my resub.

Rats of to ya! Miss out on all the premium stuff for something you can avoid and is not in the premium content. Go on do it dont resub. Because it doesn't matter how you feel Patrick is going to do as he does, Alex will do as he does, Brad will still play Dota, Vinny will do FMV games only on unpro, Jeff will do wrestler impression, Drew will show us new and interesting stuff in simulations with Rorie and Alexis bolstering it all if their niceties. Pick another reason and unsub.

The irony will be he unsubs and then just gets Adblocker as if to say "Screw you Alex and Patrick! Talking about sexsim!"

Posted by Abendlaender

People equating using AdBlock to pirating have no clue what that actually means and obviously can't separate the concepts of someone not getting paid and actually stealing something from someone. They are different things.

Actually, now that I think about it you can compare it (I still don't think it's a particularly good comparison but whatever). By pirating something you also don't steal anything, you get something but the creator of it doesn't get paid for it. You don't walk into a store and pirate a copy so nobody else can legally buy it. Again: I don't really like the comparison but it's not totally wrong.

Posted by insanejedi

Ok, so by your estimation, because it's the internet (or because it's digital and not physical) it's not theft. Got it.

They send you the packets to view the website. They send you the packets which include the writing, the video, the images and the ads all at once to your computer. Using Adblock is telling YOUR COMPUTER to just show everything but the ads once it's been sent to your machine. How is it stealing if they inherently send you all of it, and you just don't want the ads once they come to your end? It's like getting sent a dish of steak, potatoes and peas, then removing the peas. And that's somehow theft, just because their business model is based on you eating the peas so that it pays for the steak and potatoes.

This isn't an absurd analogy this is actually exactly how the internet works. And just because they've set up some system that depends on you eating the peas to keep the lights on, should it be the obligation to eat the peas once it gets to your end?

Edited by MonkeyKing1969

If the ads you are regularly blocking are malware, spyware, and other such junk you are visiting a very seedy end of the Internet. People who argue IGN, YouTube, and the NYT are going them malware are then same people who tell their spouse they got Gonorrhea from a public toilet seat and not that 'hooker' in Oakland.

Edited by Azteck

@insanejedi: Great write-up, and the blog you linked was really interesting.

I feel absolutely no shame in using every tool I can to avoid seeing ads, not have websites get completely jacked by some shitty eyeblaster, or being tracked by some company so they can specialize ads for me. Fuck that. Choosing not to receive ads is not equal to me being a thief or a pirate, I just mind what risks I put my PC in and I won't change that just because Patrick and Alex have some skewed idea of what I'm entitled to. Maybe they should look into a mirror before they start throwing shit like "entitlement" around.

Edited by EkajArmstro

I don't use adblock and ads don't bother me -- what websites are you people visiting?

Edited by OurSin_360

I don't see why people are having a problem with their opinion. It's like a musician who doesn't want people to torrent their cd, it's how they (and/or their contemporaries) make their living. The subscription model is great for this site, but it won't work everywhere and ads keep the sites online. I mean honestly if more people clicked the ads, you'd probably get a higher quality of articles online, rather than a lot of "shock media" and "scandals" to get enough hits to pay the bills.

I'm not mad at them, or surprised they feel that way.

Edited by StarFoxA

@koolaid: Giant Bomb isn't selling something to the users who are browsing the site for free. They're the ones being sold to the advertisers. On free websites, you aren't the consumer, you're the product.

And personally, this is why I browse the web with a strict NoScript and ABP whitelist, as well as HTTPS Everywhere and Ghostery. I don't want to be tracked by hundreds of different websites and dozens upon dozens of advertisers.

Posted by Nentisys

If the ads you are regularly blocking are malware, spyware, and other such junk you are visiting a very seedy end of the Internet. People who argue IGN, YouTube, and the NYT are going them malware are then same people who tell their spouse they got Gonorrhea from a public toilet seat and not that 'hooker' in Oakland.

Just reading your comment made everyone stupider. Please never post again.

Posted by SomeJerk

This thread reminded me that I had adblock active for GB since a month or so because I got tired of suffering through 30 second unskippable ads while trying to get a good reception watching a GB stream because Twitch is a pile of shit.

Greying it out until the next time Twitch gives me that "we can't code for shit but we sure can expand our server performance in ways you won't notice ever" treatment.

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Edited by Nekroskop

@akyho To be honest I'd rather pay not to see Brad stream Dota. That man is going down a dark hole...

I wish GB would implement a system where I could just tic off content with various members and tailor the site my my own preference. Kinda like that fansite did.

Posted by Turambar

@koolaid said:

I don't really agree with this assessment of the situation. The OP compares the ads to junk mail and cold calls from used car salesmen and says we have no obligation to them. But this isn't a good comparison. A better comparison would be if we said we were going to buy the used car, drive it off the lot, and then never paid. See ya sucker!

No, a more apt comparison would be using a gas station bathroom around the back of the building marked "paying customers only", and then not purchasing anything.

I'm pretty okay with that.

Edited by dudeglove

I'm with the guy's linked post in the OP, the whole system is a complete mess. Name calling and internet slapfights over something already retarded is, well, stupid.

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Posted by Pagefair

Great article- a different perspective that we're not use to seeing.

Although some ads are definitely intrusive, it's unfair to say that all online advertising is equally guilty. Many publishers suffer ‘collateral damage’ because their ads are blocked by default, regardless, even if they are deemed "acceptable". The online ad model definitely needs to be restructured. Unfortunately, alternative business models are difficult to implement, e.g. the freemium ‘payment wall’ business model has low adoption even on premium sites like NYTimes. Even less effective if the user feels they can get the content for free somewhere else. Most people don’t want to pay for online content anyway, as research has shown.

We believe the answer is to keep the internet free, but be more selective about the ads shown to users. The effort must be collaborative if we as users hope to maintain a free internet.