What's Wrong With
Ad Blocking?
Consequences Of Blocking Ads On the Web
~A Viewpoint Editorial~
I'm sure all of you who use the Web realize how invaluable the Web is. Now, imagine the next time you want to read that "free" information resource or use that "free" service you are accustomed to using it's not free anymore or worse it's gone altogether. Your favorite resource has no way of maintaining itself due to people conducting a certain action that at first seems not to be a thing of concern.

Unfortunately at this very moment, a number of people are innocently or knowingly doing one action that can have dire end results. Some software companies and corporations are deliberately sabotaging these Web resources and are at the heart of the problem. Are your own actions part of the problem? More specifically, do you try to block all ads no matter how benign they are. Worse yet, is it also your mission to get as many other people as possible to block ads too? Do you go on a crusade to inform people how to block all ads without regarding the consequences?

Some people get very fanatical about ad blocking, expecting a free ride on the net. Well, I got news for those types of people, it costs other people time and effort to put up those resources that people love to use. The site owners work long hours and spent years building the resources people benefit from. Why would anyone want to take that for granted? It's atrocious for anyone to expect site owners to work for free unless they are agreeable to provide such services with zero compensation. While I agree that some sites aggravate visitors with too many ads or very irritating ads, people who think they are entitled to block every last ad need their attitudes adjusted towards the non-intrusive ads.

I do believe some services and information sites employ bad advertising methods by using huge intrusive animated flash ads, popup / popunder ads, and large intrusive looping animated GIF ads. I'm not advocating those types of ad schemes—See topic "Stop Irritating Visitors w/Loud Advertisements" in the "Related Topics" of right column section on this page. Most people on both sides (readers and responsible content providers) will likely agree that popups & popunder ads are unacceptable along with ThiefWare ads. In fact ThiefWare ads (a. k. a. spyware ads) are in a class that's worse than the typical popup ads. I can certainly understand using a popup blocker and a spyware ad blocker due to obvious abuses. But, when people use ad blockers to remove the non-intrusive text ads embedded within pages, that's where the line must be drawn.

There are a good number of sites that use responsible advertising techniques. If you find a site helpful and they use responsible advertising, you owe it to them to allow their ads. It's your way of supporting the services and information sources you find helpful. At the very least choose NOT to go on crusades teaching other people to block everything including the non-intrusive text ads. Be responsible to yourself and others or both sides (web surfers and publishers) will eventually suffer.

If you are a person that doesn't want ads anywhere, then you should start paying for what you read and pay for the services you use. Otherwise, don't be surprised when these services find ways to block you from their content when you disrespect their sites by blocking their ads. Servers cost money to run and maintain. It costs time to create and maintain the services provided. Allowing a few text ads or a few simple static image ads to show within those pages is not too much to ask in return. It doesn't cost you anything monetarily to allow them.

Ad Blocking Software Companies
The worst offenders are the ad blocking software companies. What they do should be considered illegal. After all they are rewriting the content served up. Personally, I consider that copyright infringement on any software company's part. Unfortunately the legal system would have a difficult time defining what should be blocked and what should not.

If these software packages only blocked advertising via popups, popunders, animated flash, and ThiefWare, that would be acceptable to many if not most of the site owners. This proposed type of responsible ad blocking would also satisfy the users of these software programs. However, the software blocks everything, taking ad blocking to an extreme, even text ads and static image ads. When actions are extreme there's no balance. Where there's no balance, many get hurt. Sadly, the ad blocking extremists don't get it.

In conclusion, think about the resources that you use on the net. Do you want helpful resources to survive? If you want them to remain free of cost monetarily, then isn't it about time to accept a few innocuous ads for the privilege of viewing and using helpful resources? Show the people that maintain that online service that you respect what they are doing, that you appreciate their efforts to provide useful resources. By honoring the simple text ad or basic image ad, those site owners will continue to be able to provide services you find helpful.

Author: Curt Dunmire
Author's Link: SearchWord.com
About Author: Curt Dunmire is the publisher, director and owner of SearchWord.com; an advocate on topics such as the fight against spyware and extolling the benefits of JavaScript. He has been Webmaster to clients since 1996 helping them establish online business identities as well as a previous full-time CAD drafter using various CAD platforms.

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