Re: Why do I block ads?

Re: Why do I block ads?

I recently decided to block ads as well, but for different reasons. For the most part, advertising on the web is something I don’t mind. The deciding factor for me is whether or not it prevents me from seeing the content I want to see. This is what made pop-ups so annoying. They got in the way, and you had to close the pop-up just to see the page you came to see.

Unfortunately advertisers have been using Flash ads to provide the same experience.

It’s the same user experience, but different implementation. (In terms of Firefox development, this is bad because users are told that Firefox has a pop-up blocker, but it doesn’t block these pop-up ads.)

There are also cases where ads push the content out of the view area, forcing you to scroll down.

Sometimes just mousing over the content area of an ad will cause it to expand and prevent you from reading what you want.

Unfortunately, this has become way too common lately, and I finally decided to install Adblock Plus. I understand that many websites rely on ads for revenue, but so did That’s why the Mozilla pop-up blocker was disabled and hidden in Netscape 7. I’m sure something can be worked out, where advertisers are forced to use a technology that cannot get in the way of viewing other website content. If that were to happen, I would bet that a lot less users would have adblockers installed.

14 Responses

  1. Byron March 8, 2010 / 5:45 am

    Since advertisements are such a vital part of most websites revenue and therefor an important aspect of the internet I wonder why we don’t have a type element in html which would allow browser vendors or a standards body to control/limit what ad’s can do, or how they behave..

  2. Ian Betteridge March 8, 2010 / 5:46 am

    Chris, the answer to this situation isn’t an adblocker. It’s not going to sites that do this.

    By installing an adblocker, you’re punishing all the sites that you go to which don’t accept intrusive ads of this sort just as much as the ones that do. In fact, you’re actually punishing them more – because they already miss out on business because they want to do the right thing for their readers.

    So, rather than installing an adblocker, simply don’t go to the sites that have intrusive ads. And email them to tell them why you’re no longer going their.

  3. Byron March 8, 2010 / 5:52 am

    Err looks like the comment sanitization has removed my pretend html element.. What I mean is why don’t we simply have a advertisement tag as part of html?

  4. Ian Betteridge March 8, 2010 / 5:53 am

    And I have to apologise for my their/there. Gah. It’s early. 🙂

  5. voracity March 8, 2010 / 6:34 am

    As I’ve suggested elsewhere:

    1) Develop a code of conduct for ad services;
    2) Don’t block ad services that follow the code of conduct.

  6. Chris Ilias March 8, 2010 / 8:09 pm

    I understand that using an adblocker also prevents me from seeing ads on sites that don’t use intrusive ads. The solution to “simply don’t go to the sites that have intrusive ads” is too simple. It’s like me saying, “Just find a new business model. Get your revenue some other way.”

    This is a greater issue than that. I never said that an adblocker is the perfect solution. I’m explaining why I block ads, so a long-term solution can be developed that doesn’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. And for me, Adblock Plus is a better current solution than not visiting certain sites (especially if the site offers exclusive content).

  7. Tony Mechelynck March 8, 2010 / 11:07 pm

    Even with Adblock Plus, I still see first-party ads (e.g. ads for other products by the same vendor) and they are usually much less intrusive: in sidebars left and/or right, or maybe a banner at top, and usually not so garishly animated that your gaze is drawn away from what you came to this page for in the first place.

    I don’t feel any more “duty” to let ads into my browser window than I do to let spam into my mailbox; and I’ve seen enough ads which had a second “submit” button in the shape of a red square with a white X on it, located in the top-right corner, that I regard blocking ads (or at least some of them) as a security measure akin to anti-phishing.

  8. weaselspleen July 10, 2010 / 6:48 pm

    Theoretically, the solution to this problem is not to punish the sites which show a particular ad, but to punish the abusive advertiser who benefits from the ad. The problem is, that is just impossible, unless you live near the company, and can go to their office and punch them in their noses.

    The only option is to affect them indirectly by reducing the effectiveness of ads which are disruptive and allowing ads which are not disruptive.

    For example, many obnoxious flash ads with yapping salespeople, annoying noises, and in-your-face rudeness come from the company Therefore I block that domain, and never see the annoying flash ads, no matter what site I’m visiting.

    Static ads get through.

  9. Bertfw August 16, 2010 / 1:15 pm

    I block as many ads as I possibly can. Internet advertisers poisoned the well long ago. There *may* be some ethical advertisers out there nowdays who don’t try to visually block content, install spyware, spoof domains, etc. – but for me, it’s too little too late.

  10. Rubber Keypad August 28, 2010 / 2:32 pm

    I block them as much as I can, it`s frustrating when you want to get to some content on the web and a million pop_ups show up.

  11. Jorge September 4, 2010 / 1:34 pm

    How may I order in gmail certain mails adressed to me as “not spam” ?

    Thank you


  12. pavan October 22, 2010 / 2:17 pm

    e1 i h8 ads… i’m on a dial up and the speed is e1 more slowed down as lot of time and bandwidth is taken to d’load d flash based ads!!

  13. Glen Ellis December 17, 2010 / 2:04 pm

    My biggest problem is with the Ubuntu forum, with ads that (1) push hard-enough-to-read posts out of the way,
    (2) cause my screen to shift up/down out of my focus,
    (3) cover the response posts completely.
    I want to peruse the responses,
    as part of a problem solving activity
    and find aggressive ads stump the effort.

  14. DaVince May 18, 2011 / 6:05 pm

    I agree 100% with the original post. Advertisement should never, ever get in the way of a website’s functionality. It decreases the user’s experience with the website. I’ve recently started using YouTube more in Firefox because Adblock blocks the ads right before videos where Chrome doesn’t, purely because YouTube prevents me from actually watching the content I want to watch this way. Just the banner ads were enough, thanks.

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