Ad bad

[Read the post]

1 Like

On the plus side, ‘broken’ slightly reduces the risk that it’s one of the actively infectious ads. Those things are almost certainly the most dangerous part of visiting those parts of the web that you’d admit to in polite company; just far too easy for a bad actor to slip something into an ill vetted ad network and have it served up all over the place.

I didn’t get the popup (because of adblock presumably), so was able to read the article.

Correct me if I’m wrong though, but don’t you only get paid from ads from click-throughs (or at least the amount from impressions is negligible compared to them)?

If so, as I’ve only ever in my life accidentally clicked on an ad on a web page, using an ad blocker should not really reduce the income on sites I visit?

If impressions do count more than I think, it should be possible for the blockers to allow the url to be downloaded, but just update the DOM to hide it once it’s done? Everyone wins! Maybe this is a thing already (seems obvious), and I just didn’t realise.


The ad isn’t full screen. If you maximised your browser window you’d see the controls on the right hand side of the ad to close it.

Which is still entirely broken, ofc.


No, I think they get paid per eyeball, so your idea sounds great to me. Then again, IANAITP.

Personally I was disappointed in the video. It needed more loud static and ominous buzzes.

It’s a mix. There are CPC (Cost Per Click) and CPI (Cost Per thousand Impressions) advertisements.

Some popular ad networks I believe use both. If someone is bidding high enough with a a CPI advertisement they can target at your site/user they’ll serve a CPI. If not they’ll fill the space with cheaper CPC ads. As I understand it.

Generally I think most of the fancier ads are CPI. And I have a feeling that ads obtrusive enough for taking over the whole page are nearly exclusively CPI for them to be worth it to the site.

Are they overpaying for people with only one eye? How does it know?

Edit: To respond to this:

"It comes up a lot in conversation, especially online. “Oh yes, I
can’t imagine viewing the Web without the ads blocked. I accidentally
switched my adblocker off yesterday and it was HORRIBLE.”
No, it really wasn’t – it was perfectly fine, you’re just being a snob. The Web works well for me with the ads displayed. "

Nah, because anytime I want to look at ‘24 whatevers that whatever’, what I actually get is 24 separate webpages with 19 ads and 1 picture of whatever with one real next button and six fake ones. That’s extreme, of course, compared to the majority of websites I visit which display ads unobtrusively and neatly, such that even when they’re there I don’t actually ever see them.

I had no problem reading the article. AdBlock Plus is magic.

I use blanket ad blocking because I’m one of the many people whose eyeballs refuse to ignore anything blinky. I find it nearly impossible to read anything on a page with animated ads. I also see no reason to take extra time out of my day to allow “safe” ads.

Too bad that the advertising folks screwed themselves over.


Adblock plus is ok and I’m gonna let you finish but you should try uBlock the Adblock plus fork it’s the greatest ad blocker if all time. OF ALL TIME!

Really it’s so much lighter on resources it’s almost ridiculous.


Now, that’s what you can call ‘irony’. Now having read the article thanks to an adblocker, I’ve got to say that if malware really is as widespread as Williams says and ads screw up pages so often I’m hesitant to follow his suggestion.

Plus, ads that aren’t malware and aren’t breaking a page can be an issue. I started keeping an adblocker on by default after I started getting Ashley Madison and conspiracy theory ads served on almost every page I visited…

1 Like

Adblock(plus/u/edge/whatever) + NoScript + Self Destructing cookies = The web as it’s meant to be viewed.

I don’t care that my adblocking is financially hurting people. If someone wants to advertise a product they actually care about they’ll talk it up in their content. They wouldn’t assault me and my equipment by trying to force my computer to run hundreds of un-vetted scripts from dozens of random, untrustworthy sources who also attempt to follow me around the web without my permission.

Seriously, I hate cookies so much.

“But they’re useful! They help your browser remember passwords and shit”

No. Maybe 0.01% of all cookies in your browser cache are for things like session keepalive and password hashes. The rest are all businesses tagging you and following you around. Businesses who believe that treating humans exactly like cattle is ethical. Businesses that compile as much or more data about every last human on the web than the NSA. Businesses that have never asked my permission, that have no standards of practice, and no sense of humanity.

They can all suck vacuum. My attention isn’t a commodity. I manage my attention. Not a third party server at quantserve or doubleclick or scorecardresearch. If they want to “research” me, they can ask me face-to-face, instead of holding me down by the browser and strapping a gps logger around my port 80.


Would be nice if there were a link to the article in question so it would be easier to try for ourselves.


1 Like

Minus the snark:

If that’s the article in question… the author recommends balance blocking malicious ads without blocking ads which bring site owners revenue. I think there are other projects (for example, the electronic freedom foundation’s Privacy Badger ) which are build with a similar philosophy: block bad ads, ads that track your browsing, or install malware, but allow good.

1 Like

Also, as far as I know, they don’t accept bribes from advertisers to be taken off the list. Which allegedly part of the Adblock Plus business model.

1 Like

The technology exists to prevent people using ad-blockers from seeing any content on your site at all. Ars Technica used it briefly a while back to make a point, but then stopped. (Of course, Ars also offers a premium program where people can pay not to view ads.)

Any site that really doesn’t want users blocking their ads should implement this technology and not show its content to people unless they view ads. Hulu does this—not that they prevent people from seeing the content, but they delay resuming the content for longer than it would have taken to watch the commercials.

If people blocking your ads are “stealing” your content, you can just deny them the content unless they watch the ads. (Of course, there are ways to bypass that technology, but most people aren’t going to be tech-savvy enough to know how to do that beyond installing an ad-blocker.)

I suspect most sites are unwilling to do this because they’d rather have the eyeballs even without the ad views than not have the eyeballs or the ad views. In which case, maybe they’d better re-evaluate just how important those ads really are to them.

1 Like

fixed that for you

I expect they simply assume an average of 1.994 eyeballs per user. They adjust it slightly for different sites and populations, of course. BoingBoing’s readership is closer to 2.00013 eyeballs per user, for example, due to a higher proportion of Happy Mutants.


Well, if you’d read the last paragraph of what I wrote, you’d have found I’m closer to agreeing with you than you seem to think.

It just strikes me, the hypocrisy of all these content providers who decry ad-blocking as taking the bread from their mouths. If they really felt that way, they would put their money where their mouth is and take measures to prevent it. Do paywalled papers let people read all their articles without paying if they really really want to?

They know people hate ads. They know damned well they’d lose more, in terms of eyeballs that go elsewhere and bad publicity from their erstwhile readers, than they stand to gain if they actually tried to enforce viewing ads. Even Ars Technica only blocked ad-blocking for a day or so to make a point, then dropped it.

(Heck, even paywalled sites recognize the benefit of giving away some of their content, as you can often circumvent paywalls on a Google or Google News referral link.)

But this doesn’t keep them from angrily bawling out their own customers, the people who come to their sites repeatedly to read the content they provide, as thieves. It’s like the TV exec who claimed that skipping commercials on recorded TV is “stealing,” but going to the bathroom might be all right. The sense of entitlement is palpable.

This is the result of basing your entire digital economy on annoying your customers. Sooner or later, those customers get fed up enough to do something about it. Better figure something else out, content providers.