Adblocking: How about nah?

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/07/25/largest-boycott-in-history.html

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This is an interesting topic since I was just today thinking that I need to find a good ad blocker because OMG BOINGBOING IS SO DAMN FRUSTRATING. Multiple video ads that auto start and auto refresh all over the damn page, making it extremely distracting when I’m just trying to read some article about some wonderful thing. I tried clicking the little X in the corner of each one of the ads so I could pay attention to the text of the article, but after 5 or 10 seconds they each reload with new video content.

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I’m ad blocking right now!

It’s funny, back when i was working on, I think Surface 3, at the launch event Panos had something odd going on under his shirt. Jokes were made that he was wearing Spanx. I’d never heard of them before so I searched for and briefly looked at their website. After that, Every single time I visited BB the top banner add was for Spanx. This went of for what seems like a month+.

There had been times in the past when an ad was served that seemed might be related to something I had viewed or messaged or posted. But never had it been so clear. It was my personal ah-ha moment on this topic.

So thank you, BB. I’ve been Ad blocking since then.

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Aaand the link to the Atlantic article about Ethan Zuckerman apologizing for inventing the popup ad…drum-roll…refuses to load if you have an ad-blocker running!

Internet, you’ve outdone yourself! (NOW QUIT IT!!!)

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Couldn’t read the article because the page was so plastered with giffy unclosable ugly useless ads.

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I don’t block ads, I block malware vectors.

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It’s newly worse, right? One video ad on the left, two on the right. Another static ad on the right, then a new overlay at along the bottom. SO. MANY. ADS.
The thing is… I <3 Boing Boing. I’ve been visiting the site for years. I understand that it takes substantial work from many people and a sizable investment in infrastructure to make this site possible. These ads, though, are the absolute worst™.

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Yeah, ads are definitely worse in the last month. I too have been reading BB for years – over a decade now – & never seen it so bad.

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I recommend UBlock Origin, available for firefox and chrome.

On my phone I also run Blokada (android only) which is essentially a self-hosted vpn with a bunch of blacklists. Long story short, It’s a way to modify your hosts file if your phone isn’t rooted. Additional benefit is that it blocks ads and tracking in apps as well as the browser since it filters all your DNS requests, not just browser traffic.

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I second UBlock Origin. Serenity now.

852

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I’ll throw in a recommendation for Pi-hole as part of saying “nah” to advertisers && malware (converging markets, it would seem…)


Can be setup and run on any Raspberry Pi as well as most major OS platforms, with an absolute minimum of commandline know-how.
Essentially, it blocks ads, telemetry and related nonsense at a DNS level, so any device on your network benefits (including all non-rooted mobile devices, PCs, tablets, etc.)
It’ll change your life.
Seriously.

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I forgot when it got intolerable, but I disallowed javascript from running on boingboing and that fixed pretty much everything I found annoying.

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Try the Brave browser. It works well so far. I’d forgotten BB had video ads. YouTube as well, for that matter.

I’ll look into this as well. Thanks.

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Things that track you and things that serve up endless piles of impossible-to-ignore ads are two different problems, aren’t they? I kind of suspect a lot of people wouldn’t really be bothered by the former if the ads were generally boring static images. Even if there’s something more sinister behind it, I’d probably be fine with ads for the toilet paper I bought two weeks ago if it meant never again seeing an ad for “1 trick of a flat belly” or some online casino or the rest of the Internet chum.

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It is a bit annoying that I now see ads everywhere for USB-A to USB-C adapters - the same kind I found and sent to our admin at work to order for me. Yeah they’re working great, but I haven’t, as they say, begun a new life-long hobby of USB adapter acquisition.

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I set up a Pi-hole at work, and just found the blocking to be way too strict. So many web sites were rendered inaccessible or useless by the blocking. I use uBlock Origin and had big hopes for the Pi-hole’s help with our phones and such. And maybe it would be if I spent more time tweaking it, but I don’t have much tweaking time these days.

BB, subscription model please? I’m happy to pay you, but I’ve given up other news sites for less obnoxious ads than you’re currently running.

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“They wanted to use the Web, but not be tracked, and so they started to install ad-blockers.”

Yeah, not so much for me. Mostly it was about controlling annoying/intrusive adverts, auto-play video ads, and other crapware that bogs down how fast a site loads. Don’t put a barrier between me and the content! Some sites (especially big-name news sites) are so bloated that they’re simply not worth the bother. Get back to simple static ads and we won’t have a problem.

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This is the part for me. I go to a site, I want the content to come from that site. But now with on-demand ad sourcing or whatever, there’s always a delay before all the auctions are over and my page becomes responsive again.

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“The dosage makes the poison.” A few static ads are entirely tolerable. But alas, it’s in the nature of revenue that they will become intolerable on most venues in time. So there will always tend to be a cat/mouse game with internet advertising as long as there is no effort at [B-movie shriek]regulation. Some of us have ‘sunk’ to having firefox “Reader View” on for most sites (kind’ve the modern equivalent of just using lynx).

And now without further adieu, here is Robert Crumb on “A Short History of America

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