Blockers will win the ad-blocking arms race

Originally published at:


advertisers and publishers will have to put up with some constraints on their tactics, lest they be accused of deceptive advertising practices.

This fundamentally mischaracterizes the direction of the ad industry, which has already moved into advertorial, sponsored content, embedded, experiential, etc. Publishers and advertisers are clearly not worried about any such accusations.

There’s no ad blocker that’s gonna be able to hide BB’s bicycle playing cards ad-posts, for example.


I’m not sure I agree, I don’t even know what playing card ads you’re​ taking about.

Every time some site asks me to whitelist then I think “I’m just not that interested in your article. Best of luck.”

Edit: I just figured out it’s something on the main BB page. I haven’t gone there since the last revision.


Speaking of which. I’ve been getting an increasing number of malware loaded redirect ads on boing boing. And horrible sluggish pages due to ad weird. Unfortunately it always seems to happen in a non-active tab so I can’t catch which ads are on the page. It seems to happen to every page provided I keep it open more than a few minutes. It’ll either chug, or a “windows needs to save you please click this button to ruin your computer” type pop up and redirect loop steals focus.

I really don’t like the idea of an blockers. I want the places I visit online to get that ad revenue. But this crap is everywhere. And it’s starting to get old.


I do hope this occurs soon, though.

Google’s new Android pop-ups which °currently° cannot be blocked have tripled in frequency, and even pop up in the middle of streaming tv shows and composing forum posts like the one I’m writing right now.

It really makes me wish I could tie a gallon-sized Ziploc freezer bag over a marketing executive’s head until the oxygen runs out.

Edit: I just streamed the movie I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore, and the ads popped up while viewing a minimum of sixteen times before I stopped counting (plus a couple of pop-up Windows for a tracking service under the Amazon umbrella). AAARRRRGGGHHHH!


Maybe notification will be built into complicit hardware and browsers that the ad was displayed.


You could. It’s about sending a message.

Those marketing executives probably have bag blocking technology on their heads by now, though.


To read WIRED articles, I just save it as a pdf as soon as I open the page. (The “Here’s the thing about ad blockers” pop-up doesn’t show up unless you’ve read a little way down.)


As far as I’m concerned, online ads are too much at risk of being dangerous to my security. Until advertisers straighten their shit out and stop being invasive fucking assholes, I don’t care what pain they feel. My computer is not yours to fuck with.


They also leave an open question of whether publishers will be able to successfully sue ad-blocking companies – which would mean all bets are off.

Maybe they could sue us if we look away or ignore their ads. Black Mirror becomes reality.


Userscripts can, which is easy to do when the ads are posted under a separate, content-free account.

I have purchased some items from the ads that look like recommendations on BoingBoing. The products were all bad on some level. Even the flashlights were defective.
I resorted to Ad Blocker mainly because the ads are often causing problems on my browser. My second reason was the forced video audio ads that often were unpleasant and offensive.


The thing that really pisses me off about this kind of thing – especially WIRED: I don’t use an ad-blocker, and I still get that message.

What I do do is browse in incognito mode. So it’s not enough that I allow them to show me ads. They wont let me access content unless I allow the ads to track the hell out of me. That’s not right.

(My work-around is to have a specific “Anonymous” profile in my browser that I pull up if I need to go to wired or sites like that; the profile deletes all the cookies on exit, so I don’t get tracked session-to-session.)


I found that if I just reload the tab after blocker engages, the article loads normally with no blocker.

I also found I really don’t care much for wired anymore.

Probably the negative reinforcement that I am using an “AD Blocker” when in reality I am just using “Privacy Protection”. If they lie about that, they probably lie about everything.

And sure they want money to support themselves, but isn’t their business model to take stories from people without paying them, write up or pay someone to write up the article, and then try and get paid for that? Once I say the pay the people they write about for their stories, I might be more sympathetic.


I second that. I don’t worry about blocking ads, but I do care about my privacy. I use incognito mode to protect it from trackers and such. Funny how they never mention that aspect.

The thing about Privacy Protection is…


I’ve never seen anything like that on BoingBoing.
You might want to check if your computer has malware intercepting and serving up bad ads on web pages you visit.


The problem with advertisers has not changed since the early days of TV (when sponsors’ products were directly incorporated into the televised entertainment, e.g., Twilight Zone host Rod Serling — while smoking! — hawking the sponsors’ ciggies, and that embarrassingly integrated into Mr. Serling’s description of next week’s show). The sponsors knew the shows’ viewers were… viewing, so that was the time to slam them with an ad however ham-handedly. The sponsors saw the ‘air waves’ as, in effect, belonging to them, so they rode it.

It goes without saying how sophisticated these TV ad-slams have gotten over the years. No different with the internet; your computer is yours. But the sponsors see the modes of transmission as theirs; they don’t see it as their fault if there’s some downside for the viewer who voluntarily decided to hook into the internet (a ‘logic’ greased by $$$$).


What are my eyeballs worth and is there anyway a website could get paid that amount whenever I view an article without having to subscribe to the site?


Flattr. But sites have to explicitly sign up to that to collect. Flattr has addons for Firefox and Chrome, also available as a button embed on pages.

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That seems unnecessarily humane, given the target.