The ethical ad blocker

It’s a fun social experiment and if you don’t like it you could still call it “Idiotic Newfangled Art.Now Get Of My Lawn” : P

“Do things the way they benefit us, or it’s unethical.” That’s the boingboing spirit!


You’re exactly the type of person that was created for.

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It’s amazing how much the ‘New’ media companies are like the stupid Old media companies now. You just get them a little leverage and comfort and they turn from disruptors to the staunchest conservatives.

Your business model is shit. Fix it. Cory had a somewhat decent suggestion the other day - not perfect, but the first workable, thoughtful solution that doesn’t involve subscription/micropayments. Or being the Verge and herp derp your only choices are even more ads and bloat or nothing.


Well, I think to be successful there would have be some sort of autobid process, set a few rules on when you want to bid up, and when you don’t, and have the system run it for you. I don’t know what is customary now, but several years ago when I was doing small business advertising the bid-rates for impressions ranged wildly, from fractions of a penny all the way up to close to $1.00 for a Google search result ad with high targeting (matching all keywords). Maybe I’d set mine to bid up to $0.10 without even asking me, setting some white list/black list rules for $0.10 to $0.75, and then just showing me the ad for over $0.75.

As for the advertisers behavior, it would be hard to predict. But if you are bidding into the same system as them, it might have the effect of bidding UP the pricing, since they would need to pay more to get over people’s thresholds. And maybe people with high bidding rates would be seen as extra-high-value customers since they have money to spend.

One way to think of this is if I literally started my own Google Ads campaign to show blank space to customers, and that my target customer was anyone who has my exact IP address. My blank ads would participate in the same market as the “real” ads, and compete for me as a target buyer with a variety of demographics, and an IP address. The additional bidder would tend to drive pricing up for my demographic.


Yep! And I do use it! I just wish I could apply the concept more broadly.


Fine. You thieves keep on using your unethical ad blockers, but don’t come crying to me when the entire web comes crashing down, just like the music and movie industries did (remember them?) when people starting sharing their content without paying! Not to mention all the TV networks (may they rest in peace) that couldn’t handle the onslaught of DVRs with their godless commercial skipping!

In the name of Metallica turn off your ad blocking software now before the web becomes a mere shell of its former self like those industries did in this dark age of consumer self-determination!


This is how google contributor works. You’re bidding on your own ad-space.

Caveats of course are:

  1. It doesn’t block all ads
  2. Only works with google adsense
  3. You might want an ad-blocker anyway for other sketchy ad networks.

You’re worrying about whether an adblocker is ethical? You’re just not thinking big enough:


This Urban Daddy sh^% is the worst. Particularly on iphone. Anyone have luck blocking this on mobile?


Viewing an ad does not magically create money. I don’t buy things based on internet ads. Period. Any ad I see on my browser is worthless. Why should an advertiser get paid by a client for something worthless? Why do I need to be complicit in it? Someday, whether people use ad-blockers or not, the whole advertising system is going to collapse.

This whole system is a bot-ridden castle made of sand governed by an Emperor who wears no clothes.


Excuse me, this is actually about ethics in video ga….ad blocking.


Use this custom adblock rule:

! So what’s this UrbanDaddy portfolio on my mobile screen?[src*=“urbandaddy”]


What a joke! There is nothing even remotely unethical about ad blocking.

A content host has the right to put an ad or whatever else they want on their site, but that doesn’t mean I have to consume it in the manner they dictate. Bad business models fail all the time, I have no obligation to prop them up.

It’s my computer, and my browser, and with it, I’ll consume what I want, how I want.

If anything it’s unethical to imply that I have a moral obligation to consume unwanted adverts in order to use the internet.

I realize that @boingboing depends on ad support, which makes it all the more uncool that they would conflate ethics with the consumption of advertisements. Really disgusting.


It’s so bad out there, I once got malware by visiting the ClamWin website. That was the very last time I browsed without an ad blocker.


That’s bonkers. I’ve mostly run into this issue at a handful of online only newspapers and magazines that are pretty god damned high profile for having such problems. And even more often in the sort of small independent blog networks where a lot of science writing lives these days. But it seems to happen repeatedly at any place that isn’t actively curating every single ad they show, and one seems to slip through occasionally even on those that do. It seems less common with the big ad networks like Google but it happens occasionally even there. If I can’t reliable expect that the ads on any website (even the “safe” and “good” ones) aren’t going to trash my computer, play loud unskippable auto play video or audio, or cause me some other sort of immediate and potentially permanent problem WTF am I supposed to do? Like I said I’ve got no problem with advertising. And I’m pretty suspicious of the knee jerk response many have to it. Its pretty frustrating (and kind of hilarious) to see every article on every site dismissed as product placement or an ad, or people dismissing every writer or publication because “pfft you take money from advertisers”. Regardless of content or the credibility of the publication or writer. But at a certain point is it better for me to consume your content with the ads blocked or to not consume it at all? Cause there are big, big chunks of the web that are increasingly unwise to even glance at because of malicious ads.


I don’t see that ads or blocking unwanted ads have anything to do with ethics.


Can you add ethical ads that don’t fuck me up to that? I am happy to allow ads that don’t put malware on my computer, distract me or give me migraines. Unfortunately that rules out the vast majority of them.

My disabilities are relatively minor compared to someone like @MarjaE yet even I struggle with an unadblocked internet.


… /s

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I tried not to use ad blocker but the ads are so processor intensive. Honestly, how is it that I can run AAA games on my left monitor while streaming video on my right, bu when an ad comes on everything gets slow and clunky? Plus, I find that many times ads during video are unmuted when you have the video muted. It’s absurd.

I select sites that I allow ads from based on my experience with the sites and their ads. There are a couple of sites I would like to support in this way that I just can’t right now because the ads are too messed up.