AdBlock & Filterset.G were mentioned in this space over a year ago, but it is only recently that sites like Why Firefox is Blocked have appeared. Their basic contention: "Accessing the content while blocking the ads, therefore would be no less than stealing." To which Tim Swanson rightly replies:
There is nothing ethically or morally wrong with an ad-blocker. It is no different than using any other technology to filter language or explicit content. No one is being harmed nor has property been destroyed or stolen (the owner was not deprived of their property).
Plain and simple: if you do not want to pay for the bandwidth and hosting charges, don't put material online. Just because you are trying to make a living does not mean anyone should partake in your business model. After all, should everyone that visits your site be required to click on one of the ads?
Furthermore, if you can't survive off an ad-based revenue model, try something else - like subscriptions - or perhaps find a different day job.
Hear, hear! Besides which, the Internet circa 1994 was far superior to today's Disney/CNN/Fox/Web 2.0/spammy/ads-everywhere glop anyway. If blocking ads means seeing this mess disappear, so much the better. (By the way, where are the calls to block Lynx? Those freeloaders have been ad-free for years!)
UPDATE: Over a quindecennium later, this HN comment by kibwen warrants inclusion:
It is not stealing from radio stations to change the station when ads come on. It is not stealing from TV channels to go get a drink when ads come on. There is no moral compunction to watch ads, from anyone, anywhere. Stop trying to normalize advertising, which is to say, stop trying to normalize the enshittification of the human mind.
Meanwhile, a web browser is a user agent running on my machine. Youtube's content is a guest on my hardware. Once it's on my machine, I have the moral right to do whatever I please with it. If Google doesn't want to serve it to me, then it has the right to prevent me from accessing their server, such as in exchange for payment. But again, advertising is not payment, it's just corporate-sanctioned, socially-acceptable brainwashing.
/misc | Sep 16, 2007
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