Is Ad Blocking Immoral? Does it Matter?55
Adblock Plus is an extension to the FireFox browser that let’s you selectively block adverts. It is a rather advanced plugin with many options, but is it moral to use? Or is it stealing from bloggers?
The New York Times have given some facts behind the extension. Between the details of what exactly ad blocking is, and how it relates to various business models on the internet, one quote in particular stands out, “300,000 to 400,000 new users each month.” Is that figure worrying or to be expected?
That debate deals with the user’s perspective, but what about the bloggers and webmasters? It is easy to see how a blogger might be against Ad Block, but one blogger, Jason Kaneshiro, explains that he doesn’t mind it, saying he would happily give away his content for free. He is not attempting to make an income off his blogging though, so can his attitude extend to others?
In my opinion, the larger issue is not to do with either the bloggers or the users. It is the state of the internet as a whole. The more money being pumped into the internet (Usually into companies relying on adverts for income), the more growth there is (Which translates into jobs and such for the rest of us!). There has been a lot of growth over the past few years, but if advertisers are losing all of their money to ad blocking, will this continue? Mark Evans expands on this point well.
In conclusion, my own feelings are best aligned with an article from CNet. As is too often the case with human nature, what’s moral is much less important than what is convenient. Blanket ad blocking is not moral (How could it be?) but it is convenient to individuals. The question of morality simply does not matter. The question that matters is how much those issues will bother you.
Blanket blocking FireFox users is a ridiculous solution. Other solutions have been presented, but so far, the ad blockers are winning. It is the nature of the user to continue trying to block ads, but it is also the nature of the webmaster to continue trying to stop those users.
I’m working on a little idea at the minute that might be of interest to those anti-blockers. Which side are you on though? To block or not to block?
What Has Been Happening On Pro Blog Design?
We hit a milestone this week, our 1000th comment! The comments here are fantastic, and we average out nearly 19 comments per article! I want to take this time to thank a couple of our most active commenters.
- Kristarella – Kristarella has undoubtedly left more comments than anyone else over the past 2 months, including the times she has helped out other bloggers here!
- Slevi – I can always count on Slevi to give a counter argument to just about anything. Lot’s of fun to debate with though!
- goldfries – Goldfries is a Malaysian web designer whose comments always add to the conversation.
- Mommy Zabs – Zabs has been a friendly face here right from the start, and always a pleasure to talk with.
- Milo – Milo is a foreward thinking designer, always looking to the future. Her blog itself is one example of that.
I wish I could list everyone, but that list would take me another week to write! I could rhyme off dozens of names of commenters here (David, Marco, pablopabla, Steven etc.), but sticking to the top 5 this month seemed the most unbiased way to do things. Thanks again to everyone!
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