Ad block – ruining the internet

Old 3 Comments on Ad block – ruining the internet 650

I installed ad block way back in 2010 when I first discovered the joy of something that wasn’t Internet Explorer (Google Chrome). It was a wonderful concept — I could still view all of the websites that I wanted to, without the adverts! No more sexualized anime characters dancing around next to the flash games that I wanted to play, no more auto play videos, or even annoying ad-links embedded into blogs and other content. 4 years on, the most popular ad-block extension “Ad block Plus” boasts 50 million users, which is 0.7% of worldwide internet traffic. The pro ad-block campaign “get Ad block” estimates that 3/10 of active consumer internet users don’t see ads any more.

My choice

As of a few months ago, Phil Tower of Phil Tower IT Consultancy does not use ad block software any more. I have had some technical problems with ad block before, but I got over them. I had some speed issues with ad block at one point — but this wasn’t the reason why I uninstalled it either — my final decision to remove ad-block was based on the fact that it is ruining the internet. Yes, that’s right, ruining the internet. Publishers have started to embed adverts, or more commonly known as “sponsors” deeper and deeper into their content. Blogs and online magazines have gone from being sponsored by advertisers to being inspired by advertisers.

Most films these days have product placement in them: maybe the main character taking a nice, refreshing swig of their can of Pepsi, or conveniently finding key information by using Bing on their Windows powered smartphone, you know the type. To me, this seems like a fairly acceptable way of advertising. However, when I see TV programmes such as Modern Family that base whole episodes on products such as the iPad, a little part of me dies. I’m sure that many of you feel the same way. This subtle, yet big difference is what is happening to the internet at the moment. How many times have you watched a popular YouTube video that is completely based around a certain product, or website, such as Audible.com? Not that many huh? This is because Google has paid the ad-block companies to make sure that some of their adverts penetrate the filter! However, if you go to independent websites like mashable.com, you will find hundreds of articles that are obviously sponsored, or can be described as “click bait” content — posts or articles that aren’t trying to be good quality, but just aiming at getting as many clicks, and in turn advert impressions, so they can make money.

Eventually, people will be so familiar with click bait content that they won’t bother to even click on the articles, or even go on the websites that are full of sponsor inspired trash. Hopefully, they will realise that it was their fault — they installed ad-block software, they ruined the internet.

Author

Phil Tower

Email: phil@philtower.co.uk -- Website: philtower.co.uk -- Bio: Young IT Consultant looking for opportunities

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3 Comments

  1. Tony Sarju June 11, 2014 at 12:08 pm

    I can see where you’re coming from and agree. I don’t think I can disable my ABP or Ad-Away without suffering increased frustration. There are just too many ads on websites these days that slow down load times, clutter the UI and increase bandwidth consumption.

    Take for example YouTube pre-roll ads, I find them incredibly annoying and must use AdAway on all my Android devices plus ABP on my Windows/OSX devices. Pre-Roll ads are a waste of time especially when you are cycling from video-video looking for something specific. I see it as a lose-lose situation based on your article.

  2. MadBunny June 22, 2014 at 6:44 pm

    You couldn’t be more wrong: ads have already ruined the internet. The internet was originally a “library”…there were no ads and getting online required a certain degree of savvy.

    Then some lazy-jerks, aiming to make a quick buck, started slathering the walls with ads, and doing it with a zero-care attitude about how intrusive, wasteful of bandwidth and/or destructive of your computer resources they were being.

    Basically they just walked into your life and pissed all over your carpet without so much as an “Excuse me”. People got sick of it and put locks on the doors.

    Now, you’re intoning the intruders propaganda: “Killing the internet”? Seriously? The worst that can happen is that it goes from being a marginally-legal, script-kiddie playground back to a library.

    Furthermore, what’s happening now was entirely foreseeable: the relationship between advertisers and consumers has always been combative and it’s the advertisers who always go too far. Take telemarketing: these jerks couldn’t reign themselves in, at all. Am I the only one who remembers when they went from “Oh cool, I wonder who’s calling?” to “Aw @#$, I don’t want to get up and answer that…it’s just a marketing call”? Telemarketers literally ruined the telephone up until the Federal government finally created the “Do not call” list.

    Same with your snail mail. Same with TV. Same with magazines.

    Think I’m going over the top? Really? Turn the spam filter off your email…….that’s the logical extension of what you’re saying……..and have fun with what happens.

    So some websites go out of business. So what. That’s the name of the game. I won’t be manipulated by thoughtless morons who want to cash out to my detriment. If a few of them go bankrupt, so much the better.

  3. rothiraman November 17, 2014 at 3:03 am

    The problem with internet advertising is that flash ads with animation appear on pages with static content. The types of ads should match the context. Video ads on videos, sound ads on sound (like radio), static ads on pages with static content. AND VIDEO OR SOUND SHOULD NEVER PLAY IN BACKGROUND TABS OR WINDOWS.

    This is my opinion after 16 years in advertising… by guess what… making a living by MAKING ADS.

    So there.

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