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Moral quandery

Posted: Sat Jul 18, 2009 10:31 am
by CheeseKing
Hi there all, I'm a previous user of Adblock. I no longer use it because I finally realized that sites have to get revenue somewhere to truly remain free, and that many sites are now blocking access to Firefox users simply because of Adblock. Now, that's still not to say that I trust advertising sites. Is it wrong of me to mark sites that I do not trust (basically any site that is not top-level, or otherwise required for proper site operation), including most advertising sites as untrusted? It oftentimes blocks all ads just like Adblock did, but that is no longer my intention. I simply do not trust them, as I am, admittedly, rather paranoid. I just thought I'd get your input on this, fellow NoScript users. Thanks.

Re: Moral quandery

Posted: Sat Jul 18, 2009 2:10 pm
by Alan Baxter
Short answer. If you don't trust them, don't Allow them.

Slightly longer answer:
- I'm an Adblock Plus (ABP) user. I haven't visited any sites which block Firefox users. Sometimes, but rarely, I visit a site which asks me to not block its ads. In that case I either temporarily disable ABP or do my business elsewhere.
- As far as I know, most sites are paid only if you click on the ad. Since I never click on ads when I see them, the site isn't losing any revenue when I don't.
- Some malicious software is delivered through third-party ads. I think its safer to never click on them, or even better, never see them.

Re: Moral quandery

Posted: Sat Jul 18, 2009 9:05 pm
by luntrus
Hi CheeseKIng,

This is the guideline to follow in blocking my content from a webpage:

Code: Select all

 javascript:(function(){function R(w){try{var d=w.document,j,i,t,T,N,b,r=1,C;for(j=0;t=["object","embed","applet","iframe"][j];++j){T=d.getElementsByTagName(t);for(i=T.length-1;(i+1)&&(N=T[i]);--i)if(j!=3||!R((C=N.contentWindow)?C:N.contentDocument.defaultView)){b=d.createElement("div");;;b.innerHTML="<del>"+(j==3?"third-party "+t:t)+"</del>";N.parentNode.replaceChild(b,N);}}}catch(E){r=0}return r}R(self);var i,x;for(i=0;x=frames[i];++i)R(x)})()

At least that is what I run inside SRWare's Iron, the GoogleChrome browser without the Google privacy issues.
As Alan Baxter says you'd better block third party content, because it tracks, and it can sometimes hold malcode.
This is also why I combine AdblockPlus with NoScript and RequestPolicy in my Shiretoko version of the Fx browser, and this works as a charm against things I like to miss. Even have the yarip extension to make some elements from webpages go forever...
There is also another aspect of this, loads of kids to-day cannot function without flashing ads arousing them on webpages in the browser, they would consider what we watch as a "very dull" webpage. They apparently need these strong impulses, because they were reared with the constant flickering of TV ads as a toddler, and a form without some "rolling crocs" at the bottom would not keep their attention for long. That could well be a reason for not blocking ads, more then that people want to have mercy on the poor adlauncher, there will be millions left clicking big E to make him a fortune.


P.S. Use the above code as a bookmarklet in your browser of choice, and you see what you ought to block!

Re: Moral quandery

Posted: Sun Jul 19, 2009 12:53 am
by CheeseKing
Hmm.. True enough, guys, true enough. So a site only gets paid if someone clicks on the ads? I make a point to never click on the ads, so Adblock would have the same effect as what I'm doing now, but with the added effect of making me safer? Maybe I should still use it, what do you guys think?

PS: I've added the code you provided, Luntrus, as a bookmark. How does it work, do I just click it when I go to a page and it tells me what I should block?

Re: Moral quandery

Posted: Sun Jul 19, 2009 12:58 am
by Alan Baxter
CheeseKing wrote:Maybe I should still use it, what do you guys think?

Adblock Plus with the EasyList subscription.

Re: Moral quandery

Posted: Sun Jul 19, 2009 1:11 am
by CheeseKing
Alright. Thanks guys, you've helped a great deal. I wasn't sure what to do. :D

Re: Moral quandery

Posted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 5:04 am
by GµårÐïåñ
Just to add my two cents. Although most ads are click-through, there ARE some that are impression only which means you see them, its an impression. The impression payouts don't pay out as much and work on the same principle as billboards, you see them, we all see them but not everyone is affected by them. They are mostly paying for the exposure. However, because of the expense, most companies only pay for the ads if you click-through and in many cases, ONLY if you actually sign up, buy something or whatever the purpose of the merchant's business is.

As far as blocking all ads in general, ok there is maybe some problem with that but morally speaking you are not doing anything wrong. Think of all the junk mail and mailers and circulars you get through the USPS, do you actually look through them? not all do, and all who don't feel no guilt whatsoever that someone paid to have it printed and killed trees for it. The fact is that everyone who advertises knows on some level that people may or may not see it, want it or care for it and that there are many who don't care for their services, so therefore will not be enticed. That's the cornerstone of capitalism I suppose, blast everyone so that you get someone.

Now to protect yourself against it by taking proactive action, in the case of using ABP or even NS to block the content, that's your choice, your right and frankly no reason why you can't do it or shouldn't be entitled to do so. If someone blocks your access for exercising your right, count your blessing that you didn't do business with them and move on. I have not encountered any site that comes right out and says you can't use me because you are blocking me but many of the TV shows, networks and so on that stream shows will warn you that if you block their ads, then they will show you more embedded in the stream and the commercials will be longer. That's fair, they tell you either let us show you everything and we will embed less in your video and keep it shorter or we will push it where we can get it because these guys pay the bill that allows us to show you these shows. Fair enough, no?

I have even managed to get sites like that do that, including Hulu to not only NOT notice that I am blocking the ads but actually think I am watching the ads so they will keep the commercials shorter, do I feel guilty about it, hell no. I understand their need for it and I can appreciate their efforts but I am also a consumer and feel that if I can get it without watching douche commercials and tampons and vaginal creams which tell me more about the model than I really want to know, then that's fine too. Now I jest there but you surely get what I mean and driving at. They advertise knowing they blasting and not all want it and not all care for it and not all need it, so you choose what you get, nothing wrong with that. Its like the whole, I don't want to hear so and so say this and that, we say, change the station. In those cases blasting publicly would mean you don't get to turn the station and you are violated by it. Think of internet advertising as public blasting and you are doing what you can to turn the channel and not have your space violated.

I guess my two cents ended up turning into 2 dollars worth but I promise not to bill you for the difference :lol: Be happy.

Re: Moral quandery

Posted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 5:22 am
by CheeseKing
GµårÐïåñ, that really does make sense. It's my right to block their ads and it's their right to try to push them at me or block my access to parts of their site. Thanks, man. It really is so much nicer not having all that ad crap thrown at me. Makes me feel a lot safer, too. :)

Re: Moral quandery

Posted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 7:03 am
by GµårÐïåñ
You are welcome, perspective always helps us evaluate where WE want to stand. The security is of course always a concern too, from the most "benign" of being tracked so they can profile you and give you "specialized" ads to more sinister efforts to track your vulnerabilities so they can attack you, hijack your sessions and so on and so forth, I won't get into it too much, we all know it well by now. You have a right to decide what to allow and what not to allow to invade your personal space (your field of vision on the monitor or silently on your computer), to that end, never apologize or worry about taking action.

I will say this however, if you DO find something you like because you saw it on someone's blog, webpage, etc, instead of typing in the URL to go there and get the item, click on the link of the person who turned you on to it, so that through their affiliate id, something like they get something out of it too, if you are going to get it anyway, why not give something back. Other than that bit of quid pro quo and honor system, happy surfing and avoiding. Be safe.

Re: Moral quandery

Posted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 7:07 am
by CheeseKing
Will do, and thanks again.