Oct. 27th, 2009

hatman: HatMan, my alter ego and face on the 'net (Default)
[personal profile] hatman
Is it right, wise, and morally correct to use ad blocking software?

(Pardon me for not presenting this in a rigorous manner. I haven't had formal debate training.)

On the one hand:

Internet ads are a pervasive nuisance. Many use loud colors, distracting blinking, noises, and/or other annoying tactics to gain your attention. All to try to sell you something that you probably don't want. Generally without actual substantive reasons for buying whatever it is.

You shouldn't have to deal with that if you don't want to. You should be able to control what appears on your own computer screen. If there's a simple, popular, well-known way to do that... why not?

On the other hand:

Websites depend on ad revenue. They need that money to pay for webhosting, etc. They need it to at least help turn a profit. Whether you pay attention to the ads on the screen or not, they depend on you actually having them on screen. If you block the ads from loading, you're using the site's resources while cutting off at least part of their revenue stream. In a way, it's tantamount to stealing - taking advantage of their services without "paying."

Furthermore, in the bigger picture, cutting off their revenue (especially while making use of their resources) harms the site's ability to stay in business. If everyone blocks ads while using bandwidth, server time, etc., the site will lose money and may have to shut down.

Beyond that, ad blocking software has become locked in an ever-escalating contest with ad hosting software, leading to advertisers adopting ever more insidious techniques.

What say you?

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