From the Manifesto to the Acceptable Ads Board · 2015-10-01 21:48 by Ben Williams
Last year we penned the Acceptable Ads Manifesto, calling for better advertising on the Internet. It was a ballsy move, because anything with the word “manifesto” in it is politically charged from the get-go. It was the right thing to do, though, and we had the support of Reddit, Doc Searls and others. So we went for it. Now we’ve got the support of a bunch more.
Today we’re upping the ante: we’re inviting a completely independent review board to take over, enforce and oversee our Acceptable Ads initiative. Although Acceptable Ads has always been debated and conducted in an open and public forum, we’re going that extra mile and removing ourselves entirely from the equation. Adblock Plus has no more say in what is deemed “acceptable,” and we have no say in who gets whitelisted.
ad industry acolytes our critics can stop using that “extortion” word now, thank you.
What’s more, in true open source spirit we’re letting other ad blocking software use the Acceptable Ads guidelines and whitelisting processes also. Last week, Dean Murphy at Crystal took us up on the offer, and today we are welcoming tens of millions of AdBlock users to our Acceptable Ads whitelist. We’re all fighting on the same side for the consumer, after all.
Like Mother Nature, the public community has evolved the best system yet for creating exactly the right checks and balances between Internet commerce and respect for the consumer. We have this massive community effort and now we want everyone – even our “competitors,” if you can even call them that, since we give our product, and code, away – to enjoy the fruits of that effort.
Why on earth wouldn’t we? We’ve been championing the idea of supporting publishing through better ads while maintaining user control since 2011. The new board lets the Acceptable Ads initiative take a step away from Adblock Plus, allowing it to be more independent and transparent.
And in order to help these other ad blocking companies get the Acceptable Ads technology integrated, we’re actually helping to pay for their development costs. You heard that right: we’re paying them. Hell yes, we’re paying them. We’re proud that we’re able to do it!
Acceptable Ads is working! It’s the will of the people. The multi-billion $$ advertising industry can no longer ignore consumers and shovel any ads at us that they want.
Now for the final piece: we want to open up nominations for the independent review board, too. Do you know someone? Maybe an ad industry exec who quietly believes that ad blocking is innovative? Let us know in the comments! For our part, we’ve reached out to several people already, and are hoping to have our first sit-down meeting early in 2016.
This is how the Internet works, folks. We can change an entire industry just with an open source community, some clever coding … and a manifesto.
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