Why Firefox is blocked · 2007-08-29 06:31 by Wladimir Palant

Do I really have to say anything about this ridiculous FUD campaign against Firefox? No, I wouldn’t have anything to add to Why Darwin Beats Danny Carlton anyway. Thank you, Michael Arrington, I couldn’t agree more.

More excellent reading material:

I guess I need to thank Danny for so many great articles in such a short time. On the other hand, maybe instead I should remind him that while blocking ads is absolutely legal, denial-of-service attacks are illegal, even in the USA.

Update (2007-08-31): I found this funny response to “why Firefox is blocked”: http://whyisfirefoxblocked.com/.

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Comment [21]

  1. Robert Wetzlmayr · 2007-08-29 17:01 · #

    I cannot help but think of this whole anti-AdBlock-campaign as a pure genius linkbait…

    Maybe it happened inadvertently. But it worked. Alienate a passionate, blog-equipped target group and they will cram your site with an invaluable commodity that Google invented: in-bound links.

    Reply from Wladimir Palant:

    Yes, you might have noticed that my blog post doesn’t link to Danny Carlton – this is intentional. But I do think that Danny’s campaign is meant seriously, he is just the right kind of fanatic. Inbound links are an unexpected side effect (and something Adblock Plus profited from as well, the whole discussion does a good job promoting this site).

  2. redwall_hp · 2007-08-31 18:42 · #

    Thanks for the link!

  3. David Fourer · 2007-09-03 16:26 · #

    I don’t really want to block ads. I want to stop things from moving around while I’m reading. Mentally, I can’t deal with it. I also want to stop scripts from crashing my browser, which I suspect is a problem. I’ve got something called No-Script on Firefox and I seem to get all the ads still, but things don’t move. I would rather not have to use No-Script, if I can avoid it.

  4. B · 2007-09-04 14:58 · #

    wow, i never knew firefox was a religion until now…

  5. Abraham · 2007-09-04 22:08 · #

    I loath adverts on web pages. I remember the good old days when the web was full of info and hardly any adverts. Ah, the beauty of pages and pages of plan text with nice, interesting information on them. Bring back gopher

    These days the web is like going to a packed market with row upon row of people screaming about their wares at the top of their lungs while waving garish, brightly colored banners around. It’s literally sickening. I swear to god I’ll never knowingly click an advert on a web page.

    If I use ABP on your site I’m actually doing you a favor. If you have adverts on your page and I view it without ABP I just won’t come to your site again – it annoys me that much. If you don’t like the fact that I won’t view the adverts on your page, tough luck

    The argument that if we all use ABP content producers will lose their revenue and stop producing content for us is just invalid for me. I honestly just don’t care if you make a blog or site and you go out of business because none of us want to look at your adverts. I really don’t. Content producers content just isn’t unique enough for me to care. I’m pretty sure that someone else will come along with interesting things to put on the web instead, with or without the crappy adverts you had on your page. Sorry, but that’s the way the web works :-D

  6. Chad · 2007-09-04 23:55 · #

    I so love ADP! Whenever I use IE to go to a site its like night and day. Its amazing how much ADP lends to a much more enjoyable web experience. Thank you so much and keep up the good work!

    :-)
    Chad

  7. Jon · 2007-09-05 04:52 · #

    One URL sums up my rationale for ABP on Firefox: LowerMyBills-dot-com. I’ll hold my nose around some banner ads, but the LowerMyBills “dancing silhouettes” won the grand prize for sheer obnoxiousness and that is what drove me to ABP. (Ironically, thanks to ABP, I had no idea LowerMyBills had subsequently wound down their annoying campaign, especially in light of the recent mortgage crisis.) Getting rid of those “target practice” and “Whack-a-Mole” banners, as well as ads for products I’ll never buy, was an enjoyable side benefit

    Maybe this Danny Carlton should be forced to watch a screenful of those dancing silhouettes and then see if he changes his tune.

  8. Beck Gibbons · 2007-09-05 17:51 · #

    @David Fourer

    I could not agree anymore, unlike most people, I assume, I actually click on ads. This only happens if I really like the site but when sites start putting ads and every single pixel and the website its gets to be annoying. Then there’s though flashing ads in every pixel of the screen and even within the article I’m trying to read. My god what a pain it is to read. This is where adblock comes in, to block those annoying, in the article flashing ads jumping all over the screen, I CAN’T TAKE IT. By the way, if people are going to complain about ABP, why is no one complaining of the HOST FILE. I can just use my host file to block the whole ad server and presto no more ads.

  9. licnyc · 2007-09-05 23:21 · #

    I disagree with everything you believe Wladimir. Its a fantasy world that websites can operate without ad revenue. I understand the need to block annoying ads, but thats not what you are doing. Your plugin effectively blocks all ads. Every month my revenue drops a little more and we will have to eventually move to subscription fee. Whatever solution you may suggest is – it will still requires additional major resources for little gain. You are just a part of the growing trend, firewalls also now employ ad filters. Thanks to your efforts in part the day of 5 cent per internet search and $5 to read any article are closer and will most likely start with sites like mine. This isn’t an idle threat or crazy rhetoric, we provide free content with minimal text ads and we are currently looking for ways to monetize the site or close its doors. Congratulations

  10. Aserone · 2007-09-06 13:21 · #

    @licnyc: ABP doesn’t block anything! The “user” has to add filters or subscriptions, can you get that concept?

    ABP is just a framework. Please close down your site and see if anyone cares? Pretty please??

  11. licnyc · 2007-09-06 19:13 · #

    Aserone – Thats not true, right out of the box adblockpro has filters that blocks most advertising including adsense so it renders advertising useless on most sites. Typical users won’t even bother with the filters. Thinking this has no impact is insulting.

    I know you don’t care that my site is closing or going subscription, but you would care if you had to pay 10 cents to do a google map search or if you had to pay $3 subscription to wikipedia or dictionary.com. Currently most online news papers charge for access.

    Even if it means only the sites adblock determines to get on the list can function it means you yourself will never be able to get a site with free content off the ground as easily because you have no chance for revenue.

    But you are right, I’ve realized that it actually makes more sense to charge pennies per month for content for my 30,000 a day then to deal with leeches using adblocking since most firewalls use ad blocking anyway. Although while enough users wouldn’t mind spending a few cents to view a site like mine, wait until most content sites do it since the ad reveune model is useless or even better someone refines digital cash. Then people will be begging for ad sites.

    Reply from Wladimir Palant:

    But we are paying for Google Maps and Wikipedia – indirectly, by buying something on the Internet. And while I know that Google Maps and Wikipedia earned the money they get, in case of your site this might be different (note the “might”, you are commenting anonymously).

  12. anonymous · 2007-09-06 23:44 · #

    @licnyc: Do you really see ads on Google Maps and on Wikipedia? I haven’t seen a single one (with Adblock Plus deactivated, of course)... So why should Google Maps and Wikipedia require subscription fees? They don’t loose anything when I use Adblock Plus, simply because there is nothing to block.

  13. Jimmy Beans · 2007-09-07 08:01 · #

    @licnyc

    What are you talking about?!?!

    When I downloaded ABP, not one filter was activated for me. I was asked would I like to subscribe to the filter subscriptions. I clicked no and when the main screen came up, was there any filters, NO.

    Im really getting sick of people pounding on ABP like it blocks all ads out of the box. Its a simple program that allows people to block ads. You want to talk about “blocking ads right out of the box” You might want to check out

    http://www.mvps.org/winhelp2002/hosts.htm
    Have you guys forgotten about this site, ANY PERSONS can use this hosts file to block annoying ads.

    What about, Camino, and Opera. Did you know they allow users to block ads.

    Oh wait what about this site
    http://www.floppymoose.com/
    A simple Css file that Mozilla, Firefox, Camino, and safari users can use to block annoying ads.

    Oh and here’s another, OPENDNS.COM which allows you to add domains to be blocked.

    I have yet to see anyone complain about any of the above mentioned ad blocking programs/tools except ABP.

    You want to make money from us clicking on your ads, how about not putting 80 million ads on your site. Stop putting ads within the article I’m try to read.(I ALREADY see the 3 giant flashing wack a mole ads on your page already)

  14. anonymous · 2007-09-07 18:16 · #

    I am just a regular Senior non-tech Person who is so frustrated with Firefox since the change to FF 2.0+.
    I can’t get the Adobe Shockwave player to work for over a year now. I can’t get many things to work in FF. And now this hoop-la over the ad block.
    sigh Is this FF actually being constructed by Adults or mindless, petty children? I can’t tell the difference anymore.
    Point is: Quit Griping and fix the damned thing!! People are going to uninstall this browser by the thousands or more if this BS keeps up.
    Get over it Guy & Gals and do what is right.
    FYI: I am beyond caring what anyone thinks of my comments or feelings regarding this matter, so stow it!
    An Extremely Unhappy FF User!!

    Reply from Wladimir Palant:

    What do you think is broken about Adblock Plus?

  15. licnyc · 2007-09-11 07:39 · #

    No 12- wrong wrong wrong, wikipedia is funded by donations by people who contribute- not leeches like you, so someone still had to pay for it and it certainly wasn’t you. Google maps is google- what planet are you from? Google makes money from ads. The maps itself doesnt have ads but the rest of google does. Nice try but try again.

    No 13- I installed it to test my site and I can’t see ads anywhere on the web including my site. So I just don’t beleive you.

    My point was everyone is delusional where sites get revenue from- wikipedia may have funding and donations but 90% of free content on the web works with ads revenue- and if its not going to be ads its going to be crap for free- pay for premium, its going to happen thanks to leeching.

    Reply from Wladimir Palant:

    And what do you think, where does the money come from that you get from advertisers? See http://adblockplus.org/blog/ads-dont-generate-money

  16. Martin · 2007-09-11 22:53 · #

    FireFox and especially Adblock made me come back to the internet which I had given up on in every way. I’m sorry to say it – but that aggressive advertising which most webmockers employ where everybody is just fucking trying to sell me something. It was not the internet I wanted. I wanted to have fun. I wanted to learn. I wanted to communicate. I did not want to buy something or look at flashing banners with the headline “Buy Now, Don’t Think” , and if I did buy anything on that rare occasion – I went to ebay or amazon – I have never, and will never purchase anything from a site which is not a HUGE brand…

    So, to make it short – I simply stopped searching for cool, new and upcoming websites of interest. I stopped clicking any external links on the websites which I usually visited. I stopped using the internet as a source of exploration and alternatives as a whole. Actually, I just went to the library for information and entertainment and to the grocery store for the basic necessities It wasn’t a loss to say the least.

    So, the internet lost one user for some time. Doesn’t matter, there’s like … how many others? But do you think you can keep the majority of people interested in your website and not in your profit margins? As in “I’ve made a brand and a name out of it” which people trust and which people associate with something of importance to them.

    I don’t think adblock will make a loss for the good website owners or on the internet as a whole. It will probably just make it better – because there would be no interest in pumping out 50000 rewritten articles a week to get higher rankings in some obscure search engine…

  17. Elias Amaral · 2007-09-19 04:31 · #

    Thank you, Wladimir! I truly admire your work with Adblock, it makes the Internet a bit better place to browse. If there is a thing I don’t believe that we will do with computers in 100 years is accessing unwanted content.

    A second ago I opened a webpage with some flash ads talking about samsung, in audio. I couldn’t care less about samsung.

    I think this extension shows really what Firefox is up to: the extension enables the users to “take back the web”. The rules what is acceptable content and what is not should ditactated by users, not by the content providers.

    I know a blogger that have a good profit with google adsense. His blogs are really useful so I think that is good to hear that he is making profit of it. He also has a link “how to filter ads” in the blog FAQ, that explains how to install Adblock. He claims that the % of the users that clicks isn’t very hight (1% ~ 2%), so he doesn’t lose too much if a user decides do not click. He has two blogs: one is the most viewed source of linux news in Brazil (br-linux.org) and the other is a fine source of lifehacking in portuguese (efetividade.net). Both blogs appears in print media with some regularity and are often cited as a source of news (more often br-linux.org). He published some news about that whyfirefoxisblocked in br-linux.org, that generated a fine (and a somewhat heated) discussion in the comments. Actually that was how I found your blog :)

    Well, that is my message. I vote for adblock be integrated with firefox by default! :)

  18. Slated · 2007-11-29 08:18 · #

    Thought you might appreciate this response to Carlton’s little crusade:

    http://slated.org/why_danny_carlton_is_blocked

    Reply from Wladimir Palant:

    Thank you. Yes, there have been lots of responses like that. I listed the most interesting ones in http://adblockplus.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1659

  19. B.Dole · 2009-03-05 19:50 · #

    I totally dont buy into the idea that webmasters do themselves any favours blocking certain browsers from their site because of a potential to avoid adverts. Its like a TV network banning a particular brand of television because they had the idea of a remote control so people changed the channel when ads came on.

    If the ad companies hadnt got so greedy and started coding ads to pop up in front of things, making them so flashy and animated as to give you a miegrane when you are trying to actually USE the WEBSITE, features like ABP would have no interest. If people are made irate and frustrated by jumping boxes, epileptic fit inducing and unwanted sound adverts they are going to look for ways to block them.

    If webmasters and advertisers are serious about wanting to work with the public they need to forge a new responsible and moral direction. No one wants to cause any website a loss of revenue, they just want to browse the internet free of hindrance and irritation.

    The internet is not a dictatorship, if your website is blighted with adverts people will try to stop them, and if you give them an ultimatum of put up or leave, leave they will.

  20. Steve · 2009-08-11 22:17 · #

    (Being ironic) Better also block Internet Explorer users because this ad blocker does a great job blocking ads in IE:

    http://simple-adblock.com/

    Website owners are of course free to block out users of their choosing — I just wish them good luck fighting the Internet.

  21. Paul Ackroyd · 2010-03-11 20:11 · #

    The concept of making IE the most used by limiting its expansion capabilities is flawed. I will continue to use only Firefox until IE becomes equally as expandable.

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