[Rejected] An approach to fair ad blocking

Various discussions related to Adblock Plus development

Postby Wladimir Palant » Wed May 13, 2009 1:49 pm

Wladimir Palant
ABP Developer
 
Posts: 8398
Joined: Fri Jun 09, 2006 6:59 pm
Location: Cologne, Germany

Postby Original Anonymous » Wed May 13, 2009 2:38 pm

Popup questions of any kind are annoying if they take up screen space. A yellow bar on top of the page falls in that category. How about you change the adblock icon instead? Turn it into a ? inside the octagon. Perhaps maybe even blink it at a very long interval (there should be an option to disable this). When clicked, instead of asking the user about a particular site, it could present the user with a list of all the frequently visited websites with check boxes next to them.

Another thing to consider is that people have shifting interests. A site visited frequently during week #1 may not make it to the list during week #2. At that point, it should be automatically removed from the list. Without this heuristic pruning, the list would only grow in size until potentially, every site is enabled.

Finally, and this is probably moot, but what if adblock is running on a family computer, and several people share the same user name? With someone trying to enable the ads, while others trying to disable them, a family could erupt into a civil war! (Won't someone please think of the children??) I don't know if firefox provides profiles like netscape did, but if it does, adblock should be tied into that.
Original Anonymous
 

Postby Wladimir Palant » Wed May 13, 2009 2:59 pm

Original Anonymous wrote:How about you change the adblock icon instead? Turn it into a ? inside the octagon. Perhaps maybe even blink it at a very long interval

Nobody will understand a change of icon or what they are supposed to do with that. Animation on the other hand is far more annoying than the notification bar.

Another thing to consider is that people have shifting interests. A site visited frequently during week #1 may not make it to the list during week #2. At that point, it should be automatically removed from the list. Without this heuristic pruning, the list would only grow in size until potentially, every site is enabled.

There is no problem with the list growing in size, Adblock Plus can handle that easily. Even if the user no longer visits a site all that frequently - he still trusts the publisher to use only ads that aren't annoying.

Finally, and this is probably moot, but what if adblock is running on a family computer, and several people share the same user name?

I think these people have bigger problems...
Wladimir Palant
ABP Developer
 
Posts: 8398
Joined: Fri Jun 09, 2006 6:59 pm
Location: Cologne, Germany

Postby ABPisSuper » Wed May 13, 2009 9:19 pm

Ads may also contain stealth tracking devices such as webbugs. So by enabling 'unobtrusive' ads a user could inadvertently be enabling unwanted and unknown tracking.

Should you decide to include such an option please make it so that it is completely user optional. In other words one checkbox completely disables it. Period. I never want to see ads. If I decide to see ads on a specific site I can do that now.
ABPisSuper
 

Postby Wladimir Palant » Thu May 14, 2009 7:38 am

Now that I posted a summary of the feedback, the only people commenting in the original blog post are the ones who don't read. I wonder whether I should simply close the comments rather than letting them waste my time...
Wladimir Palant
ABP Developer
 
Posts: 8398
Joined: Fri Jun 09, 2006 6:59 pm
Location: Cologne, Germany

this has got to be optional only

Postby dashoes » Thu May 14, 2009 1:59 pm

Reading your feedback summary, I definitely fall into the camp of those who block all ads. A change of this magnitude has to be optional from the get go, not something I have to respond to over and over.

I do not click on ads - ever - so why should I see them? And define "unobtrusive." I'm sure your definition is different from mine.

If a site is useful to me (meaning many visits) I'm far happier donating to it than seeing ads. I don't need a nag to tell me I've visited before. "Fairness" doesn't imply a free ride, but neither does it mean I should be subjected to ads that are in reality out of the webmaster's control.

I've had too many experiences where users were clobbered by a rogue ad and when they appealed to the webmaster for help, the most that was forthcoming was "I'll check with the ad service."

Let's not forget that nasties picked up through ads don't only affect browsers. I have work data on this pc that is far too valuable to put at risk over some misguided notion of fairness. In the end it's my pc and I should decide what I see on it, not the webmaster and not the software.
dashoes
 

Postby IceDogg » Thu May 14, 2009 3:03 pm

dashoes, then you can disable it. That's the point it's up to the user. I also know how to whitelist a site on my own without this option (so I won't need it or use it)..but many don't.
IceDogg
 
Posts: 909
Joined: Fri Jun 09, 2006 11:22 pm

Postby ecjs » Thu May 14, 2009 11:03 pm

IceDogg wrote:dashoes, then you can disable it. That's the point it's up to the user.


But then, please don't ask the user once a week wether he really wants to disable this feature or not. Infinite loop.
ecjs
 
Posts: 170
Joined: Sun Jun 11, 2006 7:39 pm

Postby mrbene » Fri May 15, 2009 2:10 am

ecjs wrote:
IceDogg wrote:dashoes, then you can disable it. That's the point it's up to the user.


But then, please don't ask the user once a week wether he really wants to disable this feature or not. Infinite loop.


Haha - I actually laughed out loud at this. Well, kinda snorted with that silly feeling in the middle of my lungs. Picturing the loop, and some poor sod just trying to say no.

Like declining an encyclopedia salesperson.
mrbene
 
Posts: 173
Joined: Tue Apr 10, 2007 10:09 pm
Location: Seattle, WA, USA

ok, fair enough

Postby Joanne Mullen » Fri May 15, 2009 4:28 am

I've posted my unremitting hostility to this change several times, but you know, I've come to the conclusion that it's fair enough.

Mr Palant always made it clear that the point of ad block wasn't to block all adverts but to encourage webmasters to use less annoying ones. Most of his users love ad block plus because it does block all ads and they find ALL ads annoying, and their behaviour won't change one iota, but this change would be a step towards his original intention. It will also show good faith towards the advertisers and undercut any arguments they make to justify efforts they make to block the blocker.

Just so long as users can turn the new feature off in a clear, simple and unequivocal way then it's offering an additional functionality for those who want it. I would still be hugely opposed to hiding the 'off' function, this really would have caused a riot, and I'm glad that the vehemence of the response has persuaded Mr Palant to adopt the right course here.

I'd also like to praise Mr Palant's patience in dealing with the tidal wave of hostility which came his way. He's shown a lot of class in how he's dealt with the discussion. It's his project to develop in his own way and though we might not like every change, we're still all indebted to his efforts here.
Joanne Mullen
 

Postby IceDogg » Fri May 15, 2009 4:22 pm

ecjs wrote:But then, please don't ask the user once a week wether he really wants to disable this feature or not. Infinite loop.

That's not how he said it was going to work. If you disable it.. it's disabled period. The once a week mentioned is an estimate (or maybe a maximum) on how often it would come up for a site you visit often.. IF you have this option enabled.
IceDogg
 
Posts: 909
Joined: Fri Jun 09, 2006 11:22 pm

Postby Stupid Head » Fri May 15, 2009 9:28 pm

This issue is getting some attention from mainstream media:
http://www.slate.com/id/2218386/
What, me worry?
User avatar
Stupid Head
 
Posts: 214
Joined: Sat Aug 26, 2006 8:11 pm
Location: USA

Postby XYZ » Sat May 16, 2009 1:07 pm

To me the whole article is illogical.
It starts saying the author uses ADBlock (the site has got ADS of course). This alone should tell something.

Then:
"The Web is governed by an unwritten contract: You get nearly everything for free in exchange for the hassle of a few ads hovering on the periphery—and occasionally across the whole screen for a few seconds."

Again, besides the fact that I did not sign any contract, since the contract is based on the "hassle", what ADBlock can do to be "more fair" is to increase the "hassle". Which maybe makes the advertisers happier but for sure is not in the interest of ADBlock users, unless they are the masochistic type.
XYZ
 

Postby Princess_Frosty » Tue May 19, 2009 5:38 pm

This problem has its roots in a much deeper problem.

Advertising is not part of the internet model, the model for the internet allows people to display content, and it allows people to view content. It says nothing about the business of it all.

So when people say things like:

The Web is governed by an unwritten contract: You get nearly everything for free in exchange for the hassle of a few ads hovering on the periphery—and occasionally across the whole screen for a few seconds


It makes me quite mad, none of us really agreed to this, people flood their websites with adverts because the user has no choice, well now we do.

We're just so used to seeing adverts that you think that somehow the website owners deserve to make that money back...well they don't, they don't own or control the medium through which they advertise they have no right to do anything other than display what they want.

The users have the ability to block and decide what to leave out of websites via the software they decide to use.

The essense of the problem is that advertisers currently pay for view traffic equally, without any regard for if users want to see the adverts or not.

Why would a business who wants to promote a product, want to pay to advertise to people who are actively irritated and basically P*ssed Off with adverts?

Well they don't, just like with email spam, only a very small number of people respond to spam in a way that leads to additional revenue.

So to solve this issue of not knowing who is a potential target or not, they just mass spam everyone which is one of the most unprofessional ways to do anything ever...you dont solve the terrorist situation by shooting everyone...theres few other warps of life where people would put up with that kind of nonsense.

Its enabled because mass spam is relatively cheap and theres no consequence to their actions because people have no alternative. Well whatcha know? Now we do, so now it's a problem for them.

I think the moral/ethical argument is a load of rubbish, theres no websites I use that is irreplaceable if they closed down because they weren't sustainable anymore. Besides if advertising died completely businesses would have trillions in saved expense, they could afford to reduce their profits and pass the saving on to the customer (cheaper prices)

I find it very perplexing that the ABP author has issues with not allowing hidden ads to still be requested from the server, like the original Adblock allowed, it gives the hit to the website but doesn't display it.

Yet the author is perfectly fine with users who dont want to view/click the advert unblock it to support their fave websites.

How is this any different?

Apart from it being harder to detect foul play and easier to get away with, it's still at the end of the day a rip off for the person who is trying to promote their product.

If this is purely a moral thing to give money back to certain favourite websites then simply allow the site to be hit for the view and not displayed on the page at the request of the user, some kind of button to toggle would be ideal.

In my opinon this is powerful in more than one way, it allows users to block ads, and feed revenue back to sites they support. BUT it also points out how stupid the advertising model is...and will encourage advertisers to alter the model to something that is less retarded.

Throwing trillions of ads out there to catch a handful of people that actually generate revenue through clicks is a BAD business model, thats a problem between the business wanting to promote products and the advertisers, why the hell are the users are getting dragged into it?

*edit*

Basically I think Im saying that it's a fundamentally unsolvable problem, until the business behind it changes to adapt to a web where the users have more power over the content it will never have an elogant solution.

The framework needs to change first, so that advertising to people who dont want to see the adverts is actually recognised as a really stupid thing to do, it's a massive waste of resources.

So to do something to tare down that frame work like giving the power back to the users (with adblock) and let them adaprt and re-think the business behind it - it's a positive thing. Once we have a way of recognising a so called "worthwhile view" that can be assigned value and the idea of then passing revenue on to your favourite websites via your view data actually has some real meaning.

OK...so far less users want that, but then the relative value of the users who are likely to click links to products goes up. At the end of the day people want sales, why advertise to people who ignore you, it just makes no sense.
Princess_Frosty
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue May 19, 2009 3:48 pm

Postby Alan » Tue May 19, 2009 6:28 pm

Princess_Frosty wrote:Throwing trillions of ads out there to catch a handful of people that actually generate revenue through clicks is a BAD business model, thats a problem between the business wanting to promote products and the advertisers, why the hell are the users are getting dragged into it?

Well, maybe only billions, but I couldn't agree more. Thanks for saying it.
Alan
 
Posts: 289
Joined: Sat Feb 10, 2007 9:47 pm
Location: Colorado, USA

PreviousNext

Return to Adblock Plus development

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests