[Rejected] An approach to fair ad blocking

Various discussions related to Adblock Plus development

Fool user example:

Postby Torbi26 » Tue May 12, 2009 1:24 am

page.html (bad html, I know)
Code: Select all
<html>
<body>
<script type="text/javascript">var some_var = false;</script>
<!-- this one probably blocked: -->
<script type="text/javascript" src="js.advertising.php"></script>
<script type="text/javascript">
if (!some_var) {
   document.write("You obviously <b>block</b> Ads or JavaScript...");
} else {
   document.write("We are including now <b>" + some_var + "</b> ads.")
}
</script>
</body>
</html>

js.advertising.php (bad php, I know)
Code: Select all
<?php
session_name("Torbi26");
session_start();
$_SESSION['what-would-it-look'] = $_SESSION['what-would-it-look'] + 1;
if ($_SESSION['what-would-it-look'] <= 1) {
   $ads = "nice";
} else {
   $ads = "bad, flashing, whatever";
}
header('Content-type: application/javascript');
?>
some_var = '<?php echo $ads; ?>';

How to
Code: Select all
1. Load page.html - ABP "Cedric/de" blocks the script (.advertising.)
2. Simulate meta-tag by disabling ABP
3. Load page.html - shows "nice" ads
4. Reload page.hmtl - shows "bad" ads

Requirements: Cookies are used for simple tracking, no IP/useragent/httpaccept in database which would also be possible...
Torbi26
 

All sites will tag their sites as having non intrusive ads

Postby joannemullen » Tue May 12, 2009 1:36 am

You do realise that no advertises or web sites think their adverts, no matter how intrusive, are annoying? They all think their adverts are fair, and even if they don't they would never admit otherwise. They also all want to maximise the exposure of their adverts.

Therefore all sites will tag their pages as 'unobtrusive' and force adblock users to click ya or nay when they visit that site. There will be no pressure to have less annoying adverts therefore, they'll just welcome the chance to have a few more (highly annoyed) eyeballs at their existing gaudy display.

If I visit a hundred sites, do I have to click 'no' a hundred times? Are you really going to make the opt out completely button difficult to find to force people to opt in by default if they're not savvy enough to find it?

Be up front. Using ad block is voluntary. Its user base, a tiny fraction of the web, don't like adverts. If they really want to give individual sites a chance then fair enough, but put the 'opt out to all of this' button up front and centre. If people choose it, that's what they want. Hiding it so people are kind of forced to press the 'no' button a hundred times a day is a pretty poor thing to do and goes contrary to everything I thought you were about to be honest.
joannemullen
 

Re: All sites will tag their sites as having non intrusive a

Postby mrbene » Tue May 12, 2009 2:20 am

joannemullen wrote:If I visit a hundred sites, do I have to click 'no' a hundred times? Are you really going to make the opt out completely button difficult to find to force people to opt in by default if they're not savvy enough to find it?


Adblock Plus will then check the browsing history to see whether the user frequents this site (this could be specified for example as “visited the site on three days of the last week”) and then display a notification
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Postby fanboy » Tue May 12, 2009 4:24 am

The inline popup is fine I guess, but an override option would be desired
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Postby mrbene » Tue May 12, 2009 4:32 am

@Torbi, your design is inefficient and doesn't take advantage of all the information that is available.

Using cookies only, and knowing the default settings (how many visits over what recent period) you could make a best guess at when to display "nice" ads. Mostly client side - possibly even completely client side.

However, this is mostly covered by the requirement "make reverting a positive decision easy". IE, if someone whitelisted a site using this functionality and was duped, how do they undo it?

@fanboy, check out the blog entry, specifically "There are some Adblock Plus users who just don't want to see any ads at all. For those, there should be a way to opt-out of this feature".
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Location: Seattle, WA, USA

Postby mrbene » Tue May 12, 2009 4:56 am

As personal feedback:

I am unlikely to use this feature, as I use ABP for the anti-tracking functionality as much as for the ad blocking.

This feature is in line with what I've been promoting recently - that web site owners should engage with their users.

Undo is important. So is the language of the info bar. Perhaps offload some of this to the webmaster? Not the content displayed in the bar, but as an additional option (tho that's more user choice!) like "what would it look like", "more info" (links somewhere in a controlled manner), "no thanks", "remind me later". That's too many buttons.

I-D?
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Postby Havvy_ » Tue May 12, 2009 8:20 am

If you get this integrated with places, it would be nice to have it so that when you bookmark a page, you can have one of the options it shows on the bookmark dialogue (from clicking the yellow star) is "Show ads: ◉ Yes ◉ NO"

Granted, getting this to work does have a few complications. I don't feel like listing them though...
Havvy_
 

Postby ecjs » Tue May 12, 2009 9:29 am

I feel this feature is redundant with the whitelisting. Giving webmasters the choice to include this meta-tag would lead to problematic cases.
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@mrbene

Postby Torbi26 » Tue May 12, 2009 10:09 am

@mrbene: The code is of course very "inefficient". It should just show how simple webmasters of evil.com can fool the users with a 5-mins php/js, see also the requirements-note in the posting. :roll:

I know (any you know) that it could be done a lot "better" and still simple enough. Could also be based on e.g. img or iframe or object tags. Could be even a copy&paste or click-install serverside plugin for any CMS out there with dynamic use of current ABP default filter-lists data to detect the ABP block, etc. :?

@wladimir: Showing the options based on number-of-visits can also be bypassed by adding a number of hidden iframes in html or generating them with scripts, flash etc. and by this boosting the counter.
Torbi26
 

I still don't get it

Postby Joanne Mullen » Tue May 12, 2009 11:37 am

I installed Ad Block Plus, and like it so much, because I don't want to see any adverts. I don't want to have to click more buttons to continue not seeing adverts, not once per web site, not every time I clear my history, not ever. I would guess the vast majority of ad block users feel the same way. A good piece of software does what the user wants it to, without getting in the way. Adblock plus was a great piece of software, clearly it's going to be less good in the future.

I don't understand why an adblocker wants to do this. What pressure from its actual users is there to allow adverts? If I want to disable it on a page or a site then I can already do this. I'm assuming the motivation behind it is noble, though I can't tell because it's so baffling, but all this discussion of the fine print of how it might be done is ignoring the fact that the users of the plug in would object to it in principle.

The thing that bugged me in the original post on the blog was the supposition that any option to turn it off should be hidden otherwise everybody would just use it. I believe the two expressions on the internet commonly used to express one's reaction to that sort of thing is firstly 'wtf?' and 'duh!'. Have fun with the discussion but when you finally add it there'd better be a big button I can press to turn it off once and forever so I don't have to think about it again.
Joanne Mullen
 

the name of the meta tag

Postby Arne S » Tue May 12, 2009 12:14 pm

I suggested to Wladimir that he should change content="disable" to content="ask".

Now, in the hypothetical case a meta tag such as this would be implemented (I'm not sure it ever will), I'm not sure that name="adblock" would be the best name for it. Perhaps something like this would be better?
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<meta name="advert-acceptance" content="ask" />

I'm thinking about how the existence of this meta tag, which would be listed on many pages answering the question "What do all these meta tags do?", such as http://i18nguy.com/markup/metatags.html, would impact the awareness among webmasters of the existence of Adblock Plus and adblockers in general.

I suspect there are many small-time webmasters who never give a thought about the existence of adblockers, and the existence of this meta tag could possibly change that somewhat, and the wording of the tag could possibly affect how the perception of adblocking changes.
Arne S
 

Postby Wladimir Palant » Tue May 12, 2009 12:21 pm

ShakataGaNai wrote:I also think it would be interesting if it were possible for a webmaster to trigger something like this through a javascript button. Mainly for those sites that have the "Hey, help out our small website and turn off your ad-blocker" type messages. Instead of having messages that people ignore, they could have a simple button.

No, I'm pretty sure that allowing the webmaster to trigger this message is not a good idea. It is up to Adblock Plus to determine when this message can be shown so that it isn't perceived as annoying.

Torbi26 wrote:@wladimir: Showing the options based on number-of-visits can also be bypassed by adding a number of hidden iframes in html or generating them with scripts, flash etc. and by this boosting the counter.

I think I pointed this out in each reply to a comment proposing to count ads...

@Joanne Mullen: There is no real pressure yet. But I believe that if the current trend continues the Internet will move into a direction nobody wants. See for example my reply to this comment: http://adblockplus.org/blog/an-approach ... ng#c002333
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Postby Wladimir Palant » Tue May 12, 2009 12:27 pm

@Arne: I slightly changed the name attribute of the tag to make it more generic. On the one hand, I would like it to express more. On the other hand, it should be kept short and obvious.
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the meta tag

Postby Arne S » Tue May 12, 2009 1:56 pm

Not that it matters at this stage, but I don't think space is allowed in the name attribute (see HTML 4 – The META element and HTML 4 – NAME tokens) – I have never seen it in any case.

I agree that the generic name adblocking probably is better than the Adblock Plus-specific adblock, but I would like the meta tag implying the question "Will ads be accepted?" better than "Will ads be blocked?" Acceptance is the deviation which is asked for, rather than blocking, which is the default from the perspective of the Adblock user.
Arne S
 

Postby Wladimir Palant » Tue May 12, 2009 2:05 pm

Arne, you are right - and I changed it once again.
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ABP Developer
 
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