Allowing acceptable ads in Adblock Plus

Everything about using Adblock Plus on Mozilla Firefox, Thunderbird and SeaMonkey

Re: Allowing acceptable ads in Adblock Plus

Postby kmaid » Mon Dec 12, 2011 9:19 am

Very disappointing. I feel the project has sold out despite assurances otherwise. This feature should defiantly be opt in and on the startup wizard but I bet the advertising companies paying for this feature would not accept that.
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Re: Allowing acceptable ads in Adblock Plus

Postby Anon41024810284 » Mon Dec 12, 2011 10:30 am

removed
Last edited by Wladimir Palant on Mon Dec 12, 2011 10:44 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Removed offensive language. You are free to use this forum but please stay patient and constructive.
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Re: Allowing acceptable ads in Adblock Plus

Postby Xavier Antoviaque » Mon Dec 12, 2011 10:33 am

I posted this on https://adblockplus.org/development-bui ... block-plus , but the answer I got from Wladimir Palant only stated "Hi Xavier, please see the documentation here: https://adblockplus.org/en/acceptable-ads#default. However, this page doesn't answer my questions, so I'm posting this here again:

1) Does AdBlock developers get, directly or indirectly, any benefits from a third party because of this change? (Including, but not exclusively, money/donation/jobs/whatever by an entity supported by ads like Google, continued inclusion in the Chrome store, etc.)? Or any negative consequences if the change wasn’t implemented?

2) If the goal is to allow people who would like to see ads to see them, why not have asked if people wanted to see them (ie, neutral “yes/no” question), rather than pushing a default setting which shows those “non intrusive” ads?

Thanks – I appreciate the work you’ve done so far, and hopefully the answer to those questions will help to sort out the rationale behind those changes.

Cheers,
Xavier.
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Re: Allowing acceptable ads in Adblock Plus

Postby joe2 » Mon Dec 12, 2011 10:51 am

@Anon41024810284

And thats your thank for the best adblocker ever and still the number one reason why people use Firefox instead of other browsers (me included). That option is optinal and besides: The reason for Wladimir to do this change is legit. Yeah I am one of those bastards running a website, spending my time to deliver content and giving a lot of people interesting information and a platform to discuss. But as my website is meant for users with a higher understanding of computer-related stuff I got 60-70% of my users using an ad-blocking addon on their browser which makes it impossible for me to run my website.
Everyone wants everything for free. I don't support big ads with sound, layers, popups, large flash animations which slow down you computer but unless you or everyone else is willing to spend a few cents each and every single month so that I can run my project at least at that level that I got my costs covered... as long as everyone wants everything for free... I need ads and so do many other webmasters else.

The only problem I see right now is: Who decides which ads are good and which ads are bad. There should be strict rules to be followed.
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Re: Allowing acceptable ads in Adblock Plus

Postby Wladimir Palant » Mon Dec 12, 2011 11:04 am

@Xavier: Sorry, looks like I didn't read your questions properly - that happens if I see 50 comments added overnight when I am actually supposed to be very busy preparing a release.

1) I don't think that we get anything yet but we indeed hope to get some income this way to make the project sustainable. This doesn't mean that paying us is the requirement to be added to the exceptions list - the requirements a formulated here and they will probably become more precise as we gain experience (suggestions are welcome). As to Google: no, they have nothing to do with it. We didn't talk to Google, we didn't take money from them, there is no conspiracy here. We did look at Google Ads as a typical example (unblocking them is the most common request we get yet most people lack the knowledge for that) but they don't meet our requirements at the moment. Google's search ads are a different thing and they can meet our requirements depending on how the website configures them - and we did add an exception for them on one particular website.

2) We made some bad experience when asking people to make a decision, quite frequently people would ignore the question on the first-run page for one reason or another and then wonder why Adblock Plus "isn't working". In fact, that's the reason why the first-run page was reworked - rather than asking, we now subscribe people to a filter list automatically and allow them to revert the decision easily (simplifying Filter Preferences dialog was an important requirement for that). It's the same with "acceptable ads" - asking people to make a decision when it might be a wrong time, when they don't know what we are asking about (I tried to keep the explanation page short but it certainly isn't) etc. isn't going to work well. Instead we focused on making opt-out as simple as possible at any time.

@joe2: The rules are formulated here but they don't cover all the aspects yet of course (e.g. ad size, ad content etc.). We need to stay realistic - if advertisers cannot realistically meet our criteria then it won't help anybody. Suggestions are welcome.
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Re: Allowing acceptable ads in Adblock Plus

Postby Tha4dmin » Mon Dec 12, 2011 11:05 am

Hm... smells like fork time here. Please not that the combination of Adblockplus and Noscript are the two addons that make many of us stick to firefox, despite chrome offering a lot more performance. Wladimir, thanks for all the work you invested in this, but it seems your objectives have changed. I guess it's time for you to hand this one over to someone else. Of course this is your project, we are all glad for the work you invested into it, and would welcome you to keep improving it.

However, i suggest you strictly separate your companies activities to the advertisement market, if that's what you want to do nowadays. That's where you can get cash from, not from development.
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Re: Allowing acceptable ads in Adblock Plus

Postby enraged » Mon Dec 12, 2011 12:50 pm

Tha4dmin wrote:Hm... smells like fork time here. Please not that the combination of Adblockplus and Noscript are the two addons that make many of us stick to firefox, despite chrome offering a lot more performance. Wladimir, thanks for all the work you invested in this, but it seems your objectives have changed. I guess it's time for you to hand this one over to someone else. Of course this is your project, we are all glad for the work you invested into it, and would welcome you to keep improving it.

However, i suggest you strictly separate your companies activities to the advertisement market, if that's what you want to do nowadays. That's where you can get cash from, not from development.



This. Absolutely this. I work in IT. I have recommended the use of Adblockplus for YEARS to countless people. This is abject absolute betrayal of trust for money.

PS Your "user survey" is absolute BS. It's called a whitelist, and I'd put money on 99% of your users never seeing this "survey".
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Re: Allowing acceptable ads in Adblock Plus

Postby Xavier Antoviaque » Mon Dec 12, 2011 12:50 pm

@Wladimir - Thanks for taking the time for answering, I appreciate.

Wladimir Palant wrote:1) I don't think that we get anything yet but we indeed hope to get some income this way to make the project sustainable. This doesn't mean that paying us is the requirement to be added to the exceptions list - the requirements a formulated here and they will probably become more precise as we gain experience (suggestions are welcome).


That clarifies it, ok.

As a long-time user, the main issue I see with it then is the conflict of interest this creates. I think you'll agree that, as the revenues from advertisers grow, it will create pressure on the project that won't always be aligned with the users' interests. AdBlock can resist those pressures, but history has shown that ad-driven businesses often have to do compromises that are detrimental to their user-base.

This is likely to remove a part of the trust that people placed on this project, or at the very least put a lot of doubts on the goals driving the decisions you make. A lot of the comments about this change aren't very civil, but they are pretty revealing imho of the reaction a lot of people are having right now around the net. Adblock's reputation is being badly damaged.

If I can give you an advice, it would be to try to allow for a lot more discussions before making this change. Make sure everyone understands your intentions, make the requirements of the ads you'll show more detailed, discuss it a lot, and take the time to find good solutions for the criticisms that are voiced. To limit the damage to Adblock's reputation in the meantime, I'd pull off the feature until then, as it will probably be very hard to have a sane conversation with the community if people feel that their hand is being forced.

2) We made some bad experience when asking people to make a decision, quite frequently people would ignore the question on the first-run page for one reason or another and then wonder why Adblock Plus "isn't working". In fact, that's the reason why the first-run page was reworked - rather than asking, we now subscribe people to a filter list automatically and allow them to revert the decision easily


I can relate to that, as this happened a few times to me in the past - the window would get in the back and I wouldn't see it. The choices given were also a bit geeky, and meaningless for the average user. Definitely not something to reproduce.

However, these are design & technical issues with the way these choices were being asked. There has to be a way to make it more straightforward to the user, especially considering how angry a lot of people are to not being asked this question.

My 5 cents - good luck with the storm...

Xavier.
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Re: Allowing acceptable ads in Adblock Plus

Postby Wladimir Palant » Mon Dec 12, 2011 1:08 pm

Xavier Antoviaque wrote:If I can give you an advice, it would be to try to allow for a lot more discussions before making this change.

We've asked people here in the forum and had lots of discussions, we did a user survey. Obviously, most people still didn't know that this was underway - but that's in the nature of things, we don't have any meaningful ways of communicating with our entire user base. Anyway, we can only get as far with theoretical talks, we need to see how this actually works out (whether it can work out). I don't see what would be achieved by delaying things further.
enraged wrote:PS Your "user survey" is absolute BS. It's called a whitelist, and I'd put money on 99% of your users never seeing this "survey".

Of course they didn't, what would we do with 20 million submissions? See https://adblockplus.org/blog/adblock-pl ... lts-part-0.
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Re: Allowing acceptable ads in Adblock Plus

Postby al@bundy » Mon Dec 12, 2011 1:48 pm

hey folks,

i´ve worked for a long time in various marketing departments.
imho i would make as a maktingeer simple a new row in my maktinplan called stupid-wold-worldimprovers or political correct "unobtrusive advertising" and fill it with the necessary information.
it sounds that discussion will go to morally and ethically questions?
so no more issue for developers ;-)

cheers

al
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Re: Allowing acceptable ads in Adblock Plus

Postby freakinvibe » Mon Dec 12, 2011 2:14 pm

I don't think that we get anything yet but we indeed hope to get some income this way to make the project sustainable.

I think the "Acceptable Ads" idea will only work out if there is no money involved. If you were a website owner, would you share the ad income with ABP? I don't think so. First, ABP blocks your ads (without asking) and then asks for money to unblock them. Isn't that extortion?

I see ABP similar to Spamhaus which provides lists of IP addresses to block Spam senders. E-Mail server operators can subscribe to those lists to block Spam. If they now would charge you, to get on a white list, to be able to send out Spam, they would have lost all credibility.

I really hope, you rethink this. ABP will just stay credible if it is not taking money from advertisers. Same as Wikipedia. If they had ads, they could not have critical articles on the companies that place ads on their site.
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Re: Allowing acceptable ads in Adblock Plus

Postby nitrox » Mon Dec 12, 2011 4:26 pm

Wladimir Palant wrote:
nitrox wrote:My suggestion would be is to add a tick box where the user can either tick to opt in or remove the tick to opt out.

If I understand correctly, you suggest duplicating the checkbox we have in Filter Preferences on the first-run page. This was the original design and it does save one click (the user can uncheck immediately instead of clicking "Filter Preferences" and unchecking there). The reason why I decided against allowing to change the filter subscription and the "acceptable ads" option directly on the first-run page: the first-run page is (obviously) a one-time thing. People change something there and they don't know how to bring it back to change their choice. If they change something in Filter Preferences - finding them again isn't hard.

You could always add a message saying these options can be later changed in adblock plus preferences.

I noticed in the first run page that the user isn't made very clear that acceptable ads is turned on by default. I mean unless the user reads or skims through the first run page they don't realize that acceptable ads is turned on. Many people want to get rid of windows that ask them questions. If you notice when a UAC prompt comes up in windows, most people just click yes, they don't spend a second or two to analyze if it is a legitimate program or not. People do the same for adblock plus first run page. You could make it obvious so they don't miss the information about acceptable ads.

One thing personally I welcome is the user is randomly subscribed to a list which would reduce no of people complaining that Adblock plus doesn't block ads since they didn't sign up to a blocking list in first place just because they closed the tab or clicked on cancel button.

Wladimir Palant wrote:
nitrox wrote:Btw, It would be nice if you could add an option to let user know that they have acceptable ads turned on when they use adblock plus issue reporter to report that they see ads.

Yes, I think that some special treatment for this subscription in the issue reporter would be nice. But I'm not quite sure what's the best way to do it - a straightforward warning wouldn't do any good right now (people reporting "ad not blocked" will usually still do that because ads are actually not blocked, not because these ads are whitelisted). Anyway, for now we have the option to communicate back by setting status on the reports.

One way you could do is check if they have any white lists active from Acceptable ads list on the page they are reporting, if they do then issue a warning saying that acceptable ads is in effect on this site so you will be seeing certain ads. If you find those ads intrusive (ads that don't respect the criteria which can found here) you can report it. Also you can turn off acceptable ads by un-ticking the acceptable ads option in adblock plus preferences.

Users with privacy subscriptions aren't opted in to acceptable ads list by default. What about users who have DNT header enabled in firefox? From the commit, i noticed it is hard coded only to official privacy list hosting urls. What about people using mirrors. For fanboy list, we have 3 more mirrors. We have quite a significant of our users on mirrors. Do people using privacy lists from mirrors are also opted out?
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Re: Allowing acceptable ads in Adblock Plus

Postby RedneckBabe » Mon Dec 12, 2011 4:40 pm

OMG!! SOMEONE CALL THE WAAAAMBULANCE!

Quite a few in here, who regularly cheat content creators out of money, screaming 'bout betrayal, extortion, morals and ethics. The duplicity in y'alls position is oustanding.

Maybe you should do a gut check, each month send money to all websites that you've betrayed and cheated out of income, and help eliminate the need for ads all together. Maybe a group of you upstanding net citizens could help eliminate all advertising on the internet by actually paying for the content you consume. Novel idea, eh?

Before drowning in your own tears, I have several appropriate courses of action:

- uninstall ABP and go away
- code your own, improved version
- hire someone to code your own, improved version
- opt-out of the new feature
- cry some more, that always helps

I'm sure the content creator wakes up every day and thinks to herself, "I just LOVE providing all this content and having you cheat me out of money....maybe I'll work a couple extra hours today because in America, the more 'ya work the more 'ya earn!"
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Re: Allowing acceptable ads in Adblock Plus

Postby Wladimir Palant » Mon Dec 12, 2011 4:48 pm

nitrox wrote:Users with privacy subscriptions aren't opted in to acceptable ads list by default. What about users who have DNT header enabled in firefox?

DNT isn't the same thing as blocking all content that might be privacy-sensitive. There is no change for people who use DNT - their Firefox will still send out "please don't track us if you respect this header" (unfortunately not too many sites do). People who use aggressive filter lists to prevent tracking are in a different situation however - this feature will make tracking them possible, and we don't make sure yet that the ad providers on our list respect DNT, so we don't enable the feature for these users.

nitrox wrote:From the commit, i noticed it is hard coded only to official privacy list hosting urls. What about people using mirrors. For fanboy list, we have 3 more mirrors. We have quite a significant of our users on mirrors. Do people using privacy lists from mirrors are also opted out?

"Quite significant" as in how many? I've only added the official URLs as listed in the subscriptionlist, what would be the other ones?
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Re: Allowing acceptable ads in Adblock Plus

Postby nitrox » Mon Dec 12, 2011 5:10 pm

Wladimir Palant wrote:"Quite significant" as in how many? I've only added the official URLs as listed in the subscriptionlist, what would be the other ones?

We don't have any idea on how many because Google, Atlassin (bitbucket) and Microsoft (codeplex) doesn't provide us any information on traffic. We came to know there were quite a lot of users when one of the bitbucket admin said to us that our repo was generating quite a lot of traffic and they were concerned about it. That's when we stopped moving users to bitbucket.

here are the other url's.

https://fanboy-adblock-list.googlecode. ... -stats.txt
https://bitbucket.org/fanboy/fanboyadbl ... -stats.txt
https://hg01.codeplex.com/fanboyadblock ... -stats.txt
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