how do websites not understand that posting a "we noticed your adblocker" banner is *just as creepy* as the ads? cut it out!

@robey I would argue less so. They are noticing a lack of something in the DOM/whatever. You would notice if you had a bald spot.

@gudenau to me, anything they do to try to determine my operating environment or identity is creepy

@robey It’s literally their business to show you ads, though. They’re minding it. Stuff costs money to produce, and it’s the ads that pay for it.

@robey Dear Website,

No I will not turn off my ad blocker and subject myself to your crappy, possibly malware infested, definitely bandwidth-wasting ad networks and tracking systems.

If you're obnoxious enough, I guess I'll close your page and not return, but I was never going to pay attention to or click on your terrible ads, and no amount of popups, translucent overlays, etc, will change my mind here.

@swetland yeah this whole system blows my mind... you delegated part of your site -- your reputation -- to some unknown third party, and didn't even sandbox them?! ...and now *I'm* to blame?

@robey And so often not just one part... these sides have multiple crappy ad networks and tracking dealies and whatnot and they're all injecting piles of obfuscated javascript from who knows where into the page. Even if it's entirely benign, it slows pageload to a crawl and often burns tons of cpu doing who knows what. The "modern web" is basically unusable without ad blocking.

@robey How do people not understand that the ads pay for the content. When you block the ads; the content becomes the ads. (E.g. look at all the undisclosed affiliate links in articles even from formerly legitimate media outlets, and the hundreds of daily “these headphones re 100% off” ‘news articles’.)

@da displaying ads would be fine... the problem is, these sites farm out their ad space to malicious ad networks that are not sandboxed, run javascript (!), and do tracking (or worse).

somehow the media sites convinced themselves there was no difference between a display ad and malware, and they sold their reputations to whoever had the highest-paying malware :(

@robey Then do you only block malicious ad networks? or do you use a general purpose ad blocker that blocks anything element with the same proportions as standard ad-sizes (even if it’s a static image served from the same domain)? You can thwart cross-site tracking without actually blocking anything using Firefox’s First-Party Isolation feature (curtsy of the Tor Project.) I agree: ads suck. However, the free web doesn’t have any other funding model and the free web is worth funding.

@da yeah i just run the standard "ublock origin" and hope it does the right thing... it would be great to fix their biz models! ...but dumping malware at me only makes me give up on them

@robey Okay, what does “fix their business model” look like? People’s ad blockers are blocking everything resembling an ad across the web. There is no incentive to do the right thing. Would you pay every website you visit instead?

@da i appreciate your enthusiasm but i don't think we're going to solve capitalism in the comment section

@robey how would you prefer websites ask you to compensate them for their work, though? What would be acceptable and also effective? (Keep in mind you probably visit thousands of websites in a month and derive entertainment, news, education, or other value from some if not all of them.)

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