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I’ll admit right now that when you throw social networks into the mix, we may have serious privacy concerns – because suddenly, all this data can be traced back to you and not simply an anonymous user.
I’ll leave that to another time or another author to present that side of the argument though.
If you think that’s somehow ethically wrong, then stop watching TV, because they do exactly the same thing.
During cooking shows, a large number of ads for cooking appliances and kitchen stuff will show. Heck, there’s even a bus-stop ad campaign in the UK that only shows itself when a female walks by. Scare tactics are part of the problem, from conspiracy theorists who believe the government is watching them and now the Internet tracking companies know their every move too.
Over the past few months, I’ve been contacted by a good number of readers who have had problems downloading our guides, or why they can’t see the login buttons or comments not loading; and in 99% of cases, it’s because they’re running one these plugins – Ad Block, No Script, or Ghostery – which I shall hereby refer to as the “trifecta of evil”. Matt has already written an extensive article on why Ad Block plugin is destroying the Internet, but I want to throw my own opinion in here too.
If you want online content to all be premium priced then go right ahead and continue using Adblock.
Ultimately you need to remember that if everyone cheated the system like Ad Block users do, the Internet would only exist behind paywalls.
Apologies if you think my definition of free is defective, but you’re arguing over semantics and kind of missing the point.
What makes me angry about the Ad Block plugin is that the author – while happy to destroy our revenue stream – is also profiteering from the very same free content model by asking for Pay Pal donations when the plugin is installed. I understand that some adverts can be annoying – and we do try to remove any that auto-play a video or make noise on page load as soon as we identify them (contrary to popular belief, site owners do not choose the ads that get displayed, but we can kill them off if we find inappropriate or annoying ones, and we have requested that no such video ads be displayed as a general rule) – but the free content model is entirely what keeps the online world afloat.