Do You Use Adblock? [MakeUseOf Poll]

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polls   Do You Use Adblock? [MakeUseOf Poll]Last week we asked for your opinion regarding Instagram on Android. With only 186 voted on this poll, the main conclusion is that this is not an issue many of you care about, which is as good an answer as any!

So out of 186 votes in total, 36% think it’s good to have Instagram on Android, 9% think Android users are ruining Instagram, 21% don’t care either way, 26% don’t even use Instagram, and 8% can’t use Instagram because it’s not available on their device.

Full results and this week’s poll after the jump.

Another thing that happened this week, just after this poll was published, is the Instagram Facebook acquisition. With that in mind, Instagram users may not care as much about the Android version of the app anymore.

poll results6   Do You Use Adblock? [MakeUseOf Poll]

This week’s poll question is: Do You Use Adblock?

It’s no secret that we’re not big fans of ad blocking here at MakeUseOf. Adblock, and other ad blocking services, are used to block all ads from a certain page, which helps unclutter the page and avoid annoying pop-ups and videos, but also creates a problem for services which rely on ads for their revenue. Ad blockers can be used indiscriminately, with a whitelist or blacklist for certain websites, or not used at all. So where do you fit it? Do you use an ad blocker of any kind?

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Why do you choose to use Adblock? Why do you feel it’s not really necessary? Share your opinions in the comments.

The comments were closed because the article is more than 180 days old.

If you have any questions related to what's mentioned in the article or need help with any computer issue, ask it on MakeUseOf Answers—We and our community will be more than happy to help.

128 Comments -

Lee

I used to but, after reading the article posted here about it, I decided to disable it. Since then I have seen a LOT more ads, but they really don’t annoy me that much. Most of the time they just sit off to the side, but if they get intrusive they can usually be closed.

Yaara Lancet

Nice to know we make a difference! I think it also has something to do with your mind set. I used to block ads, and when I stopped, they seemed really annoying. But when you get used to them being around, you barely notice them anymore, and if one is really annoying, you just close it, as you said.

James

Ads are annoying and I never click on them anyway. The internet just looks cleaner and nicer without ads everywhere.

Yaara Lancet

You don’t have to click them for the website to make money off ads. Some ads pay when you just view them, and this is how many websites are able to offer free content.

I asked another commenter above, and I truly am curious about this: would you prefer websites to offer paid content instead of showing ads?

Jesse

I thought Adblock (Adblock+, whatever) had an option to load the ads but hide them from view. Wouldn’t that make both the user and the site happy?

Jeroen Heijster

That usually gets detected.

Lugo

For the same reason I don’t use internet explorer, I’m a stumbler and there’s nothing more annoying or time comsuming than trying to see a websites content, that has an ad that no matter how many times you hit the x, just keeps popping up. So I don’t get to read the material, cuz I just move on. And how many have you been interested in any of those pop up. I know what I want and go straight for it, sorry developers and everybody else.

Yaara Lancet

I agree that ads such as those your describe deserve to be blocked. On the other hand, just leaving those websites is probably a great way to show them you won’t tolerate these ads. Another option is to use a whitelist, and then you can block ads on websites you don’t know or trust, but show them where you know they’re not as bad.

Aaron Couch

I primarily use Adblock to have a cleaner web experience, but I recommend it to others for security reasons, as I’ve found many people click on things they don’t know what they are. Adblock just makes it simpler.

Yaara Lancet

And what do you think about the way this affects websites that make money off ads? Would you prefer these websites to start offering paid content instead of showing ads? It would be a more secure solution, that’s for sure, especially for people who have a tendency to click things they don’t know and get to weird places.

eltioska

I understand your concern Yaara. The problem here is that the goodies end up in the same boat as the baddies, unfortunate though it may be. I tend to filter out ads and know where I want to click. But my parents, for instance, don’t. There are many misleading ads which are designed to look like a legitimate “download” or “close” button, for instance. And suddenly you’ve got a load of pop up sites open up.

What I agree is with the whitelist scenario. At least that way, you allow sites that don’t abuse and that you actually value, rather than all of them out there.

Yaara Lancet

True, there are websites that try to deliberately confuse you with download buttons that end up beings ads, but those websites are usually torrent or other download websites, and not blogs.

Without starting a discussion of whether people should support torrent sites and such, I think most blogs don’t include malicious ads in them. I’m glad to hear you agree with whitelisting. That’s the best solution for everyone!

Harold

Unfortunately, we pay for our bandwidth and can use it as we see fit on our computers that we also bought and paid for. I fail to see anything that gives you the right to rape my eyes for profit. Don’t like it? Find a less offensive revenue stream.

Yaara Lancet

No one is questioning your right to use your computer and bandwidth as you see fit. I really am interested in what you would want to see instead of ads, paid websites all around? No free content at all?

Justin Winokur

I have it installed on my backup browser if I ever really need it, but that is extremely rare. I recognize the value of ads on sites like this. I do however hate annoying ads and I have been tempted to start using it. It isn’t that bad yet and I hope it never does get to be that bad. And if it does, I will make use of the whitelist of sites that are not as bad.

I do also use flashblock so any flash ads are not seen. If you want my eyes (and that includes MUO), do not show flash ads. I am not willing to let an ad run my processor hot, and (potentially) blast sounds. I do wonder how this counts towards impressions for the content provider. Obviously, it won’t count as a click, but does it count as an impression with flash off?

Yaara Lancet

Flashblock is something I agree with, and used to use myself up until not long ago. Flash can really screw up your browser, and there’s no good reason to use it anymore.

If you block Flash, you only miss Flash ads, but you do count as an impression, which is a lot better than block all ads altogether.

eltioska

I, too, use flashblock rather than Adblock. It’s the flash element that most bugs me. Apart from ads however, I track the requests every site puts and it’s not rare that I see something like 7 or 10 tracking requests from a site. I dont’t usually block all requests (I understand the need for analytics), but when a site overdoes it, I just block it all. Mostly though, I use Google Reader, so it doesn’t really matter.

steve

I use Privoxy (privoxy.com) instead because it allows more granularity.

JerryBerry

^http://PRIVOXY.ORG

I agree with Carlos — if ad content were not so poorly coded (Lifehacker/Gawker loads scripts from 15-20 different domains on each page!), and if the ads weren’t so poorly laid-out (often OVER content – both purposely and inadvertently) and have such obnoxious content – esp sound & video – I wouldn’t mind. I know the commercial internet is built on ad revenue, but personally I see it as a house of cards – I never have and never will click-through and spend money. Just like on tv, radio, & IRL, when an ad comes on, I Tune-Out!

Yaara Lancet

The thing is, websites can make money if you just look at ads, you don’t necessarily have to click on them and spend money to help a website.

I agree that there are very annoying and obtrusive ads out there, and auto-play videos are especially bad. I can tell you that here at MakeUseOf we do try to allow only unobtrusive and unoffending ads. Many other websites try to do the same for their users. Sometimes things slip through, but we do our best. :)

Harold

I use a combination of scriptno, adblock and stylish. Yep, that’s right, I’ll completely redesign your site, change colors, change layout and strip out every single ad you can throw at me… my computer, my bandwidth, my right entirely to do so. Also fairly trivial to just nuke scripts that you use to detect me modifying things. Deal with it.

Strydrdenis

Where I live the only way to get anything like high speed internet is to have satellite service. As such I have limited bandwidth and have to ensure I don’t go over our daily cap. or they cut our speeds back to the same as dial-up for 24 hours. Since my wife and son also use the service I find that the ads use up extra bandwidth which I cannot afford. I don’t like having to pay to see ads.

Yaara Lancet

Interesting! I understand that, and I would probably block ads on most websites in that case too. Just out of curiosity, where do you live? I used to have limited bandwidth before, but we simply had to pay for it if we went over (which is still annoying), we never had the speed cut back.

Strydrdenis

I live in British Columbia in a small town called Kitchener. My ISP just launched a new satellite and our speed is suppose to improve and instead of cutting back our speed to as has been the case up to now we’ll just have to pay if we go over our monthly limit. The cost will be $2.00/gig for anything over our cap. They get you one way or another. By the way your site is on my White-list and always will be.

Yaara Lancet

That’s funny, I used to live very neat Kitchener, Ontario. :) Didn’t know there was another Kitchener!

Glad to hear we’re on your whitelist! We really appreciate the support!

carlos

I use adblock and NoScript. So many websites now are so filled with ads that there’s more content being pulled from other domains than the one I’m trying to use. There are a few sites that don’t overdo it and a some that I really want to support. I’d stop using it for general browsing if the problem wasn’t so pervasive.

Yaara Lancet

I agree that some websites overdo it, and sometimes it’s not even the websites, it’s the ad companies which don’t give websites enough control over the matter.

Do you whitelist the websites that don’t overdo it and those you want to support?

carie

Yip I use adblock. I am evil and I enjoy depriving blog authors of revenue! Well the content of some of your posts have implied this but actually I use adblock for two reasons:

1) Where I live, we must pay a great deal of money for bandwidth. Loading ads increases the amount of bandwidth taken to view a page which in turn increases my internet bill.

2) Despite the fact that I am paying huge amount for bandwidth, the internet here is very, very slow. Loading ads takes time, lots of time.

The fact is, these ad scripts that so many blog and forums love so much is a bad model. Yes it is easy and convenient for the blog owner. Sign up, add the script to your page and either be paid for each page load, or more commonly for each click. In your mind feel good because the ads displayed will be of interest to the viewer as the content is either similar to the material of your site or based on the users webpage browsing usage.

Have you ever actually looked at the ads being served up to your readers?

Why on earth would I want to sign up for the best smilies on the entire internet or need an app on my website which can translate text to voice.

Let us take just this page which I have just opened in an alternate browser which does not have an adblocker installed.

The page took close to 3 minutes to load as apposed to the “clean” page which took just under 30 seconds.

For all that extra time google has suggested I am interested in: Virtual client computing, creating my own website, starting a small business and an app to remove malware.

On the image ad side, an online file server MS Office 360 and some sort of advert for HSBC.

These adverts have been injected at the top of the article, just before the comments in the right hand column and just below the footer of this page.

I am sorry not one of these ads are helpful or of interest to me.

So perhaps it is time that blogs such as this looked at their advertising model and considered the possibility that the model does not work.

Alternatively you could get another opinion article written that tells 57% (current poll stat) of your readership that they are evil thieves!

Reggie

I use Adblock on most sites because ads can really slow down page loads.

Yaara Lancet

I do understand that. As I wrote in a previous comment, some websites really make me want to install Adblock again. But even if some websites deserve it, some do make an effort to have small and unobtrusive ads. Maybe they deserve a whitelist!

KittyCat

I don’t use Adblock anymore because that’s how many of the sites I visit generate revenue outside of donations.

Yaara Lancet

True! And it’s much easier on users than donation, at the end of the day.

Craig

Just seeing this page I am blocking 2 social networks, 1 ad network and 7 companies. Why should I let all these folks know about me, my IP and what I’m looking at?

alex

Adblock Plus!!!!

Susendeep.Dutta

I felt the need for adblock plus addon because in some sites it used to interfere while browsing through articles and I have to click on X or close button which degraded the user experience.

But after that, MUO explained me that some sites need to be whitelisted and so I whitelisted MUO and I don’t feel much disturbed while visiting MUO.

Yaara Lancet

Awesome! Popup ads truly are annoying. There is one site I visit regularly which really makes me want to install Adblock just for their obtrusive ads. I wish websites would realize those simply annoy and don’t work.

Miggs

I used to install Adblock on every browser I encountered. But after I realized it was unethical from my part I stopped. Probably my reading experience got slower but that’s ok. It’s a small sacrifice. I even click ads which interest me.

Yaara Lancet

That’s great! It sure helps websites with free content, like MakeUseOf. :)

Denis

I don’t normally use it – for the ethical reasons you give. But very occasionally a site owner allows a particularly distracting ad (jiggling around – drawing your eyes to it) to be placed right next to the content. Then I’ll use Adblock – and probably miss out on viewing the site’s other ads.

Yaara Lancet

I find that to be absolutely fine. If a website uses disturbing ads, ads that cover content or auto-play ads, they sort of deserve it. Ads don’t have to disturb readers in order to work, and a website that generates content needs to worry about its readers before the advertisers.

Floh

Yes, I use it and can’t stand watching a page without it. Best invention since sliced bread.
It’s hard enough in these times of information overload to separate the important news and information from the noise. Advertising just makes it harder to spot the real information.

Yaara Lancet

I used to think the same way, especially after using it for a while and getting used to the absence of ads. But Aren’t there some websites that offer free content you want to support? Would you prefer to have a way to donate a sum of money and not see ads at all on that website?

Martijn

I used to use AdBlock on all websites. Lately however, I’ve come to realize (because of MUO and other blogs) that there are shades between black and white, so I whitelist some websites.

Another thing is that I’m willing to help and support certain people and websites. So I’m willing to buy a workshop for instance, or donate money. If you expect me to support you primarily through ads, don’t hold your breath. I’d rather give you 10 dollars than buy something from a third party, which makes a 5 dollar profit from me and give you guys 5 dollars. In other words, I want to know exactly how much I’m giving to whom, which is not possible through the ad model.

Yaara Lancet

That’s an excellent answer, thank you. We might make it an option on MakeUseOf, to donate money and get rid of ads. We’re still thinking about how that would work, but it’s nice to know it’s an option you’d like to see.

Charax

All ads blocked by default everywhere unless something absolutely does not work with an adblocker active (and 90% of the time content like that isn’t worth it anyway).

Why? because it’s my browser, and I can do whatever the hell I want with it. MUO tends to support this position, after all we have articles on Stylish http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/fix-small-annoyances-web-stylish-firefox-chrome/ and getting around paywalls: http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/5-ways-york-times-paywall/

The former is an example of MUO showing a “end user choice trumps designer’s wishes” attitude and the latter is an example of actively thwarting a monetizing effort to get content without user inconvenience. You’re “not big fans” of ad blockers, but you sure as hell don’t mind people bypassing another site’s monetizing efforts.

So no, I’m not going to be taking any ethical cues from MUO, thanks.

http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20100306/1649198451.shtml – something to think about

Yaara Lancet

Thanks for the comment. We definitely don’t support bypassing other website’s monetizing efforts, as stated in the article itself.

However, as you said, you’re browser is yours and you can do whatever the hell you want with it. We’re sure not trying to change that. :)

Adithya Uday

Writing is something that should be done as a hobby online .. if you want to earn money by your writing , write a book or write for a magazine Thats what i believe. So i always used adblock .. I know all makeuseof writers are crying about that this is there only source of income and they dont have any job. I believe that depending only upon ad revenue that too from tech articles and news is not wise

Yaara Lancet

If writing were something done only as a hobby, the only content you would have seen online is bad content, which would not be worth the effort anyway. There is no reason to pay people who write on paper and no pay people who write online, especially since most people look for their content online, not on paper.

If you want people to have the time to spend on writing good, informative articles, research those articles and answer dozens of comments on each, you have to pay them for their time. Otherwise, they will have to go find someone else who will.

Colin

I use adblock to reduce “junk” on a loading website as I still only have access to dialup speeds here in the third world (rural). Also, I’m broke flatter than p!$$ on a plate, so I never buy anything from ads anyway.

Yaara Lancet

As mentioned in other comments, it doesn’t matter whether you buy things from those ads or not, most times it’s just the fact you’ve seen them that helps the website.

As for your speed problems, I can understand that. Hope you get better speeds there soon!

Heather

Why do I use it? Simple–pages load faster. The saying, after all, is “Time is money”, not “Ad space is money”. And my time is more valuable to me than anyone’s ads are.

Dave Parrack

You do realize sites such as MakeUseOf rely on ads to survive though? Without them there would be no writers, no content, and ultimately no site.

Yaara Lancet

It is unfortunate that ads slow down the loading times a bit. On the other hand, without them, there wouldn’t be any site to load (as Dave said).

Max

Don’t leave home without it.
Won’t use a browser that doesn’t support it.
’nuff said.

Yaara Lancet

And where do you stand on the issue of website that offer free content and rely on ads to survive? Would you like to see a different solution, such as paid content with no ads?

Don

I will always use adblockers, no exceptions. If a site blocks adblockers I would move to another site. Even MUO is expendable since 99+% of its content is available elsewhere. I’ve already challenged a previous MUO writer to ban us, yet here I am still freeloading. :p

Dave Parrack

I don’t use adblockers, and never will. I would rather content on the Web stayed free and unencumbered by a paywall, and advertising is the only way to ensure this. Hell, it’s not like I click on ads regularly. I don’t even notice them most of the time.

John@EconEngineer

Content will always stay free (some extreme examples obviously apply). If MUO became a pay site, some other free site would crop up delivering the same or extremely similar content. I love MUO and read my RSS feeds for it ever day, but I’m under no illusion that it is the only website possible to deliver it’s content, therefore I should make sure to click on ads so it sticks around.

Eric D

Ads are fine but all them end up being some flashy red stuff that is just annoying as hell. I tried to whitelist Makeuseof but my screen started blinking all over and I reactivated AdBlock right away.

I agree that ads are necessary to give sites some revenue but if they can’t understand that some types of ads are in fact making people run away, I’ll block their ads. As simple as that.

Dave Parrack

You tune them out eventually, Eric, believe me. What’s more annoying… the odd flashing ad, a paywall, or no MakeUseOf at all?

Yaara Lancet

I agree with Dave that you tune them out after a little while. I also found it hard when I first disabled adblock, and no I can’t even see them.

Just do you know, we do try to exclude annoying, popping and auto-play ads here at MakeUseOf. If you encounter one of those, you can bet that one of us did too and it will soon be removed.

lfbn

As a web user, I don’t owe anything to any web site I might happen to visit and I have an absolute right to control what is displayed on my screen. Ads annoy me and I’m not going to look at them.

Putting that aside, ads also serve as a common malware vector. I don’t trust the competence of ad networks to police their services or malicious scripts. I browse with Adblock and Noscript on Windows machines and use a hosts file to accomplish as much blocking as I can on every device I own.

I greatly prefer to directly support services I use with a donation or subscription model. A donation of even $5 directly from me is worth more than thousands of ad-laden page refreshes anyway.

Also: Get over yourselves. If you can’t rely on advertising for revenue or you feel that your audience is cheating you somehow by not viewing them, perhaps you should find a different model or a different audience.

Yaara Lancet

First of all, this poll was just a means of seeing what people do and why. It was in no way meant as anything more than that. In fact, I didn’t expect there to be such a discussion on the subject, although I’m always happy to have one. :)

Second, it’s great to know that you’d support websites directly if you could. It’s also a valid solution.

Shawn

I definitely use adblock AND the great element hiding extension offered by Firefox, but I do whitelist some sites. It’s important to remember that blocking advertisements is not an all-or-nothing thing: on sites like MUO that I wish to help support, I can whitelist the site in adblock but can still use the element hider to block the occasional really-annoying ad.

What really gets under my skin is sites that I have run across who will not let you use them at all unless you whitelist them. They display a big message center-screen asking you to whitelist them in adblock before the site becomes useable at all, or there is dramatic decrease in functionality if the site is not whitelisted. This takes away my basic right to have a choice in what I see or don’t… and also makes me speak negatively of certain sites or stop using them altogether.

Yaara Lancet

Thanks for the comment, Shawn. I agree that taking away the choice is an annoying thing to do, and it’s not something we plan to do at MakeUseOf.

CW

I do use AdBlock because, like everyone else, I find ads to be annoying and they slow down the pageload. However, due to an earlier article by MUO of I have now whitelisted this site so I don’t hinder your income. :)

Yaara Lancet

Thank you! That’s awesome. :) As someone said in one of the other comments, ad blocking is not black and white. It’s great that you choose to block some sites, but not all sites.

Clark

I think that it really depends on the user… If you’re the type of person that would NEVER click an add on a page in the first place, be it for perceived security reasons, or that you think you’ll be redirected to somewhere you don’t want to be, than adblock is probably fine.

Yaara Lancet

That’s actually not true. Many ads work on impressions, and with those, it’s enough that you’ve seen the ad, you don’t even have to click it. In that case, and it’s often the case, blocking ads hurts the website displaying it.

Andysnat

I wouldn’t leave home without adblock+

I never revisit sites that ask me to whitelist.

I feel no guilt for this behaviour.

I don’t have to throw things at the internet when annoying ads show, like I do with the TV, because I have deliberately blocked ads. Life is good, except for my Leukaemia.

Krishnapriya

Makeuseof.com is the only website on my whitelist.

Thomas Cloud

I filter all advertisements from all websites not to deny them a chance opportunity at revenue, hell, we all have to work; but to deny access to my pc from infected advertisements. I run software called Admuncher on a machine that hosts a proxy server for my network. All network traffic is routed through the proxy which is then filtered by admuncher. My users don’t have the opportunity to even white list sites because they are blocked before they get to their PC. So, I apologize if block an ad in any way offends you but I will not allow that attack vector on my network.

Krishnapriya

I have Admucnher but most of the time I forget to turn it on.

Yaara Lancet

Thank you! :)

Krishnapriya

:)

J.P. Howde

Yes I use Adblock+ (and Noscript, and a couple of others) to avoid the ads.

I’m fine if a site makes viewing ads a condition of viewing. It’s just a less drastic version of a paywall – in either case I’ll then decide if it’s worth it to me.

To be honest I’m not scared by the threats of doom if ads are blocked. I’ve never noticed a world shortage of people who want to tell you what they think.

Yaara Lancet

Nah, no doom, just worst content. :)

As with everything, people can only do so much when they work for free. Of course they will always be people around who do it for free, but they’re usually in it hoping to make a living out of it eventually. If they can’t, they’ll stop too.

RaMaN

“I’ve never noticed a world shortage of people who want to tell you what they think”
But you’ll never see content of high quality with that.

Rick

Yes I use Adblock and Ghostery and Greasemonkey and Noscript. It is my right not to have my internet activity forced on me or monitored or tracked. I also don’t like to wait 3 minutes for a page to load simply because it’s webmaster overloads it with images and flash.

n1

A more interesting question is – which do you prefer:

1) No Make Use Of
2) Ad-supported Make Use Of
3) Subscription-based MUO, e.g. $5/yr
4) a la carte MUO, e.g. pay $0.01/article

Yaara Lancet

Excellent suggestion! I was thinking of doing something like this in the future.

Just out of curiosity, what would you choose?

Greg

If I have to pay, probably the first one. Plenty of other sites out there.

RaMaN

I’ll choose 2nd option with the condition that I’ve a fast connection. I always want to support awesome websites like this but I’m compelled to use it :/

Yaara Lancet

You will never HAVE to pay. MakeUseof will always remain a free site first and foremost. :)

Mats Svensson

Sometimes i try white-listing sites id like to support.

But then i usually revoke it immediately as soon as a billion things on the page starts to blink and rotate and bounce and crawl around and play videos, and play sounds and generally try to take a shit in my eyes.

If you put stuff like that on your page, your site deserves to die anyway.

Yaara Lancet

Obtrusive ads are really annoying, I agree with that. But keep in mind that when you first disable Adblock, everything looks obtrusive. After all, you were used to seeing no ads at all. So give it a chance, maybe they’re not as annoying as it seems at first.

I agree that auto-play ads and ads that cover content really are annoying, and websites should do their best to avoid them. Sometimes they slip through even when you try to avoid them, though.

Ellen Loehman

Yes (except for MUO, which made me aware of how to whitelist them). Flash ads especially are annoying and frequently cause pages to hang. I’m not anti-advertising, but sometimes they interfere with the content. Is there an Adblocker alternative to block ads that take more than 1 s to load?

Yaara Lancet

You can try using Flashblock to block only Flash elements on the page, that can be a relief. Many times Flash elements are the ones that make everything slow. If you do that, you still get to see many ads, and your experience stays quick enough.

Nemis

I use AbBlock on sites that doesn’t have static ads (as I can’t stand them).
(MUO has a mix of static and dynamic, which makes me have to put it on my blacklist :-( )

fewads4me

I generally block ads (especially Flash) because sites have become too busy with animation, pop-ups/unders, noise and scripts. But i do whitelist some sites that I frequently use. Ghostery, Adblock+, Noscript and even the old AdSubtract are still on my computers. Pages load much better now and are easier on my brain (such as it is).

Dawn

Default is AdBlock on. If I’m just surfing and am unlikely to return to a site, they will lose any earnings from ad impressions. Sorry webmaster, you have to earn my support. If a site grabs my attention and I find myself a regular reader, then eventually I’ll check them out with Adblock disabled. If the ads are not intrusive or obnoxious or immoral or distasteful, then I’ll whitelist the site. I understand the ad model of site support and don’t object to it, but I will register my objection to ads that offend me or make my time on a page unpleasant by blocking them. FYI, MUO is whitelisted.

I understand peoples position that they would rather make a donation to sites they want to support. It’s a good idea in theory, but I suspect that not that many people get around to doing it in actual practice.

Yaara Lancet

That sounds like good reasoning to me. And I agree that ads should be offending or unpleasant. Good websites should try to avoid those, if possible.

It’s also true that most people who say they prefer to donate money will probably not get around to doing it or do it only once, which it not a good alternative for ad support.

Sonny

Yaara, there IS no conflict. People do NOT want these ads. They’re bad for the internet (wasting bandwidth) and obnoxious as hell sometimes. I don’t want to watch some car driving all over my screen, while I’m trying to read the content I came there for. They’ve gone too far. There are many videos I *do* want to watch, that end up being shorter than the ads. I have no idea how it is that you try to justify, ‘support’ when the ads are starting to take over the net. I browse hundreds of pages daily, and I for one am sick and tired of how proliferate ads have become. A small add on on the side that doesn’t talk or move? That’s fine! But these days your blitzed with ads, and for each video you do want to watch, you have to watch a commerical first??? You, are insane. Advocate for support? Yes, Advocate for allowing the kind of nonsense that’s going on now? You don’t live in the real world. There’s a huge difference between what you’re saying, and what’s real on the net now.

Yaara Lancet

Hi Sonny,

As I said in the comment above, I agree that a lot of the times ads go too far. Ads shouldn’t be offending, they shouldn’t take over your screen, they shouldn’t be too distracting so that you can’t read what you want, etc.

The fact that ads are out of control on many websites, doesn’t mean that all ads are necessarily bad. Yes, it would have been a perfect world if we didn’t need ads. If we could get our content to the same amount of people without them, and still be able to provide quality content and make a living. In reality, most people, and that includes me, would not want to pay for every single website they read.

So yes, there’s work to be done. Ads should be well thought out and implemented in such a way that they don’t drive users crazy. But at this point in time, without the ads, there will also be no websites like MakeUseOf. That, in my opinion, is not a better Internet.

Joe P

I’ll stop using Adblock when web sites share their revenue with my ISP and they agree to stop sending me a bill. $60/month means I want it my way. Besides, there have been too many flaws with ad servers being compromised and spreading trojans. Reducing the attack surface is something we all need to do.

Anemone

I simply would not be able to browse anymore without Adblock. Ugly, inane, intrusive ads have festered online to the point that many sites are nigh-illegible without an ad blocking add-on. If ads were a little better, a little more interesting, and much less intrusive, I wouldn’t mind but as it is, it’s clear that 99.9% of ad writers think they are speaking to complete idiots. For the very same reason, I turn off the sound for ads on Hulu and channel surf when the radio station hits a commercial break. And God knows I’m a sucker for clever or funny ads. I understand that websites and broadcasters get their revenue from ads, but the solution is not to beg the public to watch bad ads — it’s the pressure the marketing firms to produce better ads.

giony

the internets without adblock & flashblock is a jungle that i’m not willing to go through.
the rare times i use IE, i get scarred. they never go away.

and, oh, btw, should the webmasters use their brain for a bit, adblock is easy to fool and go around. but…let them be complacent. i like my uncluttered internets. and, if because of adblock you may go out of business…haha, no worries, there’ll be plenty of people out there to fill the void.

Yaara Lancet

Of course websites can go around Adblock or limit content for those who use it, but it’s not a solution. It’s a way to lose readers, not to gain them. If a website would go around Adblock and no block ads for you, would you continue to visit it despite that? Probably not, so it’s not a solution.

A solution is for websites to make an effort to use friendly and pleasant ads and much as possible, and for users to understand that seeing those ads is their way of directly supporting the website that is providing them with awesome free content.

RaMaN

I use adblock because I’ve a very slow connection otherwise I’ll be happy to support every my favorite website.

Sueska

I have supported MUO by purchasing several hot tech deals. I have also recently whitelisted MUO. Sometimes, however, I need to temporarily turn adblock back on to read the articles.

Terry

I use ad-block cause I Just find adds Irritating all the time!

temir_kazak

adblock is awsome. when i watch movie on youku.com ,there are too many ads, i come across with adblock in chrome webstore, how lucky i am.

WorknMan

Hey, I’m a little late to the party, but just wanted to chime in …

I will never turn on ads for anyone or anything, but if you guys have a donate button somewhere, I’ll throw some cash in your piggybank.

If there’s a way to donate, what’s a reasonable amount to put in? In other words, about how much do you make from ad revenue per visitor?

Yaara Lancet

I can’t tell you an exact figure (I don’t know it myself), but $5-$10 is probably a reasonable amount.

Anonymous

The amount made by showing ads to any one visitor almost certainly falls well below that number, but due to the fees associated with current payment processors, paying less than $5 will result in the site receving very little compared to the fees. So unless you want to donate to PayPal, donate at least $5. If you don’t care enough about the content to donate at least $5, then just show your support in other ways, such as pointing other people to the content.

Joop deBruin`

I use AdBlock, Ghostery, TACO and a few other blockers.

It’s your choice to try to get $$ from ads, it’s my choice not to view them.
I pay for several (7-8?) sites and have no problem doing so if the value is there.

The entire pay for ad viewing paradigm is dying and rightfully so. So you better had be thinking about how else to pay for your web hosting and bandwidth…..

BTW – I jumped to this poll from a listing on Google, otherwise I’ve never been to this site, but have heard of it.

Yaara Lancet

Well, welcome to MakeUseOf! :)

It’s great that you’re willing to pay for good content. It’s a valid solution for the whole ads vs. ad blocking conflict.

Bthielke

I currently use AdBlock on all websites because I got tired of all the flash ads running and slowing my connection (of which I pay plenty of money for each month). I tried AdBlock for a few days and decided I liked it so well that I sent a voluntary donation. I appreciate and respect the work of other people and their desire to earn a living, so I am willing to pay (even it it a voluntary donation) to support them if I find their content useful. I am going to start whitelisting the sites I view frequently to show my support also but I NEVER click on an ad from a website (afraid of viruses, trojans, etc.). If I find an ad interesting, I will search for the information.

Yaara Lancet

You don’t have to click on ads to help a website, just seeing the ads is usually enough.

By the way, you can also try Flashblock, which only blocks out Flash ads, but not other, less annoying and heavy ads.

Suhel

there are few websites that I’ve whitelisted (including MUO) because these websites need to be removed from ADBLOCK cus they dont just simply copy and paste. the writers write the articles and we need to show them some appreciation

Yaara Lancet

Thanks Suhel! We appreciate the support. :)

Anonymous

I use Adblock Plus on Firefox, for three reasons: privacy, browsing speed, and distraction removal. While sites can try to use unobtrusive ads that don’t distract, and structure their pages and ads so they load quickly, very few ad networks actually respect user privacy; in particular, user tracking across sites represents one major reason ad networks will sometimes pay for impressions rather than clicks.

As an example of a site whose content I feel perfectly willing to pay for, check out LWN.net. They have a reasonably priced subscription service which provides access to articles as soon as they get published, while non-subscribers can view those articles with a one week delay. LWN has excellent depth and breadth, particularly in their coverage of many high-volume information sources; a subscription to LWN provides timely information and saves a huge amount of time compared to following those sources directly. And enough other people feel the same way that LWN makes enough subscription revenue to employ several full-time staff; many have even voluntarily asked if they could pay more, just to support the editors.

So, in case you felt that the people saying they’d rather pay for content than have ads won’t actually pay up, here’s an example of myself and many others paying just to get content a week earlier (and support its continued creation in the first place).

Yaara Lancet

Thanks for the comment and the link, I haven’t heard of LWN before. Looks like an interesting model.

Owen

I have been using a hosts file and different ad-block solutions in my browsers for so long that I don’t think I’ve seen more than 10 ads in the almost 20 years that I have been on the internet. I don’t feel at all guilty about using ad-blocking techniques. It’s my computer and I have a right to block material which I find objectionable. I delete cookies at the close of the browser and I also delete flash cookies on a regular basis.

All of these tactics used by advertisers only make my computer slower, less efficient and invite the possibility of viruses and malware. When I repair computers for relatives and close friends, the first thing I do is install software to remove advertising along with a “hosts” file to block most major advertisers. I have shown the more tech savy people how to edit their hosts file to let good addresses through. But most of the people I know are not very tech savy and If their computer was left to them with admin privilages, they’d have it in non-repairable condition in a few short hours.

I have always been willing to pay for products that I value. I have made donations to websites that provide quality content. Maybe you should think about creating a tiered system where subscribers can lose the ads and gain some sort of additional benefit from joining.

Yaara Lancet

Thanks for the comment, Owen. I understand where you’re coming from, and we are considering letting people donate money if this is the way they prefer to go. Had it been possible, would you subscribe to a monthly fee or would you want to donate one time only?

Nomadss1

Duh! Did you really have to ask?

Craz!B0n3

I use bind9 running on a linux server with squid caching proxy keeps me below the fap limit on satellite isp. I block thousands of sites to keep away the evil little advertisements and other malicious crap. Besides, if I need something, I will not buy it because of an ad and if a product is over advertised I will refuse to buy it all together. Ads just piss me off.

anonymous

i thinks ads are just to make people look dizzy, no body would use “band-consuming, big-sloppy images, smiling girls with a coke in there hands” to make him feel good. Unimportant, so not instructive (the media is 99% laying with 1 left for unrevealed truth”. u might cal me pessimistic crazy guy, search deep inside, u might find the same guy in the corner somewhere :-P “thats deep :-O”
regards

Marc

I use Adblock Plus, FlashBlock, Ghostery and Stylish Scripts.
Why? Primarily because I have a physical issue with things moving on the screen when I’m trying to focus elsewhere, I just cannot do it. So since most ads are dynamic instead of static I do not feel any qualms about blocking them. In addition I have purchased the fastest internet connection I can get where I live (about 2.5 Mbps) and the internet is a little more responsive with all the extra stuff blocked. That’s my reality. I understand that ad-supported is what makes many sites work, but they just don’t work for me.

Andrew Nettleman

Adblock software its the online equivalent of a DVR. Just like TV, bloggers will have to reevaluate their advertising model.

max1

It didn’t take long for the word “Paywall” to enter the debate. First, pleading and now subtle threats of a Paywall! Next you be calling us thieves! If you haven’t been keeping up on current events, newspapers are not making enough money behind a paywall. Here’s another add blocker for Firefox and Google Chrome called “disconnect.me”. You can add that to your list of evil add on’s.

If you think I care about you’re website going out of business? Think again! My privacy and Pc security comes first!

Ryan

I use it all the time, until advertisers decide to respect the end-users by not forcing the ad’s down our throats, it will stay on.

The worst ones are the popups that place themselves directly in front of the video your about to start watching. Fuck advertisers.

Mars

You know what, I don’t even care if the ads are annoying. It’s the spyware and tracking cookies that I don’t like. I whitelist websites if their reputation doesn’t indicate malware.

Dave

Adblock might be a good choice today but if it continues this way it will result in websites providing payed content instead of free.

Remember world wide web is free because of ads … and not because money grows on trees for webdesigners

Paul

Because ads are crap that clutter life and slow downloads. If free content disappeared from culture, we would have to choose what to pay for. Would this be the death of anything? Think about books, public libraries and what you read.

Read about the Internet gift economy. Personally I pay for three websites that do not have ads and are a gift to users. I also run a store without ads. I faithfully mute commercials on television and mostly have limited my television watching to netflix disks of reruns.

Go to Vermont or Maine and drive around. No billboards, gorgeous states. Yours would look as good without billboards. Why Americans love this crap is beyond me.

It’s probably overreach to make the case that Americans wouldn’t have the obese, slothful, war mongering, juvenile, superstitious (and religious) culture that we have without advertising, but it’s one of my fondest fantasies. Viva Adblock.

I donate to AdBlock and would pay for it. If I suddenly found myself with a windfall of cash, I would create the most obnoxious ads I could for AdBlock that would say. “Never put up with this crap again” in audio, video, animated gifs and blink tags and which took 3 minutes to load while displaying it’s message on an animated gif.
Your site would probably refuse to run them.

And thank you for promoting AdBlock with this article.

Andrew

I use Adblock not because of the stationary, ‘newspaper or magazine style’ ads, but the ads that jump across the screen or the ones that play automatically in a video you weren’t even going to watch. So you have to look for the ‘x’ to close it, or find where on the page the video is. Plus the dumb animations on some of them. Clever way for me to look sure, but just annoying. No thanks.

avmf8

I block all adds 100% of the time. Advertising is nothing but manipulation. If you turn off addblock and get used to adds they start to manipulate you. I am not a conspiracy nut I have just seen actual advertisers talk and admit it is just that. they put it there to get brand recognition so when you are out to purchase something you may end up buying there brand. It may not be a huge manipulation but it still is a form of manipulation.

Even if that is not the case which I doubt, I hate advertising. To me adds look allot like graffiti when you visit a site. Worse case scenario they are manipulating you, best case they are annoying and ugly and make many sites look like a trash dump.

Sites say they use unobtrusive adds but that is not true. Advertising is looking to get your attention. So every add will be competing for your concentration. I see one add while reading and it throws me off. For that matter I find just a pic beside what I am reading distracting.

In fact my addblock just as often blocks things that are not a commercials but I simply don’t like it. If I see a picture on a site for example and I think it looks ugly I block it.

Having advertising shoved in my face over the years has made me develop a deep rooted hate for it. I flat out hate it so any advertisement is too much. It would be the equivalent of someone trying to read a article while someone was in the room bothering them. In fact I believe advertising should be removed from society entirely.

Also if I see an addvert it does the opposite effect from what they want. If I have an advert for a product I am likely not going to purchase it. If someone wants me to buy something don’t come to me I will come to them from my own choosing. If I never came around its because I did not want it in the first place.

That reminds me of yet another thing. Advertising acts like you are too stupid to know what you want unless someone shows it to you. The last thing I even bought from a advert was Final Phantasy 7 and anyone who games would know that was a long time ago. That game came out what 18 years ago?

Sonny

I love adblock, not just because it blocks all the annoying ads but videos ads, which is important because video ads like most, are buffered, ie: they’re downloaded to your system before viewing.. which means it’s taking up (wasting) bandwidth, and slowing your browsing down. This is especially bad news for mobile users who have limited bandwidth.. Let them charge for content.. I simply won’t go there. They’ll get tired soon enough of not making enough money. They’re far too prevalent now. I’ve seen sights that are close to 50% of the website.. ridiculous. An ad here and there is ok, but in todays internet, it’s just too much.