Please Whitelist MakeUseOf In Adblock: A Plea From a Former Adblock Filter Developer

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why adblock is badIt’s no secret that we’re not huge fans of Adblock here at MakeUseOf. But we know that some of you won’t let go of Adblock until it’s pried out of your cold, dead hands. If you must use Adblock, you can still support MakeUseOf and other websites you love by whitelisting us.

It’s time for a truce between Adblock users and respectful advertisers. Go ahead and block ads on websites that abuse your browser with pop-ups and videos. But help support MakeUseOf and the websites you love by letting our ads through. We hate bad ads too, and we don’t allow the worst offenders on our website.

Let’s Call a Truce

I have a confession to make. I once was involved with EasyList, the default advertisement blocking filter list used by Adblock Plus at the time. I helped drive the development of EasyList’s initial set of element-hiding filters, which remove even unobtrusive text ads, like the ones on Google. It would have eventually happened without me, but I was still involved.

Those were heady times. With the integration of pop-up blockers in every browser, we – well, at least I – felt we were pushing back at advertisers who had abused their power over us, and that advertisement blocking was the next front after pop-up blockers. It didn’t matter whether it was a video ad that played sound or a tiny advertisement link on a web page, we would remove it.

The Adblock Plus project is stepping back from this approach with its new focus on allowing unintrusive ads. MakeUseOf’s ads don’t qualify at the moment, but Adblock’s developers realize that blocking all advertisements is a mistake.

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We Hate Bad Ads, Too

There are good ads and bad ads, websites that respect users and ones that abuse them, and it’s a mistake to treat them all the same way. Pulling the trigger on even the most unobtrusive of text ads was a push too far – and I’m ashamed to say I’m the one who pulled the trigger.

We don’t like bad ads here at MakeUseOf. We don’t have pop-ups or video ads. If you see any, let us know and we’ll block them. We can’t vet every advertisement before it appears on our website, so an occasional bad one might slip through. But we do our best to keep our ads in line.

“But I Never Click Ads Anyway!”

Many people think that, because they never click on ads, it doesn’t matter whether they block them or not. This is far from true. Some ads pay websites per impression, so every time the ad loads, the website makes money — a tiny amount of money that gradually adds up.

Whenever you load a page on our website, you cost us money. Advertising helps defray that cost and pay us so we can keep working on MakeUseOf.

“Your Business Model Isn’t My Problem”

Websites need money to survive. Even if we writers, editors, and web developers could work for free – and we can’t; we all need money to live – web hosting and bandwidth aren’t free. I know you’ve heard this a million times before, and the comeback is always that it’s not the readers’ problem that our business model depends on advertising.

But what are some alternative business models we could use?

  • Paywalls – We could charge you a monthly subscription fee to read our website, like the New York Times does.

why adblock is bad for free internet

  • Microtransactions – You could pay a small amount – maybe five cents – to read each post. How fun would it be to pay for every article you read on the Web?
  • Sponsored Content – If the advertising and the content is the same, there’s no way to block the advertising. How would you like to read a review of Windows 8 that was sponsored by Microsoft?
  • DonationsWikipedia provides a website free of advertising, but they have to ask for donations to do it.

We get paid to create awesome content, you get to read it for free – and advertisers and big corporations foot the bill. Doesn’t that sound like a good deal?

We Have a Choice to Make

Here at MakeUseOf, we believe passionately in giving you high-quality free stuff. Advertising makes that possible. We don’t want to charge you money or engage in the blog equivalent of product placement.

If you like our website and want to preserve a Web that’s free to use, without paywalls all over the place, please whitelist us. This doesn’t just apply to MakeUseOf — please whitelist every site you love and want to support.

If you want paywalls and product placement, then use Adblock on every website. It’s your choice. Every time you load a website with Adblock enabled, you’re casting a vote against the kind of free content you’ll find here.

why adblock is bad for free internet

How To Whitelist Us Right Now

Whitelisting MakeUseOf is simple. Just click the Adblock icon in your browser and select “Disable on”

why adblock is bad for free internet

Uncheck the “Enabled for this site” check box if you’re using Chrome.

why adblock is bad

Let us know what you think in the comments. We love our readers – you’re the ones who make this website possible.

Image Credit: White Surrender Flag via Shutterstock, Hand with Ballot via Shutterstock

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