Why the Fight Back Against Ad-Blockers Should Matter to You Now

Dann Albright 07-04-2016

The future of your browsing habits could change.


Ad-blocking is controversial: there are no two ways about it. Readers hate ads, publishers need to make money Are Ad Blocking Browser Extensions Killing The Internet? One of the reasons for the Internet’s surge in popularity is the cost of most online content – or rather, the lack of cost. That’s not to say the content is free, however. Almost every... Read More . That’s just how it is. But until recently, it’s been a relatively one-sided battle in which readers had all the tools they needed for ad-blocking, and publishers just had to ask to be whitelisted Please Whitelist MakeUseOf In Adblock: A Plea From a Former Adblock Filter Developer It’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... Read More . But things are changing.

Companies are starting to fight back against ad-blocking, and it could affect your browsing experience, whether you use an ad blocker or not.

Here are four interesting ways in which publishers are looking to get proactive about recouping ad revenue.

Legal Challenges

In some countries, taking legal action has been a preferred method for publishers. Eyeo, the developers of Adblock Plus (ABP) is in their cross-hairs. In the past couple years, Eyeo has won some legal cases in Germany, and we’ve heard rumblings of potential suits in both France and the United States. But, with the repeated victories in Germany, companies are reconsidering their tactics.

Most suits seem to stand on the idea that ad-blocking is an anticompetitive practice. Governments want to stifle this before it becomes a Frankenstein. Monopoly reduces competition in the marketplace and it can have disastrous economic results. Price fixing, exclusive dealing, territory division, and certain types of digital rights management What Is DRM & Why Does It Exist If It's So Evil? [MakeUseOf Explains] Digital Rights Management is the latest evolution of copy protection. It’s the biggest cause of user frustration today, but is it justified? Is DRM a necessary evil in this digital age, or is the model... Read More are all examples of anti-competitive practices.



A spokesperson for ProSieben, a German publisher that lost against Eyeo, even went so far as to say that its loss in court was an attack on freedom of the press. Copyright laws have also been discussed, as some publishers claim that ad-blockers alter their pages without their consent (though this claim seems unlikely to hold much water, as publishers often don’t know which ads are being served by third-party networks on their own pages).

It’s a safe bet that legal challenges to ad-blocking will continue, and that they’ll be mired in appeals courts for years to come. Maybe, until a judge sides with the publishers, at which time ad-blocking companies will start their own appeals process, which will end . . . probably sometime around never.

Watching these legal processes unfold in different countries will also be interesting, as the Internet is a strong globalizing force, and any legal action taken against ad-block developers or users will be quite difficult to enforce.


The Rise of Paywalls

The most tragic consequence of the proliferation of ad-blocking is the rise in use of paywalls that deny readers access to high-quality content. Of course, paywalls have been used by the websites of traditional media outlets Paywall Trend On The Internet [INFOGRAPHIC] Being a former newspaper journalist, I can sympathise to a very large extent with the plight of print media. With the relentless onslaught of the Internet, and peoples expectations that "information should be free", print... Read More for years in an effort to stop giving away their articles for free, but ad-blocking seems to have accelerated the discussion of additional paywalls, if not its adoption.

The number of sites that have paywalls is difficult or impossible to measure, but if you spend a lot of time online, you’ve probably noticed an increase over the past few years. Big names like the New York Times, the Financial Times, the Wall Street Journalthe New Yorker, and the Harvard Business Review are some of the biggest names to have experimented with paywalls.


Whether paywalls are effective in making money for newspaper sites is up for debate, with some people saying that they actually cause an increase in revenue, while others saying they just drive away potential readers. It’s easy to see why a publisher might be interested in this method when faced with the prospect of losing ad revenue, but whether it works is another story.


While content blocking (see next section) is likely to increase rapidly, the future of paywalls seems indeterminate at this point. Some sites have seen success with them, and will likely continue to use them. Others, have had less success and probably won’t (especially as users get better at sneaking by paywalls 5 Ways To Get Around The New York Times Paywall Did you know that the New York Times spent an incredible $40 million on their recent paywall solution? Did you also know that it can be circumvented with all but a few clicks? If you're... Read More ). We’ll just have to see what happens.

Enforce with Content Blocking

The newest and arguably most irritating way for publishers to make money on their sites is content blocking, or an “ad-block wall”: not allowing users to see any portion of the website while they have an ad blocker enabled. Instead, you’ll see a pop-over or a screen telling you that you won’t be able to see anything on the page without whitelisting the site or turning your ad-blocker off. This is becoming a popular strategy.

GQ and Forbes are currently using this tactic, and other sites have trialed it. WIRED is planning on instituting an ad-block wall soon. Interestingly, Forbes offers you a trade: turn off your ad-blocker and you’ll get the “ad-light” experience, which they call “less intrusive.” What they don’t tell you right up front is that the ad-light version of the sites only lasts for 30 days, after which you presumably get the full-force ads or need to pay up.



This type of action is getting more popular, and that trend seems set to continue. At least some publishers are reporting success with this method. According to Fortune,

Matthias Dopfner, CEO of German media giant Axel Springer[,] told the Financial Times that after implementing a similar block at its newspaper Bild, more than two-thirds of users chose to turn off their ad-blocking software. That meant 3 million more visits that could be monetized through advertising, he said.

That’s a lot of money, and Bild‘s success is likely to galvanize other publishers into at least trying to deny ad-blocking users access to their site. Though it remains to be seen if other sites can leverage this technique to the same degree of success.

Business Insider reported that many sites haven’t seen good results or have technical difficulties that make the ad-blocks walls easy to get around, making the overall effectiveness of this method questionable. As companies continue to innovate in this area, the situation will change, but exactly how is anyone’s guess.

The Polite Plea

You’ve almost certainly seen this strategy used, and recently; websites recognize that you’re using an ad-blocker, but instead of denying you access, they simply replace ads with a (usually) polite request 3 Tactics For Dealing With Ad-Block Users On Your Site Leaving ethical discussions aside (since I made my views on that quite clear last time), it is nonetheless true that ad-blocking is a real problem for bloggers and site owners the world over whose only... Read More that you consider donating to the site to keep it running.


I wasn’t able to find any statistics on whether this tactic works, but I have to imagine that it’s not effective. A publisher’s decision to run with this tactic instead of an entire ad-block wall is easy to understand, but if it continues to be ineffective, it’s likely that we’ll see more sites switching to more aggressive measures to monetize their page views.

How Does It Matter to You

With continuing litigation and the proliferation of aggressive anti-ad-block measures like paywalls and content blocking, the future of your browsing experience is in the balance of the ad-block debate, whether you’re blocking ads or not. And no matter how you feel about it, it is a debate. There are strong arguments on both sides, and a lot of negotiating power in the hands of proponents of both views.

It’s impossible to predict what the next salvo fired by either side will be, but I’m confident in saying that it could directly affect how we spend time on the Internet and what we’re able to see for free. This is true whether you use ad-blockers or not.

What do you think about the measures that publishers are taking to reduce or drop ad-blocking on their sites? Do you donate to sites that ask politely? Or do you just block all ads everywhere? What happens when you hit an ad-block wall? Share your thoughts and experiences below!

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  1. Alex Angelou
    July 23, 2019 at 9:47 pm

    Ads in the internet have for a longtime been malicious and obtrusive. It's no wonder people are using ad-blockers. You can try adding a paywall, or try to enforce content blocking, but that route will surely lead to a cat and mouse problem. The cost of avoiding ad-blockers might hurt the site in the same way ad-blockers did. Plus you'll lose an awful lot of views. Don't blame it on us; this is merely a retaliation. Blame it to the mentality that because ads are what give me money, I should not moderate any of them. We are not the product, try to make us the product and you'll eventually fail. And the reason is our Freedom. For a product to be a product, it should to not have any freedom of choice. Cause that freedom of choice leads to undefined behavior, and undefined behavior might lessen the product's quality indefinitely.

    Now, the internet is to the brim of losing its way of making money. It's retaliating to a retaliation they brought upon themselves by being ignorant. They think that this is the best course of action. But they forgot one thing: this way they are pushing their product away. And when a company pushes its product away it has two options: change its product (or focus), or die. On the other hand open technologies are stealing companies' userbase, by actually treating the customer as a customer, and not as a product. And it's slowly but surely thriving, by setting the bar on how customer experience should be.

    What are they gonna do

    What are YOU gonna do.

  2. Jolanxbl
    July 22, 2019 at 4:09 pm

    The Fisher Investment ad even covers makeuseof's searchbar on mobile. That's amusing.

  3. Pierre
    March 7, 2019 at 11:03 am

    it's the Advertiser's fault, maybe the Web Site owners - as well:
    - all of those 'malicious' advert's Turn Folks Off - big time.
    so, there is now those who'won't stop using an ad-block'
    & those web sites that now use an anti-ad-block method
    - - it's now a war - - and which side started this ? ?
    ie: nobody will 'win' this fight - - everyone loses out.

  4. Fg
    December 3, 2018 at 4:05 pm

    I Have gotten multiple "1000's" of antivirus hits from malicious ads on 100's of different sites over the last 3-5 years with sites not even knowing whats being linked as ads on their very pages when the ads can me altered at anytime on the fly and the urls. . Now I do use multiple ad blockers but no ad-blocker or AB+ . They are doing some bad stuff buy charging some sites a ransom to auto white list which is wrong on them and bad for the users . I block ad server urls in my router directly . no matter what device you are on the ads get terminated instantly and there is no way the ad server can circumvent it. I would just assume not have the internet at all if there is a ad / tracker/collector/analytic data collection. etc.. advertisers are taking the advertisements to far , the ads the tracking the sale of my data is the malicious actions with these advertisers not be blocking advertisement . I have created a collection of my own . The ad server address are very easy to collect .

  5. Matthew
    May 24, 2018 at 10:24 am

    Well written article! Yes, Adblocking has become threat to publishers. Adblocking is hurting our online advertising business. We need to take drastic action to squash these malicious adblockers.
    Even I have lost a good portion of ad revenues due to adblockers. Then I tried Adzsafe. It surprisingly disables adblocker instantly and allows my ads to load and to be displayed safely on any browser that has adblocker installed. It ceased the loss of ad revenues and I saw sudden increase in ad revenues from my ads.

  6. Matthew
    May 24, 2018 at 10:19 am

    Well written article! Yes, Adblocking has become threat to publishers. Adblocking is hurting our online advertising business. We need to take drastic action to squash these malicious adblockers. Even I have lost a good portion of ad revenues due to adblockers. Then I tried Adzsafe. It surprisingly disables adblocker instantly and allows my ads to load and to be displayed safely on any browser that has adblocker installed. It ceased the loss of ad revenues and I saw sudden increase in ad revenues from my ads.

  7. fdsf
    July 11, 2017 at 5:53 am

    lol no

  8. Arrogant
    December 9, 2016 at 3:00 am

    I am planning to put adblock wall and protect my content from free dwellers.
    It's my right, your right is you can go to another site for free content.

    Dr Arrogant
    Health magazine

    • Dann Albright
      December 10, 2016 at 12:07 am

      That most certainly is your right. Let us know how it works! I'm curious to see how many people still go to your site. It's not always clear how that affects the number of visitors on a site, and I'd love to hear your experience with it.

      • Arrogant
        December 10, 2016 at 5:52 am

        Analyze my last month statistics. I put a plugin to measure the number of ad blocker users coming to my site. As my earnings are dipping, I have to take some desperate measures.

        page views unique visitors
        total 149871 86181
        with ad block 25867 20309
        share of ad block users 17% 24% load benchmark data
        general benchmark 26% 24% update benchmark data
        category benchmark 24% 24%
        If 25% of my earning is lost to the adblock software, and I only use genuine ads ie adsense, neither popup ads nor low quality ads, readers are not doing fair to my site.
        It takes me 3-4 hours to write compile an article , and now other thing i can do is only stop writing and focus on something else.
        Also the news that, adblockers are taking ransom for whitelisting ads make it a Criminal plugin.

        Dr Arrogant

        • Dann Albright
          December 14, 2016 at 8:22 pm

          I'd be very interested to see how those statistics compare to the stats after you start blocking people with ad blockers!

  9. Adam
    April 30, 2016 at 8:57 am

    Dann Albright is like all the typical wanna be's out there dribbling opinionated garbage. about a Topic that has become so irrelevant its an insult to our intelligence.

    Considering over 50 percent of the Southern Hemisphere and over 1 billion users world wide are using Ad blockers and blocking Ads Online and growing daily, growth estimates for Ad Blocking growing by over 1 million users per day, by 2019, 90 percent of all 3 Billion Internet users will be blocking Ads, Internet Advertising is Finished.
    Therefore its a pointless argument going round in irrelevant circles because their mis info spam and BS coming from the IAB, Advertisers and Publishers has fallen on deaf ears, no body listens.. People Hate Advertising, Period!!
    The internet has already changed and Internet Advertising is irrelevnt. the End of Advertising. Users now have the ability and are in control of what they see with the Power to Block and Remove any and all content, scripts, ect from a Webpage using Plug ins for Browsers and if they want to can strip a website back to a blank page very easily, Ad and Content Blockers result in a clean fast internet.experience and the only people who cannot accept that fact move on and constantly cry about their failures are the IAB, Advertisers and Publishers. Irrelevant is hat they are Ad blockers don't see their Smut don't want their smut and the Internet will be better for it in the end.

    Its been long overdue for Corporations to Fall and not have the ability to infest the Internet with what they believe is acceptable, it are the users now calling the shots and that means one thing, Internet Advertising and the corporations behind it are Finished. RIP.

    • Dann Albright
      December 10, 2016 at 12:09 am

      You're certainly not the only person who feels that way, but no one has been able to give me a good answer yet: how will the people who write things for websites get paid? If no one is getting ad revenue, how are they going to make money to continue to produce content? I'm not saying that advertising won't go away . . . but if the way you describe it comes to pass, so will a huge portion of the internet. What do you think will happen on that end of things?

      • iLoveTux
        December 13, 2016 at 12:53 am

        Amazon has a program which is pretty easy to get involved in where authors can list their works and charge for them. I find this acceptable, others probably do not. The debate, however, is skewed.

        The authors are not monetizing their works as much as selling their readers out. Advertising online is not just about getting you to buy a product. It is about tracking your every move online. Even if advertisers are not able to sell you a product or service they still are able to collect information about you, your interests and your habits.

        That's not the only thing, while this argument is playing out in litigation right now, the cases only represent a fraction of online advertising. A lion's share of advertising revenues go to companies like facebook where they don't even create any original content, they take that from their users. They created a platform once and now are able to capitalize on their users constant content creation. The users don't see any of that money as they are just one more person which is tracked and exploited.

        The fact of the matter is that unless there is considerable legislation restricting what information advertisers are allowed to collect and what they are allowed to do with it, it is an unfair proposition to ask of users to trade their privacy for a simple article.

        There has to be a better way. Perhaps a platform where users can pay a membership fee to read content from many publishers without tracking or advertising. The fees can be distributed evenly to the authors who you have read from. I've heard of a similar model based on apps although I cannot remember the company or project name.

        Another option would be to have a service like where users pay micro-payments (like $ 0.10-0.20) per article they read.

        In the end, we have to admit that online advertising is incredibly more invasive than radio or television advertising and we need to find a better way.

        • Dann Albright
          December 28, 2016 at 6:58 pm

          The micropayment idea is pretty interesting! You'd have to get huge buy-in from content producers to make it work, but it seems more feasible than many of the other options I've heard (or the standard "I don't know, it's YOUR job to figure it out!" retort). I'd happily support a system like that. Though the payments would have to be slightly more complex, and either be distributed based on read time or some other factor so that longer, more in-depth articles are worth more and authors get paid more for them. That's a very interesting idea, though!

          As for legislation, I'd love for the government to get more involved in this discussion, but I'm not sure how likely I think that is. The government is all about citizen surveillance, and letting companies do some of that for them so they can secretly request it means they don't have to put more systems in place. It's certainly possible that we'll see some significant legislation in the future, but I'm not sure how much of an effect it will have. I'm hopeful, though.

          Thanks for your very cogent answer. It's much more insightful than the standard flaming!

  10. Greg Baker
    April 24, 2016 at 6:20 am

    ADB, Disconnect... Very very few white-listed sites... Especially if they are ad-holes.

  11. Greg Baker
    April 24, 2016 at 6:16 am

    I'll skip the a-hole sites that won't display their content unless they get to track me and pelt me with a barrage of clutter and crap... One or two ads may be fine but they are way overdoing in the quest for profit... Television sucks as well as a 30 minute show can have up to 16 minutes of ads... Again, an a-hole move.

    • Dann Albright
      December 10, 2016 at 12:10 am

      I agree; advertising is running rampant everywhere. It's not just on the internet. But as I mentioned above, it's currently the only viable revenue model for a lot of content producers. I really wish that wasn't the case, but it seems to be. As soon as we figure out another way to do it, things will get better. I'm just not confident that we're anywhere near figuring it out.

  12. Former MakeUseOf user
    April 9, 2016 at 11:18 pm

    TSDR (Too Stupid, Didn't Read)
    Wired tried the same moronic ploy this morning saying help keep the lights on. I wrote back a snarky try turning off some lights.
    Yeah, I know something about running a website, making my first pre-Notepad (Q-Edit - much faster), and yes times have changed but there is way too much free info out there.
    If I see an advert or autoplay video I leave a nasty comment, copy the article headline and usually find the same info elsewhere. This is especially true with Scroogle's adsense garbage pushed on You Tube. See a little yellow dot on the video timeline, skip it and search again. Then there are those jerks who make the same channel with the same adsense videos over and over again.
    Even the local and cable news channels are filling the bottom of their "news" pages with the same old click bait images that we've seen for years. Really kinda sad...

    • Dann Albright
      April 18, 2016 at 1:42 pm

      So if you see an ad, you leave the site and look for the same info elsewhere . . . but you don't use an adblocker? Am I understanding that correctly? Why did you choose to do that instead of just blocking ads and saving yourself the time of re-searching for that same information?

    • Trump2016
      August 13, 2016 at 10:19 am

      That's why I fast forward through the commercials ???

  13. hagathe
    April 9, 2016 at 7:36 pm

    Well I've read all the comments to date, my experience on MUO when asked nicely to whitelist was my computer slowed down and levitated 3" above the work table, turning ADB back on and the machine slowly sank back down and landed with a slight bump. I appreciate having to eat and stuff, but if it tastes bad we spit it out.
    I'm pondering the question that all these poor undernourished web geeky people ever visit their own sites as a punter? Do they realise what can happen to the people they are trying to educate/entertain.
    My ADB was off now back on and I'm enjoying the arguments

    • Dann Albright
      April 18, 2016 at 1:40 pm

      The answer to your question is yes: a lot of us either don't use adblockers at all or whitelist our sites, because we've seen sites that we love or sites that our friends work for have to close their doors because their ad revenue dried up. So we do certainly understand the other side of the argument.

  14. Anonymous
    April 9, 2016 at 11:43 am

    I use Adblock Plus. Like others, I have whitelisted my favourite sites. It's just personal preference.

    • Dann Albright
      April 18, 2016 at 1:39 pm

      Unlike others, though, you've whitelisted your favorite sites and you left a comment that's open to reasonable discussion by civil adults. So thank you for that. :-)

  15. Anonymous
    April 9, 2016 at 4:16 am

    I can understand the difficulty for owners of news media sites and associated forums. However they need to ask people why they use an ad blocker on their site. It's rarely for ideological reasons.

    1) Low data caps. Images, *especially* animated ones really do eat up the cap if it is limited to 1GB, 60GB, or 80GB which mine has been over the past decade.

    2) Now that I have no data cap I still use adblock on sites the that cause the CPU fans to throttle up. I have an i7-5960X but some of those ads appear to grab a single core and give it a workout. I suspect the culprit might be the flash implementation, though.

    3) Side *animated* ads distract 100% of the time from the article content and I wonder why a site owner would want to use those? Try reading while a moth orbits a light bulb. That's how annoying animated side ads are to me. Picture ads are fine. You notice them; they add colour and bling to a website, but don't distract the reader from the reason he's there which is for the articles and comments. Hence I'd whitelisted makeuseof awhile back.

    4) Advertisements that break up article content. Some site go heavy on that one and on occasion their size and number is so obtrusive I have to search for the bits that are the article. I get a special warm, fuzzy feeling after blocking the lot.

    So, with these four criterion I'm ok to whitelist a site. No low data cap, no CPU core intensive ads, no animated side ads, and no overuse of ads that break up article content.

    • Dann Albright
      April 18, 2016 at 1:38 pm

      Yeah, the data cap issue is a tough one. It makes adblocking kind of a different situation on desktop and mobile, too, which makes the issue all that more complicated. As for your fans spinning up, just out of curiosity, why do you try to prevent that? Is it a sound/annoyance thing? Do you think they'll wear out faster? And yes, Flash, could probably be to blame for that.

      • Anonymous
        April 18, 2016 at 6:22 pm

        Yes, it is the noise. When gaming I wear a headset so the noise is no bother, but I don't want to have to wear a headset when surfing the web.

  16. Brian
    April 8, 2016 at 10:39 pm

    I don't use an ad blocker. I am tolerant of ads I would rather not see, and generally enjoy seeing ads as I'm a digital marketer.

    • Dann Albright
      April 11, 2016 at 1:33 pm

      "I am tolerant of ads I would rather not see"—that's very mature of you. :-) Thanks for chiming in; I think you might be the first person on any ad blocker article I've ever seen to say this!

  17. Dom
    April 8, 2016 at 4:54 pm

    I understand the need for publishers to be paid for their work. No one wants to work for free. However, I also see the the other side of the coin. No one can deny that publishers have angered the viewing public with the way ads are being displayed on their websites. People are coming to their website for a reason. They want what they are offering. Half of the publisher's work is already done for them. They have a potential customer at their site. Now they just have to convince them that what they have is worth the money they are asking for their product or service. You don't abuse that instance by forcing your customer to view ads that are annoying or by disrupting their viewing experience, because if you do they won't be staying long at your website. Let's be clear. Publishers need to be reimbursed for their work somehow but not by angering or annoying the viewing public. You have the right to be paid but I have the right to view what I want and how I want it without being forced to put up with annoying ads, tracking me or being subjected to malware being installed on my computer. That's right my computer. It's mine not yours. It don't have a problem with ads so long as they are not intrusive or disrupt my viewing experience.

    I wonder what would happen if all web publishers got together and agreed that they need to do a better job of treating their customer(s) with respect regarding website advertising? Establish an association of companies and individuals dedicated to promoting the idea that they want to be part of the solution and not part of the problem. This might entice people to do business with them. That association would allow their members to use their logo to indicate to the public their desire to follow that association's rules of conduct when it comes to advertising on the Internet. I imagine a BBB like association where member companies and individuals would be rated, complaints registered and responses to their complaints addressed. This would be made public for all to see. Perhaps then, we would see less antagonism on both sides.

    • Dann Albright
      April 11, 2016 at 1:32 pm

      "Perhaps then, we would see less antagonism on both sides." Based on the comments on this article, less antagonism doesn't seem like it's very likely! People get awfully testy about this issue, and very few are willing to look at both sides of the argument (thanks for that, by the way; I really appreciate it when people are willing to look at the other side's arguments). Anyway, I think an organization like the one that you mention could be a very valuable one, though I can't imagine a lot of users whitelisting those sites, especially after reading all of the unreasonable comments on this very article. Though it could be a really good start to solving this particularly complex issue!

      • Anonymous
        April 16, 2016 at 11:38 pm

        Have you registered with the National Do Not Call list? Do you try to block calls from direct marketers? Do you use NoMoRobo to block robo calls? Direct marketers are the equivalent of obnoxious, intrusive ads on content sites. Direct marketers have a right to make a living, just as you do. Yet, when direct marketers complain about being blocked, everybody, including you, collectively says "Tough noogies! Figure out a different business model."

        Why is it OK to block robo calls but not in-your-face ads? Is it because blocking of robo calls does not hit you in your pocket? I would love to be a fly on the wall when you try to justify to a direct marketer why you are blocking his calls.

    • Anonymous
      April 16, 2016 at 11:21 pm

      "You don’t abuse that instance by forcing your customer to view ads that are annoying or by disrupting their viewing experience, because if you do they won’t be staying long at your website."
      Obnoxious, in-your-face ads on sites are analogous to pushy, rude sales people in a department store. Let the customer look around. Let the customer browse the merchandise. Don't scare the customer off with a constant stream of "Can I help you", "What are you looking for", "Try this on".

  18. Carl
    April 8, 2016 at 4:49 pm

    Same as many here. If you block me while I'm using an ad blocker, I'll just not even visit your site again. How boisterous. In order to see our "valuable" fluff piece you must disable your ad blocker. Bahahahha. Keep it FORBES. I hope they all block ad blockers. Watch the revenue tank for just the lack of traffic and talk because of it. Good luck.

    • Dann Albright
      April 11, 2016 at 1:23 pm

      You hope everyone blocks ad blockers? And you don't visit sites with ad-block walls? What are you planning on doing on the internet when that happens?

    • Arrogant
      December 12, 2016 at 1:10 am

      Thats more arrogant than me.

  19. pac
    April 8, 2016 at 11:18 am

    No way: when you ask me to turn my ad-blocker off or whitelist your site, I simply go elsewhere.

    • Dann Albright
      April 11, 2016 at 1:23 pm

      Even if someone just asks? Or does it have to be a wall?

      • pac
        April 11, 2016 at 5:50 pm

        A wall. As said, no way. :) I'm NOT tolerant. :)))
        "Not using an ad blocker and/or other content-blocking software is increasingly dangerous due to malicious content."
        "Installing an adblocker can be better protection than an anti-virus."
        "Advertising networks serve malicious script content with astonishing regularity."
        "Blocking ads is a rational solution to prevent drive-by malware"
        And, last but not least...
        "You cant win. The end."

  20. Anonymous
    April 8, 2016 at 10:06 am

    The local paper here in Birmingham (UK) tried the enforce method for a couple of weeks. It quickly became obvious that if you turned off Javascript you could read the news story, although if there was a picture gallery, that wouldn't work. On a slower internet connection, if you told your browser to stop loading the page when the story was visible, you could prevent the enforce script running and everything worked perfectly. They've now reverted to the polite plea.

    • Dann Albright
      April 11, 2016 at 1:22 pm

      Yeah, there definitely are workarounds to a lot of paywalls. I think ad networks and publishers will probably get better at preventing that, but for now, a lot of people just find ways around. The stopping your browser trick is interesting!

  21. Ar
    April 8, 2016 at 4:35 am

    Three words: accept. my. money.

    Not using an ad blocker and/or other content-blocking software is increasingly dangerous due to malicious content, content that causes technical and performance problems, content that is inappropriate for the audience, and cross-site tracking and profiling. Also, everyone has a basic right to limit what they expose themselves to, what they download, and how they allow third parties to use their computers/devices.

    Of course, no one is obligated to provide articles, art, or any other content of value (or content without value, for that matter).

    ... But what has confounded me for years is that few websites allow me to PAY them! A few have subscription-based services. Not many. That might not usually appeal to me, because I am only interested in the most valuable content, and I am especially interested in diversity in sources. I can't pay for hundreds of subscriptions. I can, and would gladly, however, pay for every good article, song, video, piece of advice, or anything else that I find. And with producers/providers that allow me to do so (or simply accept donations), I do.

    There are some users in such poverty that it is not possible for them to pay anything, and it is up to providers to decide what to do in those cases. I would argue that if the cost of allowing the poorest people in the world access is very low, then there are almost only benefits to doing so. They can't pay you either way, so you lose only that very low cost, if anything, monetarily. You better the world, and you are may benefit from the goodwill you generate, the exposure you get, their funds in the future, etc., and it may be the least expensive humanitarian gesture you could possibly make.

    In short, JUST ALLOW PEOPLE TO TIP YOU! Work to encourage the culture of doing so, too, of course. I do all the time. I think the success of crowdfunding and the popularity of public microfinancing are signs that there is a lot of public generosity available already. Tap into that. Also, make sure the middle-(wo)men are not taking a disproportionate amount of the creators' generated income.

    • Dann Albright
      April 11, 2016 at 1:21 pm

      Well, a lot of sites are now going that way; they'll offer premium memberships in which people will get an ad-free experience. I'm glad to know that at least some people out there are interested in it! I think the thing that keeps more publishers from going with that model is that they don't think there will be enough people to make it worth the effort. Let's be honest: if people can get something for free or pay for the work that went into it, they'll almost always take it for free and let the publisher deal with the repercussions. If more sites start going this way, though, I'm glad to know that some people will go for it! I have no idea how much money you can make with a system like this, or how it compares to ad revenue, but any opinion on this issue other than "I won't turn it off, I have a right to read your stuffy for free" is refreshing. :-)

      • Anonymous
        April 16, 2016 at 10:28 pm

        "they’ll offer premium memberships in which people will get an ad-free experience. "
        Ad-free for how long? Now you sound like the early cable providers. "If you pay for cable TV, we will not show any ads". How long did that last? A few years? I pay through the nose for cable TV. I have access to couple of hundreds of channels. At certain times it is difficult to find a channel showing any meaningful content. Most of the are showing infomercials and to add insult to injury, the infomercials have commercial breaks to show ads for more products I don't want.

        Site owners being greedy and seeing how much money they can make with a paywall, will figure they can make twice as much or more if they include ads. Pretty soon, there will be a paywall, AND ads and the quality of the content will go down.

        • Dann Albright
          April 18, 2016 at 1:35 pm

          I don't remember a time before ads on cable, so I can't speak to that. However, I can say that if publishers put up paywalls, include ads, and reduce the quality of their content, they won't be around for long. So I'm pretty confident that that's not likely to happen, at least on a large scale. I don't know how much competition there was in the early cable days, but there's too much competition for websites to make the customer experience that much worse, I think. Then again, there are some websites that have absolutely abysmal content that are still around, so who knows?

  22. Anonymous
    April 8, 2016 at 4:26 am

    I use AdGuard. I have whitelisted many of my favorite sites, because I want them to have whatever advertising revenue might be attributed to my use of their content. Of course, those sites have intelligent admins who guard their advertising space carefully. I don't lose anything by whitelisting them.

    I also donate (using Patreon) to one of my most used sites.

    On the other hand, some sites get skipped now. MUO will be one of them if it decides to go hardcore against ad blockers. You have some of the most obtrusive, intrusive and downright obnoxious ads I've seen anywhere. I've tried whitelisting this site a couple of times, and all I ever got for it was excessive use of my fan because the load was ridiculous.

    And why would I buy from someone with morons for marketers, anyway? In other words, what's the point of my seeing these ads when I will actively avoid spending even a dollar on the products they advertise?

    Fix your site, MUO, and I'll whitelist you. Block my ad blocker and we're done.

    • Dann Albright
      April 18, 2016 at 1:33 pm

      It's funny that you say that the ads on MUO are bad; someone else has said something similar, but the commenter right below you says that the ads on our site aren't too bad. I wonder if has to do with tracking and ad-retargeting more than the choices made by the site?

      • Anonymous
        April 18, 2016 at 11:11 pm

        I don't think "Power Companies Are Outraged That Homeowners Are Learning About This (Read more...)" and "13.2% 2014 Annuity Return: True Investor Returns with no Risk: Find out how with our Free Report" have anything to do with my browsing habits.

        I can assure you, however, that scams offend my sensibilities.

        My only means to control this garbage is AdGuard (and its ilk). Take note: I'll pay for what I value--I use the paid version of AdGuard, for example. I pay for YouTube/Play Music. I mentioned some of the other ways I lighten my wallet up above, so I won't relist them.

        I would be perfectly happy to whitelist this site--I have a huge list of exclusions for sites I value--but every time I do, I get the kind of crap mentioned in the first paragraph. I also get an overworked fan because of the overall ad load.

        Content providers are owed some kind of payment for the benefits we derive from their work. That's not in dispute. But users are entitled to a peaceful browsing experience too, even if we have to create it for ourselves.

        P.S. This site has the very annoying habit of disappearing my comments. Here's what happens: I forget I'm not logged in, and I write the comment. I click post. I'm asked to either log in or to provide my name and email address and proof that I'm not a robot. If I choose the latter, it's not a problem, but if I log in, my comment is lost to the ether. It's really annoying, because I never remember this little glitch until it's too late.

  23. Anonymous
    April 8, 2016 at 4:23 am

    I love MakeUseOf, and I don't mind whitelisting places that don have ridiculous ads all over them, but any place that has more than a third of their content as ads, ones with sound and/or flashy animations, or popups really bother me. I will never unblock these kinds of sites.

    As far as I can tell MakeUseOf doesn't do any of these things, but load time is also better with adblock and noscript.

    When turning off adblock and noscript on this page, I had to reload noscript 6 times to allow all of the various sites that are linked on this single page. I counted over 25 sites that have scripts linked to from this page. It took over 15 seconds to load the page content with all of the scripts unblocked. It took less than 1 second with them off.

    I do consider unblocking sites that ask nicely, but if they break any of those rules stated above, it goes back on.

    • Dann Albright
      April 11, 2016 at 1:17 pm

      That is true; page load times and data usage are affected in a big way by ad blocking. That's a tough one to deal with. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to come up with a good solution other than running an ad blocker for that one. Using something like Readability or another extension with reading mode helps, but you usually have to load the page first, which defeats the purpose.

  24. David
    April 8, 2016 at 2:31 am

    My adblocker will remain in place. If the New York Times and Forbes et. al. want to put a paywall in place or block content so be it, I will simply go elsewhere.

    • Dann Albright
      April 11, 2016 at 2:25 am

      And what happens if everyone puts up a paywall? Then what?

      • Anonymous
        April 16, 2016 at 10:13 pm

        Then Darwinism kicks in. We find out which sites survive and which don't. We find out which publishers arrogantly believe their s**t (content) don't stink. :-) We find out whether ad-blockers were really 'killing the Internet'.

        What happens if everyone puts up a paywall and the publishers still can't make enough money? What do you do then? Who/what do you complain about then?

  25. Anonymous
    April 8, 2016 at 12:49 am

    Forbes is an exceptionally bad example.
    They started this anti adblocking and the first thing that people who did unblock Forbes got was malware.

    A website asking you not to use an adblock is like a hooker asking you not to use a condom.

    Installing an adblocker on a PC can be better protection than an anti-virus.

    • Dann Albright
      April 11, 2016 at 2:25 am

      "Installing an adblocker on a PC can be better protection than an anti-virus." Do you have a source for that? I'd really like to read about that claim.

  26. David
    April 8, 2016 at 12:12 am

    It’s staying on.

    I’m 65 years old. From the first time i can recall I’ve been force fed advertising! It started with old time radio my mother listen to while I was playing near by. Then came the cereal ads on TV, candy ads, soda ads, and as I got older there were soap powder, tooth paste, cigarette, beer, car, mortgage, and now the drug I should talk to my doctor about!

    In my frustration I cut the cable to end some of the madness but even with internet TV, Hulu and Roku it persist. "Choose the advertising experience you wish to have." If they only knew!

    What really gets me is I think the advertisers think I’m an idiot! If I need something I do my research and go and get it. I don’t need to be told I should talk to my doctor about their new drug, for god sakes, if my doctor doesn’t know about it I probably really don’t need it!

    I’m sick of being shovel fed advertising! And I don’t really care if the whole system goes into the toilet because I have an ad-blocker.

    My ad-blocker is staying on.

    • Dann Albright
      April 11, 2016 at 2:25 am

      "I don’t really care if the whole system goes into the toilet because I have an ad-blocker." That's really interesting; not many people share that opinion! Most people would be upset if their favorite websites all went under because they couldn't pay the bills anymore. It's good to hear a new opinion on an old argument. Maybe there are more people out there who dislike advertising more than they like the infinite availability of knowledge on the internet. I hope some other people chime in on this one; I'd be very interested to hear more!

  27. Anonymous
    April 8, 2016 at 12:05 am

    begar, I don't begrudge you the need to earn a living. However, if you have to harass your end users to do it, you're in the wrong line of work.

    Consider: If I'm watching television, there are ads about every six minutes on most commercial channels (in the U.S., at least, where I live). I am not required by any contract to stay in the room and watch those ads, but if they're entertaining enough, I might. Heck, I might even buy the advertised products! Imagine that. (And yes, people, sometimes including me, record shows and fast-forward past the ads. Life goes on. Of course, canny advertisers make sure to keep their products and logos on screen for long enough that the advertisements still work in fast-forward.)

    Now imagine that you're watching a TV show and an ad pops up OVER THE CONTENT! That's what viewing a modern website with a modal popup looks like. Worse, imagine that modal popup playing a completely different video with completely different sound! Again, this happens. Would you stay on that channel or watch something--anything--else? And it gets worse. LG smart TVs underwent scrutiny a year or so ago over accusations that they are monitoring viewers' habits. So TV spyware is already here. Malware is probably just around the corner. I'm not buying an LG TV or any other "smart TV" until I can verify that it only has features I can control.

    If you don't like ad blocking software, there are only two things you can do: a) engage in an "arms race" style game of one-upsmanship, fighting against new ad blockers and risking the rage of your end users; or b) building a revenue model that doesn't rely on intrusive advertising, instead using eye-grabbing static text and static images. If you sell rich media that sucks up our data, blocks up our screens, and pushes malware onto our systems, we'll go elsewhere. You may get a couple of people, but the rest of us are going to your competitors.

    Don't like it? Bear in mind that there are seven billion people on this planet, and if even one tenth of one percent of us make our living with a website, you're still in competition with seven million people. Your website is not irreplaceable.


    • Anonymous
      April 8, 2016 at 3:44 am


      Ads With Moving Images ( And Sound ) Are The Worst.


      None Of My Business, But, Here In MUO, If You Do Not Reply Directly To A Post, That Poster Might Never Know You Mentioned Them.

      I Replied Directly To Your Post.

      There Were Several Posts In This Thread Made After Yours, Including This One Of Mine.

      How Many Notifications Did You Get ?

      See What I Mean ?


      • Perry F Bruns
        April 8, 2016 at 3:56 pm

        I didn’t see the option to reply to his reply at the time.

        • Anonymous
          April 8, 2016 at 9:08 pm

          Well, You Need Some Training.

          You Just Replied To The Next Guy, As Well.

          No Worries.

        • Anonymous
          April 8, 2016 at 10:30 pm

          Keep your training. This is the only site I visit with the reply link on top.

        • Anonymous
          April 8, 2016 at 11:05 pm

          Posts Are Surrounded By A Rectangle With Round Corners, And The Direct Reply Link Is Inside, Near The Top Right Corner...

          ...And Change Is A Reality In Life.


  28. Anonymous
    April 7, 2016 at 11:13 pm

    I have an ad-blocker, but a have it set to allow appropriate ads (no animations, not too big, etc). I think ad-makers should follow these guidlines.

    • Perry F. Bruns
      April 8, 2016 at 3:59 am

      I didn't see the option to reply to his reply at the time.

  29. Neal Fildes
    April 7, 2016 at 11:03 pm

    So forbes nagged readers asking them to turn off their add blocker. as soon as the adblock was lifted, fortune's site served them up a malicius pop-under windows. lesson learned!

    police those add and maybe I will consider accepting them.

  30. nope
    April 7, 2016 at 10:59 pm

    My ad blocker(s) will remain active. If that causes a problem for your website I will be glad to never go to said website ever again and get my info elsewhere. You cant win. The end.

    • Dann Albright
      April 11, 2016 at 2:21 am

      So you're willing to pay to view the sites that you regularly visit?

  31. Anonymous
    April 7, 2016 at 8:15 pm

    "Most suits seem to stand on the idea that ad-blocking is an anticompetitive practice."
    How's that again?! Individual users do NOT compete with the publishers in any manner, shape or form. There is nothing in law (business, civil or criminal) that states that entities are guaranteed a profit. In fact, if you choose the wrong business plan, you are toast. Hundreds of companies go down the toilet every day. Why should content publishers be considered special and be guaranteed a profit?

    "Some sites have seen success with them, and will likely continue to use them."
    Is it just possible that it is the content that makes the site successful, not the paywall???? Sites like New York Times, the Financial Times, the Wall Street Journal, the New Yorker provide compelling content that users are willing to pay for. I would venture a guess that those publisher most perturbed about ad-blockers are the ones that offer the least compelling content, or content that is available on other sites. I say let the market make the decision. Set up a paywall and see how long you last and how much money it brings in.

    I do not dispute the publishers' right to disseminate their crap to the entire world. Internet is a public space. I don't begrudge smokers their "right" to kill themselves with cancer sticks. However, those rights terminates at my modem for the former and at my nose for the latter. No one will compel me to watch obnoxious ads, allow tracking cookies on my PCs or breathe second hand smoke.

  32. Deason Hunt
    April 7, 2016 at 6:31 pm

    I love "free" TV and "free" access to web pages. I am not worried about web pages which have ads on them. I know that my eyes are what is causing those advertisers to be there and keep my access "free." If I see an ad that interests me, I click on it even though I know that all sorts of things will happen showing people I looked, at least, at that ad. What I don't like are popups and other in-your-face tactics which hinder or otherwise delay my browsing experience. For that reason, and that alone, I use an ad blocker. ...and, yes, I have white listed some sites based on their polite request.

    • Anonymous
      April 7, 2016 at 7:46 pm

      When you discover that the ad networks are invaded by virus- and trojan-spreading ads, though, you will change your mind.

      • Deason Hunt
        April 8, 2016 at 12:54 am

        Noted, but I take calculated risks when I drive down the highway. I don't quit driving. I take calculated risks whenever I go online. I won't let the bad guys keep me off either. Total safety means total disengagement.

        • Dann Albright
          April 8, 2016 at 4:02 pm

          "Calculated risks" is an interesting way to put it, and I think you make a good point. It's not just ads that are risky on the internet; there are all sorts of risks that you take, and getting infected by a rogue ad is one of them. If you're running good antivirus software, it shouldn't really matter anyway.

          Glad to hear that someone has take whitelist requests seriously. It's refreshing!

        • Anonymous
          April 8, 2016 at 5:30 pm

          @Deason Hunt,

          Browsing the web is an activity that carries a small amount of risk, but to carry your analogy forward, we all have rational precautions we undertake while we drive: We obey traffic laws, wear seatbelts, (generally) drive vehicles with airbags and keep our vehicles in more-or-less good working order.

          Browsing the web without an ad blocker because someone asked you to is like driving down the highway without a seatbelt or airbags because someone asked you to.

          Or even better, it's like having penetrative intercourse with someone you just picked up a bar without any prophylaxis. Maybe it'll be OK. You'll probably even feel good about doing it in the moment. But if it's normal behavior for you, there will be decidedly negative consequences.

  33. Anonymous
    April 7, 2016 at 5:56 pm

    I note that the word "security" does not appear in the text of the article.

    Advertising networks serve malicious script content with astonishing regularity. Browsing the web without an ad- or script-blocker is a great way to pick up Malware. The scripts in question can very easily be cross-platform or impact software other than the usual suspects (Windows; Flash, Java or Acrobat Reader plugins), so it's not like any class of users on any platform are immune.

    Blocking ads is a rational solution to prevent drive-by malware installs and cross-site scripting attacks. End users need to be doing it. I'd argue at this point that it's more important than any other single security measure one could undertake on an end-user computer or device. It's THAT big of a deal.

    And the author of this article completely ignores that aspect of the discussion.

    Personally, I'm fine with paywalls, site subscriptions and tip jars. Anything to make advertising die. I have no problem giving the fine people at Stack Exchange $5 every once in a while to keep the lights on. Even one $5 payment one time is probably more valuable than all the revenue my ad traffic from reading that site will be worth over the next decade, so why not go that route?

    But fine, commercial sites want to whine about not making money. OK. Leave the ads there for the people who like being victimized with malware and having their mobile data wasted on 2MB animated GIFs. Set up a tip jar or offer a subscription option. Or maybe self-host your ads. Ad blockers won't stop first-party content, even if it's advertising.. Ensure the ads are scrutinized by a web developer to ensure there's no malicious content. Better yet, don't allow anything in an ad but a static image or plain text and a link.

    Does that sound like too much work? Well guess what: It's also unreasonable to expect your site visitors to police the ads you're showing them, and they're mostly going to be a lot less capable of doing it. If you're not willing to do that, don't blame readers for not wanting to do it either.

    • Dann Albright
      April 8, 2016 at 4:03 pm

      "I note that the word “security” does not appear in the text of the article."

      Then you should also note that the article isn't about ad-blocking and security. It's about how publishers are taking a stand against ad blocking.

      • Anonymous
        April 8, 2016 at 5:00 pm

        @Dann Albright,

        The two topics are inexorably linked. Users need the protection that ad-blocking tools give them. Demanding that they open the gates in exchange for access to content is absolutely the same thing as demanding that they drop all pretense of security on their computers and devices. Content owners care about making money, but they ignore the realities of the web in 2016. It's unrealistic to demand that site visitors be victimized just because they're deprived of the fractions of a penny that an ad impression is probably worth to them.

  34. Anonymous
    April 7, 2016 at 4:38 pm

    A vicious cycle, for sure.

    I truly don't mind one or two non-blinking banner ads with no audio. But instead, too many webpages are essentially unviewable -- with things blinking and popping. I am a fair and decent person. But what makes you web owners think that I will ever fill in your "survey" when it's so completely in my face?

    My adblocker is always on. Always. But I've whitelisted sites that (1) ask me politely and (2) serve up only a few banner ads or similar.

    Website owners who feel "indignant" need to remind themselves that adblockers came AFTER incessant and annoying ads -- not before. Most of your viewers are not freeloaders. But we also do not wish to be abused. Think about that.

    • Dann Albright
      April 8, 2016 at 3:56 pm

      "Vicious cycle" is right. It just goes around and around, and both sides get angry at the other, with a huge proportion of people not taking the time to think about what it's like on the other side. It drives me nuts.

      The thing about most viewers not being freeloaders is where some people are going to lose you; a lot of people who have politely asked to be whitelisted have just had that request denied. What kind of ads they had, and what their sites were, I don't know. But that's what reports say.

      Thanks for writing a reasonable comment that doesn't deal in absolutes and tell other people that they're morons. :-)

      • Anonymous
        April 8, 2016 at 5:08 pm

        @Dann Albright,

        There is no justification for the content owner's position. Personal safety, whatever its form, is the most rational primary concern for any living being. Ad blocking is a safety measure. It's not theft. It's not inconvenience. It's preventing harm. Content owners are essentially suggesting that their viewers don't have the right to protect themselves from the damage that will be done from minimally-monitored advertising networks or any of the four our five external parties in the chain of trust between the creation of ad content and users who will see it.

        • Dann Albright
          April 11, 2016 at 2:20 am

          I disagree with your idea that content publishers are essentially telling people that they don't have the right to protect themselves. I think that people are quick to talk about rights when the issue is a lot simpler. Publishers are offering a trade—we give you awesome content that you don't have to pay for, and you help us out by getting us some money from ad networks so we can keep giving you the content you want.

          Yes, ad-blocking is a form of protection, but it's not the only one out there. Programs like Malwarebytes' Anti-Exploit and a wide variety of other anti-virus packages are adept at catching a lot of really innovative attacks. Publishers aren't saying that users shouldn't protect themselves; just that they should use other methods to protect themselves that allow for the continuation of the service that those publishers provide.

          And let's be honest: the vast majority of people are NOT using ad-blockers for safety.

        • Anonymous
          April 11, 2016 at 4:14 pm

          @ Dann,

          If you disagree, you are incorrect in your assessment. Site owners with advertisements on their pages are not simply asking users to trust them, but also to trust the third, fourth and fifth parties involved in the creation of the scripts and ads that are displayed on their pages. Those same content owners do not offer any assurance of safety. It's unusual for ad content to be audited for anything other than content (e.g. adult ads on general-audience sites etc).

          We, the users of the web, cannot trust site owners because those site owners themselves trust some shady people. You don't host the code. You don't audit it. Given the nature of things like Javascript frameworks, I'm not even sure a typical web developer can audit scripts fully these days. Site owners just demand that the ads and scripts run.

          Let's frame this somewhat differently: If an acquaintance of mine asked for a key to my house, I wouldn't be OK with that either, because no matter how much I might like that person, I don't have any ability to control who else came in along with them, or what they might do in my home while I'm not watching them. I am fully justified in my objection and no one can fault me for that.

          Site owners want to pretend this is not an issue, but they're not the ones at fault or subject to the issues associated with hostile ad scripts.

          Software like Malwarebytes Anti-Beacon is available for Windows computers, but it is not available for every device or operating system. Ad blocking is, and in any case, the default of not trusting third party content is a smarter, safer choice regardless. "Anti-virus" software exists, yes, but actually describes a very specific prophylaxis. Viruses are not explicitly malware and malware is not explicitly viral. It's unlikely that many security suites will offer full protection from web scripts, especially when they appear to the computer to be user-initiated or indistinguishable from user-initiated in the first place. You appear to have a very immature understanding of the type and nature of the threats presented by hostile script content.

          I've offered a solution: Site owners should audit, host and offer an assurance that the the advertising content they wish to display is safe. First party content is extremely unlikely to be blocked. If a site owner is unwilling to do that, there's no argument they can make that trumps the safety of myself or my property.

          If site owners truly resent users who access content without viewing ads, they need to find a new revenue model or reduce costs to a level they are willing to bear. This is not a problem for anyone but them.

        • Anonymous
          April 16, 2016 at 9:17 pm

          "we give you awesome content"
          ROTFLMAO! We should only be so lucky! You personally may but others don't. Content varies from garbage to awesome, with most of it being just average. The good old Bell curve, you know. It has been my experience that the worse the content is, the more obnoxious and in-your-face the ads.

          You are laboring under the misapprehension that if only users would not block ads, the publishers would plow that money back into better content. Nothing can be further from the truth. Publishers will monetize the extra ad impressions, laugh all the way to the bank and give users the same old garbage content with even more obnoxious ads.

  35. TomSJr
    April 7, 2016 at 4:33 pm

    Most endeavors are CONSUMER-BASED, so if you are not creating a web site based on the Consumer/Customer, who are you making it for? And, if you are making it for Consumer/Customers, then why are you punishing them with pop-up ads that distract and take away from your web site?

    Personally, and as a small business owner, everything I do is for my customer and ONLY for my customer. If I deluged them with ads, I would lose them, so I do not program pop-up scripts in any of my websites. COMMON SENSE. There doesn't seem to be any of that anymore. Try some other way of making money OR fold.

    • Dann Albright
      April 8, 2016 at 3:54 pm

      What do your websites provide? How do you earn your revenue? That makes a huge difference in whether or not you feel compelled to use ads to make money. If you sell a product or service, you don't need to monetize your content, and that's an important fact in this discussion, too.

      Also, you say that everything you do is only for your customer, but that's not entirely true, is it? You need to make money, which means you're doing some of it (if not all of it, really) for you. No one puts ads on their site because they think it's good for their readers, they do it so they can stay in business and make a living.

      I'm curious as to what sort of business you own and what you think about this distinction!

      • Anonymous
        April 9, 2016 at 3:55 pm

        You have to make a decision on what is more important to you - the customer or the money? Actually, for a successful entrepreneur, there is no decision. The customer is first and foremost. If you treat the customer right, the money will come because the customer (the source of your money) will keep coming back for your product.

  36. begar
    April 7, 2016 at 4:25 pm

    I used the "polite" way for my website, but it did not work.
    I realized that visitors DO NOT care about the money and time a web site developer spends. They just want to get what they want for free.

    After, changing to blocking method, my ad income started to increase.

    Visitors find audio-video ads annoying.
    But they do not find annoying the fact that a web site developer can spend up to 14-15 hours per day working on the site, but not getting any money because of adblockers.
    In other words, they demand their peace of mind, but also demand developers to work for free.
    Nice sense of justice.

    So this is how it will be: If you want to access my site, you have to whitelist it. Otherwise, find another site with similar content.
    Very soon, there will be no such thing as a free site.

    *sorry for my bad english

    • Anonymous
      April 7, 2016 at 7:14 pm

      Very soon there may be no begar site as visitors go to other sites.

      • begar
        April 7, 2016 at 7:27 pm

        I dont think so.

        • Ruby
          October 13, 2017 at 5:43 pm

          Too bad paywalls are so easy to get around as is any other way to block ad blockers ;)

    • Dann Albright
      April 8, 2016 at 3:51 pm

      Most of the people who comment on this site come from the readers' perspective, and not the publishers', and it's good to hear the other side of the argument from time to time. Thanks for chiming in! Your prediction of the death of free sites certainly isn't the first one . . . it doesn't look like they'll be dying any time soon, but I can't help but wonder.

      • Anonymous
        April 9, 2016 at 2:33 pm

        Methinks begar protests too much. I wonder what (s)he does whens confronted with loud, obnoxious ads while surfing the 'Net? In the spirit of fairness, does (s)he allow all the ads so that the author can monetize the site, or, like most everyone else, does (s)he block the ads?

    • Anonymous
      April 8, 2016 at 5:11 pm


      If your web-based commercial endeavor is not making you money, stop doing it. Find a new way to monetize your time and talents. Problem solved.

    • Gary
      September 3, 2016 at 2:38 pm

      Well said, if visitors don't want ads then they should go elsewhere and stop wasting our bandwidth, it will speed up a busy website for other visitors.
      I am going to look into what you have just said, I really am fed up of not making anything from all the blockers out there, which is sad when I only have a few adsense ads on each page.

    • Gary
      September 3, 2016 at 2:39 pm

      Well said, I will look into this soon I think.

  37. dragonbite
    April 7, 2016 at 4:24 pm

    Instead of attacking the blocker, why not change your advertisements to meet the criteria to push through?

    "Adblock Plus is a free extension that allows you to - among other things - block annoying ads, disable tracking and block domains known to spread malware."

    So don't make "annoying ads", "tracking" or "spread malware"... or is that too simple?

    To get your ad to display, you get on the "Acceptable Ads" list. To do that

    + Ads must not disrupt the user's natural reading flow.
    + Ads should be clearly marked with the word "advertisement" or its equivalent.
    + Ads must always leave sufficient space for the Primary Content

    The company that starts putting forth these, so their ads get viewed, should be the ones that make the revenue and sites that block blockers should not. Then the market will keep itself in check.

    • Anonymous
      April 7, 2016 at 7:11 pm

      "So don’t make “annoying ads”, “tracking” or “spread malware”… "
      But it easier to make money this way. :-)

    • Dann Albright
      April 8, 2016 at 3:50 pm

      Do you happen to know of any websites that meets these criteria and have had their ads approved by ABP? I've never noticed one, which makes me think advertisers probably aren't too confident that strategy will work.

      • Anonymous
        April 9, 2016 at 2:23 pm

        "makes me think advertisers probably aren’t too confident that strategy will work."
        Advertisers are afraid to try anything new. Their attitude is the same as TV networks or movie studios. If it works once, let's beat it to death and then some. How may 'Friday the 13th' sequels can the public stand. How many formulaic cop/doctor/lawyer shows can the viewing public endure? Nobody has the intestinal fortitude to be original.

  38. Pinger
    April 7, 2016 at 4:13 pm

    I haven't seen a measure by the websites or publicists that will stop using annoying auto-play videos or ads with sounds and stick to static images more often or, even better, more text so as not to use up so much mobile data against the caps providers have in place. How about catering to the web-viewing public, instead of trying to ram crap ads on those that are supposed to provide them with revenue.

    • Dann Albright
      April 8, 2016 at 3:49 pm

      Yeah, that's the thing. Catering to the web-viewing public is great. But publishers also need to make money to provide the content that the public wants. And as more people use ad-blockers, advertisers are going to use more irritating things to attract views. It just goes in circles, and I don't know where it will stop.

      • Anonymous
        April 9, 2016 at 2:08 pm

        As pointed out by a recent MUO article, many content publishers do not/cannot control the advertising on their sites. They contract it out to "professional" advertisers, who do not care how they deliver the ads, as long as they are delivered. Both the publishers and the users are being victimized by the ad delivery services; the users by having to put up with 'in your face', obnoxious, sometimes malware-laden ads, and the publishers by having users block ads.

        This is a battle that the majority of publishers cannot win. There will always someone willing to publish content without obnoxious ads and that is where the users will go. Content publishers need to change their business plan because the current one is not really working. No matter how many hissy fits the publishers throw, no matter how much they jump up and down stamping thgeir feet, no matter how much they try to litigate, the bottom line is that THERE IS NO WAY they can force people to watch their ads. The only sure way to have their ads watched is to implant everybody with a receiver chip and beam the ads directly into people's brains.

        • Dann Albright
          April 11, 2016 at 2:15 am

          Thanks for pointing out that there's a difference between publishers and ad networks. A lot of people seem to think that web publishers just go out and find the most annoying ads they can and put them all over their site. Yes, publishers have a responsibility to manage their advertisements. Actually doing so on a daily basis, however, requires time and effort, which means money. And if they're spending more, that means they need to make more, which brings us back to where we started. So many people do not realize that this is a complicated issue, and the first part of your comment really addresses that.

          Also, in the second part of your comment, you say that publishers need to change their business plan. That's certainly easy to say, but coming up with a better plan isn't such a cinch. Obviously the best thing anyone has come up with so far is paywalls (or ad-block walls), and that just sucks. It's easy to say "you have to solve this problem or I won't go to your site!", but people need to realize that we're all in this together. If you're not trying to help solve this issue, you're really just getting in the way. Readers need to meet publishers halfway, or at least provide some useful suggestions instead of just getting angry (which is obviously the preferred strategy of most readers of this article).

        • Arjay
          April 11, 2016 at 5:23 am

          If the choice ever becomes (1) allow intrusive obnoxious ads or (2) don't get web content, I for one will go back to reading books.

        • Dann Albright
          April 18, 2016 at 1:30 pm

          Well, there will likely be a third option, which is pay a little bit for get the content.

          Also, going back to reading books is a great idea . . . if all you do online is read for education and entertainment. Most people do a little more than that. :-)

        • Francisco
          April 19, 2016 at 2:24 pm

          Some adblocking apps as Adblock Plus do have an "acceptable ads" programme that allows for non intrusive, non cheating, non malwary ads. Why havent these sites registered there?

          I have been forced to use adblock because many many site owners just abuse their readers, filling the site with ads to get as much money as possible.
          the solution for the "ad blocking problem" is not removing ads, is not removing adblockers, is making advertising less annoying, more relevant, and less confusing (who hasnt been in a website with 30 "download now" buttons? yes, im talking about you Cnet). A thech savvy person knows to look at what address they are sending you, but not most people do...

          The solution is making the advertising not to break the websites, the readability or the immersion, but to add real value.
          Yes, its easier to just block people with adblock, but whats the responsible thing to do?