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

Chris Hoffman 14-03-2012

why adblock is badIt’s no secret that we’re not huge fans of Adblock 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 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.

why adblock is bad


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 How The Internet Makes MakeUseOf Possible [Opinion] I love the web. It's a chaotic place where just about anything can happen. Unknown people become celebrities, revolutions spread from nation to nation and college students become billionaires. And a group of people spread... Read More .


“Your Business Model Isn’t My Problem”

Websites need money to survive AdBlock, NoScript & Ghostery - The Trifecta Of Evil Over the past few months, I've been contacted by a good number of readers who have had problems downloading our guides, or why they can't see the login buttons or comments not loading; and in... Read More . 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?

why adblock is bad for free internet

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

Related topics: Ad-Blockers, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Online Advertising.

Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the site alive. Read more.

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  1. Warren
    August 1, 2018 at 12:34 pm

    I had previously whitelisted you and I generally agree with you, but I turned my ad blocker on again because of those big green "Download" ads that are being shown to me at least 2 times on each page of this site. Those go against everything that you argue.

  2. Michael Aldin
    May 8, 2018 at 6:13 pm

    False logic. We hate ALL ads. Ads serve no purpose, ads are useless, ads provide no benefit to the visitor, ads are a waste of bandwith, ads are a waste of screen space, ads are a layout insult, ads just plain are not wanted by anyone except the people who get paid to display them. Get a different business model.

    My adblocker has ZERO items in the whitelist. If you can't survive without ads, you're doing it wrong.

  3. jaexposed
    December 16, 2016 at 12:42 pm

    I agree with the author. Stop Blocking ADs. I don't. If we continue to block ads rest assured the "free" web as we know it will end.

  4. Anonymous
    April 8, 2016 at 2:42 pm

    I will whitelist MUO when MUO disables all the trackers that keep watch over me whenever I come to this site. Enough said.

  5. LF
    February 4, 2016 at 10:48 pm

    Forbes doesnt let you on their site if you dont disable the ad blocker, I dont go to that site anymore. Usually the content of sites is not unique to that one site. If you block me from going to your site with my adblocker i wont go to your site.

    The problem is that the ads are a huge security risk. If you can 100% guarantee that your ads will not:
    try to get me to download anything
    redirect me to another page
    play video with sound without me asking
    then i might disable it.

    but all you have done is ask me to disable it without any promise that i will be safe if I do.

    Guarantee your ads are safe and unobtrusive, uphold that guarantee and people wouldnt have to use adblockers at all.

    The use of ad blockers came into being not simply because people "just dont want to see ads" but because the ads are a dangerous vector for malware and huge annoyance.

    If ads were just a box or a picture touting a product in silence that would be fine.

  6. Abused Content Browser
    February 4, 2016 at 1:12 pm

    You forgot to mention flash ads. Flash based ads are abusive.
    If I spend more CPU time(cycles) rendering your ads than rendering your content, you're abusing my kindness and consideration.
    If I spend more bandwidth and consume more data on downloading your ads than I do loading your content, that's abuse.
    Ghostery shows over 81 hits as I'm using this. 81 trackers!
    More than 150 cookies have been accessed since coming to your page.
    The minute I whitelisted your site, my CPU usage more than doubled, from less than 20% to more than 38%. Just on this ONE PAGE ALONE.

    Tell me, in what way does this not constitute abuse?
    (and yes, I make use of the entire "trifecta of evil" as MuO calls it.(Ghostery, ABP, and NoScript))

    • Abused Content Browser
      February 4, 2016 at 2:04 pm

      Am I the only one who believes that companies and websites should have entire web-pages dedicated to explaining what third parties they're sharing their customers' and users' data with, and what third party content they're displaying on their pages? If you can have a robots.txt file, why not a file explaining to me who you're sharing my personal information with. I think I have as much stake in the matter of web advertising as you do, if not more.

      You say I should whitelist your site, and I'm fine with that. I know it costs money to bring me this content and I appreciate that, I really do. But as much as I owe it to you to support your business by not blocking ads, I feel like you owe it to me to explain what happens with the data you aggregate about my habits.

      Who own these cookies being accessed?
      What about the beacons?
      What about the analytics and other trackers?
      Who are your advertisers? Who are they in turn sharing my information with?
      Do you even know? Do you know how they're tracking me, or are you just loading your pages with random stuff you don't know anything technical about?
      What cross-site-scripts do you run, if any?

      I feel like you ask for a whole lot, but give very little information in return. I don't have time to research all 80+ trackers and 150+ cookies that have lit up bright as Xmas since coming to this page. I feel like that burden should be on you actually. You're the one benefiting from their use, so greatly so that you see fit to beg me to turn them on. The burden of proof of the innocuousness of ad/tracker content lies on the person running it, that's how I feel on the matter.

    • Colindro
      September 27, 2016 at 7:03 pm

      Totally agree with "Abused Content Browser"'s comments. Every website should have a transparent and standardized, easily understandable list of all tracking taking place in it.

      Let people PAY for content, maybe a lot of people will better prioritize their time and start being selective with the web content they consume.
      I suspect that content providers fear this prioritization more than everything else.

  7. Anonymous
    February 4, 2016 at 7:02 am

    just did it..!

  8. Anonymous
    September 8, 2015 at 11:13 pm

    Chris I use an adblocker and its not evil I whitelist good domains like makeuseof but use it on bad websites that have ads for 50 differnt downloads and you have to search for the right one or websites that have obtursive ads that pop up like you've won a new iphone blah blah blah and websites that lag my computer I visited a website that have 138 ads so I have a question when is google going to take action against execive download ads I try to whitelist websites but not all of them deserve to get on the list I am sorry but that's more evil than the adblockers

  9. Alex
    September 3, 2012 at 8:08 am

    Isn't that interesting that you write this and other articles alike (//, but in the same time you recommend the very same stuff // ? ;)

  10. TGW
    August 20, 2012 at 1:05 am

    I'll give it a go, I just whit-listed the site for now, let's see...

    • Chris Hoffman
      August 27, 2012 at 10:17 pm

      Thanks a lot! We appreciate it!

  11. tarzan2001
    August 2, 2012 at 7:12 pm

    I just disabled AdBlock for this wonderful site too! Keep up the great work, MakeUseOf people! We will always support you! :)

    • Tina
      August 3, 2012 at 12:14 pm

      Thank you, Tarzan!

  12. John Loot
    August 1, 2012 at 5:18 am

    Thanks, just unblocked in adblock plus!

    • Chris Hoffman
      August 1, 2012 at 10:40 am

      Awesome, thanks for your support!

  13. Dix
    June 30, 2012 at 7:15 am

    I agree with you and just added this site to my whitelist. Now, I see your ads.

    However, Ad Block Plus is not compatible with the FF v11 and up. I am using v13.0.1 and had to get "Updated Ad Blocker for Firefox 11+" and now I have ads on Yahoo -- BIG ones.

    I will be trying out various other ad blocker add-ons.

    • Chris Hoffman
      June 30, 2012 at 8:42 pm

      Thank you, DIx.

      I believe Adblock Plus is compatible with those Firefox versions -- I just checked Mozilla's add-ons site and it says it's compatible with versions up to Firefox 16.

      I'm not linking it here for obvious reasons, but feel free to visit the Mozilla add-ons site and try to install it yourself. Maybe you're stuck with an older version for some reason?

  14. Law
    June 19, 2012 at 7:44 pm

    What a depressing group of comments. Most reflect such a selfish, ungrateful group of people who believe that the Internet should revolve around them.

    If you don't like the advertising in the articles, don't read the articles. Nobody is forcing you to do so. If there was an option to pay makeuseof just $2 a month to read the articles, which you enjoy and which people work to create and feed their families, would you pay it? I'm guessing a tiny fraction of you would pay for it.

    Now if all of this would go away, including your local newspapers, but might stay just to keep the ads where they are, would you be happy that you don't actually have to pay one penny to be able to read all this content? Any reasonable person would be thrilled.

    It seems that the new generation believes that anything not nailed down is free or should be free. The problem of adblocking being available is that it has become thought of as a "right." Perhaps all browser developers need to block ad blocking plugins and then people will begin to appreciate the hard work of other people and to respect their right to display their web pages as they created them.

    • Chris Hoffman
      June 20, 2012 at 10:53 pm

      Thanks for the comment, Law. A refreshing perspective!

      Personally, I think websites (including ours) need to take advertising to the next level and make it more relevant, less distracting, and higher-quality. I don't see low-quality ads on MakeUseOf -- but apparently some people have, which could be related to their region. If I saw terrible ads ("one weird tip to a flat belly"), I may be more tempted to block. I agree with Google that making ads better is the solution.

      On this page, I see ads for a local credit union, on-demand parcel pickup with the postal service, and a cheap Internet connection offer for my area. These are not low-quality ads.

      • Adblock rules
        August 9, 2012 at 8:52 pm

        Oh yes, and I forgot. Freedom to block ads on my computer. Too bad, suckers. It's my computer, my display, my time.

        • Chris Hoffman
          August 14, 2012 at 3:24 am

          Sure, and we have the freedom to ask you nicely not to.

          (We'd also have the freedom to block you, because you're using our servers, our computing resources, and increasing our bandwidth costs. But we're not doing that.)

  15. Ryan
    May 4, 2012 at 3:49 am

    There is no such thing as "unobtrusive" ads, or "well-bahaved" websites. When you actually figure out how to show me an ad that's relevant to my interests, let me know. Until then, I'll be blocking the shitty browser-parodies of real games I already play, crappy top-40 album ad's and Swiffer commercials.

    • Ryan
      May 4, 2012 at 3:52 am

      p.s "Single 22 year old women that want to have sex tonight in your town!" Doesn't count.

    • Chris Hoffman
      May 4, 2012 at 5:30 am

      It could definitely be better, but it's not necessarily as bad as people think.

      Right now, all the banner ads on the page are advertising Intel processors to me. That's relevant.

      Anyway, I'd like to see us totally re-imagine the ads on this website.

  16. Concerned mom
    April 30, 2012 at 9:08 pm

    I use adblock because reciently my kids came to me screaming "Mommy, Mommy,Mommy! there's a naked woman on the computer!"

    So I went up to their room and sure enough, there was a picture of a woman posed in a sexual position on the side of the game website.

    I closed it and went back downstairs.

    Ten minuets latter, another scream and more running down the stairs!
    another unsightly image of a different woman was on the top of a "Hunger Games" site!

    Finally both me and my kids were fed up!

    I knew we didn't have a virus that was causing the issue (The kids have an "EMac" and Avast! is installed even though it has mac OS)

    So I got Adblock and the erotic images stopped appearing on my kids computer.

    While I find ads annoying I usually just tell my kids to close or ignore them. But there comes a time when enough is enough and I must put my foot down!

    • Chris Hoffman
      May 1, 2012 at 4:24 am

      That's a good point. Websites and ad networks really need to vet ads better.

      I definitely respect your decision there. Very understandable.

  17. J.P. Howde
    April 23, 2012 at 1:18 am

    Just read James Bruce's "Tactics For Dealing With Ad-Block Users On Your Site" article.

    The truce is over then?

    • Chris Hoffman
      April 23, 2012 at 7:03 pm

      It's up to each site owner what they want to do with AdBlock users. Showing a pop-up saying "Hey, please disable AdBlock if you like the site" is hardly an attack. As his post says, we recommend against blocking adblock users. AdBlock filter developers will just see that as provocation and try to get around it, anyway. It'll also annoy users -- it's not helpful.

      Personally, I'd still like to see better, more relevant, less obnoxious ads, and we've been talking about this internally (it's not my call, though).

      If you don't use AdBlock, you'll notice that various advertisements on MUO have been removed and streamlined in recent months.

  18. Bogdan
    April 16, 2012 at 12:12 pm

    I have whitelisted MUO, Ars and other tech sites that I like. Alas, wouldn't be better to use Google Ads-style text-only or text-and-small-static-image-only simple ads? Those I find quite pleasant and I see no reason to block.

    • Chris Hoffman
      April 17, 2012 at 2:54 am

      We'd love to use even more unobtrustive ads, but the image ads pay per impression, so we get money even if people don't click them.

      We'd also love to block Flash ads, but the ad network does not make this an option.

  19. Tijuana Brass
    March 27, 2012 at 11:52 am

    Wow! I'd forgotten that I have Ad-Block Plus activated (yes, I'm one of those horrid 'set-and-forget' type users!) so after reading this article I deactivated it... what a difference that made!

    Apparently I'm the 999,999th visitor to this website, so I can get a $2,000 shopping voucher IF I CLICK THAT AD! Sounds great, but I suspect it's not really the case.

    It's for ads like that (which is bright and flashy [not Flash-y, mind you] and irritating) that I installed Ad-Block Plus to begin with. Although I consider myself savvy enough not to be fooled into clicking it, others may not be so savvy - like my wife's 88-year old grandmother, who I have to occasionally rescue from such pitfalls.

    But I don't want to keep leeching from the good authors of this site... so I'm switching ABP back on - and not returning to MUO. I object to being labelled a thief, an idiot, a commie, a conspiracy theorist, evil etc, and since whitelisting won't stop the annoying ads coming through, I shall bid you farewell.

    Let me be clear - I sincerely support your right to get paid for your content. I don't however, think it should be up to end-users to come up with a business model that satisfies advertisers, content producers, website owners, users, etc. Also, it shouldn't be up to end-users to alert a website's owners to every misleading ad that appears on THEIR SITE.

    Hopefully though, some day a balance will be struck and add-ons like ABP won't even be necessary!

    • Chris Hoffman
      March 27, 2012 at 11:33 pm

      Hi, Tijuana.

      I don't mean to label you a thief or evil -- I used to be a big adblocker and even helped block ads, as I mentioned in the post. It's the advertising companies' fault for driving users to use such things. I don't blame or look down on any individual for that.

      I'm not thrilled about the ads you mentioned either. Nevertheless, we need to move towards a world where ads are better and users don't need to block them. That should be our end goal -- not the idealistic and unrealistic elimination of even the best ads from the Internet.

      I hope you'll reconsider an continue to visit the website, anyway. We don't want to alienate any readers.

  20. Timothy
    March 25, 2012 at 11:52 pm

    Varun, its not wrong. They're just playing on your guilt to get you to turn it off in hopes that you will buy some bit of shit that they have advertised on their webpage. People who use adblock do not buy products from web adverts. People who use adblock are tired of the shiteious websites being developed by flash happy idiots who find more and more ways to annoy you with stupid popups and garbage advertisements. I shop online from well known national retailers and that is it. These companies do not need to advertise because their name is a brand. I'm not saying that all online adverts are scum bags looking to screw you but many are just that. Honestly, if this website cared so much about making money then they should charge people to use the site. OR stop bitching.

    • Chris Hoffman
      March 26, 2012 at 9:37 pm

      Hey Timothy,

      We actually don't care if you buy the stuff that appears on the page. I don't believe we make extra money even if you do. Advertisers pay for their ads to appear and for users to click. An advertisement for a product on MUO is in no way an endorsement or recommendation of that product. We can't even control what appears on the page.

      As I pointed out in the article, advertisers pay for their ads to appear. So even if you don't buy anything or click the ad, we get paid.

      I respect your strong feelings on the subject, though. I've been there, myself.

  21. Varun Nagwekar
    March 21, 2012 at 7:49 am

    I was an avid user of adblock softwares because:
    a: It helps reduce useless clutter from websites
    b: helps in saving bandwidth
    c: helps in loading the websites faster.

    But recently through your and different tech sites I visit, I realized what I was doing was actually wrong and harming the sites I love. So I quit using adblock to show that I care.

    The only problem is that viewing videos in YouTube is a big pain in the *** and is the only reason why I sometimes, from time to time, out of frustration enable adblock again. And disabling adblock on each site that I visit is also a big pain too.

    • Varun Nagwekar
      March 21, 2012 at 7:54 am

      I would prefer if there was a working solution to disable ads on just YouTube (I know they need to generate revenue too, but their ads are way too intrusive for my liking)

      Or if there were a method where in the disabling methods you mentioned in the article would work in reverse i.e. ads enabled on all sites by default, but I could manually disable a few by choice.

      Great work on the site. You guys rock!

      • Chris Hoffman
        March 26, 2012 at 4:41 am

        Thanks a lot, Varun!

        A lot of people have asked for ways to only block ads on a specific website. Hopefully one of the Adblock programs will offer that soon.

        YouTube ads are obnoxious, but at least they let you skip them sometimes. And, given that YouTube was losing tons of money a few years ago, it's hard to blame Google too much. They're doing what they need to do to make YouTube profitable. Some people weren't sure if they could run it profitably.

  22. Ophelia
    March 20, 2012 at 12:00 pm

    From a recent study: "Having a triple-threat combination of protective software on your computer greatly reduces your chances of identity theft, according to a study led by a Michigan State University criminologist. In a survey of more than 600 people, the researchers found that computer users who were running antivirus, anti-adware and anti-spyware software were 50 percent less likely to have their credit card information stolen." See!+Science+News+-+Popular%29&utm_content=Google+Reader

    And you write: "We can’t vet every advertisement before it appears on our website, so an occasional bad one might slip through."

    And I'm supposed to trust your "non-vetting" why, exactly?

    • Chris Hoffman
      March 20, 2012 at 8:27 pm

      Well, sure -- antivirus and antispyware are important. How much did anti-adware software contribute to the protection there? Dangerous advertisements should only cause problems if you're running outdated software, generally.

      When I said we can't vet every ad, I meant that bad ones with video or ones that steal the full page might slip through.

      And why should you trust us? Well, because no website can vet every advertisement. That's just the way ad networks work. I'm sorry, but there's not much else to say -- your accusatory tone makes it sound as if we're a disreputable website, but we're doing the same thing every other website is doing. We try to choose good ad networks and hope they'll do their job well, but nothing is perfect.

      • Ryan
        May 4, 2012 at 5:10 am

        And until you, as web developers, start holding advertisers accountable for their poor service and refusing to show their ads, the end-users will be suffering the consequences, while you get paychecks.

        Sound fair to you?

        • Chris Hoffman
          May 4, 2012 at 5:24 am

          I agree with your sentiment. I'd like to see us take more control of the advertising and work with better advertisers doing relevant stuff.

          This is something we've talked about. But it's not my call as an individual -- and anyway, we've cleaned up the advertising a lot here recently. I'm proud of that.

          So I agree. But blacklisting all ads isn't the way we're going to get to a place where good websites are rewarded.

        • Ryan
          May 4, 2012 at 5:41 am

          I disagree, the more people who blacklist, the more websites and advertisers who squander the goodwill of their end-users will go under.

          I've had it with ads, just as more and more people have. It's really to late now, time to adapt or die.

        • Chris Hoffman
          May 5, 2012 at 12:58 am

          I'd like to see us offer a cheap, ad-free premium membership (ideally with other benefits), personally.

          But advertising is still big business. Lots of people would rather have advertising than shell out a cent.

  23. Alvin
    March 19, 2012 at 11:59 pm

    Hey there, i've been a loyal reader of MUO since way back and i've recently whitelisted your site since i read this but it is testing my patience. I can live with most of the ads but the ones right under the article title is really obstructive and ugly. A commenter below had a good point, if you cannot tell the difference between an ad and content at a glance, it will be blocked. This is how i feel at the moment.

    • Chris Hoffman
      March 20, 2012 at 2:23 am

      Hi Alvin,

      Thanks a lot for giving it a go! I'm personally not thrilled about those ads either, to be honest. So I understand how you feel.

      Personally, I think those ads stand out from the content. However, less ads would always we ideal, in a perfect world.

      • Alvin
        March 22, 2012 at 4:35 am

        I understand it not ideal, but i think the website will struggle to attract news users if you continue to put ads at where the content is. IMO the ads do not stand out because they are text based.

        Another annoying ad i've noticed is the Video Converter ad at the bottom of the page with a giant DOWNLOAD button. It was also intentionally designed to blend in the article. Very misleading.

  24. Humza
    March 19, 2012 at 9:21 pm

    Just did what you said, this great website really deserves it from everyone. Keep up the good work.

    • Chris Hoffman
      March 20, 2012 at 2:11 am

      Thanks a lot, Humza! We're thrilled to have your support!

  25. Alex
    March 17, 2012 at 11:19 pm

    There are three reasons I block ads:

    1) They're popups of some kind, or play audio or video, or the ads are offensive.
    2) The ad to real content page real estate ratio is too high. For me if the entire sidebar is ads, that's too high.
    3) This is the kicker, and someone I don't think anyone else has pointed out: if I cannot tell the difference between an ad and content at a glance, I will block your ads. Make it clear that what I'm viewing is an advertisement, or I will block you, or stop visiting.

    And can we try to stop whining about how people want things for free? Everything offered here is offered for free, on someone's personal website somewhere. or on hobbyist forums...for free. People like sharing with other people, and complaining about how people are cheating by wanting to share information freely makes you look bad. You're a marketer. Stop asking us to bend over to make your lifestyle easier. You worked for adblock, and now you're whining about adblock, which means your morals are already more flexible than a weathervane, and tied directly to your income.

    • Chris Hoffman
      March 20, 2012 at 2:20 am

      Hi Alex,

      I didn't mean to whine here -- just to get people thinking about the issue. I'm glad you're already thinking about ads and not wholesale blocking them -- which is the point of the post!

      As I mentioned in the article, I feel I made a mistake then. I was a young teenager and I regret what I did.

      Personally, I think people can change their minds without being immoral people. Have you not changed your mind about anything since you were a teenager? Maybe not, I guess!

      Thanks for reading.

  26. Dan
    March 17, 2012 at 11:06 am

    If Fx ABP's unobtrusive ads rule will allow your ads to come through, then that's the extent of my support. I will never whitelist out of principle. Sorry.

    • Chris Hoffman
      March 17, 2012 at 6:08 pm

      At the moment, the whitelist only allows five websites out of the entire internet. It's very early days for this experiment.

      Thanks for at least not disabling that setting, though!

  27. SuperJdynamite
    March 16, 2012 at 2:19 pm

    The problem seems to revolve around technology. Why not find a way to make the ad content appear to ABP as regular site content? Personal appeals to readers is sisyphean. It seems that instead of trying to change your faltering model you're trying to change your audience.

    I once worked for a company that ditched ad networks alltogether, implemented our own ad serving, and sold the ads directly. If that sounds like a lot of work, it was. But you get to keep 100% of the ad revenue, so there's that.

    PS - I unblocked MUO.

    • Chris Hoffman
      March 17, 2012 at 5:59 am

      Thanks for the thoughtful comment (and whitelisting us!)

      The thing is, Adblock also blocks ads inline. Even if we were serving our own ads (and I think that would be awesome, but that's a huge undertaking), Adblock would still block us.

      We could try to tie the ads even deeper into the code and make it harder to block, but that would only start a back-and-forth war with the Adblock filter list developers. They'd update their filters, we'd change the code, and we'd go back and forth forever.

      I should know -- I was one of the people doing that. Websites that played games like that were seen as challenges!

  28. Diego Espinosa
    March 16, 2012 at 2:14 pm

    It's done :) Love reading you guys, thanks!

    • Chris Hoffman
      March 17, 2012 at 6:03 am

      Thanks a lot, Diego! It's great to have your support.

  29. Chris
    March 16, 2012 at 7:22 am

    I love MakeUseOf enough to do this. The ads on this site don't bother me at all, in face, they are non-intrusive. On other sites though, they have all these flash ads that are just a nuisance. Especially the one's that play sound or video.

    Just a quick question though. There is other ways to make revenue for a site like this, correct? I'm pretty sure a donation button would be great. I would donate to this site, considering I read it everyday. Why would I receive great articles and not leave something generous in return? All though it's great on my side, it's unfair. I don't see enough ads to the point where me viewing this site would make $0.01 of revenue I think...

    Plus there is other options of course. I'd be glad to purchase a MakeUseOf t-shirt if you guys would sell em. Merchandise is a great way to make revenue. Or paying a membership fee to see no ads would be great too. $20.00 a year like photobucket seems worth it.

    Whatever the case is, I enjoy this site a lot, ads or no ads. Keep it up Chris! (Hoffman, not me haha!)

    • Chris Hoffman
      March 17, 2012 at 6:02 am

      Thanks, other Chris!

      I've passed your comments along on the internal mailing list -- some good ideas. I'd already suggested a donation button, which I think is a great idea.

      I've never considered MakeUseOf merchandise though -- that's a really cool idea!

      Subscription fees are also an interesting idea that's been thrown around.

      Thanks for reading!

    • Chris Hoffman
      March 17, 2012 at 6:09 pm

      Hey Chris, I've been informed that we actually do sell t-shirts!

      I know, I had no idea either -- and I work here! (I'm a bit new, though.)

      [Broken Link Removed]

      • Chris
        March 19, 2012 at 3:50 am

        Awesome! Glad my other comment helped out as well!

  30. Gamaware
    March 15, 2012 at 11:13 pm

    Just uninstalled the extension. The Reason I love this website

    • Chris Hoffman
      March 16, 2012 at 3:39 am

      Thanks for your support, Gamaware! We all appreciate it.

  31. AJ Foyt
    March 15, 2012 at 9:09 pm

    Cause you asked nicely it's done. They aren't that annoying and maybe I'll click on one from time to time just to see how many ways I can get re-directed.

    • Chris Hoffman
      March 16, 2012 at 3:40 am

      Thanks a lot, AJ! Of course, we can't ask you to click ads. That is against the terms of service and could get us in trouble!

  32. bc
    March 15, 2012 at 6:55 pm

    I appreciate your request. I'll have to think about changing my settings on MUO.
    However, you seem to have missed my number one reason for using Ad Block Plus -- one never knows if an ad on a site will contain malware. Nowhere do you mention this huge issue.
    Now you can claim that such things don't happen, but I've seen the reports about the problem. It is real, and it is growing. Even good, reputable ad networks have been compromised for a time, by incredibly sophisticated scams using all sorts of deception. The ad networks were tricked in the first place, and they simply passed on the malware through what seemed like ordinary advertisements. How can one tell if an ad is "good" or "bad"? Who knows? I just block them all.
    Until that problem is solved, I continue to run ABP on almost every site. I also keep NoScript and Perspectives going just in case.

    • Chris Hoffman
      March 16, 2012 at 3:47 am

      Thanks for considering it, bc. It's good to have people thinking about Adblock, even if they continue to use it.

      I agree that malware is a problem. If you have an up-to-date web browser and browser plugins, hopefully that won't be able to hurt you. An antivirus helps protect you even more.

      0-day attacks do happen, though. It's a real thorny issue. I don't know if it can ever be solved 100%. Hopefully, with better browser/plug-in security and vetting by ad networks, we can improve the situation.

  33. CW
    March 15, 2012 at 5:29 pm

    I have been using adblock not only because I find the adds annoying but it also makes the page load much slower. I did not realize that you were paid per ad 'appearance', I figured once the ad companies paid you to post something on your site that was it. I have whitelisted MUO because I love your site and spend almost as much time there as I do anywhere else on the web. I would hate to see you suffer!

    • Chris Hoffman
      March 16, 2012 at 3:42 am

      Thanks, CW!

      I know the ads slow things down a bit. We don't like it either and we're working on it -- I've noticed a page loading speed increase recently, personally.

  34. likefunbutnot
    March 15, 2012 at 12:16 pm

    Oh wait. You're serious. Let me laugh even harder.

    Personally I subscribe to the viewership support model. If there's a site I truly care about (e.g. wikipedia, or in my case fark), I will support it directly with an individual donation of some sort. I do not otherwise want to see commercial messages on any subject. Sites that I don't explicitly care enough to support directly aren't worth the even the tiny effort it would take for me to whitelist them, especially multiplied by the dozens or hundreds of sites that could in theory make some kind of plea for users to do so. I just don't care about them enough to accept the inconvenience of advertising or all the other crap that goes with it.

    Find other ways to earn money or monetize your talents. If you really want something different, try offering options for direct donations or memberships. $5 from an individual is undoubtedly worth many thousand ad impressions anyway.

    Ads suck and I plan to do everything in my power so that I do not have to look at them.

    • Chris Hoffman
      March 16, 2012 at 3:39 am

      Yup, we are serious. In a perfect world, there would be no ads, but this is the model the web is based on. Websites and even online newspapers are struggling with it.

      I don't think we could run a website on direct donations and memberships alone. Very few websites could -- people want stuff for free.

      Thanks for reading, anyway!

  35. CoffeeCup
    March 15, 2012 at 12:01 pm

    I read this site via RSS reader, I won't see any ads anyway.

    • Chris Hoffman
      March 16, 2012 at 3:33 am

      Heh, well, I did see one ad in the feed -- but I suppose that's true, for the most part.

  36. Susendeep Dutta
    March 15, 2012 at 8:55 am

    I had unblocked MUO earlier,and I liked that most of the ads were of Google Chrome and of carriers of my country.But they all run on flash and take a lot of RAM(~250 MB) and I have only 1GB RAM.I'm left with only 50MB which makes impossible to load any more pages as Firefox takes ~300MB.

    Is there any way to reduce this as I really want to support you fully?

    Is there any way I can get ads of my choice?

    I would also like to whitelist Engadget and other great sites if I can solve this problem.

    • Chris Hoffman
      March 16, 2012 at 3:36 am

      I understand. Flash is terrible.

      Try enabling click-to-play for plug-ins in Chrome.

      (Wrench menu->Options->Under the Hood->Content Settings->"Click to Play" in the Plug-ins section)

      Flash won't play until you click on it and allow it to play. That will help a lot.

  37. Vick
    March 15, 2012 at 8:39 am

    I understand why you ask for this, but this sites ads are pretty bad.  Sorry but Adblock will indeed have to be pried from my cold dead harddrive.

    • Chris Hoffman
      March 16, 2012 at 3:33 am

      We're sorry you feel that way, Vick.

      What's bad about the ads? We don't allow video ads or full-page ads, so if you see those, that's a problem we will fix.

  38. Nile Jones
    March 15, 2012 at 6:38 am


    • Chris Hoffman
      March 15, 2012 at 6:59 am

      Thanks, NIle! We appreciate it!

  39. Gideon Waxfarb
    March 15, 2012 at 5:58 am

    Ok, I'm going to speak my peace about this subject, and I hope somebody reads this, because I'm going to tell you how you can get most people (like me) to unblock ads.

    For starters, I'm sure you know why most people got into blocking ads in the first place... it is because they got very obtrusive and annoying. So now we're seeing a lot of sites asking for an exception, but when we ask them if they could refrain from showing certain types of ads (such as Flash ads), they always tell us that they're at the mercy of some ad agency, who is apparently beyond reproach. So, instead of blaming users for your loss of revenue, why don't you place the blame where it actually belongs and go after the ad companies that are responsible for ad blockers in the first place?

    Or better yet, since many of you website devs seem to be in the same quandary (needing to show ads to readers without beating them over the head with them), why don't you form your own ad network, and make it a coalition? You could set yourselves up as being the ad agency that readers can white list with confidence, because you guarantee that any website that is a member of this group will not show certain types of ads, such as popups of any kind, no blinking/animating BS, no ads that make noise or cover the content, etc. And if they do violate these policies, they get booted from the group forever.

    On top of that, once you have set up an ad network that people know they can trust, as an alternative to user tracking, you could let people set up accounts so that they can pick and choose what sort of ads they would like to see, such as sports, tech, etc. And if I click on one of your ads, give me an option that says 'I've seen this ad already, so don't show me this one anymore'. That way, the next time I come to your site, I know I won't see that same stupid ad ever again :) Hell, you could even have a thing like where you offer the 1000th reader to click on an ad some sort of prize.

    I do believe that if something like this were set up, it would draw a lot of buzz on the tech blogosphere and catch on like wildfire. Failing that though, if you have to go to a paywall, the way to do it is the same way that the porn sites do it; find a few 'sister' sites to team up with, and give users access to a handful of sites for one monthly/yearly fee. And none of this '$50 a year' BS that other sites are trying. Actually make it reasonable :P 

    • Chris Hoffman
      March 15, 2012 at 6:58 am

      We definitely read all the comments on the site, Gideon! Thanks for the thoughtful comment.

      I don't blame the users. The ad networks created ad blockers by abusing users. But if ad blockers are used against even the good ads, ad networks have no incentive to clean up their act. If we're going to block ads, let's at least be thoughtful about the ones we block.

      Your suggestion would be a great idea. I love it. It would be a huge undertaking, though. I would love to see something like that happen.

      A flashblocker is a stopgap that will block the nasties, though. You can also block tracking cookies separately.

      I can't see MakeUseOf ever going to a paywall. It's not our style. Optional, ad-free premium version, though? I'd put that in place, if it was up to me.

  40. Indronil Mondal
    March 15, 2012 at 5:52 am

     ok from now i am gonna use ie for make use of.....
    i dont have adblock installed there.. :D

    • Chris Hoffman
      March 15, 2012 at 6:50 am

      That's one option!

      I'm not an IE fan, but I've heard it's gotten better.

      • Rey Aetar
        March 15, 2012 at 8:17 pm

        better ???????? not in xp

        • Greg
          March 15, 2012 at 10:04 pm

          Microsoft forgot about XP users :(
          Although we really shouldn't be using anyway, it's 2012

        • Chris Hoffman
          March 17, 2012 at 5:55 am

          At least XP users still have Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Safari -- and, well, everything that's not IE?

          (At least, I think all those browsers still support XP)

        • Chris Hoffman
          March 17, 2012 at 5:54 am

          Internet Explorer 9 is certainly better than IE 6!

          I mean, I don't use IE. But it's improved some.

  41. Greggem
    March 15, 2012 at 2:27 am

    Okay. Whitelisted. I appriciate the tone of this article much more than others I've read on this subject.

    • Chris Hoffman
      March 15, 2012 at 6:50 am

      Thanks so much, Greggem! That's exactly what I was trying to do!

      Most articles criticizing Adblock scold readers. I can understand how they feel, but it isn't helpful.

      Maybe it's because I've been on the other side, but I have no ill feelings for people who adblock, or even people who develop adblock. I've been there along with them. I just think they're making a mistake.

  42. Ashutosh Mishra
    March 15, 2012 at 2:25 am

    The ads on this site are fairly modest, so I don't understand why anyone wouldn't want to whitelist the domain.

    Personally, I use Chrome's click-to-run-plugins feature instead of ABP. The former works pretty well as it refuses to load the annoying ads, most of which are Flash content anyway.

    • Chris Hoffman
      March 15, 2012 at 6:47 am

      Thanks, Ashutosh.

      I can understand that. I remember when I used Linux, Flash would take over the CPU and grind the system to a halt. I wouldn't dare ask people to live with that.

  43. awebstranger34
    March 15, 2012 at 2:05 am

    I use Gmail and I don't use Adblock.
    I typically like the ads Gmail gives me since they're based on what my emails say (mostly emails from blogs I subscribe to, including this one)

    • Chris Hoffman
      March 15, 2012 at 6:45 am

      Me too, to be honest.

      Even when Gmail messes up, it's good for a laugh.

  44. UUUnicorn
    March 15, 2012 at 1:59 am

    I just want to add that I've disabled FlashControl for now.

    • Chris Hoffman
      March 15, 2012 at 6:46 am

      Do our ad networks still serve Flash ads when you use that? That's too bad. Flash is definitely block-worthy.

  45. Denis Paley
    March 15, 2012 at 1:58 am

    Been turned off. Keep up the great work. Definitely one of the best sites on the Web

    • Chris Hoffman
      March 15, 2012 at 6:45 am

      Thanks so much, Denis! It's awesome to get such positive feedback.

  46. UUUnicorn
    March 15, 2012 at 1:57 am

    Please, what if we use FlashControl in SRWare Iron (based on open-source Chromium, closely related to Google Chrome)?

    • Chris Hoffman
      March 15, 2012 at 6:38 am

      Ad networks should ideally fall back to non-Flash versions. I think a lot of them are doing this now, since people browsing on iPads and iPhones can't see Flash.

      If our ad networks aren't doing that, they should be.I can definitely understand blocking Flash.

  47. Paolo
    March 15, 2012 at 1:35 am

    Done, but get rid of Spokeo ads. That company is awful.

    • Chris Hoffman
      March 15, 2012 at 6:41 am

      Thanks a lot, Paolo!

      I'm not familiar with the company -- never heard of it.

  48. ????(???? Amy
    March 15, 2012 at 1:27 am

    Sadly, I am unable to whitelist anything...AdBlock wants me to upgrade my browser (Safari 5.0.5) to the most current version.  And I have 2 reasons why I refuse to use Safari 5.1 (or any incarnation at the moment) (memory leaks (not as bad in 5.1.2, but still definitely there) and it randomly refreshes everything, losing any entered text and randomly losing pages that I needed open...).

    It's sad when a few sites ruin everything.  I never minded MUO's ads...just a few sites where ads tend to run over text and I can't get to what's underneath and such...

    • Chris Hoffman
      March 15, 2012 at 6:41 am

      I hope you'll whitelist us when you're able to!

      Some websites are really bad.

  49. acr123
    March 15, 2012 at 1:26 am

    A couple options to consider, although I'm certainly no expert.  But what about making your site https so you can get around some ad blocking?  Then have sponsored ad pages and paid/membership version with ad free content for people who do not want ads?  Personally I don't like ads because they are a security risk.  Compromised ads are almost always found out after they have infected some users.  I would rather have to pay a membership or donate some amount to keep the ads away.  Besides, when a site relies on ads for revenue the integrity of the product reviews is compromised.  Write a bad review about a product and there's suddenly no more ad revenue from them.  Write a good review and that product gets lot of traffic, which means more click through revenue for the site.
    I think a lot of people are really getting burned out by the facebooks and googles of the world that track people all across the web.  There seems to be a story in the news everyday about some ad company secretly stealing info about web users by exploiting some web browser vulnerability.  And we haven't even got to the problematic privacy issues with the flash, super cookies. 
    Blocking ads on the net are just a symptom of a larger problem: ad companies behaving badly.  I don't think the remedy is for consumers to make amends.  It's the ad companies that created the problem, so it's the ad companies that need to fix it.  Sorry if I sound insensitive.  But allowing ad companies to run the web is not a good policy.

    • Chris Hoffman
      March 15, 2012 at 6:37 am

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

      I agree that ad companies are behaving badly. The problem with blocking all ads is that it doesn't encourage them to behave better. Blocking only the bad ads encourages ad companies and websites to behave better. That's the crux of the issue.

      HTTPS wouldn't really get around ad blocking. A paid membership with no ads is an idea I personally love, but it's been ruled out for the moment.

      • acr123
        March 15, 2012 at 7:15 am

        The reason I asked about https is because I use Ad Muncher and whenever I am on an https connection the ads show up anyway - such as using https on Facebook or in Gmail.  I believe Ad Muncher has stated they have trouble filtering ads because of the https connection.  Maybe this is just specific to Ad Muncher but for some reason I was thinking the inability to block ads in https connections was a problem for many ad blocking strategies.  But like I said earlier, I'm no expert by any stretch of the imagination.  Thanks for the info.

        • Chris Hoffman
          March 16, 2012 at 3:32 am

          Ah, right! I remember Ad Muncher.

          Here's what's going on: Ad Muncher sits between your browser and the web server. The web server and browser establish an encrypted connection for security -- no one else can see what's in that traffic, not even Ad Muncher.

          Adblock browser extensions can block ads in HTTPS traffic because they work on the web page after it reaches the browser. Ad Muncher works on the traffic before it reaches the browser -- the browser hasn't decrypted it yet, so Ad Muncher can't understand it.

    • Chris Hoffman
      March 15, 2012 at 6:43 am

      Sorry, I should have also mentioned -- ads don't affect our content at all. There are so many possible ads that could appear -- even if some companies started pulling ads, it would be no problem.

      For example, we've had an opinion piece that slammed Android really hard, yet there are still ads for Android phones on our website.

  50. Richard Norton
    March 15, 2012 at 1:06 am


    • Chris Hoffman
      March 15, 2012 at 6:35 am

      Thank you, Richard!

  51. ReeseTee
    March 15, 2012 at 1:03 am

    I'm convinced. Thanks for explaining all of this. Consider yourself whitelisted. :-)

    • Chris Hoffman
      March 15, 2012 at 6:35 am

      Thanks a lot, ReeseTee! We really appreciate it.

  52. Lee
    March 15, 2012 at 1:00 am

    I whitelisted this site when the Q&A part had the huge red banner saying to disable adblock. Unfortunately, that banner didn't go away when I whitelisted the site, so that might be something to look into (in fact, I'm not even sure where teh ads are on this site so I'm not sure if whitelisting worked or not haha)

    You know what? This post has inspired me to disable adblock completely (again..) and see if I can live with ads. I remember Youtube was really annoying because they offset elements of the page and were too flashy, but I'm going to see if I can live with them again (since I haven't tried it with the new layout).

    • Chris Hoffman
      March 15, 2012 at 6:34 am

      If you see ads, maybe whitelisting didn't work for some reason.

      Thanks a lot though, Lee! I can see keeping Adblock around for really bad websites and particularly annoying websites, if it comes to that.

  53. Slywlf
    March 15, 2012 at 12:47 am

    Fair enough - I have white-listed this site and will leave it that way unless it gets out of control. Of course if that happens I am sure you will be hearing lot of complaints :-)

    • Chris Hoffman
      March 15, 2012 at 6:32 am

      Thanks, Slywlf! We take complaints very seriously.

      The last time a reader reported a full-screen ad, Aibek (who runs MakeUseOf), even emailed the reader back personally. We discuss bad ads on our internal mailing list.

  54. Robert Howitt
    March 15, 2012 at 12:39 am

    Okay makeuseof i'll whitelist you. But only because I love you.

    • Chris Hoffman
      March 15, 2012 at 6:30 am

      We love you, too!

  55. George
    March 14, 2012 at 11:57 pm

    I clicked the adblock plus icon on my firefox browser and set it to "disable on" but it's still blocking all the ads on the site. Is there any other way to whitelist this site?

    • Chris Hoffman
      March 16, 2012 at 3:29 am

      That's odd -- whitelisting should trump all the blacklists. One of your filter lists is probably blocking MakeUseOf's ads anyway.. but it shouldn't be doing that.. You may have to disable adblock or a filter list entirely. Sounds like a bug, though.

  56. Guest
    March 14, 2012 at 11:50 pm

    I'll make a deal with you.  You guarantee on the condition of shutting down your site that no one is tracking me around the net or gathering information on me because I've visited your site and I'll whitelist on everything.  

    I don't mind ads that treat me like a newspaper ad does and simply shows me things.  It is all of the intelligence gathering I object to - which another one of your recent articles basically said was "no big deal" - this in spite of the fact that a recent Pew poll said 2/3 of Americans considered tracking and intelligence gathering to be an invasion of privacy.

    • Chris Hoffman
      March 16, 2012 at 3:25 am

      I wish we could guarantee that. We're certainly not tracking you here at MakeUseOf -- but I think every advertising network does that.

      There are ways you can block the tracking while still allowing the ads.

      • Chris Hoffman
        March 16, 2012 at 3:28 am

        Sorry, I should clarify -- the advertising networks we use are tracking you, I imagine. But MakeUseOf doesn't get that data -- we don't track you ourselves.

  57. Anonymous
    March 14, 2012 at 11:41 pm

    No thanks.  I don't know whether you've noticed, but almost every website is telling us to disable AdBlock Plus.  It would be easier to remove AdBlock Plus all together.  Sorry, but MUO doesn't have my support.

    • Chris Hoffman
      March 15, 2012 at 12:57 am

      I used to agree with you, Anonymous. So I know how you feel. We'll never block you for using Adblock -- not if I have anything to say about it, at least. Using Adblock is ultimately your choice, and, as the banner says, we respect that.

  58. Ricki Ohana
    March 14, 2012 at 11:29 pm

    I love Adblock but I am a huge fan of MakeUseOf so no blocking here.
    Now that I know what the ads are for, I'll be clicking away............
    Awesome article!!! Didn't know some very important facts, especially the
    “But I Never Click Ads Anyway!” part. 

    Now that I know the TRUE meaning of Adblock, gotta get my favorite sites OFF the list. Thank you very much for this important article.

    • Chris Hoffman
      March 15, 2012 at 12:55 am

      Thanks so much, Ricki! I'm glad I could inform you.

      For the record, I didn't mean to ask anyone to click the ads -- just not to block them. Asking for clciks is actually very much against the terms of service. We could get in big trouble if we asked for such things.

  59. ComboCaster
    March 14, 2012 at 11:27 pm

    i never used them anyway

    • Chris Hoffman
      March 15, 2012 at 12:47 am

      Thanks a lot, ComboCaster.

  60. internetluva34
    March 14, 2012 at 11:22 pm

    I was going to say "This is quite pathetic MakeUseOf" but I do get what you're saying. It's just not seeing ads is SOOO nice :) Even the most simple ads are very distracting for me, and I come here to learn. I disable Adblock for now and see if I like it.

    • Chris Hoffman
      March 15, 2012 at 12:49 am

      Thanks for at least giving it a try! I wanted to take a different tack with this post, since I know it's been done many times before, both here and elsewhere.

      I used to be a big Adblock person myself, obviously. It's nice, but supporting websites is nicer -- in my opinion.

  61. Surfacephysics
    March 14, 2012 at 11:13 pm

    I find it (contradictory; confusing; bewildering; odd; insulting; bizarre - pick one or more adjectives as appropriate) for you to provide full content RSS feeds free of advertising but then post articles such as this - unless you are getting paid by the sites, software, and hardware products you review, that is. Of course, if the latter is the case, I'm out of here because your reviews are then useless.

    Nevertheless, should you wish to adopt traditional journalistic standards and not include ads in the middle of articles or ads that suck up my bandwidth, I'll consider your request.

    • Chris Hoffman
      March 15, 2012 at 12:53 am

      Thanks for commenting and sharing your thoughts. 

      I just checked our RSS feed and I do see a single ad at the bottom of each post in Google Reader. It is very interesting, I agree.
      We absolutely do not take any money from the software and websites we review here. I can assure you of that. We make money from advertisng, and we don't even know what advertising is going to show up next to the article, so we couldn't try to please advertisers if we even wanted to.

      I wish the ads were a bit more lightweight, too. But they're much worse elsewhere.

    • muotechguy
      April 25, 2012 at 7:54 am

      Companies don't pay to get reviewed on this main site. They may sponsor giveaways, but those are clearly labelled as giveaways.

      As for the RSS, I personally consider that a service to *loyal* readers. If you subscribe via RSS, there's a good chance you click through to the site time and time again, commenting etc. It's a choice not to fill the RSS feed with ads, and we thank you for subscribing.

  62. Mulder
    March 14, 2012 at 11:12 pm

    Instead of having all those annoying ads (which increase the time to load any page and often stall during the loading process), you could adopt a more reasonable approach like that used by Daring Fireball: one small sponsored ad that appears on every page for an entire week or month, or whatever you choose.

    That ads are about 75 x 90px and appear in the lower left of the page, well away from any text. They are static and silent.

    That's an approach I could embrace.

    • Chris Hoffman
      March 15, 2012 at 12:46 am

      Thanks for the comment, Mulder.

      The ads are ultimately a compromise between revenue and not annoying users, of course. To be honest, it would be nicer if we could only have a single tiny ad that wouldn't slow down the page. But I'm not sure this is possible. That part isn't my job, though.

      Still, we do draw a line -- no full-page ads. No video ads. No ads that start playing audio.

  63. Guest
    March 14, 2012 at 11:06 pm

    Could it be that advertising shouldn't be considered as a sole means of revenue for a website? Maybe you should find other ways of income as well?

    Personally, on my own website I don't run any advertising at all. It costs me $9 a month to run and I don't know any job that doesn't pay less than that amount.

    • Chris Hoffman
      March 15, 2012 at 12:44 am

      We're actually working on that, although that sort of thing is out of my job description.

      That's the thing, though -- this is a job for us. It's how we can put the time into putting out this high-quality content.

      And being a top-1000 website, it costs way more than $9 a month to run MakeUseOf!

  64. Bryant Piedrahita
    March 14, 2012 at 10:56 pm

     Did it.

    • Chris Hoffman
      March 15, 2012 at 12:41 am

      Thanks a lot for your support, Bryant! We appreciate it.

  65. DpD
    March 14, 2012 at 10:52 pm

    somebody call the WAHmbulance

    • Chris Hoffman
      March 15, 2012 at 1:00 am

      I'm not trying to whine -- just asking Adblock users to stop and reconsider their decisions.

      We're not going to block you. I hope you'll reconsider one day, but feel free to keep reading the website!

  66. Alex
    March 14, 2012 at 10:37 pm

    I used to have 2 muo adresses on my Opera urlfilter. I took them out but the website (answers section) claims I still have AdBlock.

    How should I enable it?

    • Chris Hoffman
      March 15, 2012 at 12:40 am

      Hi Alex -- I downloaded Opera to check this out for you.

      Try right-clicking on the MakeUseOf website, selecting Edit Site Preferences, clicking the Content tab and unchecking "Enable content blocking." That should work. Let us know if it doesn't!

  67. Dasani James
    March 14, 2012 at 10:29 pm

    Done.  I wouldn't want to lose this site or have it become a pay site.

    • Chris Hoffman
      March 15, 2012 at 12:36 am

      Thanks a lot, Dasani! We appreciate your support.

  68. Seppe
    March 14, 2012 at 10:25 pm

    Did it :)

    • Chris Hoffman
      March 15, 2012 at 12:35 am

      Thank you so much for your support!

  69. John Penland
    March 14, 2012 at 10:11 pm

    Instead of barraging your twitter followers and readers with pleas to quit blocking your intrusive ads, why don't you fix your ads so you qualify to be whitelisted by default? I mean, I've had it off on this site for a while, but still, there are times that the ads make me regret that decision. This site isn't as bad as some, but its in the  bottom 10 of sites I typically visit for obnoxious advertising practices. 

    I like the site, I like the features but the advertising needs to change. The obnoxious red banner doesn't always go away when you disable adblock, it likes to make itself at home and stay a while. 

    tldr; The first two or three days of the begging were ok, now its getting to the point that its annoying. Much more, and any sympathy that you might have gained is going to be lost. 

    • internetluva90
      March 14, 2012 at 11:38 pm

      I agree with you 
      Way to tell 'em

    • Chris Hoffman
      March 15, 2012 at 12:33 am

      Hi John,

      We had a reader ask us how to whitelist a website in Adblock, so this post was born out of that.

      Have you checked the whitelist? You can see it here: It only allows five websites or so -- it's early days for this experiment on Adblock Plus's part.

      As I said in the post, we can't vet every ad that appears. That's just the way the ad networks work, unfortunately. When a reader tells us about a bad ad, we can block it.

      I'll pass the comment about the banner along -- it shouldn't be doing that.

      • John Penland
        March 15, 2012 at 5:43 am

        Hi Chris, thanks for the response. If there's only 5 websites on there, then I only have a couple more than it does white listed in the chrome version of ABP. 

        Partially I'm a hold out to the old risk of ads containing viruses. Then there is the over the top ads, and the fact that ABP is a quick way to remove elements of a website that you don't like. 
        Google has come a long way towards removing the threat of malware from their ads, but other such networks aren't always as vigilant. I view blocking out ads and tracking cookies as being part of overall internet safety. I do allow sites that I visit frequently to show me ads, because, well, I've run a site before that needed some sort of revenue scheme in order to keep it operational. I did go a different route other than ads, but that is because I had low overhead, and people willing to donate to keep an ad free experience. 

        • Chris Hoffman
          March 15, 2012 at 6:29 am

          Thanks for understanding, John. Blocking tracking cookies, resource-hungry Flash ads and websites that treat you badly is definitely understandable.

          My point is that we should think about what we're doing when we Adblock -- not just install Adblock once and ignore it, blocking ads on even the most well-behaved of websites. It sounds like you're already doing that, and that's awesome!

    • Guest
      March 15, 2012 at 3:12 am

      agreed make the ads plain and unobtrusive then ill un ablock  you but until then no.oh and i hate being forced to sign up to get an article thats just as bad then my e-mail gets spammed. it's gotten to the point that i dont even really use this site anymore.i do a "drive" by once in a while,hoping to glean a useful article but rarely find one ....

      • Chris Hoffman
        March 16, 2012 at 3:24 am

        We'll never force users to sign up (well, not if I have anything to say about that), so don't worry bout that.

        I'm sorry that you feel the content isn't useful -- What kind of articles would you like to see? I'm always looking for new post ideas.

        • Dave
          June 23, 2012 at 5:18 pm

          What do your stats look like? Our site provides free content that we create and we have 94% of pageloads that are generated without any ads being displayed due to the usage of noscript and adblock.
          I have seriously thought of just closing our doors, but instead opted to block all users of adblock and noscript :D

        • Chris Hoffman
          June 23, 2012 at 6:53 pm

          I don't have access to those stats, so I can't give you an exact number. However, we're currently running a banner on MakeUseOf Answers asking users to disable Adblock if they use it.

          We've also written about ways to deal with Adblock users on your site: //

          I will say that I was shocked by the answers to our poll when we asked if they used Adblock. The majority of respondents use Adblock everywhere: [Broken Link Removed]

      • Dave
        June 23, 2012 at 5:34 pm

        If you didnt use adblock, then the site would not be forced to use obtrusive ads which pay more as they have so few people viewing the ads due to so many people using adblock. DOH!

        • Chris Hoffman
          June 23, 2012 at 6:50 pm

          Sadly, it's true. Adblock just encourages worse ads because it doesn't reward the good ones. A "BadAdblock" that only blocked bad ads and left unobtrusive, reasonable advertising would improve advertising on the web, I think

        • Hoq
          July 4, 2012 at 5:22 pm

          Dave, that's the stupidest argument I've ever heard - AdBlock was created -BECAUSE- of obtrusive ads, and it's obviously effective, because I've seen half a dozen of these plaintive "Don't Block Us, Bro" requests in 2012 alone.

        • Chris Hoffman
          July 6, 2012 at 1:28 am

          Yes, but that's the problem -- it blocks all ads, even the tiniest, least obtrusive text links.

          That means there's no incentive to produce better, less annoying ads.

  70. Joshua Clarke
    March 14, 2012 at 9:49 pm

    I used to be a fan of AdBlock, but now, not so much. I realized that I'm basically "cheating" each site I visit, (including this one) by blocking these ads. OK, some sites have lots of annoying ads and popups - I blacklist them - but blogs like this (and Engadget) that have non-intrusive advertising, I keep un-blocked. I would be sad if these sites went away, and even more sad that it may have been partially my fault, due to my (and others) AdBlock extension. I totally agree with this post, so I would encourage people to whitelist their favorite sites so they can keep providing them with entertaining content.

    • Chris Hoffman
      March 15, 2012 at 12:28 am

      Thank you so much, Joshua.

      No one really likes advertising, but it's what makes this possible.

    • Hates Adblock
      January 14, 2015 at 6:45 am

      Adblock is evil.

      It actually not only hides ads, but in some cases also actual website content!
      It annihilates my website, and I don't even have adverts on it!

      Using Adblock reduces your web experience.
      If you don't like a website with a lot of ads don't go there simple!

      I don't like ads, and none of my websites have ads on, but I don't use Adblock either.
      As far as I'm concerned Adblock is just as nasty as websites with Porn ads! I don't go there and I don't use it!

  71. Guest
    March 14, 2012 at 9:45 pm

    What about when I am using Google Reader? Are you getting any ad revenue from that?

    • Chris Hoffman
      March 15, 2012 at 12:27 am

      I just checked the RSS feed in Google Reader and I see a single ad near the bottom. So yes, we are!

      • muotechguy
        April 25, 2012 at 7:56 am

        .. Not really. Not a significant amount. RSS is a service to loyal readers, though it might be monetized in future I guess.

        • Chris Hoffman
          April 25, 2012 at 6:24 pm

          Well, at least it's something.