Tech talk: Are ad blockers undermining the web?

Not that I am very tech savvy or anything . . .

First, thanks to all who helped me resolve the auto video issue in the Pet peeve, Part 1 post yesterday.

I have since blocked ads and stopped videos from automatically playing — though I was more concerned with videos using up my monthly (i.e. limited) data usage. I’m trying out an ad blocker add-on with Firefox, but may not use it for long, because I don’t mind seeing ads.

Then I upgraded my OS from Vista to Windows 8, a vast improvement all around.

One thought: If so many of us block ads from appearing when we go on to various sites, what does that do for the advertisers and for the sites who rely on those advertisers?

Are we undermining the web as a viable commercial enterprise?

Thoughts?

— Jillian

4 thoughts on “Tech talk: Are ad blockers undermining the web?

  1. The advertisers brought Ad blockers on themselves.

    i can put up with a few ads, but the proliferation of obnoxious ads pushed me over the edge. I don’t want to see ads with flashing graphics, ads that autostart a video, ads that slow my browser downloads. On some sites there’s more ads than information. My Adblock Plus has blocked 1.4 MILLION ads since I started using it.

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  2. It the early days of the Internet when high speed connections were just a dream advertisers used text-based to try to people from their money. As Internet connection speeds increased graphics became practical and advertisers jumped on the band wagon. Compared to text pictures and videos require a lot of bandwidth, and can consume your limited data allotments very quickly. I would not object to the ads if they didn’t consume so much of my data allotment.

    Ad blocking apps do indeed reduce the incentive for websites to offer free content to visitors because their income is reduced, and websites are not inexpensive to create and maintain. Someone has to pay for it. Broadcast TV and radio also sell time to advertisers, but with live broadcasts the ads can not be turned off as they can with Internet websites. This sort of situation has not been faced before. What the results may be is yet to be determined. I’m eager to see how things shake out.

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  3. If ad blockers cause the death of the intern as a commercial enterprise, they did bring it on themselves. I agree with what others here have written, I don’t mind a bit of advertising (the sites have to make money somehow), but where there seems to be more advertising than content, then what’s the point. It’s for a similar reason that I don’t watch broadcast TV anymore, unless I can record it and fast forward through the ads. I grew up on commercial TV, and accepted that some ads were part of the process, they had to make their money somehow. However, since advertising is now about 1/3 of the airtime, I can’t be bothered. Oddly enough, despite all the dire warnings (or gloatings, depending on who is doing it), TV broadcasters generally earn more money than internet broadcasters. They have adapted to a world with multiple outlets, and earn as much via “secondary” sources (e.g. Netflix) than through their broadcasts.

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