Ars Technica to adblockers: STOP HITTING YOURSELF

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Re: Ars Technica to adblockers: STOP HITTING YOURSELF

Postby TAsunder » Wed Mar 10, 2010 11:17 am

TheBookPolice wrote:
TAsunder wrote:If TDP didn't model their advertising methodology after invasive, virus-riddled, illegal advertising campaigns we see on the rest of the net

What in god's name are you talking about? And where are you going on the internet that you seem to encounter this so frequently?

Or have you been blocking ads for so long that you're like one of those elderly Japanese fighter pilots--stranded on a remote Pacific island and still fighting World War II?

(seemed a less nerdy example than Desmond in the Hatch, inoculating himself against an imaginary contagion on LOST, but take whichever one you want)


There are tons of places that inadvertently or intentionally contain malicious code disguised as ads. Many of the "your computer may be at risk" ads are actually attempting to get you to install malware on your machine. Lots of security vulnerabilities are exploited via things that ABP blocks. I'm not sure how you are not aware of these. Perhaps you just need to follow security sites more.

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Re: Ars Technica to adblockers: STOP HITTING YOURSELF

Postby TheBookPolice » Wed Mar 10, 2010 11:25 am

TAsunder wrote:There are tons of places that inadvertently or intentionally contain malicious code disguised as ads. Many of the "your computer may be at risk" ads are actually attempting to get you to install malware on your machine. Lots of security vulnerabilities are exploited via things that ABP blocks. I'm not sure how you are not aware of these. Perhaps you just need to follow security sites more.

Oh, I'm aware of them, I just don't expose myself to their dangers. And I keep my antivirus/antimalware hand strong.

There's a key word in your post: attempting. As in, don't be an idiot. Don't click on banner ads for businesses or services you don't need, or recognize, or trust. Some CLEANPC operation out of Denmark is a damn sight different from an ad for Sa-Bai Thong Thai Restaurant.

jjoyce's comment is still hanging out there, by the way. I know you were careful to say that Isthmus follows the model of virus-riddled advertising campaigns, but that's a pretty thinly-veiled accusation against Isthmus nonetheless.

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Re: Ars Technica to adblockers: STOP HITTING YOURSELF

Postby TAsunder » Wed Mar 10, 2010 11:25 am

jjoyce wrote:Hey TASunder: You're accusing this company of running "virus-riddled" ads.


No, I'm not. Reading comprehension would help. I accuse you of modeling your ads after the type of ads that have caused major security issues and which led to products like ad block plus in the first place. The "as distracting as possible" ads which appear to be the basis of some of your ad content.

As for "animated" ads, are you referring to the rotating frames in, say, the High Noon ad where they call attention to Gomeroke and private party catering?

Yeah, I can see how you'd be offended by that. A trusted local business trying hard to reach its market in trying economic times. It's really invasive. If more thought like you did, we wouldn't have to worry about local companies advertising on local websites like this one at all. Would you be happy then?


I'm offended by the concept of inserting animations to distract me based on a long and storied history of invasive animated ads. I don't know why this is a hard concept to follow. Much in the same way that someone who was beaten as a child might be offended by a parent waving their fist at a child. The fact that you are willing to employ animations that intentionally distract means you are ok with ads that distract, which means you don't respect your users' experience on the site to at least some degree.

It's not all or nothing. You could easily have less invasive ads. This is your problem... you would rather continue spewing shit about how they are just local ads than acknowledge that many users are annoyed by animations. At least two in this thread alone. Tons on slashdot and ars. The fact is, many people don't like, and some (like me), loathe certain advertising tactics, including the use of animations intentionally designed to distract. I don't care that your particular ads may be for companies I like or that you may have good intentions. I only care that you are willing to leverage the technology that has led to serious user mistrust and products like adblockplus in the first place.

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Re: Ars Technica to adblockers: STOP HITTING YOURSELF

Postby TAsunder » Wed Mar 10, 2010 11:28 am

TheBookPolice wrote:Oh, I'm aware of them, I just don't expose myself to their dangers. And I keep my antivirus/antimalware hand strong.

There's a key word in your post: attempting. As in, don't be an idiot. Don't click on banner ads for businesses or services you don't need, or recognize, or trust.


Not good enoug anymore, unfortunately. Many malicious ads exploit known vulnerabilities or do stuff like insert or leverage tracking cookies. In several cases in the past couple of years, they have used exploits before all virus software had updates to prevent it. Clicking on an ad is no longer the line in the sand, unfortunately. It's just good common sense to block ads on unknown sites by default. Sites that earn my trust can go on whitelists. Until I feel like site administrators understand why I have ad block plus in the first place, they won't make that cut.

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Re: Ars Technica to adblockers: STOP HITTING YOURSELF

Postby TheBookPolice » Wed Mar 10, 2010 11:30 am

TAsunder wrote:Much in the same way that someone who was beaten as a child might be offended by a parent waving their fist at a child.

That right there is a conversation-ender, folks.

TA, that you would compare being "subjected" to animated .GIF advertising banners to threatened child abuse is easily the most offensive thing I've seen or heard of in this thread.

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Re: Ars Technica to adblockers: STOP HITTING YOURSELF

Postby fisticuffs » Wed Mar 10, 2010 11:31 am

See. Just like I said. Whiny bitches. Oooh the animations distract me ooh make it stop. Seriously? Now I don't have a degree in advertising or anything but I would think the main point in creating ads is that they get looked at. Is that somehow a crime in your mind? Wow.

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Re: Ars Technica to adblockers: STOP HITTING YOURSELF

Postby TAsunder » Wed Mar 10, 2010 11:37 am

TheBookPolice wrote:
TAsunder wrote:Much in the same way that someone who was beaten as a child might be offended by a parent waving their fist at a child.

That right there is a conversation-ender, folks.

TA, that you would compare being "subjected" to animated .GIF advertising banners to threatened child abuse is easily the most offensive thing I've seen or heard of in this thread.


It's an analogy. Perhaps one in poor taste, but an accurate one. An analogy doesn't need to equate the severity of two things. As someone who has the word "book" in their handle I thought you would understand this.

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Re: Ars Technica to adblockers: STOP HITTING YOURSELF

Postby TheBookPolice » Wed Mar 10, 2010 11:42 am

TAsunder wrote:It's an analogy. Perhaps one in poor taste, but an accurate one. An analogy doesn't need to equate the severity of two things. As someone who has the word "book" in their handle I thought you would understand this.

Y'know, you're right--after all, as someone who has the word "asunder" in his handle, you're got divisiveness down pat.

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Re: Ars Technica to adblockers: STOP HITTING YOURSELF

Postby TAsunder » Wed Mar 10, 2010 11:46 am

TheBookPolice wrote:
TAsunder wrote:It's an analogy. Perhaps one in poor taste, but an accurate one. An analogy doesn't need to equate the severity of two things. As someone who has the word "book" in their handle I thought you would understand this.

Y'know, you're right--after all, as someone who has the word "asunder" in his handle, you're got divisiveness down pat.


Thank you. And I do apologize if you actually were offended. It wasn't my intent to offend so much as shock and distract. Which is, intentionally, the very thing I rail against in online advertising.

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Re: Ars Technica to adblockers: STOP HITTING YOURSELF

Postby fisticuffs » Wed Mar 10, 2010 11:46 am

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Re: Ars Technica to adblockers: STOP HITTING YOURSELF

Postby Athena » Wed Mar 10, 2010 12:11 pm

I really shouldn't bother posting as this has gotten a bit too emotional over some stupid ads, but I'll throw my 2 cents in since there isn't much going on in the Techno forum most of the time.

I block ads. All ads. If you want to know why, go over to the gardenweb.com forums. Spend a few minutes there and let me know what you think of the Jello ad or the survey that scrolls over the screen. It's incredibly annoying, but those forums are great once you block the ads. There's a lot of good people with good adblockers that post there.

My second reason is security. I play online games and have somewhat valuable accounts. There was an article on NPR about how gaming accounts are worth more to a hacker than a credit card. To keep myself safe I don't trust anyone and I use Firefox with Adblock Plus and No Script. My husband hates looking at websites on my computer because he has to keep turning off No Script to get pages to look right, but I put up with that in order to be sure that no malicious code gets through.

My third reason is that I'm at work. Any sort of movement or scroll or bright colors is a big red flag that I'm not doing my job. No, my boss doesn't understand the concept of 'breaks'.

Sure, I could turn my adblocker off on TDP, but I don't see a reason to. I don't click on ads no matter how safe they might be, and if you guys get paid on page views then my not seeing the ad doesn't affect your revenue at all.

As for the original post, any website employing those kind of tactics isn't the kind of website that I need to view. I'd get annoyed, try messing with the script blocker, and give up on the site pretty fast when I figured out what they were doing.

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Re: Ars Technica to adblockers: STOP HITTING YOURSELF

Postby TAsunder » Wed Mar 10, 2010 12:20 pm

Athena wrote:I don't click on ads no matter how safe they might be, and if you guys get paid on page views then my not seeing the ad doesn't affect your revenue at all.


Not sure what you mean. They get paid per ad render (per prior conversations), so us ad blockers are affecting their revenue slightly. But, as I said, I at least would be willing to pay a subscription fee or a "no ads mode" fee. I've heard tell that google chrome downloads but doesn't render certain ads. I wonder if there's an add-on similar to ABP that would have that mode as an option between blacklist and whitelist.

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Re: Ars Technica to adblockers: STOP HITTING YOURSELF

Postby jjoyce » Wed Mar 10, 2010 12:28 pm

Let's break down exactly what's going on here:

TASunder frequents an advertising-supported site run by a reputable local company. There's a level of trust there. But apparently some of the ads we run for reputable local companies resemble ads he's been warned about on security sites. Or something. So there's trust, but not a lot of trust.

He then logs on to this site (as he does most days) to explain how his delicate sensibilities are overwhelmed by these ads. He won't stand for it. Apparently, TA's life is without distraction and interference. He reads only academic journals and watches only public TV (presumably muting the underwriting notes that appear before/after each show). He drives no roads that contain billboards. Is the phone ringing? Prob'ly a telemarketer. Don't open the mailbox! It's all just direct-mail marketing! Advertising is only a reminder that someone wants to sell us something!

This is where it gets interesting, however: He doesn't just turn the ads off for himself, he actually joins with a notorious malcontent (and noted hypocrite) to encourage others to do so as well. We must all rise up against the tyranny of local commerce! After all, what good could possibly come from this exchange of services for currency, aside from the information and the entertainment and the journalism and whatnot?

Side note: Sometimes, when I get a magazine that tells me on its cover that there's a big story inside, I have to turn past a few pages with pictures of cars, watches and exotic destinations before I get to the actual article. Fraudulent!

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Re: Ars Technica to adblockers: STOP HITTING YOURSELF

Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Wed Mar 10, 2010 12:31 pm

I'm an Adblocker user, but I've found Jason's past arguments about Forum's content convincing enough that I unblocked TDP. Since doing so, I've never been annoyed nor have I ever felt at risk.

Not gonna address the arguments for or against, except to say that like most things worth discussing, this is not as black-or-white as the reactionaries on either side want to portray it.

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Re: Ars Technica to adblockers: STOP HITTING YOURSELF

Postby TAsunder » Wed Mar 10, 2010 12:58 pm

I skip ads that annoy me on TV, and I watch those that don't somewhat often. I put myself on the do-not-call list and have on multiple occasions set certain phone numbers to be blocked who disregard that list and/or who market aggressively. I have contacted the direct marketing association (I think that's the name) to have myself removed from mailing lists. I read / listen to / watch certain ads. I whitelist certain sites in adblockplus. I'm generally consistent with this behavior. The point to take away is that I'm willing to pay for content and willing to watch ads that are delivered in a way that doesn't imply disrespect for users.

And yes, I do advocate that everyone should, for security reasons, use an ad blocker by default. Whether they choose to block TDP or whitelist it is up to them. I choose not to whitelist it because I do not wish to support, in any way, animated ads. For the third time I will mention that I would gladly pay for a "no ad" subscription here or some other formal method of payment to support the institution, but I refuse to indirectly give money to forms of advertising that I find to be antithetical to my beliefs about user experience on the Internet.


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