Starting late Friday afternoon we conducted a 12 hour experiment to see if it would be possible to simply make content disappear for visitors who were using a very popular ad blocking tool. Technologically, it was a success in that it worked. Ad blockers, and only ad blockers, couldn't see our content. We tested just one way of doing this, but have devised a way to keep it rotating were we to want to permanently implement it. But we don't. Socially, the experiment was a mixed bag. A bunch of people whitelisted Ars, and even a few subscribed. And while others showed up to support our actions, there was a healthy mob of people criticizing us for daring to take any kind of action against those who would deny us revenue. Others rightly criticized the lack of a warning or notification as to what was going on.
We made the mistake of assuming that everyone who is blocking ads at Ars is doing so with malice. As it turns out, only a few people are, and many (most?) indicated you are happy to help out. That's what led to this hopefully informative post.
I think blocking ads is active laziness, verging on spitefulness. It's like picking up the piece of string that the vacuum cleaner won't suck up, and then putting it back down to give it another go. It's like getting up from the couch to grab the remote.
But that's not why I started this thread. You all know what you want!