September 24, 2013
Adblock Plus Sells Out, Allows “Acceptable” Ads
All good things must come to an end, including the notion of surfing the Internet without advertisement. Announced earlier this month by Eyeo, the team behind it, Adblock Plus (ABP) will now begin allowing “acceptable” ads to run on websites, provided they follow a “strict criteria” and remains non-intrusive — no autoplay ads, flashing colors, throwbacks to the 90s with poorly written Gifs and fake X-out buttons, etc. And while I speak as someone whose paycheck comes from advertisements being seen, as an Internet user, I have my disgusts.
First thing is ABP is selling out, but they’re not even doing it in a respectable way that maintains both their integrity and their credibility. They’re doing it in a way that leaves a bitter taste in your mouth. First, they make an amazing product that has rallying support and millions of donations supporting it by contributing both time and money to see this idea come to fruition. Then, by both word of mouth and increased desperation of ad creators, it quickly becomes the most downloaded extension for Google Chrome, and very popular amongst other browsers. And that brings us to now. They’ve gone completely back on their original purpose and are letting ads through; for the right price, of course.
Ok, I’ll admit websites do need the money from ads to survive, and as I’ve said, that’s how I get paid. What I don’t like is that for all the begging Eyeo put out for money and help keeping ABp afloat, they directly turn into what they were trying to stop. The notion that for the right price you can have your monochromatic ad displayed on a website is just irritating, because now every company with enough capital will gladly fork over large sums of money to clog my browser with their advertisements. Then what was the point of opening donations if you were just going to turn around and screw us over?
Another point is that this will not stop the annoying ads. Hell, this may just start more. From how I see it, there are two ways this will play out. Either every corporation with capital will buy as much ad space and effectively drench the Internet with boring monochromatic ads like Rubert Murdoch barfing on a pile of hundreds, or the tight grip around Eyeo’s balls — known as money — will turn ABP into something that only displays the richest of the annoying ads. It does nothing to address issue that ads are both resource and bandwidth suckers.
If I have to say anything positive, it’s that all the ads can be blocked. However, this still means for every one that comes up, you’ll still have to manually block it or disable all ads in the menu. And while there is always the option to support your favorite sites by disabling it for that site, I think that giving the option to do so is a far better alternative than selling out one’s integrity for a quick buck.
TL:DR: ABP sold out, #imadbro
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