Jimquisition: The Adblock Episode

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BunnyKillBot:
I cannot comprehend why you don't push the pub club membership in this video as an alternative to adblock. Its not that expensive, it rewards the producers and it strips out the ads. Win win!

the problem with pub club is that you cannot decide which content to support, not everything on the escapist is something id like to support. One of the advantages of the net is that you get to pick and choose your content and likewise pick and choose what to support.

OT: I wish ad content was more varied, I'm tired of seeing the same thing over and over again, if you are going to sell yourselves, might as well sell to everyone. No Ho gets by with tricks on one John, you dig.

there is also some merit in apps that stop sites or ads from tracking you, stuff like Google's ads are especially guilty of this.

Now here's an interesting topic, as I have some particularly strong feelings about this. I hope I don't upset anyone with what follows - I mean it as constructive criticism, and hope it is found helpful by the Escapist crew.

I think the negative publicity around Escapist blocking AdBlock users is actually how I first heard about the Escapist website! (yes - this looks like the article: http://beta.slashdot.org/story/134516 ). Even though that was years ago, it has left a negative image of Escapist imprinted in my memory from those events which has always stayed with me. This is also one reason why I've never bothered to really participate in the forums or join the community. I'm a RequestPolicy/NoScript/Self-Destructing Cookies/UAControl/AdBlock Plus/HTTPS Everywhere/Smart Referer user, have been for years, given talks on how to use them, etc. so I have had to accept that Escapist might decide to ban my account at any moment.

I really do believe this site would be better in the long run if Escapist simply encouraged people to disable Adblock, and did not take such aggressive action against those who use it. I might personally block ads, but I might also recommend and post links to Escapist - to be viewed by people who likely will not all block ads. Further, Escapist would have a higher chance of monetising a non-paying adblock-using reader in the future, as opposed to someone who was banned and left with a bad experience to whine about.

So that's the main points I wanted to make regarding the social side of the equation. There are many more points (such as the advertisements being distracting, etc. but others have said enough about all of that already and I'm not so concerned about that personally).

However, and even more importantly, there is a technical side to all of this. For instance, I'm running Debian GNU/Linux on an ARM computer. I don't think Adobe ever actually made Flash for GNU/Linux on armhf, so I wouldn't be able to watch most of the adverts even if I wanted to! It's not all good for me though - I have to rely on GreaseMonkey just to get the videos to play or I otherwise can only see messages asking me to install a plugin that simply isn't available. Further, your videos are in MP4. I can't play MP4 in the IceWeasel browser because it's a non-free codec - I have to actually wait a minute for the video file to save, and then open it up in mplayer! There is no Chromium build for armhf in the repositories (and am not sure it would help anyway) so I don't really have many options. So frustrating - if only the Escapist would try as hard as other websites to be cross-platform, by providing alternatives like WebM. Maybe you do provide WebM for Publisher's Club subscribers, but this has not been made clear.

Further, as other people in this thread have pointed out, web-based advertising is a magnet for malware. Unless you've verified all of your ads, there's a chance that your site could be used in compromising somebody's computer. That's not something I'm comfortable risking.

The last technical issue I have with this relates to tracking. If I visit Escapist and look at RequestPolicy, I see the site wants me to pull in content from Facebook, DoubleClick, Google, and a bunch of other domains that I don't know about - but look like they probably want to track me too. I won't stand for that. I'm not a privacy freak, but I have no intention of allowing some corporations like Google and Facebook attempt to secretly track me around the web.

Sometimes, I really want to show support for a website and, despite all of my objections and concerns mentioned so far, will actually switch Adblock off for a particular site. However, since many ads are pulled in from domains that wish to track me (which I have blacklisted), the adverts are still cut off by RequestPolicy anyway. This doesn't seem to be a problem for all websites with advertising, but I think it is an issue on the Escapist website.

Anyway... despite all of the social and technical problems with advertising above, I have been able to watch the videos (despite needing to jump through a few hurdles) and have been doing so for a while now - and you've really convinced me that I should start showing some support your way - especially if Escapist is going to relax its anti-AdBlock stance a little. Just getting the discussion happening here is a very positive sign. I now intend to join the Publisher's Club later in the month when I've got some spare cash.

If only Escapist would allow me to show my support by purchasing a subscription with Bitcoin! It would make donating much easier. :) Thanks Jim and crew.

It may have been mentioned somewhere in the past 20 pages, but there are reasons to use NoScript and ad-blockers beyond just "ads are annoying". Internet ads and the tracking cookies they use to follow you around the internet are exactly the sort of thing that gives privacy-conscious internet users like me facial tics. Add the ongoing weekly NSA revelations horror show to the mix (plus Google's general complicity in assisting NSA tracking), and I'm in a situation where even white-listing sites I like isn't an option.

People can tell me I'm being a paranoid loon, or that my internet traffic isn't worth the NSA's time, but that's not the point to me. I want to protect my privacy online, and that's that, not up for argument. It just sucks because I also want to support Jimquisition in some way.

If there's a donation account (PayPal if necessary, Bitcoin or other cryptocurrency where possible), I'd be happy to tip Jim every time I enjoy an episode. It's certainly the least I can do, and especially since he's so gracious to actually /ask/ instead of threaten or emotionally blackmail his audience. It's just that the constant unblinking eye of various corporations and government agencies makes me too uncomfortable to allow them any purchase.

inb4tinfoilhat

well thanks to this video I now know that adblock exist and what it does, still won't use it. The main reason I watch videos is because I like the people that upload them and I have absolutely 0 problem with them making some money by using ads, hell I've even found some pretty cool products thanks to ads so yeah keep at it I'm all for them

that aside, Jim you need to post pictures of your Alien collection I don't want to send you something you already have, like an alien version of Jonathan Holmes with a Predator mouth or some shit like that

Grimrider6:
It may have been mentioned somewhere in the past 20 pages, but there are reasons to use NoScript and ad-blockers beyond just "ads are annoying". Internet ads and the tracking cookies they use to follow you around the internet are exactly the sort of thing that gives privacy-conscious internet users like me facial tics. Add the ongoing weekly NSA revelations horror show to the mix (plus Google's general complicity in assisting NSA tracking), and I'm in a situation where even white-listing sites I like isn't an option.

People can tell me I'm being a paranoid loon, or that my internet traffic isn't worth the NSA's time, but that's not the point to me. I want to protect my privacy online, and that's that, not up for argument. It just sucks because I also want to support Jimquisition in some way.

If there's a donation account (PayPal if necessary, Bitcoin or other cryptocurrency where possible), I'd be happy to tip Jim every time I enjoy an episode. It's certainly the least I can do, and especially since he's so gracious to actually /ask/ instead of threaten or emotionally blackmail his audience. It's just that the constant unblinking eye of various corporations and government agencies makes me too uncomfortable to allow them any purchase.

inb4tinfoilhat

As someone with similar feelings, though not quite so close to tinfoiling(I'm more worried about where all the unscrupulous businesses is selling my information, and worried about malware/virus security holes, because cleaning a computer once infected is a major timewaste and hassle), I just got a pub club membership, $20/year isn't bad. Payed with Palpal.

I'll even add that doubleclick distributes malware and their ads are on the escapist and we've seen in this thread people complain about getting malware from escapist... so yeah.

boltronics:
I think the negative publicity around Escapist blocking AdBlock users is actually how I first heard about the Escapist website! (yes - this looks like the article: http://beta.slashdot.org/story/134516 ). Even though that was years ago, it has left a negative image of Escapist imprinted in my memory from those events which has always stayed with me. This is also one reason why I've never bothered to really participate in the forums or join the community. I'm a RequestPolicy/NoScript/Self-Destructing Cookies/UAControl/AdBlock Plus/HTTPS Everywhere/Smart Referer user, have been for years, given talks on how to use them, etc. so I have had to accept that Escapist might decide to ban my account at any moment.

I really do believe this site would be better in the long run if Escapist simply encouraged people to disable Adblock, and did not take such aggressive action against those who use it. I might personally block ads, but I might also recommend and post links to Escapist - to be viewed by people who likely will not all block ads. Further, Escapist would have a higher chance of monetising a non-paying adblock-using reader in the future, as opposed to someone who was banned and left with a bad experience to whine about.

Escapist doesn't ban users who use AdBlock. They hand out warnings for people who talk about AdBlock on the forums (obviously you can talk about in this thread, but it's a topic that should be otherwise avoided) and you can get 7 warnings before you get banned. They also don't block people who use AdBlock and they don't try to hunt down people who use it. So the rules are not that strict anymore (and according to your link, many of the bans the article mentions were later reversed... so that doesn't sound that strict either).

OT: Yeah, I don't mind watching ads to support the content creators. I also don't get most of the intrusive ads people have mentioned in this thread (probably due to my location) so I guess that's why it's easier to avoid that temptation.

Huh, I didn't know it hurt you guys like that I figured it would be based on views.

I will try to turn off adblock for this sites videos when possible from now on.

Cerebrawl:
I just got a pub club membership, $20/year isn't bad. Payed with Palpal.

I would, and I'm considering doing so right now really, just wish I could pay direct to the content producers I like without having to give to everybody. There's a few on the Escapist I'm not mega fond of... but I suppose I could get over that. Still wish there was a Bitcoin option, but I can understand why there isn't.

Look this all comes back to "don't be an entitled jerk", nobody has presented a reasonable excuse for interfering with the content. The site has a premium subscription mode, use it.

I work for another site that does content creation, the opinion is we can break the blocking software with paywalls or break it by using the blocking software against it's users. Nobody really wants the negative PR for doing the latter.

Kross:

It's something I believe in my heart. If we all hope together, maybe one day your posts will have something we can aspire to as well.

What's that supposed to mean? Sounds like you an attempted insult to me - something that's against the rules of the forum.

Again, you are avoiding the question. Why are you speaking on behalf of the company about business operations? Who gave you the authority to do so? Maybe the people in charge of business strategy have different ideas about what works than you do? After all, many companies have made a lot of money by taking unconventional approaches to the market, and I assume given your role that you aren't privy to the company's future business strategies.

So, while you've done all this opining on areas well outside your professional responsibility, we still don't have any answers as to who is responsible for deciding on the forum rules and exceptions for this thread. Even the amendment on the first post is signed with an anonymous "Mods" as the author.

Maybe models like merchandise, and subscription would be a lot more successful if you built some trust with your audience and developed a community, instead of a Stockholm syndrome?

Zipa:
One thing I am curious about is why the Escapist doesn't seem to advertise the Pubclub as much as it probably should.

Indeed.

The comments from the staff here seem to indicate that they think it doesn't work - so they've already doomed it to failure in a self-fulfilling prophesy. Of course it's not going to work if you never mention it. Just look at how many people in this thread were never even aware of its benefits. It's equally baffling why this wasn't Jim's #1 point in this video, rather than a throwaway aside.

I mean, really, can anyone explain to me why the Pub Club has been so ignored and neglected by the site?

It's an interesting and surprisingly reasonable discussion on this thread. I would hope that the Escapists staff and management are reading it and taking it to heart as much as the Escapists user base is taking Jim's video to heart. There is some important feedback going on here.

1. We want to support the sites and content providers we love. We really do.
2. We are not against advertising. We are however against uncontrolled, un verified, invasive advertising. Things that pose deep legitimate threats to us. As much as we want to support You. Opening wide the doorways to let whoever is paying your advertising providers pimp to have their way with us is really not on the agenda. And is something that you realistically have no business asking of us.

For advertising to work in a safe manner it needs to be controlled and vetted.
- you must know 100% what is being passed through your site. Every script. Every line of code. Each and every ad. No exceptions.
- it must be non invasive. Ads must remain within static predetermined framing. They may not control local PC functions such as sound. Where there is an active component it must require an overt and deliberate act to trigger. No mouse over. No pop ups. No parasitic things that require activity to close.
- the content of the ads must be policed. They must be reasonably friendly for a broad general audience. If they would not pass FCC guidelines for broadcast they don't belong in our face here. This is a real serious big name web site. Don't pimp penis pills to me.
- the ads must be specific to the site not the user. No feedback loops either providing info about me or feeding ads based on who it thinks I am.
- embedded video ads must be of reasonably short length and of a stable consistent audio volume.
- ad scripts and flash must work 100%. Browser crashes from ads are inexcusable.

In other words you need to own your advertising. You need to approve things before they show up on the site. You need to leverage the size of your user base to your best advantage. Your marketing department needs to be managing advertising. Not simply selling ad space to third parties. If this is not feasibly possible given the realities of Internet advertising, then you need to really push pub club and other similar ways for us to support what we love without subjecting ourselves to the Wild West of malware that is advertising.

KisaiTenshi:
Look this all comes back to "don't be an entitled jerk", nobody has presented a reasonable excuse for interfering with the content.

Except for the dozens of people who have done exactly that in this thread.

Like the fact that ads often contain malware and privacy-invading tracking mechanisms. And that the ads can crash your browser, or interfere with the viewing of content. And that they are frequently damn obtrusive.

And why does anybody need an "excuse" for doing it in the first place? Receiving data in the way that you want it is foundational to the concept and engineering of the internet. That's what enables blind people to have websites read out to them by a speech synthesizer, or allows websites to be reformatted to different sized screens and devices.

faefrost:

For advertising to work in a safe manner it needs to be controlled and vetted.
- you must know 100% what is being passed through your site. Every script. Every line of code. Each and every ad. No exceptions.
- it must be non invasive. Ads must remain within static predetermined framing. They may not control local PC functions such as sound. Where there is an active component it must require an overt and deliberate act to trigger. No mouse over. No pop ups. No parasitic things that require activity to close.
- the content of the ads must be policed. They must be reasonably friendly for a broad general audience. If they would not pass FCC guidelines for broadcast they don't belong in our face here. This is a real serious big name web site. Don't pimp penis pills to me.
- the ads must be specific to the site not the user. No feedback loops either providing info about me or feeding ads based on who it thinks I am.
- embedded video ads must be of reasonably short length and of a stable consistent audio volume.
- ad scripts and flash must work 100%. Browser crashes from ads are inexcusable.

In other words you need to own your advertising. You need to approve things before they show up on the site. You need to leverage the size of your user base to your best advantage. Your marketing department needs to be managing advertising. Not simply selling ad space to third parties.

I agree with everything you said. Many sites complain about adblock use without actually managing their adds or managing them so that they're more intrusive than they should be.

Do this as an experiment. Make a big article saying that you will manage ads on the site for two months, in hopes of lowering the number of people using adblock software. Write, in a clear, precise, manner exactly what will change, what you will do, what you hope the users do and how they should do it (technical steps (links) to whitelisting a site).

If you want me to disable the my adblocker in this malware-infested world, you better put a little effort into it.

Kudos Jim; I'll start allowing your episodes to show ads as I view them. Just you, though. Yahtzee has enough money.

The excuses for ad blocking are getting flimsier and flimsier. Claiming you want "the best experience" is just a smokescreen for your own selfishness. Pirated games often have a "better experience" but that doesn't excuse you stealing them. It would be an "optimal experience" to just take my groceries straight out to the car without having to wait in a checkout line and pay but sometimes you just have to suffer a little so the world keeps working.

I've never gotten a virus from an ad, because I run anti virus programs and update my browsers and operating system. These aren't the days of ActiveX anymore.

If you use ad blockers, you are basically stealing from the sites you visit. Internet sites are not "free" - you "pay" by displaying ads.

If everyone ad blocked most sites on the internet would go out of business. That's how you know what you're doing is wrong.

Aardvaarkman:

KisaiTenshi:
Look this all comes back to "don't be an entitled jerk", nobody has presented a reasonable excuse for interfering with the content.

Except for the dozens of people who have done exactly that in this thread.

Like the fact that ads often contain malware and privacy-invading tracking mechanisms. And that the ads can crash your browser, or interfere with the viewing of content. And that they are frequently damn obtrusive.

And why does anybody need an "excuse" for doing it in the first place? Receiving data in the way that you want it is foundational to the concept and engineering of the internet. That's what enables blind people to have websites read out to them by a speech synthesizer, or allows websites to be reformatted to different sized screens and devices.

Ads almost never contain malware, and that is a result of the advertiser's network being poorly vetted, or in the case of ones we previously used, they themselves being hacked. Lots of ad networks are using openX, which has some pretty terrible security holes. This is not an excuse for you to interfere with the ads by default. This is something where the browsers "safebrowsing" hilariously inaccurate warnings prevents you from visiting the site with the ad in the first place. If the site gets blocked by google, then absolutely everyone gets blocked. Ad blocking or not. It takes less than 10 minutes for a site to get blacklisted by google and up to a week to get unblocked. Do you really think a site wants to lose a weeks worth of revenue by allowing malware on their site? Think again.

Don't excuse your entitled behavior by claiming ads are a hazard to your health.

KisaiTenshi:

Ads almost never contain malware, and that is a result of the advertiser's network being poorly vetted, or in the case of ones we previously used, they themselves being hacked.

"Almost never" is not never. And it's actually pretty common. Why is the advertiser's network being hacked an excuse? Every ad network is vulnerable to being hacked. So, why would you expose yourself to any more risk than necessary by exposing yourself to those networks?

KisaiTenshi:
Lots of ad networks are using openX, which has some pretty terrible security holes.

That's a very good reason to block ads.

KisaiTenshi:
This is not an excuse for you to interfere with the ads by default.

It's not an "excuse," it's an extremely good and valid reason.

KisaiTenshi:
Do you really think a site wants to lose a weeks worth of revenue by allowing malware on their site? Think again.

Most don't have a choice, because the ads come from an ad network.

KisaiTenshi:
Don't excuse your entitled behavior by claiming ads are a hazard to your health.

What entitled behaviour are you talking about? I pay a subscription to The Escapist.

Ads are a hazard to my computer's health. That's not an empty claim. That's the truth. Claiming that I have a sense of "entitlement" about this is an empty claim, because I do not. I am engaging in perfectly legal and legitimate transactions.

Isn't the idea that everybody has to watch ads so companies can receive revenue a sense of entitlement? Ad companies are not entitled to nobody blocking their ads.

Thanatos2k:
The excuses for ad blocking are getting flimsier and flimsier. Claiming you want "the best experience" is just a smokescreen for your own selfishness. Pirated games often have a "better experience" but that doesn't excuse you stealing them. It would be an "optimal experience" to just take my groceries straight out to the car without having to wait in a checkout line and pay but sometimes you just have to suffer a little so the world keeps working.

If you use ad blockers, you are basically stealing from the sites you visit. Internet sites are not "free" - you "pay" by displaying ads.

If everyone ad blocked most sites on the internet would go out of business. That's how you know what you're doing is wrong.

Sorry but i have to strongly disagree.

They upload the videos for everyone to see. Thats like standing in the middle of the street playing on your violin and accusing everyone that comes along and doesnt pay you of "stealing your music"

It only would be stealing if the videos and content where locked behind a paywall and someone pirated it, you know... like all of your comparisons? All the products you can only get if you actually pay for them? Instead of getting them for free? I mean if you watch TV... do you feel guilty when you switch channels during commercial break?

There is no stealing going on here, the content is in plain sight for everyone to see. How they get their money is not my problem but theirs. They choose to make the content available for everyone who comes along no strings attached.

Also you ignore that the Escapist is not above hosting adds for obvious scam companies that will gladly infect your PC with Malware to hold it hostage and extort money from you.

I said it once and i say it again: Aslong as the Escapist does not guarantee me that none of the adds it hosts are not harmfull for my PC i will not re enable auto play for flash elements.

I dont mind banners for "legit" products, services, and companies nor do i have a problem with whatever commercial plays before videos in the player, but i will not be guilt tripped into re enabling adds for scamsites and browser crashing flash crap.

As soon as the escapist gets rid of these and those ear shattering auto play vids ill gladly re enable auto play of flash elements for the site.

Thanatos2k:

If you use ad blockers, you are basically stealing from the sites you visit. Internet sites are not "free" - you "pay" by displaying ads.

No, it's not stealing. And if the method of payment is viewing ads, then maybe they should block viewers who use ad blockers? It's the sites' choice to serve content to people.

Thanatos2k:
If everyone ad blocked most sites on the internet would go out of business. That's how you know what you're doing is wrong.

Why is that wrong? It's not my duty to keep business on the internet in business. Perhaps you can explain why I have any obligation in that matter?

I'd love it if advertising on the internet went out of business. Then we could return to the days when the internet was for non-commercial purposes only.

Karadalis:

Thanatos2k:
The excuses for ad blocking are getting flimsier and flimsier. Claiming you want "the best experience" is just a smokescreen for your own selfishness. Pirated games often have a "better experience" but that doesn't excuse you stealing them. It would be an "optimal experience" to just take my groceries straight out to the car without having to wait in a checkout line and pay but sometimes you just have to suffer a little so the world keeps working.

If you use ad blockers, you are basically stealing from the sites you visit. Internet sites are not "free" - you "pay" by displaying ads.

If everyone ad blocked most sites on the internet would go out of business. That's how you know what you're doing is wrong.

Sorry but i have to strongly disagree.

They upload the videos for everyone to see. Thats like standing in the middle of the street playing on your violin and accusing everyone that comes along and doesnt pay you of "stealing your music"

It only would be stealing if the videos and content where locked behind a paywall and someone pirated it, you know... like all of your comparisons? All the products you can only get if you actually pay for them? Instead of getting them for free? I mean if you watch TV... do you feel guilty when you switch channels during commercial break?

There is no stealing going on here, the content is in plain sight for everyone to see. How they get their money is not my problem but theirs. They choose to make the content available for everyone who comes along no strings attached.

Also you ignore that the Escapist is not above hosting adds for obvious scam companies that will gladly infect your PC with Malware to hold it hostage and extort money from you.

I said it once and i say it again: Aslong as the Escapist does not guarantee me that none of the adds it hosts are not harmfull for my PC i will not re enable auto play for flash elements.

I dont mind banners for "legit" products, services, and companies nor do i have a problem with whatever commercial plays before videos in the player, but i will not be guilt tripped into re enabling adds for scamsites and browser crashing flash crap.

As soon as the escapist gets rid of these and those ear shattering auto play vids ill gladly re enable auto play of flash elements for the site.

It's not standing in the middle of a field - it's standing in the living room of their house which has an open door and a sign out front. You're not in a public place - you're on their site. I repeat - the internet is NOT a public place. For example, unlike a public place, you do not have freedom of speech on the internet. If you would like proof of this, start swearing at another user.

"Hosting ads from scam companies" is again no excuse. If you CLICK on the ads and go to a site that has mal ware, that's completely different from seeing an ad that MIGHT go to an unscrupulous site. No one is forcing you to click ads, and ads that auto load malware just by themselves are extraordinarily rare. (Again, the days of ActiveX are over)

The price of entry is to watch ads - all ads, not just the ones you think you deserve to watch.

Aardvaarkman:
Isn't the idea that everybody has to watch ads so companies can receive revenue a sense of entitlement? Ad companies are not entitled to nobody blocking their ads.

Let's cover each point without making swiss cheese of the quotes:

I "Almost never" get sick, I don't order all my food, clothes and toilet paper online just so I can be a NEET and never get sick. "Never" doesn't exist.

OpenX was replaced by Revive http://www.revive-adserver.com/ , but it takes time for ad networks to upgrade, being hacked being the quickest reason to kill the existing openX installation.

Again, it's not an excuse to block the ads. You are in control of your device. We can always make it so that you can only use an iPad to view the site for free, and have to subscribe to view it on a desktop or android device. Why else do you think sites keep pushing their apps?

It doesn't matter if you subscribe to the escapist or not, there is more than one ad-sponsored website on the internet. If you aren't whitelisting the sites you visit, then you're the villain. Villains always think they are entitled to everything.

Your last statement is the most uneducated one. Of course companies feel entitled to being paid for content they produce, that is the entire point of the ads. Ad companies pay ad brokers to have their ads shown on sites that are part of whatever package they asked for. If those ads are being blocked, then the ad companies are more than happy to not have to pay for those views, because they aren't even being counted. Every ad you block, means that's one more ad someone else has to view before that ad disappears from the system if it's not set to expire.

The only people being harmed when you block ads, is the site, and the content producers of that site itself.

Aardvaarkman:

Thanatos2k:

If you use ad blockers, you are basically stealing from the sites you visit. Internet sites are not "free" - you "pay" by displaying ads.

No, it's not stealing. And if the method of payment is viewing ads, then maybe they should block viewers who use ad blockers? It's the sites' choice to serve content to people.

Thanatos2k:
If everyone ad blocked most sites on the internet would go out of business. That's how you know what you're doing is wrong.

Why is that wrong? It's not my duty to keep business on the internet in business. Perhaps you can explain why I have any obligation in that matter?

I'd love it if advertising on the internet went out of business. Then we could return to the days when the internet was for non-commercial purposes only.

It's coming. As more and more people adblock it's going to reach a breaking point. Up until now, sites have been scared to block people who use adblock from viewing their entire site because it would be bad PR and cause the usual uproars amongst the entitled on the internet.

Sites CAN detect who's blocking their ads and they CAN block you. We've almost reached the point where the sites will judge that it's not worth it anymore to support that portion of their viewers. And it's going to be a domino effect. Once someone big enough does it everyone will rush to follow.

I liken it to the IE6 situation. Every single site out there despised IE6, hated having to work 3x as much to get their site working in IE6, and all the bugs and insecurities inherent to it. But they bit the bullet, because a HUGE portion of the userbase on nearly every site on the internet was still using IE6. No one wants to dump 20%-50% of their entire userbase (which means 20%+ of your revenue) on principle, so people kept toiling away wasting time and money to keep sites working with IE6. But eventually they reached the magic point as IE6 use fell enough that sites finally said "Time to cut it off" and lots of sites all jumped on the bandwagon to not support IE6 (and IE7) anymore. Hell, even Microsoft is on board ( http://www.modern.ie/ie6countdown )

It's going to happen with the ad blockers, and it's even more prudent for companies to do it since ad blockers aren't even lost revenue. Just lost audience....

That's not an internet you're going to like, but you'll have no one to blame but yourself when it gets there. Who's going to pay for this magical non-commercial internet? The government? Is that REALLY what you want?

Thanatos2k:

It's coming. As more and more people adblock it's going to reach a breaking point. Up until now, sites have been scared to block people who use adblock from viewing their entire site because it would be bad PR and cause the usual uproars amongst the entitled on the internet.

Sites CAN detect who's blocking their ads and they CAN block you. We've almost reached the point where the sites will judge that it's not worth it anymore to support that portion of their viewers. And it's going to be a domino effect. Once someone big enough does it everyone will rush to follow.

It's just a lever I can pull on my sites. We've tested some of it before and some readers are like "um i think the site is broken" when in fact it was intentionally designed to trip on blocked ads.

It's as simple as setting all the content's css to display:none, and flipping it off on domcontentready. If the ads don't show, neither does the site.

Here's one reason you should whitelist game sites: it lets you know who is paying for that new game review. 'This review of Call of Duty 11 is brought to you by Call of Duty 11!' Thanks for the heads up GameSpot!

That said, I had to sit through two shitty ads for some unfunny TV sitcom called Spin On, or Spin Out or TailSpinWHATEVER, before the video even loaded. Clicking the mute button did nothing.

I tried Jim, I really did. I can stand the banner ads, League of Angels is always worth a chuckle, and for the captcha ads I can either refresh past or give a humorous response to (What word would I use to describe People Magazine? Genocidal!), but shit like that is just too much for a man.

Shouldn't The Escapist have some sort of power in deciding what ads get used? The site caters to a very technically literate demographic, one that's sure to turn ad-block on the moment they start hearing some unwanted audio being emitted from a page. I, and users like me, would be a little more reasonable on the ad-block if I knew I wasn't going to be assaulted by unfunny jokes just for opening a new tab.

T_ConX:
(Snip).

The site staff have a modicum of power over what advertisements are displayed, but ones that expand to obscure the page, or auto-play with sound, should be captured in a screenshot and reported to the Tech Team, so they can be replaced with ones less intrusive and annoying.

I do not ad block, because seing which sites bombard me with adds is vital in telling me which sites never to visit again.
I hate adds that actively require me to remove them from the field of view.

Thats a 100% bye bye for that site.

Credossuck:
I do not ad block, because seing which sites bombard me with adds is vital in telling me which sites never to visit again.
I hate adds that actively require me to remove them from the field of view.

Thats a 100% bye bye for that site.

That's what you should do. If you think the ads are so bad you don't want to visit the site, don't visit the site. It's a part and parcel experience.

You do NOT get to visit the site and pick and choose what you see to deprive the site of revenue. Either view the site with ads or not at all. Anything else is selfish entitlement. Do you slip in the back of the movie theater because you don't like how many trailers play before movies?

Thanatos2k:

It's not standing in the middle of a field - it's standing in the living room of their house which has an open door and a sign out front. You're not in a public place - you're on their site.

That's the exact opposite of how it works.

I am not "on" their site - they are sending the contents of their site to my computer. The analogy is much closer to them being in my living room than me being in theirs.

Thanatos2k:
I repeat - the internet is NOT a public place. For example, unlike a public place, you do not have freedom of speech on the internet. If you would like proof of this, start swearing at another user.

Nonsense. That only applies if I make my speech on a third-party site where they publish what I write. If I run my own website, I absolutely am entitled to Freedom of Speech, and the First Amendment does apply to my website. Which is on the internet.

Thanatos2k:
The price of entry is to watch ads - all ads, not just the ones you think you deserve to watch.

If that's the "price of entry" - then they shouldn't deliver any content until I have watched those ads.

Also, there is no obligation to watch the ads. I just typed an address into my browser. I did not agree to any contract to watch ads, nor enter into any contract of what I would receive when I entered that address.

I don't mind the ads, but I wish there was some bible of web advertising that kept the preload & midway videos at 15 seconds or include a skip button.

KisaiTenshi:
Again, it's not an excuse to block the ads.

Again, you haven't explained why I need an excuse to block ads.

KisaiTenshi:
We can always make it so that you can only use an iPad to view the site for free, and have to subscribe to view it on a desktop or android device.

Fine - go for it then. If ad blocking is costing you so much money that you're better off just serving content to subscribers via an App, then that's your business decision to make.

KisaiTenshi:
It doesn't matter if you subscribe to the escapist or not, there is more than one ad-sponsored website on the internet.

Yes, and I visit very few of them. The vast majority of sites I visit regularly are ad-free.

KisaiTenshi:
If you aren't whitelisting the sites you visit, then you're the villain. Villains always think they are entitled to everything.

The villain? That would imply that there is some crime involved. Since when was blocking ads a crime?

KisaiTenshi:
Your last statement is the most uneducated one. Of course companies feel entitled to being paid for content they produce, that is the entire point of the ads.

So, how is it uneducated? I said the companies felt a sense of entitlement by running ads. You agree. So, what am I uneducated about?

KisaiTenshi:
Ad companies pay ad brokers to have their ads shown on sites that are part of whatever package they asked for. If those ads are being blocked, then the ad companies are more than happy to not have to pay for those views, because they aren't even being counted. Every ad you block, means that's one more ad someone else has to view before that ad disappears from the system if it's not set to expire.

And how is that my problem? These companies are not entitled to my ad views or money, even if they may feel they are.

KisaiTenshi:
The only people being harmed when you block ads, is the site, and the content producers of that site itself.

And the malware writers who distribute their malware via ads. And the ad agencies. And the publishers.

Also, "harm" is not really the right word. I'm not actually causing any harm. The only damage is to their misguided expectation that everybody will watch the ads. They have no predestined right to a particular amount of ad income.

Thanatos2k:
Sites CAN detect who's blocking their ads and they CAN block you. We've almost reached the point where the sites will judge that it's not worth it anymore to support that portion of their viewers. And it's going to be a domino effect. Once someone big enough does it everyone will rush to follow.

Fantastic! I'd love to see that.

But I really doubt it's going to happen, because despite ad blocking, blocking ad blockers would likely be more detrimental to their business.

Thanatos2k:
That's not an internet you're going to like, but you'll have no one to blame but yourself when it gets there. Who's going to pay for this magical non-commercial internet? The government? Is that REALLY what you want?

Absolutely.

I was on the internet back when it was not-for-profit in the early 90s, and nobody ran ads. It was largely run by Universities, research institutions and government funding as well as users funding their own systems. Before being taken over by greedy corporations. It was so much more interesting back then.

As for who's going to pay? We can just run our own server like we used to, and pay for it ourselves, rather than handing control of the internet to corporate interests. The current model is just terrible, where nobody wants to pay, but uses this proxy of advertising and privacy invasion to get a magical "free" internet.

The model I like is much less "magical" than the current one, actually. People running their own network nodes is much more direct than this bizarre and unsustainable model of advertisers paying for everything so people can get their "free" Facebook.

KisaiTenshi:

Thanatos2k:

It's coming. As more and more people adblock it's going to reach a breaking point. Up until now, sites have been scared to block people who use adblock from viewing their entire site because it would be bad PR and cause the usual uproars amongst the entitled on the internet.

Sites CAN detect who's blocking their ads and they CAN block you. We've almost reached the point where the sites will judge that it's not worth it anymore to support that portion of their viewers. And it's going to be a domino effect. Once someone big enough does it everyone will rush to follow.

It's just a lever I can pull on my sites. We've tested some of it before and some readers are like "um i think the site is broken" when in fact it was intentionally designed to trip on blocked ads.

It's as simple as setting all the content's css to display:none, and flipping it off on domcontentready. If the ads don't show, neither does the site.

And you will wash out your sites inside of 4 months the moment you do that. I hate to put it this way. But the moment a site such as the escapist takes an aggressive stance against their consumers in this regard, their entire user base will abandon them instantly. You know this, I know this. Anybody familiar with gamers, gamer culture and the gaming community knows this. Gamers are easy to anger, notoriously unforgiving. If you are making a return off of this community you must by definitions be playing a percentage game. And you will find that it is much better to ask for support and let them understand the problem, then to put any sort of ad based paywall in place. Because that's what that is. You must open the doors to accept my spam, potentially malicious code, unwanted invasive crap in lieu of payment.

And before you tell me that nono ads are perfectly safe these days and other such fecal matter, 2 things, go up a few pages and note the nice gentleman complaining about the in video ads. Notice the one critical element. "He could not mute his sound". The ad had seized control of a portion of his personal system in order to deliver itself. THAT IS NOT ACCEPTABLE!!! THAT IS IN FACT MALICIOUS CODE!!! The second is you obviously work for ad deliverers and understand the back end. Its quite possible you work for a large reputable network that is secure and is not run by eastern european mobsters. Good for you. Unfortunately you are in the minority. I spend my days cleaning up after those that aren't so nice. And let me tell you, they are constant, they are relentless, they are malicious, and they can show up on pretty much every ad supported site I have ever seen.

Now Jim has done this the right way. He has asked his user base to permit ads. he has explained why. His user base has countered that pretty much universally they have no real problems with advertising so long as certain very clear guarantees are put in place. This is once again quite reasonable by both parties. There is no theft here. But the moment a site attempts to move to a forced ad model, well they have just made a choice between their users, their community, their actual customers and their ad service. And the customers as a whole react very very badly to that sort of thing. Unless you are youtube that little experiment will be bad and short lived. And I hope anyone that is paying you for advise in those directions realizes how badly they are spending their money.

KisaiTenshi:
It's just a lever I can pull on my sites. We've tested some of it before and some readers are like "um i think the site is broken" when in fact it was intentionally designed to trip on blocked ads.

It's as simple as setting all the content's css to display:none, and flipping it off on domcontentready. If the ads don't show, neither does the site.

Please. Do it.

You seem to be writing this as if it's something we should be worried about. I don't care. Do it.

I actually prefer "sponsored by" messages that are part of the content to any sort of "dynamic" external advertising. They also have a zero chance of infecting your computer with malware.

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