Jimquisition: The Adblock Episode

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IceForce:

Jenvas1306:
Im not a mod but I feel I need to make this clear:

This thread still falls under the normal rules for the escapist forums

Do not proclaim that you use adblock!

Then, the question has to be raised: Why does this thread even exist at all?

It's like having a video or discussion about the consumption of Coca-Cola, but at the same time warning/banning anyone who admits to drinking it.

WHY THIS THREAD EXISTS: A self-proclaimed troll on the last video made a bunch of antagonistic and nonsensical claims to make this video happen, and Jim went for it.

And really, if someone made a thread about illegal pornography and its effects, would you be upset if people who admitted to acquiring said illegal porn were banned? Obviously, Adblock and illegal porn are not analogous, but neither is Coca-Cola and Adblock.

IceForce:

Jenvas1306:
Im not a mod but I feel I need to make this clear:

This thread still falls under the normal rules for the escapist forums

Do not proclaim that you use adblock!

Then, the question has to be raised: Why does this thread even exist at all?

It's like having a video or discussion about the consumption of Coca-Cola, but at the same time warning/banning anyone who admits to drinking it.

taking it from the OPs post, quoting what a mod said about this:

Jimothy Sterling:

Discussion of adblockers on this comment thread need to contribute to the discussion of or the purpose of adblockers. Keep in mind, saying anything about the use of adblockers or the advocacy of that use without contribution to the discussion will involve health meter ramifications.

For the sake of expediency, keep in mind that everyone's definition of what is and isn't tolerable will be different. We implore you that if you feel any wrath in this thread is undeserved, use the Contact Form to appeal. Fair warning, any discussion of adblocking is treading dangerous waters. -Mod

the point is to discuss the implications, reasons and consequences of blocking adds.
Just stating that you use a utility like adblock is against the tos you agreed to to post on these forums.

Jim should have made it clear in the beginning of this thread that it is no exception to those rules.

I didnt adblock for a very longtime, not until this one single ad popped up on most sites even the escapist. This ad played the most annoying trumpets theme ever, 3 times as a loud as youtube video, and it was just a normal looking banner ad i didnt click or hover over anything. Then i had to shift through my 20 tabs looking for where it is, I had enough in he end. But eh im willing to disable adblock on the escapeist again to see if it is gone(if it is not though...)

Well ... I never used add-block. Unistalled it a long time ago. And that's because I live in a country that just isn't on the advertsing radar that much. So i get very few adds, and those I get don't end up bothering me that much because they usualy are a small commercial or something that gives me the option of closing it after 5 or 10 seconds. So I'm cool with that. I keep hearing about these intrusive adds everywhere, but i never ran into them. I guess it pays to be under the radar of the retarded, bloated, useless hype and marketing machine that is eating away at modern society :D That and a good antivirus to stop pop-ups and a lovely tool to prevent marketing bots from tracking my web surfing (in case you didn't know every site on the internet right now has some form of data-mining code running through it that stores your ip and keeps tabs on what you watch, what sites you browse and then sells this info to marketing companies. Why this very page of the Escapist has data-mining code from facebook, adnexus,google analytics, comscore beacon, quantcast and viglink. And that, at least where I live, is violating my privacy and is considered a crime that can warrant jail time)

As for the whole addblock debate: Really the problem here is one of tolerance. A very close friend of mine is actualy responsible for making adds and comercials, so I had a chat with him on the issue. The problem is that advertising companies quite frankly don't give a rats ass for the consumer. Adds are today actualy designed to use any and all means to grab attention, force you to notice them and even include techniques used to influence said consumers to make certain decisions. And everything is done with the subtelty of a sledgehammer to the face.
Site owners and admins need revenue from adds to keep their sites up. It is a fundamental fact of life. That beeing said, cosidering marketing companies actualy need to BUY the space for adds on your site, might I suggest that admins stop tolerating every single bullshit add that they get asked to post? For example: you get asked to place on your site an add that, when a certain page is accesed, begins playing a loud fanfare and has a mute button drawn on, but actualy clicking it opens a pop-up window with even more anoying music and the product it's advertising. How would you feel admins if something so stupid happened when youm were just trying to watch a god damned 3 minute clip of funny cats? How about you tell that add company to fuck off because that is not consumer friendly and will actualy hurt your site's popularity and tell them to come up with more apropiate adds? Another smart thing might be having a policy on what adds are allowed. To give an example: spoonyexperiment.com . Every single add on that site is either a silent banner about something related to the sites content (games, movies, webcomics, other sites of the same type), a simple donations link, or a comercial before the video that never goes over 30 seconds (and when it does it has a close button after 10-15 seconds that is actualy a close button) and again is usualy related to the subject matter.
So really this is a vicious circle: Marketing companies have a too high tolerance for bullshit, admins have either a too high tolerance for same bullshit (or don't care as long as they are getting payed) and the consumers have a verry low tolerance for that crap. Consumer blocks adds, marketing firm sees reduced income from it's adds and ges full retard in making even more intrusive and idiotic adds, site admins whine about people blocking adds (or go full on campaign of terror on them), consumer blocks new more retarded adds, rinse and repeat. Marketing firms will only change if they loose clients and that will happen when site admins start thinking not just about revenue but about the ease of acces of their sites to the consumers.
Just my 2 cents on the matter. And I know I just hit a nerv and will probably get some form of punishment from the admins (happened before when I pointed out site admins carry about half the blame for the whole problem). I just hope enough rational people will read this.

PS: As long as you are just a content creator and not also a site admin, then I have absolutly nothing against you and no blame should go to you for what adds are played over your content. So I got nothing against Jim here, maybe just the fact that this episodes feels more like a "please don't addblock me" he was told to make by a higher up (and a correct "fuck you" to shits who go "I use addblock because you suck"), and less of a discusion of addblocking in general and why it exists in the first place.

Pretty much hit the nail on the head of why I use adblock at the places where I use it. Anything that tries to take over my browser gets blocked. Banner ads are fine. Ads like YouTube has are fine. But when you start popping things up when I'm trying to navigate a site or enjoy its content and having a tiny fucking close button that I can barely hit with my mouse cursor... When you start auto-playing music and video that I didn't ask for in a little box somewhere on the page I have to hunt for so I can press pause... And when of course you do either of those things and pressing close/pause automatically takes me to the shit you're advertising when all I wanted was the ad to go away... That's when I blacklist the entire domain, even if I use the site regularly. I don't know how the blame is split between advertisers using such crap and websites allowing this crap to be put on their site, but all I know is I don't want it. Leave my browsing experience alone, stop trying to force your popups and force me to go to your nasty stuff laden websites with the ads.

However, when it's a site I visit frequently, I will try whitelisting the site again every now and then to see if things have changed. If they have, great, I leave it whitelisted. If ads start taking over my browsing again, nope, back on the blacklist for a while. I'll also try to explain my problem to that website and let them know that if they're able to get rid of the intrusive ads, I'll get rid of the adblocker for their domain. There's probably more money in the intrusive ads, but lots of people viewing smaller ads can be more money in the long run than a few people viewing intrusive shit. And if there's a donation button, I'll try to use it.

As far as The Escapist goes regarding its ads, my only complaint is the captcha ads. The addition of captchas for all members in the first place was completely stupid. Yes, I'm sure people who have been members for years with hundreds if not thousands of posts under their belt without trouble might also be spambots so you'd better make sure. Just make new members fill them out for their first 100 posts or so and then get rid of them. And then the captchas are no longer just a way to filter out spambots, but now the captchas are ads? I've been a member for almost 5 years, I have over 4,000 posts, and yet I have to prove I'm not a spambot who is just here to dump advertisement links by typing out advertisement phrases? What kind of backwards nonsense is that? It's the most asinine justification for extra advertisements that I've ever seen, and has a big part in why I only come to this site for Jimquisition and Zero Punctuation (and even then, I've considered just waiting a week and watching them on YouTube).

Not that I'm using them as an excuse or justification for adblocking this site (adblock doesn't stop them anyway, I tried once and turned it back off again once I realized it didn't work). It would just be nice for the bigwigs of this site to not partake in the kind of greedy nonsense that drives many people to block ads in the first place. It's apparent that I'm not a fucking spambot, stop submitting me to extra ads to constantly prove it.

This video spoke to me. I want to support The Escapist, I want to support everything I like. So i unblocked the ads and came back.

The ads on this site autoplay at high volume and slow down my computer to the point where it froze up and I couldn't mute it and it woke up my housemates.

Escapist staff? Fix your site. Make supporting you a viable option for me.

You've driven off/banned wombat of war?!

Okay, this has officially reached the point of madness. Whatever discussion we imagined might take place here, clearly it isn't happening. 900 posts and we might as well be on page 1 - people are doing the exact same thing here as there. If there's anything worthwhile in this mess, I can't find it (feel free to link me the golden message that makes it all worthwhile if I missed it).

Mods - can we lock this ban-bait thread already?

Note: I didn't intend to return to this thread, but I did so after seeing that wombat of war was banned over it.

Bara_no_Hime:
You've driven off/banned wombat of war?!

Okay, this has officially reached the point of madness. Whatever discussion we imagined might take place here, clearly it isn't happening. 900 posts and we might as well be on page 1 - people are doing the exact same thing here as there. If there's anything worthwhile in this mess, I can't find it (feel free to link me the golden message that makes it all worthwhile if I missed it).

Mods - can we lock this ban-bait thread already?

Note: I didn't intend to return to this thread, but I did so after seeing that wombat of war was banned over it.

1) We've said multiple times we can't lock the thread.

2) wombat_of_war wasn't banned for this thread; it was for ticket abuse.

3) Fewer than 5.5% of the posts in the thread have received wrath. It's just a small minority that is having issue.

Marter:
1) We've said multiple times we can't lock the thread.

2) wombat_of_war wasn't banned for this thread; it was for ticket abuse.

3) Fewer than 5.5% of the posts in the thread have received wrath. It's just a small minority that is having issue.

1) Not on any of the pages I've read. But fair enough. If you can't, you can't. Is it because it's based on featured content?

2) Above it says "wombat of war was banned for this post" - hence my confusion. ... what is ticket abuse?

3) 5.5% of 900 is fifty (49.5) posts. 50. That is not a small number.

ad blocking strike me as a necessary evil despite its how some places get some of the funding they get and like some people have said some can get very annoying or deafening

Bara_no_Hime:
1) Not on any of the pages I've read. But fair enough. If you can't, you can't. Is it because it's based on featured content?

2) Above it says "wombat of war was banned for this post" - hence my confusion. ... what is ticket abuse?

3) 5.5% of 900 is fifty (49.5) posts. 50. That is not a small number.

1) Yes. We don't lock content threads.

2) It doesn't list it under any of his other posts. (Usually it says "User was banned for..." but it doesn't in cases like this.) I dunno why it targeted this. Perhaps it was because it was his last wrath. Ticket abuse is sending abusive messages to the staff through the "contact" form. Likely happened in his appeal(s?). I don't know the details.

3) No, but it is in comparison to the 850 other ones, and those are proof that the topic can be discussed without receiving wrath.

Marter:
2) It doesn't list it under any of his other posts. (Usually it says "User was banned for..." but it doesn't in cases like this.) I dunno why it targeted this. Perhaps it was because it was his last wrath. Ticket abuse is sending abusive messages to the staff through the "contact" form. Likely happened in his appeal(s?). I don't know the details.

3) No, but it is in comparison to the 850 other ones, and those are proof that the topic can be discussed without receiving wrath.

... I spent 30 minutes on a reply to this and the internet ate it. **sigh**

So sum up.

2) Ah, Ticket as in work order rather than admission. I see. Perhaps, since he said he was leaving, he exited as people on TV often exit their jobs.

3) That's two warnings per page. When I see a thread with 2 warnings per page (and this page already has 4 warnings), I generally consider that a high-risk thread and associate warning rates like that with hotly debated topics where tempers flare. Threads, note, that are often locked.

Also, you say that 850 posts proves that people can discuss the topic safely. I counter with this - how many of those posts are about the topic and how many are discussing the moderation of the thread? Because most of the discussion I've seen in this thread has been about the moderation rather than the topic itself.

I'm not saying that any of this is your fault, mind. You can't lock the thread, so I'm not sure there's anything that can be done at this point. I just find the situation upsetting. This thread is poison and it's hurting a lot of forum members.

....

Actually, I think I said it better this time. Yay me.

Bara_no_Hime:
3) That's two warnings per page. When I see a thread with 2 warnings per page (and this page already has 4 warnings), I generally consider that a high-risk thread and associate warning rates like that with hotly debated topics where tempers flare. Threads, note, that are often locked.

Also, you say that 850 posts proves that people can discuss the topic safely. I counter with this - how many of those posts are about the topic and how many are discussing the moderation of the thread? Because most of the discussion I've seen in this thread has been about the moderation rather than the topic itself.

I'm not saying that any of this is your fault, mind. You can't lock the thread, so I'm not sure there's anything that can be done at this point. I just find the situation upsetting. This thread is poison and it's hurting a lot of forum members.

....

Actually, I think I said it better this time. Yay me.

I'm not going to count the number of posts that are about moderation and those that aren't. It's probably something like a 25-75 split in favor of the topic, but that's just a guess. Yes, there's been a lot of moderation discussion. It's because of a unique situation. This type of thing hasn't popped up before and likely won't pop up again. So I can understand why the discussion on how it's been moderated is taking place. It took place internally, too.

I don't think it's really going to hurt forum members, though. Out of the 50 or so instances of moderator wrath, only 4 (that I counted) were more than warnings. And two of those, wombat_of_war and The Escapist are Facists had their post targeted but they weren't banned for something they said in the thread -- those were warnings that were escalated for other reasons. Warnings don't hurt anyone and given this is a unique situation it's unlikely that much issue is going to come from them. It's not like people were banned outright.

i dont just adblock i script block too. for me it is about ripping out everything that slows down my experience of the content i am viewing. scripts on a site used to be used to do interesting things and werent common now on the low side there are 7 items on my script block that are blocked and that besides the actual site which i unblocked. i guarantee you none of those items do anything interesting and since i am the sort of user with 100 firefox tabs the memory space taken up matters. and i dont even wanna know what my adblock is keeping out of my way.

Adblock disabled site-wide, I do this for any sites that ask nicely. Hopefully, the ads will be relevant to things related to the content provided on this site ~ will only reenable if the ads are particularly annoying ... well, much more annoying than they usually are, being the reason I enable adblock in the first place. Also, I've seen a few sites that have a script which detects adblock and asks for a $5 donation to keep the site running smoothly. I actually like those kinds of sites and usually donate.

Well, it certainly does seem that there's a pretty common sentiment running throughout this thread regarding the type of advertising that is currently in place on The Escapist. Given that this is an official response topic to a piece of content created by one of the sites most notable staff members, I would certainly hope that The Escapist is listening to what has been said here.

StriderShinryu:
Well, it certainly does seem that there's a pretty common sentiment running throughout this thread regarding the type of advertising that is currently in place on The Escapist. Given that this is an official response topic to a piece of content created by one of the sites most notable staff members, I would certainly hope that The Escapist is listening to what has been said here.

I made a similar comment waaay back on page 4.

There's a mountain of useful feedback in this thread. Let's hope they take it on board.

Jenvas1306:
Jim should have made it clear in the beginning of this thread that it is no exception to those rules.

I agree.

But instead he said this:

Jimothy Sterling:
Briefly discussed with a moderator yesterday that exceptions would have to be made here. I cannot speak for the admins, but I would like to believe they understand that, in order to comment here, an armistice is gonna be needed.

That wasn't very clear at all.

Maybe people wouldn't adblock The Escapist if the ads didn't rape the visitor.

On the note I have a captcha that is a commercial for a ford car. Gotta type "America's Favorite Brand".

My body is ready for the ban.

I use a browser add-on that modifies my core browsing experience. I had it disabled on a certain gaming news website I frequent after a plea from a content creator to do so. Then, as I was watching the video with this add-on disabled, a loud auto-playing video ad started up in another tab on this website, and then I turned the add-on back on again.

In unrelated news I just bought a publisher's club membership today.

XDSkyFreak:
That beeing said, cosidering marketing companies actualy need to BUY the space for adds on your site, might I suggest that admins stop tolerating every single bullshit add that they get asked to post?

I could be wrong, but I'm fairly certain that ads are not individually vetted by site admins.

If they were, that would add a massive amount of extra workload (considering the hundreds of millions of ads there are out there on the internet).

I'm actually scared to comment on here but I have to voice this:

Jim sterling made a video about adblock and tons of people seem to be getting warned or banned for talking about the issue and subject of said video. This just seems wrong.

I would have thought this post would be exempt.

oh also for the mods: I DO NOT USE ADBLOCK ON THIS SITE

Durgiun:
Oh, fine, since you asked so nicely. Unlike Linkara, that git.

May I ask you please to link to the post\video Linkara made where he was an ass on this? Would be an interesting read\watch.

I really think they shouldn't have modded the first reply to this post. It really sets a bad precedent in everyone's mind. It surely doesn't promote free discussion of the issue.

deathmothon:
I really think they shouldn't have modded the first reply to this post. It really sets a bad precedent in everyone's mind. It surely doesn't promote free discussion of the issue.

Really? Of all the warnings in this thread (50+, according to a mod), that's the only one that matters? Interesting.

IceForce:

XDSkyFreak:
That beeing said, cosidering marketing companies actualy need to BUY the space for adds on your site, might I suggest that admins stop tolerating every single bullshit add that they get asked to post?

I could be wrong, but I'm fairly certain that ads are not individually vetted by site admins.

If they were, that would add a massive amount of extra workload (considering the hundreds of millions of ads there are out there on the internet).

Hmm ... fair point. I am not familiar with the exact proces that goes into allowing adds on one's site, so it is entirely posible that on large sites like the escapist adds don't really get screened. Good point about the extra workload too.

Still, they don't actually need to do that extra work. A "suggestion box" type of deal would work just as well. Users can voice their complaints about a certain add or adds that have been intrusive (and other problems they might have, in a civil manner) and the admins can take steps to stop adds like that from entering the site. Like not allowing the people who posted that add to buy add space on the escapist again for that particular add, sending them feedback about the negative reaction/complaints people had about said add and in the case of repeated adds that disrupt the viewing process they could just tell that advertising company to go someplace else. Trouble is for this proces to be effective it needs to happen on all maor sites ... and that is an uphill battle, I tell you that.

What really drives a nail in the coffin of any discusion on this thread is the rule that states peoplem aren't allowed to mention that they use of addblock ... this means at least one side of the argument (the side that actualy uses addblocking tech) gets silenced if they so much as admit to using it. Look, I get the point against people coming up and saying "I use it and so should you". That I get. But a person comes on a thread dedicated to discusing addblock, it's reasons to exist and be used and when and where it should not be used and says "I use it because my experience on your website has been constantly ruined by intrusive and disruptive adds that you might want to tone down, especialy for people with low bandwith" and that guy gets a warning, and his post gets hidden? That is feedback. As long as no venom was spat at you (and there are plenty such posts that got banned) then why ban the guy for sharing his opinion/thoughts wothout trying to force them?

And I've also read a reply I missed earlier about why such annoying ads get on. Because they offer more money per view. God do I hate short term thinking like that. This is what we call around these parts an unsustainable business model. You get more money per view and make more money in a small time frame. Kudos. You know what also happens? Your prestige gets a nose dive, people get annoyed, they start using addblock, and BAM: you just lost (in many cases forever) thousands of viewers whou could have generated a mountain of cash much bigger than the one you got for that annoying add. You don't get more money with annoying adds, you LOSE money in the long run. It's basic economics, yet aparently today they don't teach the value of a sustainable busines model and instead everyone just goes for "GET AS MUCH MONEY AS FAST AS YOU CAN AND FUCK THE CONSEQUENCES" Trouble is that works (to be PC about it) only in short term business like said annoying adds. When you apply that logic to a long term, potentially infinite term thing like a web-site, congrats: you are running a marathon but you shot yourself in the foot 100 metres into it's course.

sjarri:
-snip-

That attitude is a symptom of a modern age. Well, not so much "modern age" as "Post 2005-ish when advertisers realized they could use flash player".

I frequent several websites where I'm fine with the ads (eg. The Reddit), because they're curated, unobtrusive, and have never given me spyware. If they aren't negatively affecting my browsing experience, blocking them would just be being a dick.

(This post is obviously not discussing nor passing judgment on the advertising habits of The Escapist, since that would probably be against some forum policy.)

I don't use adblock. I was always fully aware this was how the site makes money and if people hate the ads then subscribe.

What I think this issue does highlight is how modern technology is slowly making the traditional model of capitalism, if not capitalism itself redundant. The adblock issue itself is just one tiny part of a world that has 3D printing as the first baby step in the move to make traditional manufacturing redundant, rapidly improving AI and robotics making the traditional worker redundant, Online shopping killing even the huge megastores.

Eventually were really going to need to sit down as a civilisation and work out where to go next. There are some plus points, the useless pointless parasites on wall street might need to eventually find new work.

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