Jimquisition: The Adblock Episode

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Gaylen Oraylee:
I don't know that I can agree that more people using AdBlock results in more obnoxious ads. AdBlock was created because of obnoxious ads. They have always been so bad that even browsers now come with pop-up killers included. I think people forget it's there. But it's a testament to how long the ads have been that bad. It's been long enough that we've even forgotten we are already blocking ads without an addon or app.

I don't think it's reasonable to argue that ignoring ads is what makes them worse. They were already worse. Invasive ads created AdBlock, not the other way around.

Yeah thats the one point this video missed, that I was wondering about when it was going to be mentioned.

Hi,

I'm a little late into the discussion, but I only became aware of this Jimquisition after watching the end of the last one, about the PS4 kicking XBOX butt.

I have a question that may already have been answered somewhere in the close to 1000 posts in this thread, if it has, sorry.

Anyway, I use AdBlock because I never click on ads anyway. Really. AdBlockers are a relatively recent invention and in my almost 20 years as Internet user I have never clicked on an ad. So I think all the bandwidth, loading time and the fuzz on the pages is wasted on me, which is why it seems logical to me to turn them off completely.

What I would like to know is if the Escapist actually earns money from me just loading the ads, or if they only earn through clicks, which is what I assume. If they earn through simple loading, I might actually disable AdBlock on the Escapist site, as I appreciate the content.

Actually, I have already done so, and was instantly reminded of the numerous excruciating problems with Internet ads:

Problem 1: Zero cohesion between site and ads.
The ads on this page (and in general) have zero relevance to the site. No ads about games or entertainment, only ads for dubious PC scanning software, loans and something which looked like a health care product.

Problem 2: Sound
Admittedly, this has happened only once so far, ironically however when opening this thread about AdBlock. Suddenly there were three channels of sound from three different ads playing over each other, an incredibly annoying unintelligible mess of words and music. Especially in today's tabbed browsing world, there just is no way anyone can tolerate that kind of brain punishment, not even site operators. I won't believe it.

Problem 3: Security
A big problem with ads is that they are out of control. Today's Internet ads are so abstracted from the actual site (see Problem 1) that it's almost impossible to know where the ads are coming from. Therefore it is more than possible for people with malicious intent to use ads that exploit vulnerabilities in browser plug-ins, like Flash and Java, to hack your browser or your PC. This is especially true if you don't have up to date versions of the browser or plug-ins. Then of course, there are the ads which simply direct you to a malicious site or malicious software.

Problem 1 I can live with - I think this fact hurts the sites more than it hurts me. Problem 2 is intolerable, but at least not dangerous. Problem 3 is the biggie that sticks out like a sore thumb. As long as this doesn't change, it's practically irresponsible not to run ad blocking software.

I know that this is not directly the fault of individual sites that try to make money off ads. Or maybe it is, I'm not sure. But I think -someone- really has to think hard about how to solve these issues before condemning users that use ad-blocking software.

Unfortunately the biggest reason for using Ad and Script blockers is from irresponsible ad providers and the sites hosting them. I've seen malware and phishing scams been distributed by legitimate companies such as Microsoft and Google ad services. Since then I don't believe that any company can be trusted and as such block ads and scripts as much as possible.
Also don't get me started on Facebook. I saw a friend's unblocked page once and asked him if that's appropriate for work before realizing they were advertisements.

I believe the real solution is for companies such as yourself do the responsible thing and support the acceptable ads programs and possibly start the safe web scripting initiative as well. i.e. Importable whitelists for NoScript. It would be nice to see the web cleaned up and improved for all. Then I will be able to see a page the way it was meant to be.

PS: Adblock Plus uses lists which not only block but also have an exception list. If your ad provider can prove their ads are acceptable they can be whitelisted. I want to support your site and as such will be disabling adblocks regularly when I'm here.

Tiamat666:

What I would like to know is if the Escapist actually earns money from me just loading the ads, or if they only earn through clicks, which is what I assume. If they earn through simple loading, I might actually disable AdBlock on the Escapist site, as I appreciate the content.

I believe it's on a graduating scale.

click through and buy = highest payment
click through = a modest payment
view video ad = a small payment
automatic audio = a smaller payment
visual add with movement(java/flash/html 5) = a tiny payment
static image ad view (NO java/flash/html 5) = a tiny, tiny, tiny, tiny payment

It's important to note that in ALL of these scenarios the activity MUST be tracked and confirmed by third party, advertisers are not going to just take a websites word for it, "5 billion page views? sounds legit pay the man...". This is why white-listing is sometimes not enough, the ad companies themselves must be allowed to run their scripts before a website can generate any revenue. White-listing the escapist does nothing in No-script because you also have to white-list the advertisers and if you do that for the escapist, it's universal, you just allowed ads(and any other malicious behaviors) everywhere else you visit.

If you use no-script for the added security, as far as I can tell there is no way to effectively white-list a single website.

So it's okay to discuss AdBlock as long as you state in bold caps "BUT IT'S OKAY BECAUSE I WHITELIST THE ESCAPIST"?

You can talk as much as you like about blocking the advertisements on any and every other website, but as soon as you mention doing that kind of thing on The Escapist, THEN it's very very naughty and you have to be punished?

Hypocrisy for the fail.

Neta:
You can talk as much as you like about blocking the advertisements on any and every other website

Why would The Escapist care what people do on other websites?
Like any business in a capitalist society, they only care about themselves.

There's nothing wrong with this.

No, what I take issue with is how the Code of Conduct doesn't make this distinction.
The rules should be rewritten to clarify that mentioning you adblock The Escapist specifically, is against the rules.

The rules aren't specific enough. They only say "Do not link to, advocate, or admit to using ad blockers."

"... on The Escapist", should be added to the end of that rule.

IceForce:

Neta:
You can talk as much as you like about blocking the advertisements on any and every other website

Why would The Escapist care what people do on other websites?
Like any business in a capitalist society, they only care about themselves.

There's nothing wrong with this.

No, what I take issue with is how the Code of Conduct doesn't make this distinction.
The rules should be rewritten to clarify that mentioning you adblock The Escapist specifically, is against the rules.

The rules aren't specific enough. They only say "Do not link to, advocate, or admit to using ad blockers."

"... on The Escapist", should be added to the end of that rule.

But then people could say "I heartily endorse using AdBlock on absolutely every website on the 'net except for the Escapist and recommend everybody gets it and uses it everywhere except on the Escapist."

Either AdBlock is a good and useful tool and there's nothing wrong with having it and using it, or it is a very bad and dishonest anti-advertising piece of naughtiness and people who acknowledge the existence of said software deserves to be banned. Why won't somebody think of the poor advertisers who are having their potential profits being stolen away by those sneaky AdBlock-using freeloaders (but not on the Escapist)?

Verlander:
I don't have adblock, because I'm an adult and can ignore ads, or scroll to autoplaying videos and turn them off. Are they annoying? Whothefuckknows, I'm not that easily distracted.

So can we all, but look at the last three pages of this thread. The number 1 reason most people use adblock according to them has everything to do with how a lot of ads nowadays redirect you, insert bugs to track you, or in the most often worst case scenario put viruses on your computer. Not just some script kiddy shit either. Like some real nasty stuff.

When video and popup ads started showing up on more and more web sites I started blocking ads. I don't mind banners or ad links in general. I don't need block mechanisms to avoid them. But the really aggressive advertising I've seen over the last years makes me really angry. It unnecessarily increases the requirements for performance, causes problems whenever you're not in range of a high speed internet connection and in general is just a pain in the neck....

When the advertisers scale back on the annoying ads and go back to decent ads in the background I'll consider turning the blocking mechanisms off.

IceForce:

Neta:
You can talk as much as you like about blocking the advertisements on any and every other website

Why would The Escapist care what people do on other websites?
Like any business in a capitalist society, they only care about themselves.

There's nothing wrong with this.

No, what I take issue with is how the Code of Conduct doesn't make this distinction.
The rules should be rewritten to clarify that mentioning you adblock The Escapist specifically, is against the rules.

The rules aren't specific enough. They only say "Do not link to, advocate, or admit to using ad blockers."

"... on The Escapist", should be added to the end of that rule.

Your forgetting, The Escapist isn't one entity, it's owned by Alloy Digital which in turn owns about a dozen other websites, who I'm sure plans to gobble up a dozen more websites. These entities see ad-block in any form as a very real threat to their business model so you're more likely to discuss the Tiananmen Square massacre with the President of the People's Republic of China than you are to be able to cast Ad-block in a positive light on ANY ad supported website.

Yet apparently it's okay for us to discuss AdBlock in this thread as long as we specify that we whitelist the Escapist.

Or does that rule only apply to Pub Club members?

Joe Gamer:

Tiamat666:

What I would like to know is if the Escapist actually earns money from me just loading the ads, or if they only earn through clicks, which is what I assume. If they earn through simple loading, I might actually disable AdBlock on the Escapist site, as I appreciate the content.

I believe it's on a graduating scale.

click through and buy = highest payment
click through = a modest payment
view video ad = a small payment
automatic audio = a smaller payment
visual add with movement(java/flash/html 5) = a tiny payment
static image ad view (NO java/flash/html 5) = a tiny, tiny, tiny, tiny payment

It's important to note that in ALL of these scenarios the activity MUST be tracked and confirmed by third party, advertisers are not going to just take a websites word for it, "5 billion page views? sounds legit pay the man...". This is why white-listing is sometimes not enough, the ad companies themselves must be allowed to run their scripts before a website can generate any revenue. White-listing the escapist does nothing in No-script because you also have to white-list the advertisers and if you do that for the escapist, it's universal, you just allowed ads(and any other malicious behaviors) everywhere else you visit.

If you use no-script for the added security, as far as I can tell there is no way to effectively white-list a single website.

ok, If I can get an estimate of how much the advertiser gives to the escapist for each video/page I see, I will gladly match this. people get crazy over this issue, however you look at it using ad to make money in itself is a shameful practice, you can try, but you don't get to get righteous over the fact people are legitimately filtering this crap. again, whitelisting a website and enduring this BS can not in any way be an act of support.
Showing support for a project can mean many things, giving a bit of money, giving time to help for whatever reason, giving unused hardware or a talking kenny buttplug, but enduring shameful brainwashing is not on the list.
again it's never a mark of disdain for Jim or the writer of the escapist, it's a general advice
(by the way the publisher's club is only 1,66$ a month, I think that's seriously worth considering)

To Jim .
After the video on adblocker i did unblock The Escapist from today onwards , just to support you . I hate adds with a vengeance but i do want to support the people i like to watch .
I do hope it will help ....

i think its really sad that the mods give people warnings for saying they adblock the site in a thread to a video about adblocking. i just whitelisted this site and this is actually the first site i whitelist. i started using adblock when i started watching videos on youtube regularly and the only ads that i really hate i really want to get rid off are the ads i have to watch before the video starts or in the middle of the video. oh i almost forgot the ads i hate just as much, the f-ing poker ads that open a new minimized browser window. so i'm satisfied as long as i can avoid those two types of ads without adblocker.

When I saw my first episode of Jimquisition I thought: "Cunt."
Then it took a while for me to get back to it and now I know that Jim *is* a cunt, a cunt worthy of worship.

After this episode I started to unblock the escapist occasionally (my ff is set up to not remember anything, so I gotta do it manually) and damn, these ads are awful.
Localized ads with sound and autoplay, screaming some bullshit while I try to enjoy some top-notch flaming - jeez.
Also annoying: the ads which spill into the page and totally break it - like whaaaat.
What's going on with advertisers? Does annoying people to death really help promote products?

Apparently so, otherwise these god-damn awful ads wouldn't be so wide-spread.
Same goes for Spam.

Makes you wonder if we'd have the same annoyances, had adblock not become as popular as it has.

With adblock the page is totally fine and frankly, the free content on the escapist by far outweighs whatever benefits the pubclub may offer, but I bought it anyways.
Because you guys deserve it (and now I don't have to manually unblock any site).

Thank god for Jim Sterling

P.S.: For anyone who believes that viewing ads doesn't count as support: It does. Ads have been what has driven free content for decades. That includes TV channels (which are expensive to produce) and some of the earliest websites (including shady wares sites which forced their users to click some ads via JavaScript and stuff if anyone still remembers those - ahhh good times) through to just about every website today.
Some websites can generate revenue in other ways, but the universal way to do it is to show ads and a large percentage of adblock installations does hurt these.

P.P.S.: There is no good adblocking for mobile phones, so I'd expect ads to be less intrusive there which is unfortunately not the case. Actually, some try to exploit Android and shit. Shame shame shame

malestrithe:
I really don't get why some people have to go out of their way to tell you they are not supporting your site. If I don't like someone's content, I just don't watch it.

There's always people who try to be cynical assholes (a good thing) but end up being idiots (very bad).
Apart from that, some people like to troll (but fail at it) and some are seriously bored I guess.

What about all that godawful tracking? Facebook widgets? Twitter shit? Analytics?

I don't want any of that. So I use Ghostery. It shows 7 blocked items on this page. I don't know what is just adds and what also tracks me. So, disable all the tracking and social media stuff and I'll disable Ghostery.

It's not ads I'm trying to avoid. It's all the other crap.

For you Jim, tried it. White listed the site and gave it a go. It was awful. Colorful banner crap everywhere and worst of all, the auto video ads on the side and a 30 second commercial before your video started. The little video ads on the side are the real killer. That distracting motion at the edge of the screen just makes me want to crawl up the walls and set fires.

Did the paid subscriber thing for a year or two so I don't feel especially bad. How about a Paypal tip box? That's something I've chipped into for a few other places & artists I appreciated.

Since you asked me to Jim, I've turned of Adblock.

My reason for using AdBlock is quite straightforward: I've had numerous encounters with malware embedded in ads even on the most reputable of websites in the past few years. When ads on the most reputable websites have malware embedded in them, SOMETHING has gone hideously wrong, and if Jim is upset with me for doing it, then it's high time that he, and we consumers speak with ONE voice to demand that this issue be addressed by online publishers, before malware stages a hostile takeover of all online advertising. If we don't stand up to the advertising companies and call them out on the embedding of malware, they'll have no motivation to stop condoning it!

TWO clicks into the the escapist without ad block PLUS and Mc Afee site advisor starts telling me that the site is dangerous or suspicious no loud virus detected alerts issued yet.

i don't just see the ad block as a means to block ads i see it as an extension to my security software (but thats not its purpose)
i like escapist since they are a site to have fun watch my favorites like Lisa and Jim.

A problem i have experienced is that viruses in the past have piggybacked on ads this does not help the ad cause when they are or have been selling infected adverts(selling inventory) to each other (the ad companies).

i prefer ads that i am shown to have relation to the site i am visiting not based on my browsing history

PsiCoRe:

Problem 3: Security
A big problem with ads is that they are out of control. Today's Internet ads are so abstracted from the actual site (see Problem 1) that it's almost impossible to know where the ads are coming from. Therefore it is more than possible for people with malicious intent to use ads that exploit vulnerabilities in browser plug-ins, like Flash and Java, to hack your browser or your PC. This is especially true if you don't have up to date versions of the browser or plug-ins. Then of course, there are the ads which simply direct you to a malicious site or malicious software.

Problem 1 I can live with - I think this fact hurts the sites more than it hurts me. Problem 2 is intolerable, but at least not dangerous. Problem 3 is the biggie that sticks out like a sore thumb. As long as this doesn't change, it's practically irresponsible not to run ad blocking software.

I know that this is not directly the fault of individual sites that try to make money off ads. Or maybe it is, I'm not sure. But I think -someone- really has to think hard about how to solve these issues before condemning users that use ad-blocking software.

Direct you to malicious software? I would say embedding malware onto ads, which install onto your browser or computer. Changing your search engine, homepage, randomly directing you to ad sites is a common problem, not just the potential for being hacked. Ads taking advantage of outdated Flash and Java to install stuff on your computer is unacceptable regardless of how desperate the site in question may be, there has to be cooperation between hosting site and the ad provider. Tolerating issues of annoyance and intrusiveness is one thing, ads that have no relevance creating a bit of cognitive dissonance is another but comprising security... it seems like a deal breaker for those who want to take the middle ground stance.

Of course I'm always going to be on board with Escapist because I want to support the content, but the responsibility to create a enjoyable experience that is safe, without ads significantly affecting that enjoyement or comprising safety, is on the site.

I fear that there will still be a sizable portion of people that will stick with Ad Blocker to avoid those embedded mini-flash videos from playing that slow down your browser, which while having multiple tabs open, is like a form of torture.

TheUnbeholden:

PsiCoRe:

Problem 3: Security
A big problem with ads is that they are out of control. Today's Internet ads are so abstracted from the actual site (see Problem 1) that it's almost impossible to know where the ads are coming from. Therefore it is more than possible for people with malicious intent to use ads that exploit vulnerabilities in browser plug-ins, like Flash and Java, to hack your browser or your PC. This is especially true if you don't have up to date versions of the browser or plug-ins. Then of course, there are the ads which simply direct you to a malicious site or malicious software.

Problem 1 I can live with - I think this fact hurts the sites more than it hurts me. Problem 2 is intolerable, but at least not dangerous. Problem 3 is the biggie that sticks out like a sore thumb. As long as this doesn't change, it's practically irresponsible not to run ad blocking software.

I know that this is not directly the fault of individual sites that try to make money off ads. Or maybe it is, I'm not sure. But I think -someone- really has to think hard about how to solve these issues before condemning users that use ad-blocking software.

Direct you to malicious software? I would say embedding malware onto ads, which install onto your browser or computer. Changing your search engine, homepage, randomly directing you to ad sites is a common problem, not just the potential for being hacked. Ads taking advantage of outdated Flash and Java to install stuff on your computer is unacceptable regardless of how desperate the site in question may be, there has to be cooperation between hosting site and the ad provider. Tolerating issues of annoyance and intrusiveness is one thing, ads that have no relevance creating a bit of cognitive dissonance is another but comprising security... it seems like a deal breaker for those who want to take the middle ground stance.

Of course I'm always going to be on board with Escapist because I want to support the content, but the responsibility to create a enjoyable experience that is safe, without ads significantly affecting that enjoyement or comprising safety, is on the site.

I fear that there will still be a sizable portion of people that will stick with Ad Blocker to avoid those embedded mini-flash videos from playing that slow down your browser, which while having multiple tabs open, is like a form of torture.

I agree that we should also support the content rather than visiting ad block download page with an intention to get rid of ads, but it should be on one's discretion to do whatever he wants to with the ads. Otherwise, it it's just like forcing ones views to another. Isn't it? I myself is a great supporter of escapist, but it doesn't mean that escapist should start setting priorities for me.

You know what? Because you asked... I'm turning off adblock. I'm even removing it. Because a lot of the online content I enjoy IS supported by ad's and I want it to keep being supported. I'm doing this for YOU Jim Sterling. Because you're awesome.

I only have one site whitelisted at the moment. They asked, I tried and the adds aren't up in my face. Now that Jim asked I will whitelist The Escapist and see how it works out. I will never, ever whitelist Youtube, so Jim's channel will be "pirated" by me FOREVER!

Update: Ok, this is not going to work out. Those video adds you have to click to shut up, which opens a new window, are a no-go. Well, I tried.

For whatever it's worth, you've converted an AdBlock user. (Though I'm still going to hold onto RequestPolicy to block everything facebook.) Great video and love your work in general.

I watch advertisements, they're tolerable enough.

But if the ads around here start seriously asking me to update my software in order to see them, I'm drawing the line.

I've used AdBlock for so long I forget I have it. However, I've switched it off for several webocmics and, after watching this episode, I guiltily whitelisted the whole Escapist domain.

well there we go. i subscribed to the escapist thanks to this video. a decent honest request if you ask me. keep the sweet, sweet anger flowing!

Hang on a second, I see a lot of people complaining about adverts but I do not see any adverts on my version of the Escapist? I don't use any sort of blocking program or anything but all I see is .... well the escapists content?

Someone enlighten me please.

Gokuofuin:
Someone enlighten me please.

Ads are region-specific. Meaning, you only see ads that are specifically targeted to your region. (Because it's no use advertising things to you that aren't available where you are.)

If however, there are no ads for the region you're accessing the Escapist from, then you just see generic Escapist-side placeholder ads instead. That's what you're seeing.

IceForce:
Ads are region-specific. Meaning, you only see ads that are specifically targeted to your region. (Because it's no use advertising things to you that aren't available where you are.)

If however, there are no ads for the region you're accessing the Escapist from, then you just see generic Escapist-side placeholder ads instead. That's what you're seeing.

Ah I see, that is awesome for people like me, I suppose there are not a lot of adverts for South Africa :D lol

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