Jimquisition: The Adblock Episode

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Brava, Jim,for adding a reasonable voice to the discussion. All too often content creators spew hate at those who use an ad blocker. If you can afford it, the escapist publishers club is an easy fix to this moral dilemma. $20 a year is affordable to me and The Escapist is my favourite site so I subscribed.

I'd like to see a way for site users across the Internet to indicate those types of ads that might interest them. You would see far fewer ads that would bore or annoy you and you would be giving the site you're on information about the sorts of interests its users have.

Being privileged in one of the most poverty stricken places in the world Easter Europe where people don't usually have the cash to game I get to enjoy all my favorite western sites whit no ads without any adblock apparently people don't advertise here or at least not that much.

Until the sites I visit take responsibility for the ads on their sites, or fix my computer when an ad screws something up, I see no reason why I should. You need add money and I need a clean computer. And this is the fastest easiest way, for me to do so.

I turned off adblock just for you!

However, now my noscript is freaking out because the escapist is attempting to do cross-site scripting (even though I otherwise turned my noscript off for the Escapist). Tell or show me what you're doing, don't run all sorts of stuff in the background.

I would pay for the publishers club even if the site had no ads, especially seeing as it took me until halfway through your video to remember that I'm even a member. I have been for three years! I enjoy a lot of the escapist's content so I don't regret a penny, the sub is great. But there is one thing i have to say that I hope isn't too offensive...

Nobody. likes. ads. NOBODY.

It's the reason print is becoming less and less desirable because as their viewer ship gets smaller in lieu of the internet, the ratio of ads to actual content gets worse every day. I pay for the publishers club because I actively want to support the news outlets and content creators that I use regularly. You're right Jim, who can blame those who use adblock? The internet can be a dangerous place. I use it unashamedly because a system which allows me to have a better/safer time on-line with the only sacrifice being that I'm not forced to watch an ad that's longer than the video I was looking for is hard to argue with.

Roosterteeth put it in the video, market their own merchandise in the video.

The Escapist has merch and the publishers club.

Print Journalism has made the switch to digital monthly subs.

Some sites even run donations. Like you said, Adblock is not a bunch of thieves ruining the internet. In my opinion it's a digital version of natural selection.

Before things like adblock everyone was stuck with ads and we all accepted it like it or not. The fact that adblock even bears discussion now that it exists should tell you a lot about what people really want out of their time online.

The main reason so few people online actually use adblock is because they don't know it exists. Gaming sites are probably hit the hardest because it's target audience are the most likely to be computer literate and know the ins and outs of using the web.

What i'm trying to say (and it might sound harsh) is that sites need to adapt to survive. You can't ask your users to inconvenience themselves so your unwanted business model can continue to exist.

It's 2014, do you want to be cable TV or Netflix?

UPDATE: As I posted this I was asked to sign a new terms and conditions agreement stating that I will not advocate the use of adblock in my posts, because you said earlier that amnesty exists on this particular thread this post should be fair but I am perfectly fine with not talking about it in posts that are unrelated or unsanctioned.


It's your right to protect your income but what I said still stands, even if it is only here.

You know what? I'd like to clear something up that I've seen many users of adblock complain about. The autoplay ads. Yes, I've had to suffer through them before on this site; will probably have to again. Yes, those ads piss me off to no end and have driven me away from the site entirely for weeks at a time. But you guys have adblock on... so how the hell to you know what ads are playing right now? I haven't, personally, run into those intrusive ads in a while.

...the ads don't also seem to be hosted by Adchoices. Ooh, AdChoices: If there's a clear villain in all of this, it's AdChoices.

The Rogue Wolf:
I've seen "User received a warning for this post" enough times in this thread to make me nervous, so I won't say anything about my own dealings with advertisements. I will, however, say this- advertisements, or more accurately the "Wild West" atmosphere around them, are their own greatest problem. Advertisements can overload Internet connections, crash browsers, even install viruses on your computer, and many of the companies who serve these ads (as opposed to those whose sites display them) don't care in the least. The old adage "don't visit suspicious sites" doesn't even help, either, since this has happened to sites as "trustworthy" as Yahoo and The New York Times.

So there are reasons for blocking advertisements other than "I just don't wanna see ads".

This is pretty much my feeling as well. I think of ads as the same as DRM: If I have a site of my own and I have advertisements on that site, then the more intrusive and/or broken I make them, the more I can expect people to try to get around them and the less angry I can reasonably be when people do.

The idea that someone is proud to adblock is bonkers, though. No one should be proud. It should be sad resignation at the state of advertising, if anything.

Speaking of gaming the system, I wonder if there is a bot-type program that would artificially increase ad views. For example, you go to the very first Jimquisition. You turn this program on and after one minute or less, well after the ad has played and the video is going, it forwards to the next Jimquisition and waits another minute, rinse and repeat. That's nice bit of ad revenue if a bunch of people just set it to play while they're out getting groceries or something. You could even have a throw-away browser for it too just on the off chance it messes with the browser.

Oh, and really good episode as well.

Don't worry jim, I am a member of the Pubclub master race. I've already given you my money to not see ads here. Though sometimes I wish they had an upgraded version of the pubclub that gave more benefits cause I would buy that to support you guys more. As for adblock I do run it from time to time when a site's ads just get unbearable or they give out viruses. I destroy viruses for a living and don't want to give myself more work -_-

That said if a site I go to has a paid subscription to get rid of ads I do that more often than not. That way I'm still contributing while not seeing ads. Ad-block is just one of those things that I feel terrible for using (for some sites) but it makes it so much better that I keep it on most of the time.

I really like the way this episode was done. I (admittedly quite naively) didn't really think about damaging content providers with adblock, I didn't even know that kind of thing was possible to record.

I thought I was just avoiding ads for things that I probably wouldn't buy anyway and maybe annoying some advertising people (and fuck those guys).

I will definitely white list the escapist and will also probably white list every site I visit regularly (unless their advertisements are unbearably intrusive rather than just a mild hindrance).

Really excellent episode, Jim. It's sort of like what Linkara tried to do, but instead of coming of as whiny, demanding and condescending, you were actually very convincing.

Considering what an absolute nightmare this thread is for moderators and users alike with just a tad bit of inconsistency between what is and isn't considered advocacy, I won't mention whether I use Adblock or not. However, I will say you pretty much convinced me to buy a PubClub membership. And it isn't just because I want my glorious images of Sean Connery to be slightly larger.

I'm very interested to see where this whole thing goes in the next 10 years or so. Statistically, the number of people using adblock is increasing. I wonder if the various agencies will try to maintain their current model by, as Jim mentions, having ads actually in the videos or if they'll wake up and actually try something different. Because the thing is, until the ads are literally built into the content, there will always be a way around. I remember when Blip tried to do that thing where you got a 60 second static screen if you had adblock. A day later, people were developing a block for that. When pitted against the technological intellect of the entire internet, no company or agency can win, no matter how smart. But lets say we do get obtrusive ads truly built into videos. Will people be apathetic enough to ignore them and watch the video anyway? Or will viewership start to fall off? Again, I'm sort of morbidly fascinated with the possibilities of the future...

On the note of the moderation, the whole thing is a bit of a clusterfuck, no sass intended.. I think it would have been best if this thread could have simply been declared free from the rules about adblock so more relaxed discussion could take place rather than everyone having to step so lightly to avoid "advocating" adblock. Alternatively, there should have been no thread at all.

I've never used adblock, because I know they play a big part in content creators getting paid and websites staying online. When ads on a site irk me, I tend to avoid the site. I basically stopped reading comments on the escapist for a few months though because of the "Oh look at this! A leg infected with some kind of fungus!" nonsense. It was there almost every time I scrolled down. Eventually became desensitised to it...

I only ever ad-block if a site has those stupid expanding windows when you mouse over them, it ruins my day. I then occasionally check to see if the ads are gone and if they are, disable my ad-blocker. The Escapist always had that annoying ad with about the texting and driving.... It was unbearable.



To me, that's more a rule of courtesy than not. I can't imagine you'd go into the house of a director and over polite dinner discuss their movies with the proviso that the only reason you watch them is because you can pirate them and get them free. By extension, the Escapist is just asking that people don't bring them up while you're here.

That analogy doesn't really hold up for me. Most directors direct movies because they love the craft of making movies, not because they want to be rich. By putting it this way, you're essentially saying that The Escapist is in it just for the advertising dollars, not for the content.

You get that the Escapist staff and its contributors are PAID to do this job, right?

You don't do a job to create something great. You do a job to get paid. If you get to create something great in the process, that's a bonus.

I think you missed one important point in this weeks episode.

In your video you said that the more people use ad block the more intrusive the advertisements get.
Actually it is the other way around.
It is a reaction to a problem that the advertisement industry created themselves.

See this is going way back on the Internet where there was no such thing as ad block.
No one minds seeing a normal non intrusive advertisement.
Yet the greed of companies has no limits so in rapid succession they became worse over time.

Popups after popups, blinking, screaming advertisements everywhere in colors that make you think your on an acid trip.
The viewers just got fed up with all this crap.
And with all that dissatisfaction all it took was one able guy to make something to stop the ads from showing up in the first place and it spread like wildfire among users.

With modesty and restraint we would not be in the situation we are in now.
Push people to much and they revolt sooner or later. The same thing is gonna happen to the whole DLC crap they are throwing in our face and the yearly sequels of games.

Myself I already feel disgusted when I see a GTA6 buy our fake ingame money case next to the AAA games on the shelves in the store. It feels so out of place and going against what a game is about.

Will they learn next time a new opportunity arrives? Or will they milk it dry all in the name of short term profit?
I think we know the answer to that one.

My biggest issue with ads is that they insult me intellectually most of the time.
Let me explain:

I find game ads of "The latest and greatest F2P PVP MMO" with big boobied mage in thongs - extremely distasteful and insulting. Specially when I am Asex (yes this is relevant) and I just don't "see" the attraction value - but I know the method behind it because I did "Theater and Media" study as major for graduation.

The ads are almost NEVER relevant to my interests. Even with the "amazing technology" of google adsense.

I feel them to be extremely distracting. I am dyslexic, I have EXTREMELY hard time typing and reading. I mean to the point I was granted 50% extra time for exams in gymnasium - including graduation exams.
So even a small flashing or changing banner in the side of the screen distract me to the point that I can't read the page. This includes small .gif icons that I have disabled to load only on click.

And the worst is when I see the same ad. I get this anxiety that I just can't escape them no matter where I go, no matter what I do, somehow they always follow me. I been getting help for this, because it happens to me even on street and paper ads. This was also the reason I gave up on TV. I just couldn't take it every 15-25mins bombarded with them.

This is why I try to find any other methods I can to support the people whose content I like.

Oh and also. I hate to be bombarded by kinds of Ads that are illegal in my country. It drives me furious.

Site white-listed. I only put it back on to get rid of the bloody auto-play video adds that drowned out the content. You know the ones; they are usually in the side-bar and you cant stop, mute, pause or skip? If that type of ad comes back its going back on, sorry.

Jimothy Sterling:
Yes, I should have made more mention of the fact (rather than just a still image) that The Escapist has a reasonable ad-free subscription service. This is also a really good way to support the site if you have some spare dubloons and want the ads gone.

Also, thanks so much for the frank and civil response thus far!

Okay good Jim. I was going to ask because I am a Publisher's Club member more to download the videos than remove the ads. I wanted to make sure I wasn't not giving you money to live on in some way. =(

You make a good point Jim- however, I'm sorry; ads are annoying, invasive, and I hate the business model that revolves around them. I'm not turning adblock off for The Escapist, or any other site for that matter.

This video did persuade me to join the Publisher's Club though; hopefully that will help support you and your great show.

I've never used AdBlock myself, although being in Canada, sometimes ads don't come up because of regional blocking.

My own feeling about this is that if I was watching TV or reading a magazine, I'd have to deal with ads, so having them on web videos and articles doesn't particularly bother me.

I disabled Adblock for my most frequented websites about a year and a half ago and feel much better about myself as a result. When I think to do it, I occasionally even click the ads just so I can guarantee that my view is monetized, however I still have it installed for security purposes along with noscript. Yes, it's for porn sites, just like everybody else.

I must say I think most of the people who want to have their cake and eat it too are those under the age of 18 and have never had to scrounge the bottom of their life savings just to get by because it demonstrates your lack of life experience when you demand other people provide you something for free when you yourself have never had to worry about your finances.

That said, I do occasionally drop a message to content producers when I feel the advertisements take precedence over the content I consume (which needs to be quite pronounced like ads having a longer runtime than the content it precedes).

Oh man. I remember reading on The Escapist's terms of service to not talk about AdBlock on the forums. My paranoia is prickling up like this is a culling of the user base "Hundred Flowers Campaign" style. My ability to reason tells me that this isn't the case and I should chill the fuck out.

Open discussion about AdBlock time! I do have AdBlock on my browser, but I keep it paused. I leave it inactive, only enabling it when the ads are offensive to my sensibilities. I even keep a lot of places I regularly visit white-listed. The only place I do visit often but am on the fence about taking off the white-list is YouTube. So far my ability to white-list YouTube is maintained by the fact I want to support content creators more than I want to hurt YouTube's bottom line.

It kind of reminds me of the tragedy of the commons. Every place I visit I receive +1 point for benefiting from the lack of ads, but that -1 is split up among all the places I go. I also benefit from the perspective of an individual. I'm just one person. I don't matter. I can say that all I want, but at the end of the day as much as 40% of a user base think they're just individuals that don't matter. The diffusion of responsibility is a powerful tool for an individual, but we have to remember that our short-term pleasure from a lack of ads does not outweigh the premature ending of the content we enjoy because their hosting website cannot support the creator any longer.

I think the mods need to clarify that although one is allowed to talk about adblock and their usage of it on this forum just once, you yourself are not allowed to mention that you also use it on the Escapist itself without any hint that you are no longer using it on the Escapist.

Seeing too many innocent users here getting warnings for this.

Jim, you didn't encourage people to subscribe. Would you prefer that non-subscribers watch ads, or that adblockers subscribe?

To ignore this and just throw everything on the user is lazy moderation and a demonstrating that people can't really have a proper dialogue on these forums because of the forum rules being too strict.

This just seems really paranoid, and chilling to proper discussion. Can you tell us how far up The Escapist's management chain this authorisation of warning for people simply admitting to using ad blockers in this thread went? Who was it that approved the terms of this supposed "armistice"?

I don't want to speak out of turn, but it's almost like the powers that be here are bullying people into turning off adblock.


I think the mods need to clarify that although one is allowed to talk about adblock and their usage of it on this forum just once, you yourself are not allowed to mention that you also use it on the Escapist itself without any hint that you are no longer using it on the Escapist.

Seeing too many innocent users here getting warnings for this.

That, yeah, that would be good.

Or lock the thread. Either option.

I have to agree with you here Jim. I try my best to turn adblock off on sites and for content which I regularly use and benefit from because I feel it's the right thing to do. When you, or Day[9], or any number of other people I watch are making content on a daily basis that I enjoy, I want you to make money.

But like you, I certainly can't blame those that do use it on a lot of sites. Even when you may support the person in spirit, sometimes the ads really are just so awful, as you say, that it's just too much. There have been times (more than a few if I'm honest) where the ads on the Escapist cross well over the line into what I feel is an acceptable level of intrusion for users of the site, and it's a shame too. Because I'm sure more people would be willing to turn there's off if that weren't the case. But as you said, there can be a double edged sword at work where people not viewing these ads results in more intrusive ads for those who don't, and I wonder how much control the site may actually have in the matter.

But I think that some of the people who adblock the site may do so simply because they forget to turn it off sometimes and it's just constantly blocking things. So hopefully, if nothing else, this video can serve as a friendly reminder for those who wouldn't mind turning it off on this site to do so. And maybe if more people do, the ads around here will improve somewhat. Or maybe just if we ask really nicely? Please?


How about you just close this entire topic then. If you're just going to punish an entire point of view on the subject you might as well stop pretending you want any proper discourse.

I've complained about this before.

Had this thread been made by an ordinary user, it would've been locked on page 1 or 2.
But for some reason, if it's a content thread, it never gets locked (even in cases where a lock is quite obviously needed).

The annoying issue here though is that Jim specifically stated on page 1 that he directly talked to a mod to make this thread an amnesty so every single person on here doesn't get a warning/suspension/ban from talking about adblock. The problem now is is that you have a bunch of users talking about adblock, but they say one specific thing: "I have the Escapist under adblock/blacklist" once they say that, the mods bring down the warning hammer. This is going to be a real issues in this thread. Literally the first post in this thread got a warning for saying an honest opinion.


People seem to have an issue with discussing something versus advocating something.

The rule WAS don't encourage or enable other people to block our ads.
It said nothing about discussing ad-blocking as a concept. Just don't say THIS IS AWESOME AND I DO IT AND SO SHOULD YOU and all should be fine.

It appears that The Escapist's mods currently also have an "advocating vs. discussing" problem. Many of the people given warnings in this thread, were only mentioning that they used Adblock. They were not advocating.

How is that an inappropriate thing to mention in this thread, of all places? People are just trying to be honest.

Of course, many people/children like to do the "so have you heard of Adblock *nudge* *wink*" which they like to insist is discussion rather then encouragement.

And you've turned that on its head with these bizarre rules, so we get the situation here where people are having to use *nudge* and *wink* just to have a simple discussion.

There is no problem with adverts on sites if they are for a genuine product/service. The problem is that most of them aren't and are just trying to give you a computer virus and or scam you. The worst way of going about it is to have many adverts on one page (Especially videos that automatically play with no input) since they often crash or slow down the browser significantly. The ones here are done well and so are the pre-video ads on YouTube (Mostly). The other YouTube ads are completely ridiculous though and pathetic attempts at fooling people.

It is worth noting that advertisements only really appear when you are using a free service and are therefore completely justified. I think there just needs to be tighter restriction on who can advertise on websites because there are far too many scams and virus giving ones about. I don't know about everyone else but I find that if a website is inundated with dodgy adverts on it I usually see the website itself as being dodgy and don't trust it entirely which makes me less inclined to go back to it.

Even before Adblock the usual website gets cluttered with pop-ups, videos, and stuff that makes my virus and malware scan go off. I just don't trust ads anymore. Especially on the Escapist where the the page has advertisement on a particular AAA title all over the page and in every video, even the ones criticizing practices similar to that.

On public computers I don't bother to put on ad-block which is usually where I watch the escapist half the time if that means anything. I will consider whitelisting my favorite non-porn sites in the future though.

I'm surprised that the issue of security wasn't addressed more thoroughly (and forgive me for only reading about five or so of the pages of the thread); I've seen a massive decline in malware alerts ever since I started using an adblocker.

Funny story: I never heard of an adblocker until the escapist started banning people for posting about them. At first I stayed away from the things, but I typically have multiple tabs of the escaptist open (columns, threads, etc.) and when my quad core computer ground to a halt from the ad induced load I had to start using one. I also started getting some really nasty adware hits from here, so I wasn't happy about it but I had to turn on the adblocker.

I'll join the pub club at some point, there are just some...circumstances. Jim's appeal really did hit home, though, and I'm glad he's at least understanding of where people that use adblockers are coming from.

You didn't really make the distinction between blocking harmless images with adblock and blocking intrusive malware-ridden javascript ads with noscript.

For both pub club and amazon.com I would need a credit card. I don't have one, and I don't want one.
I feel like supporting you and your work, or the other escapist staff, but I won't get a credit card just for you.
Same with Kickstarter.
There are enough other ways to pay online than using a credit card, and as long as the payment model doesn't change that's that.
The Escapist is currently whitelisted, but the ads and the end of each video, waving their membership in front of me in a lound and fairly annoying manner is really grinding my gears.

Wait! You actually thought I was DEMANDING something about clickbait?
NO. I was mentioning one huge aspect of an issue that you constantly talk about but ignore that aspect.
I was offering constructive criticism about the fact that you have never mentioned punishment other than talking at ALL male gamers, in a tone similar to yours on this show.
I am sorry if I hurt your feelings(even if you have hurt mine several times in the past) or if you thought I demanded something.

You can see my post history. I only had ONE warning before that thread and have always tried my best to be polite and follow the rules even when feeling personally insulted and being extremely angry. Now I have 3 warnings and am on probation and I took it knowing the rules full well to get a response about clickbait and I used that product's name to get your attention.

And I followed through on my promise and have disabled it on the Escapist and will continue to keep it disabled as long as don't find clickbait again. And at that point I will cease coming here as I have with Cracked and Kotaku instead of enabling it and visiting again. Because at that point you will prove your willingness to do anything to keep people arguing here instead of enjoying your content and allowing them to leave.

He said he was going to make this topic eventually anyway. Your bragging about using adblock on his videos because you don't like his content just reminded him of it. It has nothing to do with that 2 page argument you had with him on the other thread.

The Escapist doesn't even support HTML5 and that means I can't watch anything on my Google tablet from this site. So I can't really blame the audience for using NoScript etc.

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