It seems that there will never be an end to to the world’s supply of stupid people. I use a wonderful add-on for Firefox called Adblock Plus which stops adverts from appearing. You know the ones; flashing banners inviting you to whack the mole and their ilk. Those things are the scourge of the web.
However, some people seem to think that is bad. They aren’t not going to get a link from me, but the people behind "whyfirefoxisblocked dot com" assert that:
Software that blocks all advertisement is an infringement of the rights of web site owners and developers. Numerous web sites exist in order to provide quality content in exchange for displaying ads. Accessing the content while blocking the ads, therefore would be no less than stealing.
Is that right? My using Adblock Plus to stop annoying, obtrusive and in some cases downright offensive (to the eyes) adverts from appearing on my screen is stealing? The developer of Adblock Plus links to lots of articles about this subject, one by the estimable Michael Arrington of Techcrunch which states about one such blocker-of-the-Fox:
… he objects to the fact that some of those Firefox readers are using an ad-blocking extension to block ads showing on the site. To counter the problem, heâ€™s thrown the baby out with the bathwater and kicked 13% or so of the Internet off his site … in my opinion this is not a good strategy to build a blog. Users are solid gold. Even the ones that block ads.
Absolutely. You don’t have a right to force me to view your adverts any more than you have a right to force me to view your site in the first place. There is ALWAYS somewhere else to get the same information on the web, and blocking me from your site isn’t going to endear me to you, is it?
Be grateful I’m on your site at all. I could have gone to one of the millions of other sites, but I chose yours.
Let me tell you a fact. If I didn’t have Adblock Plus and your site had assailed me with garish and obtrusive adverts that get in the way of the information I want (you are providing useful or entertaining content, aren’t you? If not get off the web) I would have left. Immediately.
Another fact. I have never knowingly clicked on an advert in my entire time online (slightly more than a decade, I think). That’s with or without Adblock Plus. I will never knowingly click on an advert. So what good are they doing me? None, they are there just on the off-chance you catch out gullible people of which I am not one.
So who are you befittingly by blocking about 13% of your possible audience? It’s not your users and potential customers, that’s for sure.
Perhaps we should try the same thing with a bricks-and-mortar shop. You know, stop people coming in if they don’t want someone to walk around the store with them shouting things like "Buy that item now!" and "You need this product!". That would work, right?