With the recent support for Ad Blockers in iOS 9, many have been discussing the ethics of blocking advertisements on the mobile platform (and elsewhere). Up until the end of September, ad blockers were the #1 applications on Apple’s app store. The discussion about these has continued after Marco Arment pulled his ad-blocking application named Peace. I wanted to offer my perspective on this.
Is blocking advertisements on the web ok? Yes. It is absolutely fine, and for some of the more intrusive types of ads, this might be essential. If you’re a heavy enough web user, you’ll have been blocked from content by the full-page interstitial. You would have faced the click popup, and now the click reloads (with the popup ad being in the original tab). Advertisers are some of the most insidious actors on the Internet today. Should you block ads on site that respects you enough not to be obtrusive? No.
You may not know, but I have never personally run adblocking software. Yes, it does make sense because I run a blog, but I also understand the utility of seeing ads. Customers routinely ask me questions, and rarely am I asked about ad blockers. Unfortunately, we’ve become really good at closing ads and, even worse, ignoring them. I’m willing to bet Google knows that too, I mean, look at what kind of departure Youtube Red represents for them. At the very least, they know that a subset of people will pay just to stop the annoyance of ads.
In fact, I really, really, want to remove ads from this blog. I’ve never found an easy way to keep ads useful here while making them the least intrusive as possible. Google’s ads fit that bill, but they still fight for your attention which takes that attention away from my content.
What I need to do is find a way to remove them, yet continue to keep his blog running. My idea is that if I can continue to cover at least the expenses here in an alternative way, I will immediately remove all forms of the advertisement from this site. Would you pay a dollar a month to see that? How would you suggest I go about this? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.