Why I Don’t Use Ad Blockers

Even as I admit my deep hatred of certain kinds of ads, I might hate ad blockers even more, whether it’s AdBlock or another company. More often than I can accept, ad block extensions block content that I actually want to see. Not everything that they think is an ad is, in fact, an ad. Let me make my own mind up about what is an ad and what isn’t. I’m probably even more annoyed by browsers that ship with ad blockers turned on by default. If this is all about choice, then let me made up my own damn mind!

Here’s another problem (and keep in mind, there are types of ads that I abhor), the Internet is largely paid for by ads. Whether you agree with the practice or not, when you visit a site with ads, you are taking advantage of free content that the provider had decided could be, or should be, supported by ads. It’s an implicit agreement that you make by accepting said free content. If I choose, as a creator, to not post ads, then that’s cool and it’s my choice. Hopefully you reward that particular creator by visiting them and promoting their content to others; you do, don’t you?

If, however, the site has ads, it’s because that’s partly how they pay the bills. And sometimes, maybe even often, if they can’t pay the bills, they can’t stay in the business of providing you with nice useful content.

Those who know me will recognize that I am a huge supporter of all things free (free as in beer and free as in speech). That doesn’t stop me from accepting the fact that some people provide their content for no cost and others ask that you pay. If you don’t want to pay, go elsewhere. But respect the person (or organization or business) who asks for payment; especially if the only payment they ask for is the ads they show.

Okay, enough preaching…

In the end, however, it’s more about my own personal choice. Ad blockers deny me (and you) of choice as much as any other technology that decides for me what I should and should not see. Like some of those ads I despise, like popovers that hide the button to close them or video ads that play automatically with the sound up, ad blockers are a pox.

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