adblockplus    How I experience the internet is vastly different depending on whether I am at work, or at home.  At work, wherever I go, I experience pop-ups, obtrusive ads, and auto-play movies/noise.  Let me assure you, that while teaching, having all the distracting advertising going on in the background does not help the learning experience.   But meanwhile, at home I can browse the web unencumbered by any of the annoyances listed above.  Pages load quickly and are appealing to read with little clutter to distract the eye and the mind.  This peaceful repose is achieved primarily through the use of two program plugins that are available to the Firefox browser – Ad Block Plus and Ghostery.   Ad block screens out most of the ads and Ghostery stops websites from tracking your movements and preferences as you browse on the internet (oh, and duck duck go is a nice start to increase your privacy while browsing as well).  The powers that be though, are not amused by individuals taking control of their internet experience.

“Global ad spending is expected to reach $600 billion US by the end of next year, according to eMarketer, and grow at an annual rate of about five per cent until the end of the decade. Much of that growth is being fuelled by digital advertising, particularly on mobile devices. 

But there was one session in Cannes where some very dark clouds managed to intrude on the sunny forecast. It was a panel devoted to the current scourge of the digital advertising industry — ad blocking.

According to a report by PageFair and Adobe, more than 200 million people worldwide have downloaded software that can block virtually all online advertising.

The number of people blocking ads increased by more than 40 per cent last year, and it is estimated that blocking cost cash-starved publishers more than $22 billion last year.”

Oh my goodness.  People not wanting advertising to be part of every facet of their life, not a choice, but a scourge.

“Almost everyone in the ad industry acknowledges that most of the wounds that have led to the rise in ad blocking are self-inflicted.

Advertisers got greedy by assaulting users with too many low quality, untargeted ads, too many auto play videos, too much click bait.

Last fall, the IAB launched an initiative called L.E.A.N. Ads (light, encrypted, ad choice supported, non-invasive).

The IAB hopes that by following the L.E.A.N. guidelines, advertisers will create ads that consumers will be happy to see.”

Hmm, so we alienate people to the point where ad blocking is necessary to have a good browsing experience and then complain that ad-blocking is ‘killing’ the internet.  Other entities have decided that they won’t let the user in, if ad-blocking is enabled.

“Sites like Forbes and GQ won’t allow access to their content unless users turn them off. At Cannes, Mark Thompson, the president and CEO of the New York Times, announced that his newspaper would soon be offering an ad-free edition to subscribers at a premium price.

Other publishers are appealing to their readers’ sense of fairness and justice, asking them to turn off their blockers and reminding them they are a critical part of the ecosystem that has powered the internet for the past 20 years. Without ads, there would be no free content online.”

Well, GQ and Forbes you can go frack yourself sideways as the content you produce will be reproduced elsewhere on the web without your restrictions. :)  The counterpoint to this though is the insidious beast known as ‘native advertising’.

“So-called “native advertising” has been growing in popularity over the past several years. Also known as “sponsored content,” it looks and feels like editorial content, but it comes from advertisers rather than journalists.

Native advertisements can often pass through ad blocking filters because the filters don’t recognize it as advertising. Many readers seem to prefer this kind of content over traditional advertising, provided it’s properly labelled, although there’s no consensus on what constitutes proper labelling.”

Watch your daily paper, there is more this native advertising junk in there everyday.  If there is a scourge to be named, it should be that of the advertising editorial or advertorial.

“But the real victims of the ad blocking surge may not be advertisers and publishers, but the “free” web itself.

The money to pay for content has to come from somewhere, and if you take advertising revenue out of the equation, readers will have to pick up the slack themselves, something they have historically been reluctant to do. Without ads, the web may be a poorer and less interesting place.”

Breaking news: The sky is indeed falling.  Also:  A-Booga-Booga-Booga!  The heart of the very internet itself will crumble if ad-blocking continues!

The advertising industry may piss-off right the frack off with their hyperbole; starting yesterday.  If the amount of stultifying drek available on the interweebs is halved tomorrow, not a soul would notice.  So I say bring on the next internet apocalypse.