AdBlock Plugins are Wrong

After some debate with Nathan, Jared and I, then some twitter posts today [quotably is cool], I’d like share my point of view here: AdBlockers are wrong.

Simply, they’re built to circumvent revenue from the site owners.

Before you point out that I have ads on this site; I don’t care if you block my ads. I do not count on any of that money on a monthly basis, those few dollars are a benefit or reward of having a blog. But, if this blog was my day job and I was trying to survive off advertising from my content I would be pissed if I knew people were inhibiting me from earning money from my hard work.

There are a lot of web 2.0 startups that would not be here if it weren’t for ad services like adwords, even the ones that provide subscription models rely on ads to cusion the overhead of providing a popular free service.

There’s a viscous circular argument of hypotheticals because web advertising is not like anything else:

  • TV commercials: not a very good example because while commercial fast-forwarding isn’t illegal, commercial skipping is closely was(i.e. replaytv).
  • Jumping a turnstile at a subway: it’s clearly illegal and blocking ads isn’t illegal by written law.

And that’s were I agree to disagree. Just because it’s not written law doesn’t mean it’s right (ethically).

As I’ve mentioned before I’m not trying to persuade anyone, make your own desicion. I use TLA on my site and a lot of people disagree; some say it’s unethical for the same general reasons I think adblocking is wrong and I’ve concluded they’re different.