Why I use Ad-Block
( 5 min read )
People hate online advertisements... Let me repeat that.
There are lots of online ads. And there are some that are... acceptable. Then there are the worst of offenders. The kind that sends people into fits, immediately closing the page, and leaving the website forever.
- Auto-playing video or sounds
- Blinking, Floating, Shaking, or Moving
- Deceptive or innapropriate content. (You know what this is. *ahem* Enhancement! *ahem*)
Of all the forms of advertisements, I think online advertising is the worst. TV commercials, billboards, magazines, newspapers, mail, and more, do not compare nor compete with the how awful ads on the internet can be. I'm really holding back here too. The Super Bowl LII was this past week, and those commercials come off as extremely desperate and can be quite controversial.
Online Advertising Sucks...
What started out as a simple means to pay-the-bills or hosting costs, has turned into a monster, $27.5 billion USD annual industry. Anyone can build a website and get a piece of this pie. Even Bloggers can add Google AdSense to their blogs to make some quick cash. (Which is something I never intend to do, by the way.) The ease-of-use here is key. Its very simple to get started, and it only takes a single *click* to start making money. And by multiplying that by 100-10,000 users a day... well... you can see how lucrative this business has become.
I think online advertising is the worst.
All this money has lead to more inventive ways to get users to click. Starting with spam and blinking banners, to now, full-screen video player pop-ups. (I'm looking at you CraveOnline.com!) Advertisers measure user interactions per click. And they've figured out which ads work, and which do not, just by analyzing click counts. So thanks to these analytics we now have some of the worst, infurating, and annoying, advertisements on the internet. But can we blame them? These ads obviously seem to work.
...But the Security Sucks More.
I think I could forgive all the terrible ads out there. Its not how annoying or infurating they are that bothers me. Nor how slow they make the web browsing experience. Its the lack of privacy and user-tracking that bothers me. As well as the security risks they open up on my home computer. Online advertising just brings out the worst of the internet.
Online ads help spread viruses, scams, phishing, malware, fraud, click-bait, and spam. And yes, I know viruses are a form of malware, and fraud and scams are the same thing, but for some folks seeing these words together might "hit home" harder. I think the worst possible thing to come out of it, is ransomware. Its where a virus locks your computer's files and demands you to pay them to unlock it. And remember folks, its as easy as one click to get your computer infected with something like ransomware. Which is insane! This problem doesn't occur in TV commercials, magazines, or other forms of advertising.
Ad-Blocking Protects You
I use ad-block to protect my computer, my files, and my privacy. To be more specific, I use Firefox with a plugin called uBlock Origin. And contrary to belief, I do disable my ad-blocker on specific websites that I choose to support.
I'm not certain online advertising will survive in its current state; if more people use ad-blocking software. But I think it will find a way through "Sponsored" content like search results and news-vertisements or op-ed articles. Its the same thing really, just in a different form.
Ultimately, I use ad-block because its not about how terrible online advertising is. Its what online advertising has unintentionally unleashed. Yes, I hate ads in general. But I hate viruses and data-collection, more. If your TV could get infected by the commercials you watch, you bet your ass a commercial-blocking tool would have been invented!
Published: Feb 13, 2017