Danny Carlton has an interesting battle going on over on his website, jacklewis.net/weblog/
You’ll notice, if you try and go to his website in Firefox, that he’s blocking all Firefox users. Why? See for yourself.
Below is my response to Danny Carlton. Please understand that I do not wish to disrespect him in anyway, shape, or form. I only wish to question his idea.
You are fighting an interesting battle. People who block ads wouldn’t click on them anyway, so essentially you’re wasting a whole lot of time trying to prove a point to a bunch of people who will never agree with you anyway.
To claim ad blocking as theft is incredibly disingenuous to people who, like me, are blocking ads in order to be *more* honest. In the 12+ years I’ve been using the internet I’ve probably clicked on 10 ads on purpose, and many more than that on *accident*, causing advertisers to pay out for an accidental click-through.
Also, there are those who (again, like me), are trying to protect themselves and their families from as much of the filth and garbage on the internet as possible. There have been several large websites (Tom’s Hardware, MySpace, and others) who have unknowingly distributed viruses through their advertising (via JPEG security vulnerabilities). (described in twit.tv’s Security Now Episode #102)
I understand, as you’ve stated, that your site doesn’t have super annoying or dirty ads. I will not, however, take the time to selectively block ads from different sources (besides, what is a “trusted ad source” when previously trusted ad sources such as those found on Tom’s Hardware had a huge virus problem?). I respect your decision to try and maintain control of your website’s content. I ask you to respect my decision to choose to protect myself in a way that keeps a little bit of accidental revenue from heading your direction.
I also invite you to take a moment to consider the unintended consequences that this statement could have:
“You shouldn’t have the freedom to block [ads], when I specifically don’t want that, and have attempted to prevent it.” (part of one of his comment’s in his “Hectic weekend” post)
What would it require to take that freedom away from me? What kind of legislation would have to be passed? What kind of software would have to be installed on our computers? Would you really be better off with that freedom taken away? I dare say you would not.
Lastly, I do not think this kind of battle does the rest of your opinions any credit. I haven’t read much of your site so I’m not claiming to either agree or disagree with you on your opinions, but you might consider how this battle will effect all these silly people. You stated that many of these Firefox users probably wouldn’t have ever visited your site anyway, so there’s been no harm done. But you’re missing something. Sure, there’s no significant harm done to your readership, but what of all the people who have visited, skimmed your posts and written you off as crazy? They’re not just writing you off as crazy, but your ideas too. When they read the same or similar ideas from other people, they are now more likely to write them off as crazy as well.
I do not think that one should compromise beliefs in order to gain popularity, but I do think that one must determine whether or not a battle is firmly based in truth, or just a pet peeve. To me, your argument about ad blocking feels like your pet peeve, and has too little basis in truth to be really meaningful.