Fadblocking: The Pros and Cons of Adblockers

It’s probably a fair bet that you don’t want to see another ad about the latest weight loss trick every time you use an online dictionary. You don’t want to hear an ad start on one of your twelve tabs and then have to tear the window apart just to find it, and you don’t want to see that trailer on YouTube again. Assuming you’re really, truly desperate, there are two things you can do: ignore the ads and push through or get an ad blocker.

Research indicates that ad blocking isn’t going to shrivel up and die any time soon. I attempted to read an article against installing ad blockers, actually, and I could not read it without an ad blocker. The browser crashed a time or two and the page kept jumping around to make room for ads. Obviously, this is a problem for users. Even so, websites are often funded by ads, so there’s an ethical dilemma in blocking ads and still accessing content. What to do?

Why you should install an ad blocker:

  • They can block malware.
  • Ads use a whole lot of data, which is problematic for mobile users.
  • Eliminating ad downloads allows faster browsing.

Why you shouldn’t install an ad blocker:

  • Internet publishers have to eat too. Wired released a statement to that effect.
  • Publishers can’t afford to supply content if they aren’t paid, so your ad blocker could hurt your Internet experience in the future.
  • The favored publisher solution at present is to begin moving to a subscription model. Either the ads pay or you pay, and at some point you’ll probably have to pick one.

A miscellaneous consideration: Snowden thinks ad blockers are a good idea. For the rest of us, the jury’s still out.

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