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    Although third-party cookies have been controversial mechanisms[…] Were they to be embargoed tomorrow, billions of dollars in Internet advertising and hundreds of thousands of jobs dependent on it would disappear.

    Oh no! Hundreds of thousands of jobs would disappear! Instantly!

    Like the piracy of music and movies online, ad blocking appears to be a victimless endeavor, but in fact is a possibly illegal activity that deprives a cascading chain of legitimate enterprises of income.

    Possibly illegal? How is blocking ads in a web browser even remotely “possibly illegal” or any different than fast forwarding through commercials on a TiVo?

    For small publishers, the effect is devastating. Niero Gonzalez, the proprietor of the gamer site Destructoid.com and a member of the IAB’s Long Tail Alliance, says that half his users are blocking ads. “This means we’re working twice as hard as ever to sustain our company,” he has written.

    So half of your users don’t like the way you’re doing something, which causes you to have to put in twice the effort, and rather than conclude that you should do things differently to stop pissing off your users which causes twice the effort, or stop serving to those users, the answer is that all of those users should use a different browser or be forced to look at stuff they don’t want?

    Mozilla’s active, prominent promotion of Adblock Plus suggests a value system hostile to advertising and the businesses and people dependent on it.

    Where is Mozilla even “actively promiting” Adblock? It is not shown on the default extensions page at https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/extensions/ unless you click on “Most Popular”.


    Not surprisingly, if you go to Google’s Chrome extensions page and sort by “Popular”, Adblock is also the first extension shown for Chrome, with an even bigger logo graphic than on Mozilla’s site.


    This is exactly what Mozilla is proposing to do – and what its self-styled libertarian patrons are (paradoxically) urging it to do.

    Ah, those wacky liberations.

    So to summarize, here’s what we would like to see from Mozilla:

    Block the ad-blockers, and turn your backs on those who delight in destroying others' livelihoods.

    Those fucking terrorists!

    About the Author

    Randall Rothenberg is President and Chief Executive Officer, Interactive Advertising Bureau.

    Of course.

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      Ad blocking is theft of services? Cable (or at least satellite) ad skipping is still in legal “trouble”: http://articles.latimes.com/2012/may/25/business/la-fi-ct-fox-dish-suit-20120525

      I can actually see some argument that ad skipping cable boxes are copyright infringement because they alter the program. Applying even that argument would be much harder to an optional plugin installed by individual users. Doubly so since ad networks mean the ads are not being distributed inband with the content.

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      I guess if “lost its values”, this guy means “continue to serve the people rather than business interests”, then yes?

      One thing that’s always remained respectable about Mozilla as an organization is its commitment to listening to its users, even to a fault. Sometimes I think there could have been more scrutiny over the design decisions and features implemented in Firefox or Thunderbird, as I’d much rather use fully open-source software than software made to sell more computers/phones or boost advertising value. It just makes me less anxious about the true intentions behind new features (especially ones that want more and more of my data…). But unfortunately, I don’t find Firefox or Thunderbird to be superior to their proprietary alternatives Safari (I use WebKit nightly as my primary browser) and Apple Mail. There are many reasons for this, but I don’t feel like listing them here.

      Certainly, there are very few sites who REQUIRE third-party cookies to function, and those can be easily whitelisted. For the vast majority of us, third party cookies are annoying and unnecessary, and if you’re smart enough it’s easy to turn them off. And many people do just that.

      — looks at AdBlock Plus running in the corner of the browser… —

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        At first I thought that the segment blaming Mozilla for the success of Adblock Plus was incredibly dishonest, but reading to the bottom I see their complaint is that it is allowed to exist at all.

        Clearly the web the IAB wants is very different from the web that I want.

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          More like “Has Mozilla lost its value to these advertiser parasites?”