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    If other sites that have started an arms race with EasyList are any indication, this ends with EasyList going nuclear and adding a broad ruleset that breaks site functionality. The question is, once this happens, are Facebook likely to beg for exceptions every time they change anything like Pornhub has to, or are they going to accept that their site is broken for adblock users.

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      This is rather annoying. I use an adblocker to see fewer ads, but I don’t lose my shit if some slip through. If the blocker starts breaking sites, I’ll find another blocker.

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        After reading that discussion, it sounds like PornHub was in the wrong. And if Facebook does the same tactic of trying to disguise ads as content to evade adblockers, I personally won’t blame the adblocker.

        I hope that the potential for real content getting blocked would be an disincentive for disingenuous ad-disguising behavior, but there’s definitely a balance adblockers will have to find. On the flip side, to coopt the arms race signaling of Facebook: all wars have casualties. And I think adblockers are in the right.

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          I suppose opinions vary, but I have a particular distaste for cross site tracking. If you’re serving ads from your own domain, they immediately become 50% less hateful. If it’s your site, you get to decide, within reason, how it looks.

          I use the “magazine model”. If it’s ads printed on pages within the magazine, that’s how it goes. If it’s some random bozo who runs up and shouts “lose belly fat” at me when I turn the page, I’m going to do something about that.

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            A major issue is how difficult it is to get advertisers as an individual. Without third-party ad networks and ad exchanges, most publishers (magazines) simply cannot monetise their site.

            Meanwhile, the top buyers – who you want sponsoring sites who produce content you actually want to consume – are interested in making sure they buy eyeballs actually interested in their product. Without that cross-site tracking, they don’t know, and an increasing number are simply opting out of the impression, so you get the “lose belly fat” ads: Those guys are paying bottom prices for users with no profile.

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              Is it so hard? I can see how it’s hard if you’re a zero traffic start up, but established sites can put a “your ad here” banner up. Heck, if you’re moderately well known you’ll get unsolicited offers for ads.

              I always refer to daring fireball as a successful example. Weekly “sponsor” posts, audience appropriate, non invasive, and highly profitable.

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                Yes, it’s that hard.

                Daring fireball is interesting: Ten years ago, daring fireball famously abandoned adsense with the expectation to make around $10k per year for around 2m views, which isn’t what I’d call “highly profitable”, and if John’s managed to 20x his traffic (which is conservative; BI suggest’s it’s closer to 10x) then he still can’t afford to hire anyone to sell his ad traffic for him.

                And yet I’d say he’s lucky. At those volumes, the only unsolicited buyers you are likely to get are people wanting you to join their ad network (and serve “lose belly fat” ads)– and don’t forget, Daring fireball does solicit advertising!

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                  At the current $8000 per week, I think he does alright.

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                    Okay, maybe it’s just a matter of perspective then: I can think of easier ways to make that kind of money, and even Google’s list prices for adsense overlays would generate around 5x more revenue, so all I see is someone who works hard, got lucky, and now gets by.

                    There are worse things in life, to be sure, but my point is that it’s hardly the environment to encourage more quality content: to rely on getting lucky.

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              “I use the “magazine model”. If it’s ads printed on pages within the magazine, that’s how it goes. If it’s some random bozo who runs up and shouts “lose belly fat” at me when I turn the page, I’m going to do something about that.”

              Same here. I find a good compromise is best way to deal with conflicting interests. They want some ad to be there with a chance of being noticed and acted on. I want to see the content with a chance to ignore the ads. Years of experience… magazine, TV, banner ads, etc… makes me able to do that. If I noticed it, I’ll be slightly annoyed with most of the bad ones but usually unaffected. Plus, I want it to just be a simple text or graphic format with lower malware risk. Even better with something like ADSafe for JS. Situation worked for years so advertisers just meet me half-way I say.

              Note: The exception to this is on certain porn sites managed by clueless operators or ad networks. Specifically, what person watching straight porn wants to see a video player-sized ad of a giant, throbbing shlong side-by-side with the video. It’s a little hard to ignore. Also a little… retarded. Gotta click the “x” instead of the “xxx” in situations like that.

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          Fanboy has the patience of a saint. I’d have long since stopped helping someone who kept starting conversations with “I asked for that page to be fixed 10 days ago” and dropping snarky asides like “Tired of getting support tickets”.

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            Especially since it was abusing the whitelist process (by asking for exceptions and then using those endpoints to serve ads) that got them into that mess in the first place.

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            That was a funny read. At least the PornHub rep was very specific on what scripts led to what features. More transparency than I expected in that discussion. Like they said, though, it’s a double-edged sword for the crooks: it can help them fight the site breakage but all know who to blame the second ads come through on whitelisted scripts. Setting them up for a nice, mea culpa is my guess haha.

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            I personally prefer µBlock, since it’s compatible with AdBlock-style filters while providing the option to only block cross-site stuff (as opposed to cosmetic blocking). It’s more of a privacy-centric approach, as opposed to the “all ads are bad” approach taken by the AdBlock devs that essentially breaks online monetization.

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              EFF’s Privacy Badger is another one that focuses on cross-site content and trackers rather than ads per se. It does require a bit of fiddling though, because it sometimes breaks pages that require cross-site loading for functionality, e.g. an embedded google widget of some kind (you can override that on a site-by-site basis).

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                How does Privacy Badger compare to telling Chrome to block third-party cookies?

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                  I use all 3. uBlock Origin. , Privacy Badger and a cookie white list.

                  The cookie white list has had a huge impact on my habits. I don’t have hard data, but my Amazon spending dropped dramatically once cookies were blown away!

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                    It blocks more than just the cookies; it also blocks (some) third-party content from loading, to make it harder to do even server-side tracking (many of these trackers don’t strictly depend on cookies, using other techniques like browser fingerprinting and IP logging). Uses some heuristics about what’s likely to be doing cross-site tracking.

                    For example, when I loaded cnn.com just now, it blocked things from 17 domains from loading: aax.amazon-adsystem.com, www.budgetedbauer.com, staticxx.facebook.com, www.facebook.com, cdn.gigya.com, partner.googleadservices.com, secure-us.imrworldwide.com, vrp.outbrain.com, vrt.outbrain.com, widgets.outbrain.com, a.postrelease.com, pixel.quantserve.com, ads.rubiconproject.com, consent.truste.com, www.ugdturner.com, ad.doubleclick.net, and cdx.krxd.net. It allowed a further 3 domains to load widgets but without allowing cookies: static.chartbeat.com, cdn.optimizely.com, cdn3.optimizely.com.

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                I’ve never used ad blockers, despite being around for the whole history of the web. When I find a site to have obnoxious ads on it, I stop going to that site. That’s the only way to truly give clear feedback to any site that its ad policy has become a problem.

                On top of that I feel like if a site has unintrusive, clearly labeled ads and I enjoy that site’s content then I want to support the site.

                My point being; AdBlock has always been a crappy solution. The solution to FaceBook is delete your FaceBook account. The ads are hardly the worst thing about that site.

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                  It’s very hard to have “clearly labeled ads” simply because they don’t pay very well – Google pays something miserable, such that if you reach a third of americans you will gross only about $5k.

                  If I had an ad exchange where you could buy yourself, would you do it? Publishers could do the simple thing of placing an ad unit, but you could buy yourself and serve yourself a white/blank ad, thereby personally contributing to the publisher while still avoiding any advertising – but would you do it? I’ve been doing this for a while, but if I turned it into a product where you gave me your credit card, would you do it?

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                    The problem is content makers are by and large very lazy and outsource their ad selling to Google. Then Google takes a cut of the revenue, and has such a large market that your site’s views aren’t worth anything.

                    I have always been of the mind that content creators/publishers should sell their own ad space. They will show more relevant ads to their customers and get more revenue from it. If you let Google or some other ad network do it for you and take a cut, then yeah your ad revenue is going to stink.

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                      I don’t think “the problem” is any one thing. Thinking that this is a simple problem leads people to think there needs to be a simple solution.

                      I also don’t think publishers need to get more creative with their ad sales: I’d rather they produce better content. When a publisher gets too intimate with their sponsor, we tend to get really confusing content.

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                      What kind of coverage do you get bidding on an exchange?

                      I think the hard thing about turning something like this into a product is that it won’t work for reservations or networks that don’t get their demand off an exchange and it will be hard to communicate that distinction to users.

                      Google Contributor works similarly but its hard to justify paying money for something that is essentially just a worse version of Adblock Plus.

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                    While it might be immoral to use an adblocker, it’s a necessity with the nature of them. With confusing, malicious, and bloated ads, you need to block then to have a good experience on the web, lest you want malware or a processor grinding to a halt.

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                      It is also your browser, so you should be allowed to choose how it works to some extent. In the past overriding font colour and size and custom css was popular. Blocking java, flash and javascript should always be allowed. Blocking at least malicious ads should be fine. I feel a bit bad when just running an ad blocker might mean someone’s personal blog or useful niche website might miss out on a few cents. If ads were entirely infeasible and dissappeared, I do shudder to think what would happen to websites. Would most large websites become walled gardens? Would they all require liking on facebook before you can even view some content? Install some dodgy game first, or some dodgy tracker? I’m not saying ads are the best, but the web could always be more of a cesspit than it is.

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                      Could use uBlock.