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Advertising Businesses Chrome Your Rights Online

Chrome AdBlock Joining Acceptable Ads Program (And Sold To Anonymous Company) 352

basscomm writes: Hot on the heels of the formation of the independent board to oversee "acceptable ads", users of the popular Chrome ad blocking extension, AdBlock, got notice that AdBlock is participating in the program, and that acceptable ads are being turned on by default. At the bottom of the announcement, buried in the fine print is word that AdBlock has been sold, but nobody will say to whom.
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Chrome AdBlock Joining Acceptable Ads Program (And Sold To Anonymous Company)

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  • Time to let it die (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tompaulco ( 629533 ) on Sunday October 04, 2015 @03:23PM (#50657389) Homepage Journal
    Sorry, adblock, time to let your product die and we will go on to a product that actually blocks ads
    • by CaptainDork ( 3678879 ) on Sunday October 04, 2015 @03:37PM (#50657443)

      Sorry, Chrome.

    • by popo ( 107611 ) on Sunday October 04, 2015 @03:58PM (#50657529) Homepage

      Aside from being defeated by loads of different adblock blockers (as well as the standard http://blockadblock.com/ [blockadblock.com] generated scripts) there are loads of networks like PageFair that bypass AdBlock anyway. So "letting" acceptable ads through strikes me as a best option in a losing battle.

      • I don't think it's a losing battle, just a constant cat and mouse arms race. As ad developers create new technologies to circumvent blockers, ad blockers will find new ways to defeat those countermeasures. Though the ad blockers will probably stay perpetually ahead most of the time.

        Why? Because sites that host these ads lack the agility afforded to ad blocker developers. They can't sit there and change things at the drop of a hat because it might break their site, which is much worse than making sure that s

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Just like any arms race, there are now anti-adblock-blockers and adblock-blocker blockers.

      • by fyngyrz ( 762201 ) on Sunday October 04, 2015 @04:22PM (#50657667) Homepage Journal

        The best option, IMHO, is the hosts file, frankly. Be nice if we could work out some solid collaborative way to make my block discoveries help you with yours, etc., but it's just fraught with too many problems and potential black hat undertakings.

        Still, it's pretty easy to just have a little app you can paste domains into that just appends your hosts file with Yet Another Reference to the Black Hole Of Data.

        Well, under OS X and Linux it is. Not sure about Windows. But years ago, when I was using Windows, it did have a hosts file you could get at. Still true?

        • by west ( 39918 )

          Once ad blocking becomes truly ubiquitous (I give it a year) and most of the independent web sites die, how are we block ads once the Internet = Facebook?

          Facebook hosts all the content and all the ads (and it gets 30% of any hosted site's revenue for its trouble).

          The rise of Ad-Blocking was inevitable, but boy, I'm not looking forward to having a Facebook account just to surf the remaining sites that keep trying to make a go of it.

          • by 0123456 ( 636235 ) on Sunday October 04, 2015 @04:55PM (#50657829)

            Prior to the rise of advertising, almost all sites were 'independent'. They'll be around for a long time after the end of Internet advertising, because they're run for love, not money.

            It's the sites which exist solely to capture search results to bring in ad revenue that will die. And the rest of the world will celebrate.

            • Prior to the rise of advertising, almost all sites were 'independent.'

              ---- and you discovered them by thumbing through the printed pages of the modestly sized Internet Yellow Pages, guide books and magazines of the era..

              It was a geek paradise defined off-campus by the limits of the dial-up modem, arcane and frustrating client software and services that were only beginning to offer affordable flat-rate monthly billing,

            • by schnell ( 163007 )

              Prior to the rise of advertising, almost all sites were 'independent'. They'll be around for a long time after the end of Internet advertising, because they're run for love, not money.

              And none of those sites carried breaking news or the AP wire, at least not legally. Or had sports scores (ditto). Or showed streaming video other than self-produced content in 240 x 160 "QuickTime postage stamp theater" format. Or paid anyone to write content for them. Or provided social media capabilities (vital to the ubiquity of the Internet, whether you personally like/use them or not). Or did much of fucking anything other than be personal projects or part-time blogs that ran until the proprietor got a

              • by Gr8Apes ( 679165 )

                And none of those sites carried breaking news or the AP wire... Or had sports scores (ditto)...showed streaming video

                First off, why doesn't the AP have its own site? Sport scores could easily be done via the main sports sites (NFL, MLB, FIFA, etc). There's plenty of sites doing streaming video: Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu do it varying ways, with embedded ads, but the web sites themselves don't need ads nor have them, other than self promoting, which is why you went there in the first place.

                Then we get to where the content producers failed, wholesale, and we got the current morass of crap. Newspapers ignored the web, wher

          • by fyngyrz ( 762201 )

            Facebook? You use Facebook and you're concerned about ads?

   www.facebook.com facebook.com

            ...problem solved.

            Also, from my POV, the only "independent sites" out there don't depend on external ads. The others are, by definition, dependent. Like this one.

            • www.facebook.com facebook.com

              ...problem solved.

              Until Facebook drops the pretense and begins spreading as a viral botnet. What can your precious hosts file do, when everywhere you point your browser, all you see is the Face of SkyNetBook?

              And there's no login required; it already knows who you are. It has already read, analyzed, and posted on your timeline all your formerly private files. Full details of everything you do will be instantly available for the world to read with no interaction neede

        • The problem with using your hosts file is it sometimes breaks pages you actually want to get to. I run into occasional issues with some stuff on Amazon.com, for instance.

          It also seems to dramatically slow down a small handful of sites - I'm not sure why.

          • by Anonymous Coward

            AlmostAllAdsBlocked's slower http://superuser.com/questions... [superuser.com]

          • by cdrudge ( 68377 )

            It also seems to dramatically slow down a small handful of sites - I'm not sure why.

            When you redirect an ad server to the connection has to timeout trying to connect to a non-existent server. Depending on what's trying to be loaded, it may block subsequent requests until the timeout happens, or result in an error that breaks the page if it's trying to load a javascript resource. If you redirect it to a IP address that responds with a 404 or a dummy transparent image or javascript file, then any bl

            • by caseih ( 160668 )

              No it doesn't have to time out. If no web server is running on, the connection attempt fails immediately. This is faster than a 404 even. If you had iptables dropping packets then that would result in a timeout. That's why I have iptables use the REJECT target for outbound things I'm trying to block. That way the connection fails immediately.

              • by cdrudge ( 68377 )

                You're right, it doesn't HAVE to. But what I wrote is likely the reason why there is a delay. On my Windows 7 laptop using Chrome, requesting a non-existent file on a port not open on localhost takes 1 second ± a few milliseconds before timing out.

                I run a development server on localhost so I can't just reject any connection to port 80, and whatever delay I do encounter due to a 404 is minimal enough that I don't bother "fixing" the problem any better than what I've already have.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          Not sure about Windows. But years ago, when I was using Windows, it did have a hosts file you could get at. Still true?

          I've heard that newer* versions of Windows have a penchant for overwriting or even completely ignoring the hosts file under the guise of "protecting the user". I've seen claims that it's because malware will use the hosts file to hijack domains, but that argument has even more holes now than it did when it first started, because with Windows 10, the OS started deliberately ignoring the hosts file when trying to send telemetry data and other private info back to MS servers, eliminating the user's easiest wa

        • Yes, Windows does have a hosts file, and this can be modified by a user with local admin rights. I expect content providers to eventually serve ads from their domain. They will move the targeting to the web server. We will still be tracked, and it will just be the server that asks the ad network for a targeted ad that is then served to you from the same domain. Right now, we can use the hosts file to manage much of the ad content, because they are served from a different domain from the content we want

    • by Oliver Wendell Jones ( 158103 ) on Sunday October 04, 2015 @04:00PM (#50657541)
      Or you could just uncheck the "Allow some non-intrusive" advertising check box...
    • by Anonymous Coward

      I think it sounds like a good idea in theory. If the 'approved ads' are just jpeg files saying 'Buy our stuff' with links to a legit website, I wouldn't mind that. I wouldn't mind ignoring a few ads as I browse to support the sites I use. Problem is, I don't trust anyone to do just that, and not annoying or potentially dangerous ads running a dozen different scrips linking who to who knows where if you happen to click it. I see no reason to just assume the approved ad program of the new mystery buyer ha

      • by nospam007 ( 722110 ) * on Sunday October 04, 2015 @04:13PM (#50657609)

        " I wouldn't mind ignoring a few ads as I browse to support the sites I use"

        I'm sorry but it's just stupid how they work. I bought 2 dozen pairs of socks 2 weeks ago at landsend and now (where I won't need any socks for some time...) I get bombarded with socks ads in my unadblocked browser as well as every goddamn landsend ad that exists.

        • If it were limited to banner adds shown I wouldn't care. It's invisiible whole-browser overlays and popups that I would consider unacceptable, along with autoplay video ads in sidebars.

          • by fyngyrz ( 762201 )

            If I surfed to "x.com" I don't consider it reasonable to find my browser heading over to "y.com"

            If, as a webmaster, you don't source your own ads, then I'm strongly inclined to block your advertising.

        • by spitzak ( 4019 ) on Sunday October 04, 2015 @05:37PM (#50658035) Homepage

          I was amused when I bought a blender online. I was deluged with ads for blenders! Hint: since I now have a brand-new blender, I am actually the least-likely person to want to buy a blender!

          I think I made it worse because I also searched for Blender the software.

        • I'm sorry but it's just stupid how they work.

          It's beyond stupid, Buy product x online, then get bombarded with ads for product x for months afterwards. Even though you are now the least likely person to buy product x because you already own it. It really makes Google look like a bunch of morons, and I can't figure out for the life of me why any advertiser would pay them for such a stupid service.

    • Symbiotic parasite (Score:5, Interesting)

      by goombah99 ( 560566 ) on Sunday October 04, 2015 @04:13PM (#50657611)

      I'm all for acceptable ads and acceptable tracking, afterall we all liked the benefit we got from durable cookies in the early pre-cancerous stages of the internet. that sort of tracking is not inherently bad by itself. But then it metastisized and it became neccessary to block it. So yay for ad blockers.

      But that just becomes an arms race. So enter "acceptable ads" in which certain ads are allowed in hopes of creating a viable not escalating equilibrium where the commercialization model of the internet is not soley based on pernicious forms of advertising. I don't know if this new equilibrium can be forced but as the new york times demonstrated the tracking and targeting consumes at least 1/3 of the web bandwidth we pay for, so it's worthy just to check that aspect.

          But when it becomes commercialized like ad block or ghostery one feels like it's a symbiotic parasite. It leaves you vulnerable to smaller subset of actors who did nothing more than pay to have access to you, the meat being sold by ghostery and ad block. it's like paying off the somali pirates or highway robbers to let coiaches pass. I became the product. yet at the same time it gives me a free benefit.

      Should I like this tapeworm that helps me shed unwanted pounds of bandwidth destroying ads and infective tracking systems? At the moment, the answer is there is no other answer.

      Either way, letting in the big corp. ads deemed acceptable-for-cash or going nuclear on all ads indiscimiately, ultimately narrows the information I get.
      However in one case, it limits which ads I see, and in the other it limits the profitability of sites trying to make a living with ad based bussiness models. I'd not want to choke off the free content I get, just to see fewer ads.

      I think think acceptable ads, as competition heats up for the service will let me pick gate keepers that force advertisers not to chew up my bandwidth or "excessively" track me.

      • by Kjella ( 173770 ) on Sunday October 04, 2015 @06:16PM (#50658199) Homepage

        The answer you end up with depends on who you think started it, yes some websites took advertising too far and users hated it. But instead of using the sites that had "acceptable" ads and stop using the sites that had "annoying" ads, the solution was to start blocking ads. Now I don't subscribe to the whole "blocking ads is stealing" tripe but obviously the whole point of ads is that people see them. If everybody blocks them, there no point in paying for them and so the sites don't get any funding and the model breaks down. And it was the low-hanging fruit that mostly got hurt, the scummy sites with annoying ads were also the ones who'd most quickly resort to circumvention techniques to shove the ads in your face anyway.

        The assumption here is that at least some users will be nice and accept to see som ads, if you're going to do that why not go for a real opt-in system? Tag all the advertising elements on your page with an <div class="ad">(ad goes here)</div>. Publish an advertising policy, like robots.txt Kindly ask ad blockers to replace ads tagged as such with "This website relies on advertising revenue to operate. You are currently blocking ads. Please click here to unblock and support our site."

        If you click it, you get a dialog saying:
        "This site has requested you to unblock ads. Their advertising policy is as follows:

        Banner ads: Yes
        Animated ads: No
        Ads with sound: No
        Interstitial ads: No
        Pop-ups: No
        Pop-unders: No

        [Unblock ads] [Cancel]

        You may at any time block ads again by.... (explanation)"

        Of course you could have dick ad blockers that just remove the ads, but I think the popular ones could be convinced to play nice. Sites wouldn't have to get on any approval list tied to any particular blocker and everyone would decide for themselves what sites they want to support. No money for just being click bait, users have to actually like you enough to unblock. Not sure it'd work, but if that won't work then "acceptable ads" won't either.

      • more likely advertiser will buy all adblock stuff around and slowly expand the acceptable ad programs until it becomes useless. If I learned one thing from history is that advertiser will go nuclear and escalate very quickly to the point of self destruction by obnoxiousness (pop up and pop under came relatively quickly in existence and became the plague they are, same with audio video ads).
    • Sorry, adblock, time to let your product die and we will go on to a product that actually blocks ads

      So then. Tell me how it feels to steal from Slashdot? After all that is what you are doing with ublock.

      I want to support websites with ethical ads that do not serve malware. Adblock is perfect!
      - No annoying video ads
      - No sound ads
      -No redirects where you have to hit somewhere else to go back to original site
      - No malware or sub contracts to any other ad network which usually does not have great security teams to check for malware/viruses
      - No zombie cookies in flash that can't be deleted

      If Slashdot wanted to b

      • So then. Tell me how it feels to steal from Slashdot? After all that is what you are doing with ublock.

        Slashdot gives me the option to turn off ads, but I have not done so. I do use adblock, but that is because slashdot is not the only site on the internet and other sites have ruined it for all.
        I think it is disingenuous to call it "stealing" from someone just because you won't allow them to use your bandwidth and your time and your computation resources and install malicious code, viruses and spyware on your computer. If I lock my door, am I "stealing" from a robber?
        If you consider it stealing to not dis

      • by BVis ( 267028 )

        After all that is what you are doing with ublock.

        You seem to think that the more something is repeated, the truer it gets. Nope. This was bullshit the first time someone argued it, it's bullshit now.

        I am stealing nothing. This content is freely available to anyone with a browser. I am under no obligation to view anything that I do not want to; therefore I block as many ads as possible. My eyeballs, my rules. I can instruct my browser to not download anything I don't want to see, therefore I do. That

    • Why? Annoying and insecure ads are the biggest reason to use an AdBlocker. If this message finally got through and we will start seeing "acceptable" ads, which for me would mean a simple, clickable image or text, without sound, animation, popup, or tracking, then I wouldn't mind seeing them if it supports the sites.

    • I use the FOSS Privacy Badger.

      With it I have to view the trackers, etc. and decide which I will block. I obviously block all moving / audio annoying adverts and some that I just don't want to see each time I visit a page of a particular website.

  • Ogden Nash (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Tokolosh ( 1256448 ) on Sunday October 04, 2015 @03:29PM (#50657407)

    The cow is of the bovine ilk;
    One end is moo, the other, milk.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    ABP was born out of the endless frustration of unwanted banners and spam. So once they start allowing it back in then i am betting someone will take over the torch and build a new blocker.

    If you want your products sold, then make a good product! The forums and people will take care of the rest.

    When you solely really on spam then your product must be crap or overpriced or redundant.

    Seriously, if pages are annoying then there are 10.000 others to choose from. These guys need another business model..

  • uBlock Origin (Score:5, Insightful)

    by eWarz ( 610883 ) on Sunday October 04, 2015 @03:38PM (#50657447)
    I use uBlock Origin. Works better than adblock. Flashblock, uBlock, and Ghostery. Nice fast load times.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      I use a custom HOSTS file. It works great regardless of how much these comapnies sell out. Highly recommended.
      • by cfalcon ( 779563 )

        You'll have to deal with more of a broken web with a custom hosts file, but it is a more solid option.

    • by Threni ( 635302 )

      This. Along with noscript and cookieselfdestruct, all of which work under Firefox on Android. What's not to like? I stopped using Chrome just so I could run plugins on my tablet and phone. I've no idea what's taking Google so long supporting plugins on Chrome on Android, but I no longer care.

      • by 0123456 ( 636235 )

        I've no idea what's taking Google so long supporting plugins on Chrome on Android, but I no longer care.

        Why would an advertising company want you to block ads in their web browser?

        Google must be crapping themselves at the growth of ad-blocking. And, to be fair, their ads aren't the kind that people really want to block, but they'll be collateral damage as everyone starts blocking everything.

  • They were sold to Adblock Plus.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Take the money and run - don't blame him

  • by ukoda ( 537183 ) on Sunday October 04, 2015 @03:51PM (#50657511) Homepage
    In the early days of Chrome one of the reasons I stayed with Mozilla was ad blockers. When Adblock Pro tried that trick on Mozilla I switched to Adblock Edge. I assume Chrome users will do the same or if they can't find a proper ad blocker will then switch browser.

    I started blocking ads because animated GIFs were too distracting to my thought processes. Now blocking ads is simple Internet security 101, just way too dangerous not to, and despite 'acceptable ad' programs is still an attack vector with no benefits if left open.
  • The ad industry probably believes it can stop the growth of ad blocking by consigning the big ad blocking apps and hoping users either wont notice 'approved' ads creeping into their browsing experiencing or that they'll be too lazy to find a replacement. But this is not like changing the default search engine of a browser to increase search traffic - ad blocking users are a much more motivated group. Not to mention that waving greenmail in the front of AdBlock will only encourage other developers to create
  • switch to microblock (Score:5, Informative)

    by nimbius ( 983462 ) on Sunday October 04, 2015 @04:08PM (#50657589) Homepage

    https://github.com/chrisaljoud... [github.com]
    faster, more efficient, and doesnt have a guilty conscience about blocking ALL the ads.

    while you're at it,
    http://winhelp2002.mvps.org/ho... [mvps.org]

    block advertisers by null routing them.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Host files do not null-route, they just instruct the resolver to give a "fake" response to name resolution queries. You can actually null-route advertisers if you know their ASNs (autonomous system numbers). Then you can use whois to look up their IP ranges and create null-routes to those ranges.

      For example, if you want to block all of Facebook, you find their ASNs (AS32934 and AS54115*), then you query the radb whois like this: whois -h whois.radb.net '!gAS32934' and whois -h whois.radb.net '!gAS54115'

    • Can I port my Adblock Plus Element Hiding Rules into uBlock? And does it have a similar element hiding helper?

  • by cfalcon ( 779563 ) on Sunday October 04, 2015 @04:16PM (#50657633)

    Adblock and Adblock Plus will now both ultimately take money in exchange for allowing ads. You can tell the agenda from the "default on" position.

    So, can we get a list of stuff that DOESN'T do this? Maybe with links to the developers saying why not?

    We can't edit posts on slashdot, normally for better, but this means I can't add to this list with responses. Still, respond please if you got'em!

    The ONLY ones I know for sure are:

    ** uBlock Origin **- For Firefox and Chrome, this blocks a lot of privacy related things. This one seems like you can customize it, and the addon page tells you about other ad lists you can also apply. Importantly, the developer (gorhill on github) has had to deal with "acceptable ad" beggars, and shuts them down. The odds of this addon staying clean seem very high based on this.

    Chrome store: https://chrome.google.com/webs... [google.com]
    Firefox: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-... [mozilla.org]

    I don't know if this works with popular privacy or usability forks of Firefox and Chrome, and maybe some Palemoons and Comodos and Waterfoxes and whatevers can chime in with details.

    The old Adblock Edge was a solid Firefox addon, but discontinued with a message to use uBlock Origin. The somewhat similar dramafilled uBlock (without the "origin") I think has no acceptable ads either, but I have a hard time googling that stuff.

    ** uBlock ** - This and uBlock Origin share a relatively recent codebase, but there are some developer disagreements. I couldn't find any evidence that uBlock uses acceptable ads, however, so definitely listing it:

    Chrome Store: https://chrome.google.com/webs... [google.com]
    Firefox: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-... [mozilla.org]

    *What else has no acceptable ad option*???

    I'd even be ok counting ones that have one that is disabled by default, something that uBlock Origin has fought off successfully.

    • by cfalcon ( 779563 )

      Score +3, Troll? For asking for a list of adblock options that don't accept payments for advertising? Pretty incredible lol. I mean, it's an article about that very thing!

      It's amazing that people don't want anyone talking about how to support and use products that don't allow an "acceptable ad list", as determined by a company that takes payments from advertisers- or more relevantly, an adblocker that defaults to not blocking ads.

      So far we have uBlock Origin, uBlock, and maybe the start64 apk list? Hard

    • I'll add to your list, AdBlock Plus shows no "acceptable ads" once you uncheck the "show acceptable ads" box. I see no problem with this, nor with it being the default position.

      What business is it of yours if other people don't mind viewing certain types of ads?

      • by cfalcon ( 779563 )

        Well, no, that doesn't count. That's the whole point of a list- find ad blockers that block ads without needing some technical workaround. We're trying to list adblockers that will never listen to a list of "ok ads". It's ok that you think that a "good advertisement" is one that just hacks YOU (while not also hacking your machine). But that's not what I want. I want advertisements to never be displayed in any capacity. Tools like these actually accomplish this goals- the ones that take payola to some

        • I want advertisements to never be displayed in any capacity.

          That's exactly what AdBlock Plus accomplishes, and better than the options you listed. Why better? It allows you to block all ads, but doesn't unnecessarily escalate the arms race.

          • by cfalcon ( 779563 )

            If it allows ads, it's an ad allower. We want an ad blocker. We probably need a term for that that actually means that thing, given that Ad Block Plus and now Ad Block are both in cahoots with advertisers.

            We are trying to talk about products that block advertising, with no trickery, deception, or payola. It's not controversial- just which ones do that? Sadly, the only thing that has been added to my original list of ad blockers that work out of the box (uBlock Origin and uBlock) was the APK Hosts Engine

    • Not necessarily true.

      How adblock plus works is they need to allow acceptable use to be able to display and you can still disable that. This means no full screen ads, sounds, malware, zombie cookies you can't delete in flash, redirects, etc.

      Websites still get paid only if they allow ethical ads. I am a fan of this as I do want to pay Slashdot and other sites. It is only fair that I take up their space, time, and bandwidth right?

      • by cfalcon ( 779563 )

        >Websites still get paid only if

        Websites still get paid only if they get paid somehow. We don't need to solve their economic problems, or support the advertising industry. If everyone blocks ads, then I guess we won't have to see ads. Anything beyond that is wild speculation, and more importantly, not our problem.

        > It is only fair that I take up their space, time, and bandwidth, right?

        If you cared you'd have a gold star by your name and be a subscriber. You either believe ads work on you, in which

        • I use adblock.

          My point was I like Slashdot for example to be paid only by ethical ads. To me I am willing to compromise and if a site is an asshole and uses 30 ad networks per page then 100% get blocked and they get no money.

          My point of view is it gives sites and ad networks an economic incentive to be ethical by adblock plus allowing only ethical ads with strict criteria with the option to block all.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Even if they turn acceptable ads on, I wouldn't see the difference, because I only use adblock for the element blocker. The ads themselves are blocked directly in my router using a custom firewall script and a bunch of HOSTS lists.

  • FUCK OFF APK (Score:2, Insightful)

    slashdigg is tired of your shit. seriously just fuck off.
  • Ads. Switched to a combo of privacy badger & Adguard.

"Don't worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you'll have to ram them down people's throats." -- Howard Aiken