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Advertising Censorship

Online Ad Czar Berates Adblockers As Freedom-Hating 'Mafia' (thestack.com) 539

An anonymous reader writes: Randall Rothenburg, the president and CEO of the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) has made a speech branding the creators of Adblock Plus (who were banned from the conference where he made this keynote) as "rich and self-righteous," and accused adblockers of subverting freedom of the press. Speaking at the IAB's annual conference, Rothenburg characterized the Adblock Plus team as "operating a business model predicated on censorship of content."
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Online Ad Czar Berates Adblockers As Freedom-Hating 'Mafia'

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  • by Foxhoundz ( 2015516 ) on Tuesday January 26, 2016 @02:09PM (#51374995)
    ...then I must a sadistic communist, as I have a suite of self-made chrome addons that will identify Analytics platforms and trigger false events, among blocking specific ads. :-)
    • by cayenne8 ( 626475 ) on Tuesday January 26, 2016 @02:19PM (#51375113) Homepage Journal
      If the government does it...it is censorship.

      If I, as a private citizen do it...it is selective viewing and reading of content.

      You know, these people seem to forget that the internet was NOT primarily created for revenue generation, but for free exchange of ideas on a network where every computer connected could be a peer with any other one connected.

      Ok, I know if you go back to the DARPA creation...that was mostly just to make a network capable of breaks in parts of it and still survive, but I"m alluding more to the web portion of the internet with my argument.

      But seriously, it was quite free before there were ads (and yes, I was on a long time before I saw any ads on the web)...and it continues to be free for ideas, but every individual surely should still have the freedom to view or not view certain content, and also, to block having their information captured.

      The internet and the web were NOT created for commerce, maybe someone needs to remind them of that....

      • by houstonbofh ( 602064 ) on Tuesday January 26, 2016 @02:30PM (#51375275)
        I wonder how he would feel if I came into his home and started randomly shouting my opinions at him and hacking his computer?
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by dshk ( 838175 )
          False analogy. You visit the web page, and not the web page visits you.
          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            by Anonymous Coward

            false analogy analysis. you visit website. ads from other websites shout at you on the site you visited.

          • by taustin ( 171655 ) on Tuesday January 26, 2016 @03:18PM (#51375793) Homepage Journal

            When the web page contains ads that include malware, in fact, yes, the web page does visit you. In much the same way diarrhea visits you after you visit the wrong hotel in Mexico.

            And since distributing malware is a very serious crime, the visiting public is entirely justified in protecting itself.

            Only an accomplice would argue otherwise. Since arguing otherwise makes one an accomplice.

            • by dshk ( 838175 )
              There is some truth in what you say, but in my experience ads as an attack vector are overrated. In my company there were four virus infections from which only one came from a web page (and not from an ad!). If you can be attacked by an ad, than you can be attacked by any random link on any random page.
              • by jedidiah ( 1196 ) on Tuesday January 26, 2016 @04:06PM (#51376291) Homepage

                Random untrusted executables are THE attack vector for malware.

                Advertising that forces you to accept executables from a wide array of random untrusted sources are forcing you to completely forgo any sort of security precautions.

                I've had colleagues taken out of action for days for browsing the wrong site with the wrong browser. This did not include any destinations that would be obviously suspicious.

                The industry really only has itself to blame for escalating the abusiveness of advertising. They work hard to earn everyone's distrust and hate.They should spend some of that effort on being less obnoxious. They employ enough effort at psychological manipulation.

          • by phantomfive ( 622387 ) on Tuesday January 26, 2016 @03:19PM (#51375811) Journal
            There's no such thing as an 'unfalse' analogy. Every analogy is false in some parts.
            This analogy has truth though: blocking some types of speech from coming into your ears and eyes doesn't make you 'freedom hating.' There is no first amendment requirement that people listen to you.
          • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 26, 2016 @03:57PM (#51376209)

            No, actually, it's much closer to the truth to say the web page visits you.

            Remember, when you "visit" a web page, all you're doing is sending a request to a server saying "hey, please give me a copy of this document". The server sends that document in response, and you view it on your computer. You are morally, ethically, and legally free to choose which parts of that document you accept onto your computer and load into memory.

            Your web page is a guest in my home. An invited guest, but a guest all the same. It will obey my rules if it expects to stay.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 26, 2016 @02:46PM (#51375479)

        I agree. Plus, I paid for my computer, and I pay for my bandwidth. Therefore, I AM THE ONLY ONE THAT GETS TO DECIDE WHAT IS DISPLAYED ON MY COMPUTER! Ad-blocking is self defense. Far too many ad servers are infected with viruses and malware/spyware. These bastards are pissed because we are blocking their ads, but this didn't happen in my case (and many others) until their ads became extremely annoying and headache inducing! Not only that, but their ads (if not blocked) slow down the loading of the web pages that I want to see, waste my (capped) bandwidth, and waste my time and attention.

        The advertisers and their organization are trying to make those of us who block their crap out to be criminals, but they are the REAL criminals, stealing what should be private information, stealing people's bandwidth, time and attention, and using it to further their greed at internet users expense, and against internet user's best interests.

        As far as I am concerned, these advertisers (especially the ones complaining about ad-blocking) are EVIL BASTARDS and they can EAT SH*T AND DIE!

      • I remember a post on USENET after 9/11. Some spammer made a post declaring that by seeking to keep spammers blocked that we were the "real terrorists". Seriously, smoke hadn't even died down yet. USENET basically died due to spammers. That same mindset is alive and well in advertisers today. Anything that threatens their revenue is the greatest evil that they can imagine in the world. It is very difficult to make a moral distinction between spammers and modern online advertisers.

    • by swschrad ( 312009 ) on Tuesday January 26, 2016 @02:23PM (#51375175) Homepage Journal

      let me tell you about The Market (tm), you idiot. you put something out there. if it sells, you do more. if it tanks, you change things up or quit.

      high-content bandwidth hog ads, especially delaying real content until those gobble gobble bastards are loaded and running, is not wanted. that's why we have ad blockers.

      if you would get your crap together at stop what you're doing, you would be smart in The Market (tm).

      if you piss and moan and toss crap off the podium, block your business when you smell an ad blocker, and refuse to do what The Market (tm) is telling you to do, you will fail, collapse, and go away.

      and you are, so you are a raving idiot. screw you. I am keeping my blockers up.

    • by Nutria ( 679911 )

      then I must a sadistic communist

      I bet you run Linux too. LOL

    • by frovingslosh ( 582462 ) on Tuesday January 26, 2016 @03:33PM (#51375949)
      I had expected that this ad blocker software was ineffective and didn't bother with it, but after this high recommendation by someone in the industry I'm going to install it.
    • I'm using Microsoft Edge at the moment which doesn't have an AdBlock yet (expecting Microsoft to make the appropriate platform available sometime 2016). The browsing experience without an ad blocker is fucking horrific. And this is what Randall "cock-juggling thundercunt" Rothenburg thinks my experience of the internet should be like all the time.

      What a twat.
  • One question (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Nidi62 ( 1525137 ) on Tuesday January 26, 2016 @02:11PM (#51375005)
    Since when is advertising "content"?
    • And since when is the ability to rejected unwanted things in opposition of freedom?

      • Re:One question (Score:4, Insightful)

        by gstoddart ( 321705 ) on Tuesday January 26, 2016 @02:44PM (#51375447) Homepage

        Since a bunch of greedy assholes needed to make a spurious semantic argument which painted themselves as the victims.

        This is an ad exec, which means he's a master at being a lying bastard who excels in puffery, false claims, and unfounded assertions provided without facts.

        He doesn't have to be true, just muddy the waters and confuse some people into believing his bullshit ... the exact same as his "product".

        You really think the ad companies saying "boo hoo, we're being censored" don't know every trick in the book the lie, manipulate, and skew the response their way all the while knowing damned well they're full of shit??

        He's just pulling out the entire PR/marketing spin/baffle-with-bullshit playbook, because that's what he knows best.

        • Re:One question (Score:5, Interesting)

          by amicusNYCL ( 1538833 ) on Tuesday January 26, 2016 @03:15PM (#51375767)

          You really think the ad companies saying "boo hoo, we're being censored" don't know every trick in the book the lie, manipulate, and skew the response their way all the while knowing damned well they're full of shit??

          Yeah, I realize that he's probably slightly more self-aware than he projects. I do really enjoy seeing these stories though. I have never been a fan of advertisers, on any medium, and seeing these people start to fight back, and seeing places like Forbes block people using ad-blockers, it just shows that our efforts are being noticed. We're finally eating into their bottom line enough that they've decided they need to fight back, and I love that. Advertisers have seemed so tone-deaf and obstinate that it's been so frustrating trying to deal with ads, so the fact that they're feeling it in their pocketbook means that we're finally getting through to them, finally forcing them to pay attention. Especially the name-calling of the ABP folks, I enjoyed that part especially:

          Now, you may be aware of a kerfuffle that began about 10 days ago, when an unethical, immoral, mendacious coven of techie wannabes at a for-profit German company called AdBlock-Plus took to the digisphere to complain over and over that IAB had "disinvited" them to this convention.

          Ooooh yes, more name-calling! Nothing says "I'm about to make a fantastic argument" like some grade-school-level name calling. And why are they "techie wannabes", of all things? Because they're beating him at every opportunity. He's in an arms race against people who are on a level that he doesn't even understand, so he specifically picks that as the way to insult them. I love it, he's admitting that he's getting beaten at the technical arms race. Instead of trying to figure out new ways to get around the filters, their solution is to just block people using the filters. Here's what I love even more: he's going to realize that their only solution is to end up paying ABP for inclusion on their whitelist, and as soon as that check is written he's going to wake up and realize that ABP just failed after everyone left and now there are 5 other blockers that people are using that don't have a whitelist. Who is he going to call names then?

          On another note, I noticed this question in his speech:

          But since you are here, I want to take the opportunity to ask you a personal question - a question that may make you uncomfortable.

          Go on.....

          Sure, $50 billion in revenue is a great thing - for the businesses taking it in. But how will we create - and how will you, personally, contribute to creating - the next $50 billion in value... value to society, value to the culture, value to your family, value to your friends and neighbors?

          Yeeeesssss... considering the fact that your work is not valuable to any culture, and that your friends and neighbors probably secretly hate you and the work you're doing, how are you going to personally create that ... ahem... "value"?

          But if money is your only goal, then you risk falling into relativism - a pernicious trap, for you begin weighing all potential returns based on the single metric of how much more money you can make. Truth, beauty, fairness, justice, honesty, civic pride, neighborliness - they become means to an end, rather than ends in themselves. That is debilitating, and ultimately deadens the soul.

          There you go, Ad Guy, THAT was the message you should have been spreading 20 years ago when you started. Now it's a bit late to try and get everyone "on board" with doing things the right way. You've spent the last 20 years treating things like truth, beauty, fairness, justice, and honesty as means to a profitable end, and now I'd like to invite you to Sit'n'Spin while you think about how you've spent those last 20 years. Welcome to your funeral.

          • how will you, personally, contribute to creating - the next $50 billion in value... value to society, value to the culture, value to your family, value to your friends and neighbors?

            I really hope that some day I have to seriously consider this question.

    • Re: One question (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Since when is advertising considered speech?

      Either way, you have the right to say it, I have the right to not listen.

    • Since when is advertising "content"?

      Since the rise of advertising gave birth to for-profit ad-ridden sites. The advertising is the content, the article is the filler. If people would view a blank page with nothing but ads, it would make them even happier, but they are willing to generate cheap trashy eyeball-bait if need be.

    • Re:One question (Score:5, Interesting)

      by phantomfive ( 622387 ) on Tuesday January 26, 2016 @03:22PM (#51375859) Journal
      Videos, pictures, and text advertisements are all referred to by the advertising industry as "creatives." Which makes sense in a way, because some artist or writer worked to make them.

      Want to know something else? You, the reader and user of the website, are referred to as "supply." Websites try to build up supply so they can fill the "demands" of advertisers. No joke. This sort of stuff is why I left the advertising industry and am never working there again.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 26, 2016 @02:11PM (#51375007)
    Censorship is when someone else prevents you from viewing the content that you want to see. Freedom is being able to view only the content that I want to.
    • by myrdos2 ( 989497 ) on Tuesday January 26, 2016 @02:14PM (#51375057)

      Freedom is being able to view only the content that I want to.

      Exactly. Might as well say that the makers of foam ear plugs are engaged in censorship.

  • by beschra ( 1424727 ) on Tuesday January 26, 2016 @02:13PM (#51375039)

    He might have a point or two if use of AB+ weren't voluntary. As it is, how is my choice to block his content censorship? I call it editing a data stream.

  • by neminem ( 561346 ) <neminem@@@gmail...com> on Tuesday January 26, 2016 @02:13PM (#51375041) Homepage

    Because I think it would be fitting if everyone were to forward him big packages containing all the unsolicited mail they've received recently. After all, that's "content" too, right, so if you don't want to receive it, you're "subverting freedom of the press" that allows anyone to send advertisements unsolicited to whoever they want and regardless of how annoyed they might get, right?

    • Because I think it would be fitting if everyone were to forward him big packages containing all the unsolicited mail they've received recently. After all, that's "content" too, right, so if you don't want to receive it, you're "subverting freedom of the press" that allows anyone to send advertisements unsolicited to whoever they want and regardless of how annoyed they might get, right?

      Nah... Just wander into his house at random times and tell him how you feel directly. Make sure you stand in front of whatever he is doing while you do it. And dance. And one in a while, try to hack his computer...

  • Rothenburg characterized the Adblock Plus team as "operating a business model predicated on censorship of content."

    As a consumer of content, I am allowed to pick the content I consume however I want. That isn't censorship.

    • Rothenburg characterized the Adblock Plus team as "operating a business model predicated on censorship of content."

      As a consumer of content, I am allowed to pick the content I consume however I want. That isn't censorship.

      Exactly. As an owner of a TV remote, I am allowed to pick the channel I wish to watch. A TV remote isn't any more of a censorship device than an ad blocker is.

  • I can't seem to get to one of the links, but I didn't see "mafia" in the first link, though click-bait headlines unsupported by actual content seem to be the standard at Slashdot these days.

    Much is being made of the fact that these asshats declined to let AdBlock people attend their conference. But really people, do you really think that the MPAA folks would allow the Pirate Bay guys to attend one of their conferences? Really?

    The whole "story" such that it is, is Dice / Slashdot click bait.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 26, 2016 @02:15PM (#51375059)

    As far as I'm concerned the ad companies did this to themselves as soon as the volume of data for advertising became greater than the content I wanted to read. Oh, and malware, lots of malware. And visually irritating ads like the old shock the monkey banners. And the creepy way ads seem to know what I buy online and show me similar products on various pages. Creepy AF. Screw those crybabies. They created the conditions that gave rise to ad blocking, and they need to focus on creating an environment where the ads once again become less intrusive.

    (relevant capcha: "sanest")

    • And the ads that looked like windows system dialog boxes warning you of how you need to fix $PROBLEM now by clicking.

      Looked really strange on linux.

  • What nonsense (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Kierthos ( 225954 ) on Tuesday January 26, 2016 @02:15PM (#51375061) Homepage

    First and foremost, "Freedom of the press" applies to the government not restricting the press. If a private citizen tells a reporter "Get off my property", it's not restricting freedom of the press. If a web forum says in their terms and conditions that you can't talk about topics X, Y, and Z, it's not restricting freedom of the press.

    And if an ad-blocker blocks ads, it's not restricting freedom of the press.

  • by PessimysticRaven ( 1864010 ) on Tuesday January 26, 2016 @02:16PM (#51375075)

    "Moron says words and things that mean stuff and whatnot."
    Or
    "Advertisers hate things that prevent people from seeing advertisements."

  • Randall Rothenburg, ... accused adblockers of subverting freedom of the press.

    (a) The First Amendment only applies in the US, and (b) only applies with regard to the Government. Why don't people understand this?

    Rothenburg characterized the Adblock Plus team as "operating a business model predicated on censorship of content."

    People have the right to determine what is/isn't downloaded to their own devices, using the bandwidth for which they pay.

    There's so much wrong with Randall's "rich and self-righteous" comment that I don't even know where to start.

    • by PRMan ( 959735 )

      There's so much wrong with Randall's "rich and self-righteous" comment that I don't even know where to start.

      People always accuse others of their greatest sin. It's a guilt thing.

      • There's so much wrong with Randall's "rich and self-righteous" comment that I don't even know where to start.

        People always accuse others of their greatest sin. It's a guilt thing.

        Sounds about right. It also seems that hypocrites are blind to the maligned traits in themselves. Don't know if it's willful or not.

  • It was really odd as I read this I was thinking to myself this sounds awfully a lot like the arguments that spammers gave me when they found out their account was turned off. Of course it's not fair to lump them into the same category as that because they place these ads on the sites and not just cram your own space full of stuff. I think this guy needs to take a step back though and really look at what some people are doing that may or may not be members and see it's a reason for the ad blocking. The ov

    • by Zephyn ( 415698 )

      It's called spammers vs news.admin.net.abuse.* from 20-odd years ago. Same plot, different actors.

  • by Lendrick ( 314723 ) on Tuesday January 26, 2016 @02:23PM (#51375171) Homepage Journal

    There have been great debates on the differences between government censorship versus censorship by berating or harassing someone until they self-censor, but regardless of how you feel about those things, making a tool that allows a user to alter the content that they view isn't censorship, because everyone still has the ability to view those ads if they choose to do so.

    I'll continue blocking ads as long as they are these things:

    * A vector for malware
    * A huge distraction with animations, bright colors, flashing, jiggling, noise, etc
    * Potentially misleading (fake DOWNLOAD buttons, etc)

    The internet ad industry has dug this hole itself. They've turned the web into a giant shithole, and people are discovering how much better things are when you block them.

  • They're absolutely correct; the makers of Adblock Plus are engaging in censorship of digital advertising created by some others and allowing through the digital advertising created by some others, which isn't optimal and thus there are different solutions which do not opt for such fickle behavior.

    However, the key part here is that it isn't by force, it's by choice of the enduser of the product; in direct juxtaposition of being on the receiving end of forced digital advertising delivery.

    In almost all cases,

  • Randall Rothenburg, the president and CEO of the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) has made a speech branding the creators of Adblock Plus (who were banned from the conference where he made this keynote) as "rich and self-righteous," and accused adblockers of subverting freedom of the press.

    The subject of his keynote perhaps sheds some light on why ABP was uninvited from the event. It's like the IAB is declaring war on its own audience, instead of fixing the problems that caused not just a desire for

  • Adblock is the single greatest thing that's ever happened to my measly 5/1 DSL plan.

  • by gstoddart ( 321705 ) on Tuesday January 26, 2016 @02:25PM (#51375205) Homepage

    Speaking of self-entitled assholes, here comes the ad people equating seeing their ads with speech and censorship.

    Lying assholes.

    See, nobody is limiting your freedom of speech, because nobody is in any way obligated to watch your ads. We're certainly not obligated to let you run scripts, set cookies, or perform analytics on us.

    Randal Rothenburg is a self-serving idiot who thinks his desire to sell a product somehow confers an obligation on us to hear about his product.

    Which means I'll block the shit out of any and all ads while I have the technology to do so, because you're not paying for my bandwidth, you're not taking responsibility for the malware you serve, and you're not compensating me at all for anything.

    Fuck you, and your belief that your business model in any way imposes an obligation on people who don't give a shit about your business model.

    Sorry, this is a guy who profits from selling ads with his panties in a bunch about someone who profits by blocking ads, and acting like his fucking rights are being trampled ... you have no fucking "right" to push content to my machine if I've identified you as a parasite. And thankfully, in Germany at least, the courts have agreed.

  • It is a business model predicated on censorship of content.

    That's why I choose to use it. To censor content.

    If it was being forced on me, that'd be a problem.

    It isn't. Long live censorship!

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Tell ya what, Randall. How about we have someone step-up on stage right in front of you, take the podium, and shout to advertise that there are hot Russian brides waiting in this area for YOU.

    Then, during your speech, we allow various individuals to talk over you to tell us the virtues of the X10 camera. You remember that, Randall? The X10?! Maybe we all want to hear more about that then whatever the hell you're talking about.

    Then, finally, as you finish your speech, the convention security should invit

  • by rtkluttz ( 244325 ) on Tuesday January 26, 2016 @02:29PM (#51375257) Homepage

    Where are the users when adblockers and advertisers duke it out? The adblockers only exist because we have a fundamental right to receive at our computers exactly what we ask for exactly where we ask for it from. I don't trust who CNN, slashdot or any company decides to trust to supply them with ads. I don't want content being pushed to my system from any server except the exact one I chose to receive info from. I reserve the right to use any program of my choice to make it so, whether it is "in-browser" adblockers, hostname blocking, blocking at the firewall, whitelists etc. Get over yourself advertisers, not a damn thing changed when we went from newspapers to web. You buy advertising at your own risk that people won't look at it.

  • by jdavidb ( 449077 ) on Tuesday January 26, 2016 @02:30PM (#51375265) Homepage Journal

    Online Ad Czar Berates Adblockers As Freedom-Hating 'Mafia'

    Yes, that's me. I'm a jerk, and I'm the mafia, and I block your ads, and I'm the end of Western Civilization as you know it, and worst of all I don't even care.

    What are you going to do about it?

  • They are a criminal conspiracy that engage in unauthorised computer access, counterfeiting and click fraud.

    Counterfeiting - Ads masquerading as download buttons [pcworld.com] leading to Click Fraud [wikipedia.org]

    They should face RICO charges.

  • Someone has ignored his sky-fairy bestowed right to make money by filling up our screens with flashy bullshit so he's going to scream, or possibly hold his breath until he turns blue.

    Diddums.
  • ... that speech is such an incredible mound of crazy that I don't even know where to begin.

    When you get back to your office, look around you at work, and pay attention. For these are your friends and colleagues who are under attack. Their skin is black, and brown, and ochre, as well as white. They speak Mandarin, and Spanish, and Hindu, and Farsi, as well as English. They celebrate Diwali, and Kwanzaa, and Ramadan, as well as Christmas and Chanukkah. And they are under assault.

    And when they are under attack, you are under attack. For they are the future of the American economy. They are the future of consumption. They are the future of advertising and media. They are your childrens’ classmates, your in-laws, the parents of your future grandchildren.

    OK ... so who, exactly, has these fine folks "under assault"?

    It is for this very reason – the virtuous circle that links freedom to advertise to freedom of the press to freedom of expression to economic freedom – that Article 19, the influential NGO, says: “The right to freedom of expression covers any kind of information or ideas, not only contributions to political, cultural or artistic debate but also mundane and commercially motivated expressions.”

    And this is why I hate the ad-block profiteers.

    Evil is revealed!

    Shine, an Israeli startup trying to sell ad-blocking software to mobile phone networks, is backed prominently by Horizons Ventures, the VC arm of Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-Shing, and run by his girlfriend. His other investments include Spotify and Facebook.

    The latest ad-blocking company is a Web browser startup called “Brave.” It was launched by former Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich, whose last major investment was in banning gay marriage in California. His business model not only strips advertisements from publishers’ pages – it replaces them with his own for-profit ads.

    Notice how quickly we went from cultural inclusiveness to blaming the Chinese and the Israelis (but gay marriage!)

    They may attempt to dignify their practices with such politically correct phrases as “reasonable advertising,” “responsible advertising,” and “acceptable ads”; and they can claim as loudly as they want that they seek “constructive rapport” with other stakeholders. But in fact, they are engaged in the techniques of The Big Lie

    I guess he knows the Big Lie when he sees it.

    Well, in their race to the bottom and frenzy for investment, the ad-block profiteers seem more intent on killing each other than on killing advertising

    Oh, God. It's the ad blockers who are in a race to the bottom...

    But more importantly, an embrace of LEAN principles will bring this industry back to the rational center – focused on making money, to be sure, but cognizant that successful businesses require long-term attention to and concern for the users themselves. Remember that those users represent all races and creeds, and that their happiness success means your success and happiness, too.

    Also, kittens! And babies! And kittens!

  • Looks like adblockers are working then.
  • I love my Ad Blocker!!!!!
  • by Jawnn ( 445279 ) on Tuesday January 26, 2016 @02:57PM (#51375611)
    I believe that we can agree that freedom is good. Right? You're free to riddle your site with shit that makes the user experience miserable, even dangerous [wikipedia.org]. You own the web site, after all. By the same token, I am free to configure my software to behave as I see fit. If I want to configure it to make my visit to your web site suck less, it's my right. After all, I own that software, not you. One would think that an intelligent man like yourself would get that and, moreover, understand the motivation to pursue technologies like ad blockers and do a little soul-searching about how you're doing things. But that's not what's happening. Instead, you're lashing out at people and organizations that are solving the problems you created. Wake TFU, m'kay?
  • An *advertising* organization. Why is anyone here taking anything in that speech at face value?

  • To make sure I understand this:

    * Ads that IAB members send to my browser are expression of free speech, and by blocking them I am violating the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
    * Real people from AB+ attending a conference are ... umm, not sure what their speech counts as ... and by blocking them from attending the IAB is ... umm ... not violating something something?

    No, I guess I don't understand after all.

  • by gestalt_n_pepper ( 991155 ) on Tuesday January 26, 2016 @03:47PM (#51376095)

    If they didn't interrupt,
    block my view,
    stop my train of thought,
    jump my page up and down and around...,
    give me viruses,
    eat up precious bytes that *I* must pay for with their video and audio...

    If they did what they do in newspapers. Stay in little, quiet, static sized blocks, doing nothing but waiting for me to click if I'm interested, there would be no adblockers, nor need for any.

    The online advertising industry has brought this on themselves. They have nobody but themselves to blame.

  • Because if I ever thought I could get away with it, I'd drag Randall Rothenburg (hell, include 98% of his entire industry in that) into a dark alley and kneecap the worthless piece of shit.

    And I'd still hold the moral high-ground vs what he does for a living.
  • by s13g3 ( 110658 ) on Tuesday January 26, 2016 @04:31PM (#51376531) Journal

    I have every right to censor what content I do or do not want to see. I have every right to mute annoying TV ads, skip them, or walk away from the screen, and with my personal computer and internet service, if I want to use - what could arguably said security-focused - tools like AdBlocker to help prevent my internet connection (be it landline, or the much more usage-sensitive wireless/mobile options) from being bogged down with awful, intrusive, and annoying ads, and secure myself against the ad-space that is regularly exploited by malware and the like, that's my right.

    The advertiser has every right to speak, to put their speech out there for all to hear, and to not have to fear government censorship (within certain limits). They do NOT have any right to force me to hear their speech when I don't want to, especially when it is not just on a public street corner somewhere I can choose not to go, but is being piped into my home. Just as I have the right to choose who I let in my front door, I have the right to choose who and what I let in my internet doors. If the hosting site suffers too much and doesn't like it, they can always consider a subscription service, or building their content in a different way, and then I can choose to get my content someplace that exercise some restraint over their advertisers and keep it reasonable.

  • by U2xhc2hkb3QgU3Vja3M ( 4212163 ) on Tuesday January 26, 2016 @05:11PM (#51376907)

    Static text? Fine. The bandwidth required is so negligible that you would not even notice if you removed them from the page.

    Static images? Fine. The bandwidth required is so low that you would probably not really notice if you removed them from the page. As long as they stay in their place and don't try to block the content I'm reading, this is fine most of the time.

    Animated images, HTML5/Javascript, Flash, Java, Video ads? It's so much worst because those waste a lot of bandwidth, distract us from reading the page and waste CPU cycles and battery life.

    If we want to buy your products and services, we'll notice the ad. If we're interested, we'll click on it. Otherwise, all you're doing is wasting everyone's time and ressources including your own.

  • by hey! ( 33014 ) on Tuesday January 26, 2016 @05:18PM (#51376977) Homepage Journal

    I was watching a video of the Bundy crowd tearing down a SCADA camera at an electrical substation (which I suspect was a utility co camera they mistook for an FBI surveillance camera), railing against a federal government "that serves the rich and elite of this Earth."

    Now this guy reached into his bag of insults for something to smear the ad blocker developers with and came up with "rich and self-righteous."

    No wonder Bernie Sanders is doing so well; he was so far behind marching to his personal different drummer that now he's out in front of everyone else on the track. If it's a three way general election between Trump, Bloomberg and Sanders, Sanders will cream them. All he has to do is stand up on the debate podium, wave his hand in the direction of the other two and say, "I rest my case."

  • Freedom of the Press (Score:3, Interesting)

    by davesays ( 922765 ) <{moc.tpedateg} {ta} {rekab.evad}> on Tuesday January 26, 2016 @06:45PM (#51377699)
    Why doesn't his association just put up a webpage of all their content and wait for the page hits to come in? Surely, people cannot wait to see it. $$Profit?

"If truth is beauty, how come no one has their hair done in the library?" -- Lily Tomlin

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