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Is Ad-blocking Theft

Page history last edited by Paul Nicholas Santos 6 years, 7 months ago

Title of the Essay:   

     Is Ad-Blocking Theft?, Holly Richmond, October 13, 2015  


Title of the Reflection:   

     Corporate Entitlement and User Fraud 


First Impression:   

     My first impression about the article would be the issue of criminalizing the blocking of ads in the internet.  



      "And why shouldn’t you block ads? They’re ugly, distracting, and often include a tracking pixel that mines your personal data and online activity." 

Reflection Proper:   

     Ads are the lifeline of the websites. It is their main source of income. It is also the reason why we, their customers or users, are able to see or use their content for free. If we take away their lifeline, then we can expect a reply from them; which is to give out plans that will cost us, their customers or users, some money.  

On the other hand, if we let these companies go ahead with their current process of gathering user information and using it to show relevant ads and selling it to other companies would be a breach of our privacy even though it is under their terms of conditions. 

     Looking into the point-of-view of both parties, we can say that both sides made a mistake on the other.  

     In terms of the customers or users, we are crippling the lifeline of the said websites by using ad blocker. We take their content for grant simply because we can access them for free. We tend to forget that it takes time and effort to create such content and that it is what sustains the life of the content creators and their family’s life as well. Thus, it seems right for them to simply ask for fees if the ad blocker is on.  

     In terms of the content creators, they gather information about their customers and users. Although they do it legally, it looks as if it was a forced consent – a person needs to agree to their terms and conditions, which entails that they need to sacrifice their privacy, before a person will have the chance to be able to use or see their content. It is innate in every human being to be able to have their own privacy and it is bad business practice to use the online activity of other people in order to gain profit. 

     Looking at the possible solutions, giving the users the option to pay for no ads would be a good idea. This option goes to people who doesn’t want to see any ads while they are surfing online. This, however, won’t solve the whole problem. I think that there should be other ways in which content creators should rely on other than the subscription, donation, and ad revenue solutions. They need to diversify their way of getting income other than those three. Other ways of getting income would be sponsorships, partnerships, selling content-related products, etc…  A good example of this would be the youtuber named Linus Tech Tips since he has three ways of getting money, which are the following: subscription (both on YouTube and on their website), advertisements, and sponsorships.  

     To end this, I would like to summarize my views on the said article. First, both parties made a mistake on the other party. Second, we, as the customers or users, need to understand that ads are the lifeline of content creators. It is what keeps them going. Third, that prohibiting the use of ad blocker is not a great solution and that there is a need for content creators to diversify their modes of income other than gathering user information and showing ads.  


5 Things I’ve learned: 

  1. Ads are the lifeline of websites to make money. They use it to maintain their sites and to sustain their daily needs. 
  2. Some people block a website’s lifeblood by using ad blocker; thus, they are prohibiting the creators of the website to make money from the content that they created, which is an injustice towards them. 
  3. Companies store information about the user and use ads that are compatible with the user. They can also sell the information they got from the user to another company.  
  4. They are some people who are willing to spend money in order not to see ads while they are surfing the web. 
  5. Some companies or content creators ask for donations to sustain them. Since their main source of income, which are ads, are blocked by their viewers with the use of ad blocker, they asked these people to give donations to them if they are not willing to see ads while looking at their content. 


5 Integrative Questions:  

  1. Is there a way for us to stop companies from banning the use of ad blocker? 
  2. At the same time, is there a way for us to inform users of the effects of the use of ad blocker to companies or owners of websites? 
  3. What other ways can both sides compromise on the said situation? 
  4. Does prohibiting something really work or does it entice the person to do it more? 
  5. How can we achieve a compromise between two parties other than the given solution? 


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