Ethics of Adblocking

It’s commonly known amongst people who frequently use the internet that ads are annoying. It’s a simple fact. Ads may be intrusive, loud, and make your web browser slower. The solution to this is Ad Blocker, a piece of software that blocks advertisements (An example of the title being the explanation) that can be installed for free.


With people wanting a smoother, a more refined browsing experience, there has been an increase of people downloading said software. As with everything however, there is always a side against such a thing. Advertising is what funds many websites that we all use. If people aren’t exposed to these advertisements, then those websites are unable to gain revenue from allowing ads on their website. That’s a reasonable argument. A less reasonable one in my opinion is that advertisers say that in return to the free content we get from the internet, we should just tolerate the advertisements.


There could be a silver lining to this for advertisers. Ben Williams, a spokesman for a German company that has made Adblock Plus has said “What we need is a sea change in the industry to get to a place where we have a good amount of better ads out there, ads that users accept.” He thinks that if advertisers were to publish something that people enjoy then people would refrain from using Adblock or similar software.


An Irish start-up company named PageFair has used their own software to estimate that ad blocking will cost advertisers approximately $22 billion this year. This amount of lost revenue has caused publishers to actually use PageFair to circumvent ad blocking software and expose people to advertisements.


In the end, it’s a debate that neither side will win. Both have their own respective and valid arguments. Until advertisers decide to create less intrusive and vexing ads, then the resistance against advertisements will continue. Vive la revolution!

-Edward O’Neill

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