In a surprising move last week, Adblock Plus announced it will soon start selling something they are calling “acceptable” ads. For those of you who do not know what Adblock Plus actually is, it’s an add-on used in browsers to block ads and prevent web site tracking. So I am sure most of you would find it strange that a program used to block ads, is now going to show your ads they deem “acceptable”. Before it was possible for users of Adblock to allow sites they liked to show them ads, but it seems Adblocker is taking this one step further.
They intend to create an ad marketplace where website operators can choose from their collection of ads, and use them on their site in place of known “bad” ads. The operations and communications director for Adblock Plus, Ben Williams, stated in a blog post that this initiative is supposed to be a decent “compromise between users and advertisers.”
On one hand advertising on the web has gotten more than out of hand in the last couple of years. Pop up ads, ads that are not able to be skipped, and ads that are unable to be muted, have been a constant source of annoyance for many watchers of media content. It has been a problem that many site owners have been ignoring because even though they are annoying, they bring in revenue.
It is that revenue however, that makes adblockers a terrible program for content creators. Millions upon millions of dollars in revenue each year is lost because of adblocking software. It’s a simple fact that most of these sites need the ads to bring in money, since for most content creators, the sites are their jobs.
Adblock Plus has the right idea to help cut down on bad ads, however, to profit of this gesture, does not seem the most moral thing they could have done.