The Pros and Cons of Ad Block
by PProvencher on December 3, 2017 - 11:18am
This articles analyses the effects ad block has on publishers/journalists, the ethical questions to consider when using an ad blocker, as well as privacy and potential alternatives to this problem. Ad block, being software installed on peoples computers that enables them to block and deflect various forms of virtual ads, has many pros for the users, but also many cons for publishers and journalists. Some of the pros include not allowing these third party websites, which are responsible of most of these ads on websites, to track your personal information and behaviours. with this information that they would otherwise track they would be able to target specific ads at you to try and get you to spend more. Ad Block can also be effective in blocking some malware from infecting your computer. Ad block also speeds up page loading times, since ads do not have to be loaded up, as well as reducing the amount of data used to do so. A study showed that in most cases more data is used to load the ads then editorials on certain popular news websites. Some of the cons against ad blocking are that mainly "ad blocking contributes to the death of independent media”. If websites are not able to advertise their revenue decreases therefore making it harder for them to pay wages to their employees resulting diminishing quality of their posts. A study showed that there was nearly 200 million internet users using some sort of ad bock software across the world. A lot of this population living in Europe with Greece having the highest rate in the continent of almost 37% of its internet users having an ad block software installed. Ad blocking has been held responsible for a dip of billions of dollars in virtual ad revenue, and it is not showing any sign of slowing down. An Acceptable Ad Manifesto aiming to eliminate the "annoying ads" has been implemented by ADP but this still has its issues. This problem is still emerging and no solution seems clear.
Growing up I always thought that the community should do what is better for the greater good of the people. In this case that view of how things should be can take me in both directions. One way to look at it would be that Ad block is good for the people. Reducing the wait time to see content on the internet as well as keeping the users information private and protecting them from annoying ads. Another way to look at this would be that ad block is not sustainable in the long term for good content on the internet and that good quality content is what is better for our society. Since, as mentioned in the article, less revenue equates too weaker quality. As much as I love ad block, I am on the fence as to if it is what is better for everyone. How do you feel about this issue, do you think we should reconsider using an ad block software?
Steinberg, Luc. “The Pros and Cons of Ad Blocking Explained.” EAVI, Article, Digital Literacy, 29 July 2017, eavi.eu/explainer-pros-cons-adblocking/.