AfterDawn: Tech news

AdBlock Plus to stop, um, blocking all ads

Written by Andre Yoskowitz (Google+) @ 12 Dec 2011 22:44 User comments (41)

AdBlock Plus to stop, um, blocking all ads The popular browser extension AdBlock Plus is likely to lose a large number of its fans soon.
Instead of blocking all ads like intended, the app will now allow "acceptable ads" to load.

The qualifications have not been finalized, but here is what we know so far for "acceptable ads," via digitizor:

Static advertisements only (no animations, sounds or similar)

Preferably text only, no attention-grabbing images

At most one script that will delay page load (in particular, only a single DNS request)


Of course, you can still add those ads to blocked lists, but they won't be the default anymore.

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41 user comments

112.12.2011 22:46

I loved this app, really cleans ups the web, I guess no more updates for me

212.12.2011 22:47

That is the dumbest thing...they are even allowing ads that slow page loads? I am sure someone else will come along, take their idea, and use it to spank their a**.



312.12.2011 22:49

Thanks for the notice, disabling updates.

412.12.2011 23:04

This sucks, really, What next, condoms that only stop select fluids or sperm?

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 12 Dec 2011 @ 23:04

512.12.2011 23:45

Thanks. Disabling auto-update. Should be fine now I suppose.


Check out my "PS2 Slim Internal HDD" Its a slim ps2 with an internal hdd! Here
Also Check Out My "Pc In An Xbox" Mod. Theres a whole Pc inside of it! Here

612.12.2011 23:49

...i dont see the problem?
I mean... I think its stupid but its not like we can't block it ourselves, and I don't know about other users but I have a very long list of my own personal ad urls to be blocked. I don't really see this affecting anyone.


Carpe Noctem

713.12.2011 0:14

I think the wording on this might be a bit misleading. If I understand this correctly, AdBlock Plus (the extension) will continue to block whatever it's told to block. AdBlock Plus (the organization) will just alter their own blacklists so that they let through well-behaved ads. If users still want to block all ads, they can, either by subscribing to alternative blacklists (there are quite a few) or by (GASP!) manually blocking troublesome ads. :-D

I'm not opposed to letting unobtrusive ads through though. The truth is that many good websites could not exist without ad revenue, and allowing advertisers who are conscientious about their ads to reach their audience is not a bad thing.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 13 Dec 2011 @ 0:15

813.12.2011 1:17

As Andre Yoskowitz stated:

Quote:
Of course, you can still add those ads to blocked lists, but they won't be the default anymore.

You can still get the new versions just like before but this time AdBlock won't block every ad automatically. It's functionality should remain unchanged if I'm right.
I personally use Opera anyway and I don't mind normal static adds, but those with Flash animations really need to go.


913.12.2011 3:51

Originally posted by flyingpen:
...i dont see the problem?
I mean... I think its stupid but its not like we can't block it ourselves, and I don't know about other users but I have a very long list of my own personal ad urls to be blocked. I don't really see this affecting anyone.
The problem is that you now have to be able to see the ads to block them...and that means if they are viral, you got them. If they have a bad DNS, then the page fails to load and you can't block them.


1013.12.2011 4:00

Originally posted by KillerBug:
The problem is that you now have to be able to see the ads to block them...and that means if they are viral, you got them. If they have a bad DNS, then the page fails to load and you can't block them.
No, it doesn't mean that. You can simply go to the settings and change "Block all ads" selection on "On" and it will work as it has worked now. I.e. you don't have to block manually ads from each site. ONLY thing that changes is that unobtrusive ads will be permitted by plugin's default settings, which IMO is great.

Consider this: Ads pay the salaries of news writers on sites like AfterDawn. For us, as a tech site, ad blocking is quite major problem. We have guestimated, based on variety of data, that if people who visit our site, would stop blocking our ads, we could afford to hire 2-3 more news writers and boost our news & content output to double from our current levels.

And no, with most medium-to-large sized websites you don't have to click on ads. Sites make money by showing you the ads, i.e. advertisers pay for impressions, not for clicks. Thus, the argument "I never click on ads" is an irrelevant one.

Summary: If you like a particular site, allow its ads to load, no matter how much annoyance that causes to you. By doing that and encouraging others to do so too, will help the site financially. In real life, it means that site has more resources to put into content, etc.

Petteri Pyyny (pyyny@twitter)
Webmaster
http://AfterDawn.com/

1113.12.2011 6:12

AD has paid news writers? Really? Then why does the news take 2-3 days to make it from other sites to here, and then look copy-n-pasted half the time?

Oh, and I won't unblock AD ads; I have gotten malware here in the past and was told it was out of your control because you don't choose the ads or check to make sure they are safe. This is most of the reason I block ads everywhere...because google does most of the advertising online, and they allow malicious ads all the time; they don't even take steps to limit the ability to make a malicious ad.



1213.12.2011 6:51

Originally posted by KillerBug:
AD has paid news writers? Really? Then why does the news take 2-3 days to make it from other sites to here, and then look copy-n-pasted half the time?
That's entirely your opinion, sure. Of course, unique news are hard to come by -- I'd say on any tech news site, about 98% of the news are sourced from somewhere else. Considering however the amount of references other sites make to our content (about 100'000 domains linking to us), I could argue that our 12yrs+ of news output has some merits, even though the majority of news (just like with everybody, whether its HuffPo, NYT or Engadget) are build on news reporting, press releases, etc of/from other companies.

Then again, criticizing is always the easiest part.

Being back to the topic, I'd say that yes, advertisers & ad networks need to build better practices too, in order to keep the advertising clean. It is obviously ad networks duty to maintain their advertisers' ads clean and IMO they have improved their act quite well during the past couple of years.

Petteri Pyyny (pyyny@twitter)
Webmaster
http://AfterDawn.com/

1313.12.2011 7:14

I am sure ABP is trying to sell out and make profit. That is usually the reason for changes like this. Advertisers will eventually have to sign up with them and have certain agreements in place in order to be put on the 'good' list. It may not be that way at first but it is coming.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 13 Dec 2011 @ 7:14

1413.12.2011 9:04

As I have said many times. I have no problem with nice static ads in header or footer or even on the side, it's when they fire up flash and java and floating frames and jump all over the place they really p*** me off big time, especially on the older slower hardware I tend to run. We ain't all rich and having to wait while a 40mb page full of ads loads does more harm than good.. I just leave sites like that and never return, so annoying large multimedia ads very often defeat the object by driving potential revenue traffic away.

P.S.. still running the site "java free" as much as possible..(no annoying floating sidebar etc) it still has the old "look and feel" us oldsters know and at one time used to love :)




ARR! Them pesky Navy! Get out of my sea!
irc://irc.villageirc.net/afterdawn http://www.pirateparty.org.uk/

1513.12.2011 9:44

Originally posted by KillerBug:
AD has paid news writers? Really? Then why does the news take 2-3 days to make it from other sites to here, and then look copy-n-pasted half the time?

Oh, and I won't unblock AD ads; I have gotten malware here in the past and was told it was out of your control because you don't choose the ads or check to make sure they are safe. This is most of the reason I block ads everywhere...because google does most of the advertising online, and they allow malicious ads all the time; they don't even take steps to limit the ability to make a malicious ad.
In response to your top comment, go to _any_ other tech site and trace the source of what they write, afterdawn has the common decency to link to a source every time we use it, even though the vast majority do NOT, and that's even taking into account the fact that 99% of all news reported by tech sites is either press releases, or rumors posted to forums, blogs etc, basically, information put out intentionally to the public domain.

In a case where, for example, a news organization gets an exclusive from an inside source, we don't just link back but we name the source too (Wall Street Journal, Reuters, AP, AFP, New York Times etc. are the main sources of this type of news).

As for direct copy and paste, like ANY news outlet we do this only in cases of direct quotes, or like in the blurp above, a "description" provided by a developer etc. We do not copy and paste what other sites write.

If you are to complain to us about these practices, then be fair and also complain to... BBC, Ars Technica, The Register, Reuters, About-Electronics, AllThingsD, AppleInsider, BetaNews, CDFreaks/MyCE, CNET, DailyTech, Electronista, Engadget, Gizmodo, MacRumors, MacWorld, P2PNet, TorrentFreak, PCWorld, Pocket-Lint.co.uk, Slashdot, Slyck, TechCrunch, TechSpot, Techdirt, TGDaily, The Verge, GamesIndustry.biz, EuroGamer, Joystiq, Kotaku and so on... all of those are just off the top of my head as other websites I read regularly.

Hell, in many cases we even chose to link to a source for news that we could find the official source of (press release, conference call with investors, research firm reports etc.) if we took the time, and that's the same for so many other sites. Look at how Engadget often gives several sources for the same news, as an example.

Now in the past couple of years, due to growing concerns about the future of big news organizations, we've seen the growth of pay walls and other ways to try to squeeze more money out of news, but since other big news organizations report the same news its more or less a backwards move. On the Internet, news outlets rely heavily on sites like Google News, and search engine results, in order to get traffic. This is WHY we always link back to a source (unless, of course, the source issued press release or press statement) because of the link economy... if we link back to Reuters, which we do almost every day, then Google, Bing etc. detect that and give more weight to the Reuters article in both news and general results.

Dont take my word for it.

Why I believe in the link economy
-- written by Chris Ahearn, President, Media at Thomson Reuters.


So on that count, AfterDawn does exactly what everyone else does. We provide news as a courtesy for users, its by NO WAY our main source of traffic, not even scratching the surface, it's just there as a stream of content, and if you don't link it, well its not like there's a shortage of other sites' news to read now, is there?

On the malware claim, I've never blocked AfterDawn ads and never gotten malware from them, ever. The only reports we ever get were malvertisements that got through Google's vetting (usually because they are presented first as legit ads and then changed as soon as they hit the network) and in all of those cases, you actually had to CLICK THEM to actually be in danger of getting some malware, and again, in those cases, your browser had to be insecure or you had to actually download and run the malware.

When that happens, the only way we can find it is if a user gives us enough information about it and from there we can use Adsense tools to block it outright and report it to Google. We're a fairly large website, but tracking millions of different ads is outside of our means.

1613.12.2011 10:19

Quote:
We could afford to hire 2-3 more news writers and boost our news & content output to double from our current levels.
I'll do it for free

XXYYQQOO!!! Yeah WELCOME TO JAMROCK

1713.12.2011 10:29

Originally posted by xyqo:
Quote:
We could afford to hire 2-3 more news writers and boost our news & content output to double from our current levels.
I'll do it for free
I Still remember being offered a job with AfterDawn around 7 and a half years ago now. I had been a user for several years before that. The first thing I said was I'd do content and stuff for AfterDawn for free, since I was used to writing a lot to the forum anyway, but then I got offered an actual, real salary and at 17 years old just out of school, it was like a dream ;-)

I don't think across all our sites anybody contributes anything for free, everybody who edits the main content pages of the site are somehow employed whether its full time, part time or just freelance. I think it has something to do with legal issues in the EU.
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 13 Dec 2011 @ 10:31

1813.12.2011 14:02

Just checked Adblock plus.

THere is no "update automatically" feature.

1913.12.2011 16:16

I wish not to view any ads whatsoever.

If websites wish alternate sources of income they should state it on their homepage.

I donated money to ABP to do the job they say it's going to do not some wishy-washy white list.

The Internet is not a fooking billboard for advertisers.

I'm not updating ABP and I am looking for an alternative ad blocker.

"THere is no "update automatically" feature."

It's under more but seems to revert to, "default."

Jeff

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 13 Dec 2011 @ 16:20

Cars, Guitars & Radiation.

2013.12.2011 17:27

the main reason I block ads is malware, a lot of malware comes thru ads, and if you get malware from a website they say oh its a 3rd party company supplying the ads we have no control, well these 3rd party companies have ruined it for legit ads, as they have let too many malware ads through, for those trying to disable updates I believe you will need to tell Firefox to not check for updates for your add-ons

2113.12.2011 18:13

So is the name gonna be changed to AdBlock Minus?


AMD Phenom II 965 @ 3.67Ghz, 8GB DDR3, ATI Radeon 5770HD, 256GB OCZ Vertex 4, 2TB Additional HDD, Windows 7 Ultimate.

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2213.12.2011 18:13

So is the name gonna be changed to AdBlock Minus?


AMD Phenom II 965 @ 3.67Ghz, 8GB DDR3, ATI Radeon 5770HD, 256GB OCZ Vertex 4, 2TB Additional HDD, Windows 7 Ultimate.

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2313.12.2011 19:58

sad to hear that.might have to download the google toolbar again just to get a decent popup blocker.

2413.12.2011 22:13
Prim0
Unverified new user

Originally posted by ROMaster2:
Thanks for the notice, disabling updates.
How do you disable updates? I looked all over the app and could not find...

2513.12.2011 22:25
Prim0
Unverified new user

Advertising in and of itself in now malicious. Ever since Sigmund Freud's nephew, Edward Bernays, came on to the scene in the early 20th century. He changed advertisements from need based to desire based. It corrupted the entire world. Human psychology was/is used against us in order turn us in to "consumers." Surely there must be a better way to generate revenue that just advertisements.

2613.12.2011 23:32

Originally posted by dRD:
Originally posted by KillerBug:
AD has paid news writers? Really? Then why does the news take 2-3 days to make it from other sites to here, and then look copy-n-pasted half the time?
That's entirely your opinion, sure. Of course, unique news are hard to come by -- I'd say on any tech news site, about 98% of the news are sourced from somewhere else. Considering however the amount of references other sites make to our content (about 100'000 domains linking to us), I could argue that our 12yrs+ of news output has some merits, even though the majority of news (just like with everybody, whether its HuffPo, NYT or Engadget) are build on news reporting, press releases, etc of/from other companies.
I'm not even asking for unique news...but when a news story is all over the web and affecting tens of millions of people all around the world, and it is posted by users on your own forum, why does it take days before it hits the front page???


2713.12.2011 23:38

Originally posted by KillerBug:
Originally posted by dRD:
Originally posted by KillerBug:
AD has paid news writers? Really? Then why does the news take 2-3 days to make it from other sites to here, and then look copy-n-pasted half the time?
That's entirely your opinion, sure. Of course, unique news are hard to come by -- I'd say on any tech news site, about 98% of the news are sourced from somewhere else. Considering however the amount of references other sites make to our content (about 100'000 domains linking to us), I could argue that our 12yrs+ of news output has some merits, even though the majority of news (just like with everybody, whether its HuffPo, NYT or Engadget) are build on news reporting, press releases, etc of/from other companies.
I'm not even asking for unique news...but when a news story is all over the web and affecting tens of millions of people all around the world, and it is posted by users on your own forum, why does it take days before it hits the front page???
I'd argue against the assertion that most, or even a very large part of the news is "days" late. This is often true at the weekend when there's not much "new" news so we take a look back over anything interesting from the week.

But the main reason we don't go cut throat on news is we are not primarily a news outlet. News writing is only part of the of the job for staff of the English site, while it is given a much bigger priority in Finland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark etc. where the news is written in the local language.

2814.12.2011 5:32

Originally posted by Prim0:
Originally posted by ROMaster2:
Thanks for the notice, disabling updates.
How do you disable updates? I looked all over the app and could not find...
Firefox:
Tools> Add-ons> more> Automatic updates> Off

Jeff

2914.12.2011 15:26

Originally posted by Jeffrey_P:
Originally posted by Prim0:
Originally posted by ROMaster2:
Thanks for the notice, disabling updates.
How do you disable updates? I looked all over the app and could not find...
Firefox:
Tools> Add-ons> more> Automatic updates> Off

Jeff

That will not prevent AdBlock Plus from updating to new versions of blacklists that you subscribe to; it will prevent Firefox from updating AdBlock Plus.

Seriously guys, what's the big deal? If you have some weird inhibition against allowing the sites you visit to receive any ad revenue (which, if shared by everyone, would completely destroy just about every non-commercial website), just subscribe to a different blacklist that blocks all ads. On the other hand, if you want to support the sites that you visit by allowing them to display well-behaved ads, you needn't do anything.

In either case, switching off add-on updates is completely ineffective and potentially going to cause you problems. ABP updates your subscribed lists independently of Firefox's add-on update mechanism.

3014.12.2011 16:23

Originally posted by nonoitall:
Originally posted by Jeffrey_P:
Originally posted by Prim0:
Originally posted by ROMaster2:
Thanks for the notice, disabling updates.
How do you disable updates? I looked all over the app and could not find...
Firefox:
Tools> Add-ons> more> Automatic updates> Off

Jeff

That will not prevent AdBlock Plus from updating to new versions of blacklists that you subscribe to; it will prevent Firefox from updating AdBlock Plus.

Seriously guys, what's the big deal? If you have some weird inhibition against allowing the sites you visit to receive any ad revenue (which, if shared by everyone, would completely destroy just about every non-commercial website), just subscribe to a different blacklist that blocks all ads. On the other hand, if you want to support the sites that you visit by allowing them to display well-behaved ads, you needn't do anything.

In either case, switching off add-on updates is completely ineffective and potentially going to cause you problems. ABP updates your subscribed lists independently of Firefox's add-on update mechanism.
That's right.. I do not what to upgrade to a newer version of Ad-block. I'm going to lose the add-on completely. Having donated money to the developer it should do what it was advertized to do.

Your assumption that blocking adds would kill off websites must be a little off. Not everybody uses an ad blocker. ABP has been around for a while. So by your account websites we share and enjoy would no longer be on line today which we all know is simply not true.

Like I said, if websites want a form of income, post it on the homepage.

I don't like idea of the Internet being used as a billboard.

My option...

Jeff
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 14 Dec 2011 @ 16:44

Cars, Guitars & Radiation.

3114.12.2011 17:06

I seem to detect a bit of paranoia.

My Firefox just updated Adblock plus automatically. It gave me a message that adblock plus has been updated and that it had been configured to let non intrusive ad pass through. It also informed me that if I don't want this, just to go in its setting and re-enable full block. I went and unchecked "allow non-intrusive advertising" (bottom left corner). That is it. It took me longer to write this post than unchecked the check mark.

Breath-in, Breath-out.....

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 14 Dec 2011 @ 17:07

3214.12.2011 17:19

"My Firefox just updated Adblock plus automatically. It gave me a message that adblock plus has been updated and that it had been configured to let non intrusive ad pass through. It also informed me that if I don't want this, just to go in its setting and re-enable full block. I went and unchecked "allow non-intrusive advertising" (bottom left corner). That is it. It took me longer to write this post than unchecked the check mark."

That hasn't been mentioned anywhere before you became the Guinea pig. :)
Thanks
Jeff

3314.12.2011 19:34

Originally posted by Jeffrey_P:
Having donated money to the developer it should do what it was advertized to do.
It still will. Read here. In addition, you're completely free to use another blacklist if ABP's own list doesn't meet your needs. The add-on is not limited to using only ABP's blacklists.

Originally posted by Jeffrey_P:
Your assumption that blocking adds would kill off websites must be a little off. Not everybody uses an ad blocker. ABP has been around for a while. So by your account websites we share and enjoy would no longer be on line today which we all know is simply not true.
Let's re-read what I said...
Originally posted by nonoitall:
If you have some weird inhibition against allowing the sites you visit to receive any ad revenue (which, if shared by everyone, would completely destroy just about every non-commercial website), just subscribe to a different blacklist that blocks all ads. On the other hand, if you want to support the sites that you visit by allowing them to display well-behaved ads, you needn't do anything.
As you said, not everyone blocks ads.

Originally posted by Jeffrey_P:
Like I said, if websites want a form of income, post it on the homepage.
It's not always about "wanting income". It costs money to run a website. Unless the site is very low traffic or has an alternate revenue stream (donations, commercial sales, wealthy benefactor) it is very likely to be sustained by advertisements. This is pretty basic web knowledge so I guess I don't see a need for web sites to explicitly notify users that the site is kept alive by ads.
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 14 Dec 2011 @ 19:35

3414.12.2011 19:45

Originally posted by nonoitall:
Originally posted by Jeffrey_P:
Having donated money to the developer it should do what it was advertized to do.
It still will. Read here. In addition, you're completely free to use another blacklist if ABP's own list doesn't meet your needs. The add-on is not limited to using only ABP's blacklists.

Originally posted by Jeffrey_P:
Your assumption that blocking adds would kill off websites must be a little off. Not everybody uses an ad blocker. ABP has been around for a while. So by your account websites we share and enjoy would no longer be on line today which we all know is simply not true.
Let's re-read what I said...
Originally posted by nonoitall:
If you have some weird inhibition against allowing the sites you visit to receive any ad revenue (which, if shared by everyone, would completely destroy just about every non-commercial website), just subscribe to a different blacklist that blocks all ads. On the other hand, if you want to support the sites that you visit by allowing them to display well-behaved ads, you needn't do anything.
As you said, not everyone blocks ads.

Originally posted by Jeffrey_P:
Like I said, if websites want a form of income, post it on the homepage.
It's not always about "wanting income". It costs money to run a website. Unless the site is very low traffic or has an alternate revenue stream (donations, commercial sales, wealthy benefactor) it is very likely to be sustained by advertisements. This is pretty basic web knowledge so I guess I don't see a need for web sites to explicitly notify users that the site is kept alive by ads.
No reason to nitpick. The issues has been resolved.

Yes, I know it takes a small fortune to run a decent website.

I know a little about the net since I was one of 200 who established the first website in the USA @ Stanford university.

I'm old school when it comes to the Internet. Billboard advertising makes me cringe.
That's not the way the Internet was supposed to evolve to.

We used ARPANET over slow dial-up slow modem phone lines before this great net innovation.

I worked for Stanford for almost 20 years. I volunteered to help do installations and testing for the website. My real job there was a radiological detection design engineer.

Jeff
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 14 Dec 2011 @ 20:07

Cars, Guitars & Radiation.

3515.12.2011 0:59

Didn't realize I was nitpicking. It sounds like we're both satisfied with our understanding of the situation. ;-)


3615.12.2011 5:48

Strange...I turned off auto-updates days ago, then my power went out while FireFox was running. When it came back up, I was informed that it had updated. I disabled the "non-intrusive advertising".



3715.12.2011 12:22

yep, this wasnt a big deal at all, all you have to do is uncheck a box.. >.>


Carpe Noctem

3820.12.2011 2:22

Other options include NoScript and AdFender

392.1.2013 21:44
nerdie1
Unverified new user

I DO NOT LIKE ADS DO NOT SHOW THEM 2 ME PLS, THANKU

402.1.2013 21:52

.....And..... Analytic s, Trackers and widgets.

Jeff

413.1.2013 4:52

1 thing that annoys me a lot on the net is heavily moderated sites where swearing in a banned and they all say its a family site but every now and then an ad for russian porn comes up.

ads drive me nuts on the web.they should banned them all and find other ways to make money.


custom built gaming pc from early 2010,ps2 with 15 games all original,ps3 500gbs with 5 games all original,yamaha amp and 5.1channel surround sound speakers,46inch sony lcd smart tv.

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