I’ve been encountering an increasing number of Web sites lately that asked me to disable my ad blocker. They promise, in return, fewer ads.
And with that promise, they demonstrate that they completely and utterly miss the point.
I don’t want fewer ads. I don’t mind ads. I understand that for news Web sites, ads are an essential source of revenue. I don’t resent that. I even click on ads that I find interesting or relevant.
So why do I use an ad blocker, then?
In one word: security.
Malicious ads showed up even on some of the most respectable Web sites. Ad networks have no incentive to vet ads for security, so all too often, they only remove them after the fact, after someone complained. And like a whack-a-mole game, the malicious advertiser is back in no time under another name, with another ad.
And then there are those ads that pop up with an autostart video, with blaring sound in the middle of the night, with the poor user (that would be me) scrambling to find which browser tab, which animation is responsible for the late night cacophony.
Indeed, it was one of these incidents that prompted me to call it quits on ads and install an ad blocker.
So sorry folks, if you are preventing me from accessing your content because of my ad blocker, I just go elsewhere.
That is, until and unless you can offer credible assurance that the ads on your site are safe. I don’t care how many there are. It’s self-limiting anyway: advertisers won’t pay top dollar for an ad on a site that is saturated with ads. What I need to know is that the ads on your site won’t ruin my day one way or another.