Adblock Plus to start allowing 'non-intrusive ads'

Adblock Plus to start allowing 'non-intrusive ads'

Summary: Not all ads are created equal.

TOPICS: Browser

Adblock Plus, the popular ad-blocking add-on for Firefox and Chrome, is soon to start allowing 'non-intrusive advertising' by default.

The announcement was made by add-on developer Wladimir Palant:

“Allow non-intrusive advertising” option is enabled by default for all users but the ones using privacy filter lists (EasyPrivacy, Fanboy’s Tracking, Adverisity Privacy).

Palant goes on to explain the move in a separate document:

Starting with Adblock Plus 2.0 you can allow some of the advertising that is considered not annoying. By doing this you support websites that rely on advertising but choose to do it in a non-intrusive way. And you give these websites an advantage over their competition which encourages other websites to use non-intrusive advertising as well. In the long term the web will become a better place for everybody, not only Adblock Plus users. Without this feature we run the danger that increasing Adblock Plus usage will make small websites unsustainable.

This setting will be turned on for all Adblock Plus users. Why? Here's why:

Why is this feature enabled by default?

Because that's unfortunately the only way to reach the goals outlined above. If we ask users to enable this feature then most of them won't do it — simply because they never change any settings unless absolutely necessary. However, advertisers will only be interested in switching to better ways of advertising if the majority of Adblock Plus users has this feature enabled.

Some users are upset by this change.

[poll id="723"]

Interested in your thoughts on this change. Is it a long-overdue change in attitude towards online ads, or is Adblock Plus betraying its users?

Topic: Browser

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  • RE: Adblock Plus to start allowing 'non-intrusive ads'

    Hopefully, this will allow me to start whitelisting favorite sites, without degrading my web browsing UX.

    Hopefully, ABP will start to come to the attention of advertisers, telling them users have had enough of ads degrading our web browsing. Pop-ups, pop-unders, intelli-text, *FLASH-BASED ADS*, embedded ads, etc... Enough is enough.
    The one and only, Cylon Centurion
    • RE: Adblock Plus to start allowing 'non-intrusive ads'

      @Cylon Centurion

      Personally, I wish that they would just stick with the blanket 'no advertising' period. I switched to Ghostery, which blocks almost all ads, because AdBlock Plus was letting too many through.
      • RE: Adblock Plus to start allowing 'non-intrusive ads'


        What? Been using AdBlock for years. It wasn't, and still isn't letting any through.
        The one and only, Cylon Centurion
  • RE: Adblock Plus to start allowing 'non-intrusive ads'

    Have been advocating this for years now (ie. that blocking all ads is not the worst possible thing you can just do on the web, as it will not enforce competition and steer towards more pleasant ads, but simply kill all small sites in the favor of the big ones). I'm glad to see the idot who created ABP finally realized how stpd he was for so long, and was defending a point which wasn't really defendable. <br><br>Even though the only REAL - and also the morally and legally unquestionable - solution would still be to refrain from ad blocking completely, and simply select/chose between sites based on how much they comply with what the user thinks is the right approach to support themselves from displaying ads. It would be the same as chosing between convetional providers of services and goods by simply picking the one whose offer and price match best what the user thinks is a fair deal.<br><br>Blocking ads (whether partially or completely) not a solution to anything, just like stealing stuff from a shop isn't either. Like the latter one will only give incentive to shop owners to hire more security guards and drive prices up, blocking ads will only make content providers guard their contents even more closely, and bombard users with even more ads - but in a way that will be hard or practically impossible to block or even to just detect. Like simply writing articles in favor of the advertiser and such. And no ad blocking solution will help against those. <br><br>The nuclear option in this war is with the advertisers, not with the blockers. In the end ad blockers only screw themselves and the rest of the web over.
    • RE: Adblock Plus to start allowing 'non-intrusive ads'

      @ff2 Wow, do you really think it will get that bad? Will the people who find ads annoying really bring such trouble?
      The best advertisers are usually quite cunning and I'm sure they can start taking this annoyance factor into account more and more.
      It can't be easy to be in a business where more than 99% of the people don't like you or don't care. (What are click rates these days?)
      • Annoyance factor has no impact...

        @chenmingi : ...on advertisers' decisions other than, "If it works, use it!" Since consumers on the web only have two choices in regards to that ( 1. Not to go to the site 2. block the ads) the only way they will listen is if their revenues fall off.
        Since the sheeple are far too complacent and spineless to actually stop going in large numbers to a site they like because of annoying ads, the only way left to tell the advertisers that they suck is to block the ads.
        Personally, I think this is fine for AdBlock. If people don't like the level of ads, then turn it up and block everything. Bandwidth and hosting costs $$ and people have to pay for their sites somehow. Of course, there's always those that get greedy and go overboard... For that, we have No script, adblock, and Ghostery.
    • You disable the "mute" button on your remote as well, don't you?


      Just wondering.
      • RE: Adblock Plus to start allowing 'non-intrusive ads'

        @Bruizer do you [i]disable[/i] your bank account number in your employment contract? <br>Ads are just as annoying as tv commercials, but money must come from somewhere. And nowadays small sites have virtually no other source of revenue, that's what he's talking about.
    • RE: Adblock Plus to start allowing 'non-intrusive ads'


      No, the only REAL solution is for sites to sell a product or service, and if nobody wants to pay for it then they shut down.
  • RE: Adblock Plus to start allowing 'non-intrusive ads'

    They should also rename the product. Something like "Adblock Minus".
    Who gets to choose what is "annoying" or not? Whitelisting sites won't do it, because it happens all too often that good sites fall in with bad company.
  • RE: Adblock Plus to start allowing 'non-intrusive ads'

  • Comments are closed


    What a sellout looser.
  • When adblock starts allowing ads, I will stop upgrading it.

    The entire point of ad block is blocking ads. I find all these ads intrusive and obstructing. If it allows ads, instead of blocking them, then it isn't ad block anymore and I won't upgrade to this new feature-deficient version.

  • RE: Adblock Plus to start allowing 'non-intrusive ads'

    there is merit to the idea that some ads are good. I dislike advertising as a primary source of funding for any company, it just makes their products nearly useless. I use the DVR to skip commercials and watch movies via channels without commercials. I will pay for good content that doesn't advertise.
  • RE: Adblock Plus to start allowing 'non-intrusive ads'

    If it does not block ads its not an ad blocker. I will be resetting the default values to block all. If I can't its back to using a hosts file. The only ads I ever see are in live sporting events, and that's only because I can't figure out how to block them.
  • Mixed reaction

    I just read the official adblock plus announcement in detail, and I have mixed feelings. Individual users can opt out of the "feature" by just simply un checking the "non-intrusive ads," in addon itself, and we also have to take into account that websites do need to eat.

    However, his explanation even if reasonable seems to be a copt out. Especially the part where he states that he eventually wants some income from "non-intrusive ads," feature to "self sustain" the adblock plus project.

    Also the abrupt and arbitrary nature, brings up the point of who actually has control of my browser. Me or the ABP creators?
    • RE: Adblock Plus to start allowing 'non-intrusive ads'

      @Aliephe I don't necessarily disagree with you, but let me point out that you don't lose control of your tv because of its commercials.
      • RE: Adblock Plus to start allowing 'non-intrusive ads'

        @cameigons <br>The ABP person is basically stating he doesn't trust his users on a whole to make the right decision; so he is changing the core functions of the addon to reflect that out of necessity. <br><br>So your TV analogy is not apt at all. It would more like be if the TV in your living room had parental filters turn on by default b/c I said so. You can turn off the the new "feature" by going through your TV menus, but if you have to reset your TV for any reason, you will have to go through the same thing again. Remember this for your own good and you don't own your TV in the intellectual property sense, so it is perfectly inbounds.
  • RE: Adblock Plus to start allowing 'non-intrusive ads'

    There are a few websites I allow adverts on because I support them. So for now I'm okay with this decision. However, if I see a crazy flashing banner while browsing there will be trouble, no matter where I see it.

    This is a risky step, but it can be done right. Let's hope that's how it turns out.
  • So now it's AdFilter Plus?

    I use NoScript instead, because it allows blocking of much more than just ads. I essentially blacklist ad networks that have been compromised by hackers in the past, but I also don't allow unfamiliar sites to access my plugins and run scripts the first time I access them.

    The way I see it, any given website that I visit should not assume that my doing so gives them permission to launch third-party code in my browser. I didn't visit these sites to watch code from unidentified third-parties doing the following:

    -dancing around page displayed in my browser window,
    -suddenly expanding and blocking my view of content on the page,
    -displaying streaming video/audio I didn't ask for, and
    -popping-up and following me down the screen as I scroll down the page.

    No website should assume that they have the right to allow any [i]third parties they choose[/i] to access my browser plugins.

    As far as the matter outlined in the article goes, it sounds to me as if the makers of this software may be trying to create a situation where ad companies could pay them for default presence on their software's whitelist, giving these paying ad companies something resembling an advantage in the online ad least, that's my conspiracy theory, anyway....