The other ad-blocking ecosystem: blame-ducking

Anil Dash is on fire in his editorial on all the ways that publishers, advertisers, brokers, readers, OS vendors, browser vendors, and users pass the buck when it comes to intrusive ads, ad-blocking, and sustaining ad-supported media.

“I’m a publisher. I let the ad networks handle the inventory. I have to worry about the bottom line, and our brand. I can’t get in the weeds with all this stuff.”

“We’re just an ad serving platform. We deliver the ads, and make sure they’re tracked. It’s not up to us what ads come through. Who are we to say?”

“We’re an optimization platform. Sure, we make the algorithm that decides which ads are displayed. But the software is neutral, it just uses math to decide. We’re not responsible for what buyers put in the system. And publishers can say no to anything they want to.”

“We’re buying ads because we’ve got something to sell. We have to use whatever techniques are gonna make us the most money. Don’t like it? Don’t take our money.”

How we pass the buck [Anil Dash/Medium]

Notable Replies

  1. All this effort to avoid just taking my money all because you (royal you) sold your investors a monetization strategy.

    Reminds me of the F2P thing where they can't allow an honest user to just buy the game for a fair price because then they'd be giving up the possibility of really monetizing the hell out of whales.

  2. If a site asks me to turn off my ad blocker and I like the site, I do so. Outside of that, I don't want to see ads all over the place. I would go to the Cracked site on my phone and see ads everyplace. Now that the content blockers are in play for iOS, I don't see them anymore and the site loads up faster.

  3. I think this guy got it right in his response:

    If we have to talk about “fault”, let’s talk about who is at fault that an entire industry has become so broken, that even normally compassionate writers like Anil Dash can only defend it by taking this sort of hard-line, conservative stance against the rights of the individual.

  4. What we really need is something which replaces the ads with cat pictures but doesn't tell the ad server that it's done so. Someone make it for me.

  5. You wanna hear buck passing, here it is:

    Put up a donation button, tell me how much your advertisers pay per page view, I'll fucking pay. If you won't take my money then you can honestly shut up about me being unethical in the way I accept your free service (not that I'm even blocking ads on boingboing).

    Donation button or GTFO.

    And how the hell did this thread turn into a white male pity party? Jesus Christ who died on the cross for our sins only to be resurrected and ascend bodily to heaven!

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