The in-depth tale of Bylock, the Turkish messenger app whose 1x1 tracking GIF was the basis for tens of thousands of treason accusations

A group of exiled Turkish human rights lawyers have published an in-depth history of how Recep Tayyip Erdogan's Turkish government has described Bylock, an encrypted messenging app, whose 1x1 analytics pixel was used as the basis for accusing tens -- if not hundreds -- of thousands of Turks of treason, with consequences ranging from loss of employment and ostracization to imprisonment, to torture, to suicide. Read the rest

Apple's long-awaited podcast data-transparency reveals an ad-listening audience with no clear format-preferences

Apple's podcast feature in Itunes is probably the most successful podcatcher extant, and it's long been understood that the app gathers extensive data on listeners' habits: what they listen to, when and where, and how they listen (skipping ads, increasing playback speed, etc). Read the rest

A 1x1 tracking pixel was used as evidence of treason against 30,000 Turks, sent tens of thousands to jail

When Recep Tayyip Erdogan's Turkish government took reprisals against hundreds of thousands of people suspected to have been involved in the failed coup of 2016, one of the criteria they used for whom to round up for indefinite detention as well as myriad human rights abuses (including torture) was whether people had a cookie on their computers set by a 1x1 tracking pixel served by Bylock, which the Erdogan regime says is evidence of support of exiled opposition leader Fethullah Gülen. Read the rest

South Korean law bans mobile crapware, network discrimination, deceptive native advertising, and anti-adblock

Last year, Korean rules regulating abusive practices by online services went into effect, under terms set out in the "Amended Enforcement Decree of the Telecommunications Business Act Now Effective, Specifically Classifying and Regulating Certain Prohibited Acts of Telecom Service Providers." Read the rest

Anti-adblock is a lot more common than anyone thought, but it's not hard to defeat

To quote Doc Searls, adblocking is the largest consumer revolt in history; the rise of third-party tracking cookies, mounting awareness of breaches, and a shift in the balance of power between publishers and advertisers have conspired to make ads more visibly and invisibly obnoxious, driving millions to block ads in their browsers. Read the rest

Adblock Plus now selling ads

Adblock Plus is to begin reselling the ads it blocks, replacing websites' original ads with ones under its control—and which it takes a fat cut of the revenue from.

The program is meant to be friendly to publishers — it is, after all, letting them display some ads instead of none whatsoever. But there’s still obvious reason for publishers to be unhappy. Acceptable ads [AdBlock Plus' in-house advertising] are likely to be less valuable than the ads a publisher could otherwise display, limiting what a website can earn. And in setting up its own marketplace, Adblock Plus continues to position itself as a gatekeeper charging a toll to get through a gate of its own making.

This was always the gameplan. AdBlock Plus marketed itself as about blocking ads, but it's really about providing a temporary improvement in user experience to convince readers to insert it as a middleman between them, publishers and advertisers. Once secure, AdBlock Plus can let advertising (and the user experience) creep back to the profitable way it was before, but with it charging rent to everyone.

If you block ads, at least block them with something that isn't taking a shit on both of us: get rid of it and try uBlock Origin. If you don't like ads but would like to support Boing Boing, buy a t-shirt or an inexpensive gadget from our store.

Correction: an earlier version of this post referred to AdBlock Plus as AdBlock. They are different products from different vendors. Read the rest

Yahoo blocks some users from accessing email until they turn off ad-blocking

The company says it's not policy to do this -- yet -- but they're testing locking Yahoo Mail users out of their accounts unless they turn off ad-blocking. Read the rest