Allowing acceptable ads in Adblock Plus

Everything about using Adblock Plus on Mozilla Firefox, Thunderbird and SeaMonkey
the ghost of social networks past

Re: Allowing acceptable ads in Adblock Plus

Post by the ghost of social networks past »

I use adblock mainly to get rid of annoyances. I don't care about ads if they are not annoying. Some time ago I subscribed to an adblock list which goal was to block only annoying ads. Sadly that list is no longer maintained.

I like the idea to whitelist not annoying ads by default. I like the strict criterias for not annoying ads. I do not like the idea that websites can buy their place in the whitelist. I think the whitelist should not involve money and be strictly community maintained.

I find social network widgets annoying. I subscribed this list: because I want to get rid of all thos annoying social network widgets.

Question: When a domain buys a sitekey to get whitelisted, can I still block those annoying social media widgets?
Wladimir Palant

Re: Allowing acceptable ads in Adblock Plus

Post by Wladimir Palant »

@nitrox: Ok, I've added them as well:
Wladimir Palant

Re: Allowing acceptable ads in Adblock Plus

Post by Wladimir Palant »

the ghost of social networks past wrote:Question: When a domain buys a sitekey to get whitelisted, can I still block those annoying social media widgets?
No, not the way it is currently implemented. But we will only have one sitekey-based filter for now and we will try to make the mechanism more fine-grained before any more are added.

Re: Allowing acceptable ads in Adblock Plus

Post by Sart »

it's nonsense "acceptable ads", ads are always evil, it can't be acceptable!
if i want something to buy i will search for it by myself i don't need ads,
also, and mainly, if ad's product are being advertised it means that company have money for ads, it means they taking this money from product selling -> we are paying for this product -> the product are overpriced. good thing doesn't require ads!
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2011 9:53 pm

Re: Allowing acceptable ads in Adblock Plus

Post by prassel »

Hubird wrote:Firstly I feel that making configuration changes without the express consent of the user is over stepping the bounds of an automatic update (this is no small change). These changes should be opt in for existing users and can be enabled by default for new users if need be.

Secondly there seems to be now way for a user to make an informed decision as to weather or not they want to enable this new functionality. How are these acceptable ads allowed (is it a whitelist subscription & if so where can one find it?).

We need some transparency for those that wish to make a more informed decision...
I completely agree. I'm even thinking of stop using Adblock+ unless there is an option to keep blocking all ads.

And how can you guarantee that 100% of all "acceptable ads" are not malicious? Frankly, you can't.

Edit: And yes, I just registered just to post my thoughts about the subject as I feel it is a gross neglect of current users that actually want to block ALL ads.

Re: Allowing acceptable ads in Adblock Plus

Post by me »

I have Fanboy's List and "Allow non-intrusive advertising" was checked when I checked after getting the news on reddit.

Bug or feature?

Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; Win64; x64; rv:11.0a1) Gecko/20111212 Firefox/11.0a1 ID:20111212031122
Adblock Plus 2.0rc.3325
Element Hiding Helper for Adblock Plus 1.1.5a.353
ABP Developer
Posts: 3957
Joined: Mon Aug 14, 2006 12:18 am
Location: Germany

Re: Allowing acceptable ads in Adblock Plus

Post by MonztA »

prassel wrote:I completely agree. I'm even thinking of stop using Adblock+ unless there is an option to keep blocking all ads.
So you would rather see all ads on all pages than non-intrusive on very few sites? That does not make sense. And there is an option btw.

Re: Allowing acceptable ads in Adblock Plus

Post by lvdaston »

Mr Palant you're undermining the business model you're currently trying to create.

From a marketing standpoint you are committing project suicide. Your information and full disclosure policy is a mess. In your field of work trust is the currency and while you have buckets of that, you're spending it like crazy as of now.

If you want this concept to be of any effect, you must get on the offensive about informing the internet community in every detail ... and you have about a week before a sony-like shit storm hits you.

Your offer to marketing executives will be worthless, if word on the internet is that adblock plus is influenced by them. Your code base is open source and if you are not able to communicate your standpoint effectively to the internet public - you will have no viable business model.

So get full disclosure and on the media horn 24/7 ...

Personally, I think it is a good idea badly executed and implemented.

Re: Allowing acceptable ads in Adblock Plus

Post by Anti-Ad »

Google is among the worst of the advertisers. Their ads might not flash brightly, but the behind the scenes tracking is silent, offensive, and virtually unknown to everybody but geeks. Even many geeks fail to understand just how far Google's tracking tentacles reach. Google beacons are on 80%+ of all Internet pageviews.

These days, the thought of any tracking whatsoever (do not track is a joke) is just as bad, maybe worse, than having to see the advertisements themselves. My eyes can ignore an advertisement, but there is no way to undo the creation of a profile on an advertiser's network.

The need to opt out from "acceptable" (I dispute there is anything as an acceptable ad) advertising is condescending to users and goes against what taking back the web is about.

If people want ads, let them opt into pollution on their visited web pages. If they want to be tracked, let them opt into big brother. If they want their inbox clogged with spam, let them opt into the spam.

Users who don't wish to be assaulted with marketing should not have to opt out of advertising they didn't ask for and don't want.

Needing to opt out from digital pollution is a page out of the advertisers' playbook, not the privacy geeks' playbook.

This is why I run a very heavy hosts file and a local ad-killing proxy as well. I always wanted a backup for if anything slipped through ABP by accident. Now it looks like I will have to use multiple layers of advertising protection because ABP is no longer fully trustworthy.

It isn't your job to monetize the websites of others. People who install ABP are making a conscious choice to opt out of the pervasive consumer culture. They don't want advertising. Asking them if they can tolerate some advertising is a poor form for a poll.

The goal should be 100% of Internet users running ABP. That will kill the advertising industry, kill junk content, kill botnets, kill spam, reduce the costs of everything we buy online (no more ad budgets bloating prices) and ensure that the only content which gets created is content good enough to be paid for.

I'm playing the world's smallest violin for those poor, poor content farms losing out on the ad revenue they generate polluting our search results.

Re: Allowing acceptable ads in Adblock Plus

Post by Anti-Ad »


Quite a few in here, who regularly cheat content creators out of money, screaming 'bout betrayal, extortion, morals and ethics. The duplicity in y'alls position is oustanding.

Maybe you should do a gut check, each month send money to all websites that you've betrayed and cheated out of income, and help eliminate the need for ads all together. Maybe a group of you upstanding net citizens could help eliminate all advertising on the internet by actually paying for the content you consume. Novel idea, eh?

Before drowning in your own tears, I have several appropriate courses of action:

- uninstall ABP and go away
- code your own, improved version
- hire someone to code your own, improved version
- opt-out of the new feature
- cry some more, that always helps

I'm sure the content creator wakes up every day and thinks to herself, "I just LOVE providing all this content and having you cheat me out of money....maybe I'll work a couple extra hours today because in America, the more 'ya work the more 'ya earn!"
You can keep your pollution off of my computer. If you don't like it, put up a paywall.

I refuse to engage any advertising which slips through, as do most ad haters, so we aren't helping your statistics anyway. People who don't engage advertising lower your metrics.

Re: Allowing acceptable ads in Adblock Plus

Post by Anti-Ad »

The project will be forked and ABP will descend into irrelevance.

If you aren't working for us, the users sick of advertising, then you are working on behalf of the marketers.

You and ABP are now on their payroll. You are an agent of the less intrusive advertisers.

You are not saving us from the more intrusive ads - you are killing off the competition of your paymasters, delivering up more attention to them at the expense of others with more aggressive ads.

Some good will come of this. The project will be forked and returned to its roots.

I will also begin work on a project I've been wanting to start for a while: a regularly updated lists of netblocks which contain nothing but advertising content. This way, sysadmins will be able to blackhole the garbage sources at the router, just like we do for zombie blocks run by spammers. End users have nothing to gain by leaving Doubleclick, et. al. routeable.

Re: Allowing acceptable ads in Adblock Plus

Post by Anti-Ad »

I'm sure the point about advertising unacceptably wasting our CPU, memory, or bandwidth (especially when tethered) has been discussed plenty.

I can give you another example of unacceptability.

I installed ABP on the computer used by my neighbor's two sons. They are allowed to use the Internet, but only with parental controls, and only with ad filtering.

He wants his family, not advertisers, to be in control of what his children are exposed to. He doesn't want his children growing up wanting sugared cereal, plastic crap, and name brand clothes like all the other screaming brats after they get bombarded by advertising. He also doesn't want to worry about whether an ad for Via,.gra or something else inappropriate slips through.

In his case, there is no such thing as an acceptable ad on the computer for his children. He trusts ABP to neutralize the advertising before it can warp impressionable minds. He isn't a geek and he doesn't follow Slashdot or the ABP project, so he wouldn't learn of the change until it is too late, because you forced users to opt out of the ads which pay ABP.

Re: Allowing acceptable ads in Adblock Plus

Post by Anti-Ad »

One more issue:

I've installed ABP and Firefox on literally thousands of computers belonging to non-technical people over the years. Most of these people have no clue about anything technology related and are the type to blindly click OK if a box is asking for permission to install malware.

When the updated, ad-enabled version hits the repos, it will be opting all of them into some advertising, which I had previously disabled at their request.

Non-technical people will have no clue how to open up their ABP preferences and opt out of the advertising you are delivering to them. Most of them probably won't even think it is possible, let alone know where to look.

Saying that people can choose to opt out of the advertising the new version will allow flies in the face of reality. That reality involves many ABP installations having been done by technical people for the benefit of non-technical people. These non-technical users will now be force fed advertising without their informed consent.
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Dec 13, 2011 2:37 am

Re: Allowing acceptable ads in Adblock Plus

Post by Herochild »

I have no objection to allowing "acceptable ads", but a feature like that must be opt-in, not opt-out. There are far too many people that use ABP but are not technically inclined enough to know how to opt out of that feature.

Re: Allowing acceptable ads in Adblock Plus

Post by melikamp »

Let's face it, Vladimir: no one needs this feature except for you and your clients, the advertizers. Almost all end users who download AdBlock Plus expect all ads to be blocked. We all know this is true, and the proof is in the stink people make when it fails to block one tiny ad on a website they frequent. This is the whole freaking point of AdBlock, and has always been: to block as many ads as possible without completely breaking a website's functionality. And users like me (and I know I am in the minority), we would rather break the sites that intentionally fight AdBlock rather than stumble through their brain rot.

Please reconsider. Reconsider for your sake, even if you don't give two shits about the end users. You will tarnish your name as soon as the feature goes into stable, and this will be hard to repair. You will encourage forks (praise "Bob", you control neither the code nor the rules), and I for one will switch as soon as a user-friendly one is available. And so will all of your users, since, again, none of them want this feature. We will leave you just like we left AdBlock as soon you gave us a superior product. You may think you are out to make a quick buck, but the end result will be that no one who appreciates user-friendly software will ever touch anything written by Vladimir Palant.

Thank you for considering this, and thank you for giving us one of the most useful and Zen pieces of software in existence. I hope you will do the right thing for the end user: if you absolutely have to have it, make this feature strictly opt-in.