Dear WhyFirefoxIsBlocked.com,

by M. David Peterson

Update: *EXCELLENT* follow-up post from Wladimir in which he closes with the following,

I guess I need to thank Danny for so many great articles in such a short time. On the other hand, maybe instead I should remind him that denial-of-service attacks are illegal, even in the USA.


I'll let you come to your own conclusions as to what that last sentence is referring to, though I will point out the fact that no matter who you are or what you believe justifies your actions, while blocking ads is not a crime, DOS attacks and other forms of Internet harrasment and vandalism most certainly are.

If you are guilty of any such crimes, please don't turn yourself into the authorities (our prisons are filled with too many people who shouldn't be there in the first place), but please stop, think, and then find ways to get over whatever it is you are hung up on in a peaceful manner.

Thanks! Our Internet will be a better place if you are willing to consider the above request.

Update: Wladimir Palant, the *WONDERFUL* developer behind the *WONDERFUL* tool AdBlock Plus recently left the following comment that I thought the rest of you would find interesting,

Thank you for this article, it is real fun to read it. Btw, the numbers you were asking about - I don't have exact numbers either but it seems that no more than 2% of Firefox users have Adblock Plus installed. Which makes this campaign as ridiculous as ever.


Of course one can only assume that after all of this attention, the number of AdBlock Plus users have increased, but not so much as to drastically change the above percentage to the point where any of the legitimate sites on the net in which use ad revenue as their primary support are going to be noticeably effected. In fact if you think about it, it's quite possible that, while ever-so-slightly, the reduced cost in bandwidth savings from those who have no interest in the ads being displayed will *more* that offset any potential loss in ad revenue.

In fact, if you *really* think about it, if all of the people in which had no desire nor willingness to click on the ads presented on your site were to install AdBlock Plus there's an ever-so-slighter (is slighter a word? Probably not, but today let's make it an honorary word just for fun ;-) possibility that the net result will be that of increasing your cash flow instead of decreasing it.

Okay, maybe thats a bit of stretch, but if nothing else it's definitely something to consider. Of course if it turns out this theory were to actually hold any water you would have none other than Wladimir Palant to thank for your decreased cost structure and therefore increase in monthly revenue. And according to the following forum entry from about this time last year (which was in response to a question regarding Wladimir's preferred charity), here's how you can thank him for your new found cash cow, ;-)

I don't favor any organization, feel free to choose the one you like

Edit: On the other hand... I do favor one organization: http://www.mozilla.org/foundation/donate.html


Seems reasonable to me. :D

Thanks, Wladimir!

Update: NOTE: For those of you who first read this update at the top of my last post, here it is again but this time at the top of the correct post! ;-)

---
I *LOVE* this comment from an article linked to from Yours Truly (a handle, not a self reference ;-),

Upon clicking the link to http://whyfirefoxisblocked.com/ I was met with a blank page. Interesting, I thought to myself. Let’s check this out in more detail… I bet they want me to wipe the dust off my Internet Explorer and access their site that way. Admit defeat? Go back to using Internet Explorer? Hardly. I simply opened a new tab in Firefox and went to Google. In the Google search field I entered the search term: site:whyfirefoxisblocked.com and then loaded the conveniently offered “cached” version of the page in question. It loaded smoothly in my AdBlockPlus-enabled copy of Firefox.


Absolutely *CLASSIC*! :D Thanks for the laugh, Yours Truly! Of course the real test would be to do the same for the site that you would have been redirected from, but two things,

1) Why waste any more of your valuable time.
2) The spirit of your hack is most certainly in place, which leads to one very important observation,

As mentioned already: Don't Fight the Internet! There's fame (the good kind) and fortune and good times for all in whom find ways to embrace the way the web *truly* works, not the way you think it should work. And if anything this is the point of the entire post.

Update: Based on the evidence that has been mounting up in my inbox and in comments I've done a quick research project and have come to the same obvious conclusion that everyone else has: That the content that follows that now has a strike through is more than likely a completely bogus attempt at justification. My apologies to each of you that were simply following Digg, Slashdot, Reddit, and other links for proliferating the garbage that is being fed from this guy.

Oh, and Danny, (AKA Jack Lewis),

You know what, nevermind. Why even waste any more of my time.

No wait, I'm sorry, I do have something else to say: You are not a victim of terrorism. You're a victim of yourself.

Best of luck to you.

Oh, and one other thing: If you are bothered by the ads on this or any other site and would rather read this or any other *FREE* content without being bothered by ads you find annoying: I've heard that Ad Block Plus is pretty good. Of course you'll need Firefox if you don't already have it, but if you're interested in my opinion, Firefox is as good as a browser gets.

In fact, maybe even better.

Enjoy your ad free Firefox browsing days, everyone! The content here on O'ReillyNet is free to read however you might choose in whatever browser you might choose. If you choose to reprint it (beyond that which can be considered fair use) please do so under the terms of the Creative Commons by-nc-sa. Otherwise, do what you want. That's your right.

And as always, thanks for reading! :D

Update: via a comment from Danny Carlton,

It's my site, and if i want to control how people view it, I'm not letting a bunch of terrorists force me into changing that--and when you attempt to change someone's behavior by threat of harm, you are a terrorist. The vile, obscene emails and phone calls, they attempts to shut down my server with DOS attacks and bandwidth eating programs, are all acts of terrorism, and it's really interesting how many people who seem to get offended at being called "thieves" have no problems acting like terrorists.


Folks, I don't care who you are or what it is you think you're accomplishing, as far as I'm concerned anyone who involves themselves in this type of activity is absolutely as Danny specifies,

A criminal.

That's absolutely shameful to do that kind of crap. You mind not be a criminal for blocking ads placed in the content you read, but you're certainly a criminal if you take part in any of the crimes mentioned above.

Whoever is involved with the above: STOP!

It's not funny. It's not cool. And it certainly isn't justified. It's stupid. It's illegal. And it needs to stop.


[Original Post]

Don't fight the Internet! I promise, you'll lose.

Why FireFox is Blocked

The Mozilla Foundation and its Commercial arm, the Mozilla Corporation, has allowed and endorsed Ad Block Plus, a plug-in that blocks advertisement on web sites and also prevents site owners from blocking people using it. Software that blocks all advertisement is an infringement of the rights of web site owners and developers. Numerous web sites exist in order to provide quality content in exchange for displaying ads. Accessing the content while blocking the ads, therefore would be no less than stealing. Millions of hard working people are being robbed of their time and effort by this type of software. Many site owners therefore install scripts that prevent people using ad blocking software from accessing their site. That is their right as the site owner to insist that the use of their resources accompanies the presence of the ads.


Here's the thing: If people are going out of their way to block ads via Ad Block Plus do you honestly believe they represent a significant percentage of the +/-2.5% of the people who actually ever click on web ads in the first place? Wait, hold up, I think you answer your own question in the next paragraph down, but first let me take a quick moment to point something out,

114 Comments

Sjoerd Visscher
2007-08-20 01:13:04
I think the solution is simple. Somebody should just port Ad Block Plus to Internet Explorer.
M. David Peterson
2007-08-20 03:45:34
@Sjoerd,


>> I think the solution is simple. Somebody should just port Ad Block Plus to Internet Explorer.


I thought somebody already had. Either that or something similar.


Anybody happen to know for sure one way or another?

Duncan
2007-08-20 05:37:41
Poor folks - all that time and energy wasted on trying to prevent something you can't stop. They seem to assume that they will be able to force Firefox users to use IETab or another browser, and therefore force people to see their ads. They obviously don't know about the lovely User Agent Switcher extension - https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/59


Truly a battle they can't win.

M. David Peterson
2007-08-20 06:57:46
@Duncan,


>> They obviously don't know about the lovely User Agent Switcher extension


Or for that matter the simple fact that anyone, regardless of their browser, can turn off Javascript and disable all active content including a good majority of the ads.


>> Truly a battle they can't win.


Yup! What's even funnier is that what's likely to happen is that more people will discover and install Ad Block Plus resulting in more Fx users and less advertising dollars. Obviously not the result they were hoping for, but it's not like they didn't have enough warning signs,


Headline,

ILLEGAL DOWNLOADS DESTROYING MUSIC INDUSTRY!


The worlds population of 13-30 somethings,

"You mean I can download all the music I want for free? SWEET!"
Bill Basso
2007-08-20 07:10:32
I have always thought of myself as a law abiding American. I read every billboard along the highway every day I pass it on my commute. But I never thought that if I am watching America's Funniest Home Invasions and I flip to American Idle during the commercials I am stealing.


Must call 911 on self immediately so I can watch the cops break down my front door and arrest me.

M. David Peterson
2007-08-20 07:23:18
@Bill Basso,


>> But I never thought that if I am watching America's Funniest Home Invasions and I flip to American Idle during the commercials I am stealing.


Speaking of which, I wonder if any of the folks behind the above linked site took note of the fact that Tivo, in all of its law abiding glory does, for all intents and purposes, the exact same thing Ad Block Plus?


Are all Tivo owners thieves as well?


>> Must call 911 on self immediately so I can watch the cops break down my front door and arrest me.


That would be sweet! Can you let me know right before you do so I can remember to set my Tivo? I would watch it live but, you know, I haven't met my quota today for stolen web content, and until I do the inner thief in me will keep pushing at me and pushing at me until I do!


Ahh the life of a content thief. A vicious downward spiral once you've had your first taste, thats for certain! ;-)

Wow
2007-08-20 07:47:14
QUOTE
ripping out each of the ads such that I can read my aforementioned copy of my local alternative press completely ad free, am I now guilty of a crime?
/QUOTE


Your arguments are really weak. First off, he's not saying it's a crime to block ads. It's also not a crime to deny you access to content. You're the one assuming things here.


QUOTE
So then wouldn't the same be true if you didn't block them?
/QUOTE


Sure, but you're missing the point, the point is, they are getting free content and they could be a lot of revenue. Why not save bandwidth and just block these people?


QUOTE
So let me get this straight: The people you are blocking hold the potential of being cheap and/or poor "criminals", a subset of site visitors which represent a small percentage of your total site visitors in the first place
/QUOTE


Again you go with the criminal and breaking-the-law part. There's a difference between wronging a person and breaking the law. The first is a moral and ethical issue, the second is a legality issue. The fact that so few people actually understand the difference between morals and laws is why countries like my home country of the US have ever-increasingly stupid leaders making ever-increasingly stupid decisions to centralize power and regulate morality. You'll note you're the only person here making this out to be a legal issue instead of a moral one.


QUOTE
Oh wait, I'm sorry. Given that you're blocking *ALL* Firefox site visitors from viewing your *FREE* content, I guess there's no way for you to know exactly just how much potential revenue you're losing out on.
/QUOTE


Actually, he probably knows exactly how much and doesn't care. You see, in order for someone to make the decision to block Firefox, they have to have seen the percentage of hits compared to ad revenue and probably drew a correlation between hits, revenue, and which ones weren't doing revenue and found out the vast majority of his visitors using Firefox weren't generating revenue for him.


Simple solution: ban Firefox from entering his site.

Luther
2007-08-20 08:01:02
The advertising model for the web is dead. Google is dead. Who has the next business model?
JMC
2007-08-20 08:01:27
I was unaware that such a campaign (WhyFirefoxIsBlocked.com) even existed. It really is ridiculous to suggest that by removing all that crap from MY browser is, in any way, criminal. I cannot imagine a site (or sites for that matter) that would be so important to me that would make me switch browsers just b/c they disapprove of firefox.
Danny Carlton
2007-08-20 08:06:25
It's such a shame that people are so clueless and illiterate. All this fuss because you simply don't want to bother reading the page.


I don't want people accessing my site that use ad blocking software. Seems fair enough to me. 99% of the internet would agree that I should have the right to block access to people who are using that kind of software.


But the AdBlockPlus people make sure site owners cannot block people using their software, so the only alternative they've left me is to block FireFox.


Now comes all the tin-foil-hate wearing paranoids who think ony FireFox prevents Bill Gates from controlling them via the chip the CIA put in their head, and in order to convince me that they aren't freeloading criminals, they violate the law and attept to shut my site down, simply because I want to control how people see my site. Oh, and sites like Shashdot, Digg and others allow commenters to encourage people to violate the law--yet somehow I'm the bad guy.


It's my site, and if i want to control how people view it, I'm not letting a bunch of terrorists force me into changing that--and when you attempt to change someone's behavior by threat of harm, you are a terrorist. The vile, obscene emails and phone calls, they attempts to shut down my server with DOS attacks and bandwidth eating programs, are all acts of terrorism, and it's really interesting how many people who seem to get offended at being called "thieves" have no problems acting like terrorists.


What also amazes me is how much time so many people are wasting trying to change one site that they'd probably never have even visited in the first place. Some people, seriously, need to get a life.

M. David Peterson
2007-08-20 08:18:31
@Wow,


>> Your arguments are really weak. First off, he's not saying it's a crime to block ads. <<


So then what exactly do you believe the phrase,


While blanket ad blocking in general is still theft,


... suggests? If its not a crime to block ads then why is the word theft even used? Theft infers crime. If it didn't, it wouldn't be theft.


>> It's also not a crime to deny you access to content. You're the one assuming things here. <<


I never assumed nor suggested that what they were doing is illegal. Just stupid. This is a classic case of cutting off your nose to spite your face.


>> Again you go with the criminal and breaking-the-law part. There's a difference between wronging a person and breaking the law. The first is a moral and ethical issue, the second is a legality issue. <<


And again, I do so based on the usage of the word "theft." I do so also on portions of the first paragraph,


Accessing the content while blocking the ads, therefore would be no less than stealing. Millions of hard working people are being robbed of their time and effort by this type of software.


I'm not reading anything into this. Whoever wrote this is of the obvious belief that someone stripping the ads out of their content is theft plain and simple. The fact of the matter is that it's not theft. If this was a paid subscription site and I somehow found a way to hack into the site and read the content without paying that would be theft.



>> The fact that so few people actually understand the difference between morals and laws <<


Oh come on! You are actually going to insist that anyone can freely call someone a thief without that same person being generalized as a criminal? Is theft a crime? If yes, is a criminal someone who commits crimes? Just in case the answer is yes. Don't come in here and get all "I did not have sexual relations with that woman" on me. This person used the words stealing, robbed, and theft. In short: They're calling people who view the content on their site while at the same time blocking the ads criminals.


>> You see, in order for someone to make the decision to block Firefox, they have to have seen the percentage of hits compared to ad revenue and probably drew a correlation between hits, revenue, and which ones weren't doing revenue and found out the vast majority of his visitors using Firefox weren't generating revenue for him. <<


So the solution is to block visitors using Firefox? What if those same visitors are just like me, or in other words use Firefox some of the time and Opera some of the time and Safari some of the time? If so (and there are a lot of us out there) then the numbers are completely skewed. And furthermore if I am blocked access to a site in Firefox and yet not in other browsers my reaction is not going to be "well I'll just visit the site in anothe browser" and instead "well I guess I'll get the content I'm interested in from somewhere else."


You see the real problem here is that people only think things half way through. They seem to be of the belief that because they have determined that Firefox visitors don't generate enough revenue to care that they can then block them without having any side effects. When those side effects make themselves known, instead of realizing they made a mistake they start defending their "rights" instead of realizing they were wrong. Is it their right to block ads? Sure, but like I've already said,



Well, best of luck to you.


Sincerely,


Yet Another Lost Potential Revenue Generating Firefox User


Once again, I'm not suggesting people are wrong (as in commiting some sort of crime) for blocking Firefox visitors.


Just stupid.

M. David Peterson
2007-08-20 08:22:24
@Danny Carlton,


>> It's my site, and if i want to control how people view it, I'm not letting a bunch of terrorists force me into changing that--and when you attempt to change someone's behavior by threat of harm, you are a terrorist. The vile, obscene emails and phone calls, they attempts to shut down my server with DOS attacks and bandwidth eating programs, are all acts of terrorism, and it's really interesting how many people who seem to get offended at being called "thieves" have no problems acting like terrorists. <<


You're right, that kind of treatment *IS* a crime. I'm sorry to hear about this. I'll bring this to the attention of my readers at the top of the post.

Anonymous
2007-08-20 08:27:06
Danny,


Then we have quite a problem. Because, if we use your reasoning, people who create spyware and malicious code as part of their websites also have a right to place this software on a victim's machine if that person chooses to come by and look at their website. The victim has no right to block this, Google and others have no right to inform users of sites known to harbor malicious code (thereby dissuading potential victims from going there), etc.


I am unfair, but you at least know what side you stand on.


Anonymous

Jordan
2007-08-20 08:36:03
The thing he fails to grasp is that website owners do NOT have the right to advertise to me. They can sell ad-space all they want, but they don't have the right to make me look at it.


Now if we were talking about illegally gaining access to a paid site or something like that he might have a point. Accessing material for free that other people pay for is another matter.


But nobody has an inherent right to advertise.

Fiona
2007-08-20 08:41:03
Danny Carlton > You have got to be kidding me. Do people like you really exist?
Matt
2007-08-20 08:45:39
Right your unhappy about people blocking ads? Well you better block IE7 as well then as IE7PRO addon SUPPORTS AD BLOCKING (oh dear!).


Why not try and look at different methods instead of flooding the internet with more and more ads, if I want to block ads as I can't stand annoying Flash ads etc.

Anon
2007-08-20 08:50:21
Actually I spend several thousand a year online and I use firefox. Oh, and I don't use Ad Block Plus. I don't even have the user agent switcher installed, so I guess I'm out of luck.


Leah
2007-08-20 09:01:16
Danny,


In order for ad-blocking to be considered criminal, you have to expressly state to users that your content is on offer contingent upon the fact that they view your ads. If a user agrees to view your ads in order to view your content and then blocks the ads, they've broken their contract with you and you have a case.


Until then, you are arguing that putting ads on a web site creates an implicit contract between you and your users.


Sorry, but it doesn't.

momerath
2007-08-20 09:01:32
I was happy enough with the included adblock for getting rid of particularly annoying ads, or those which block text because of poor html/css. Apparently though, AdBlock Plus is really effective. I think I'll go install it.
Marc
2007-08-20 09:02:31
I find it funny to see you people argue over such a stupid topic.


I have Adblock plus installed and I use Firefox. Last time I check I the one paying my bandwidth bills and since I have installed that wonder called Adblock plus, do you know how much less bandwidth I consume per month? Without that flash crap and such, I get roughly 2 gigs less in bandwidth PER MONTH....


Sorry, but you can keep you 2mb crap I have no interest in. BTW, if someone really wants to see your site, they just have to use a proxy and report as being a google 2.1 agent, very easy to do.


Why would you find a battle that you already have lost and will not win no mater how hard you try...PGP and DES encryption were supposed to be invulnerable to cracking...no? A smart a** figured it out and it can be cracked...you're little scheme to block Firefox will only trigger more interest in bypassing you game from hackers and such. Why will they be doing it? For the kick and fun of it, challenge! That's how it's always been and will always be.


I you want to find out the vulnerabilities of a system, just make a post on the net and challenge the public to get in and bypass it...that's want you just did.

Andy Hardin
2007-08-20 09:15:44
Danny,


Quit throwing around the word "terrorist". As far as I know no one has committed an acts of violence or attempted to terrorize you in any way. Haphazardly using the word to describe any and every mischievous act cheapens the word.


2007-08-20 09:20:06
There is something called hypocrisy and I assume that you understand that. If you are with a clear conscience, why do I still see ads on your blog ???


The whole point of the WhyFirefoxIsBlocked.com was to educate people about what are they doing, unknowingly. Can you explain your grandma that some ads on the right side make google millions every year. Probably she will not even be looking at them!


What is the difference in actually seeing some extra words instead of a clean background. The site puts a genuine point forward. Ad block takes all freedom from the content creator. Isn't it what we call as dictatorship?


If there is no incentive no-one will actually bother about content creation. Contextual ads give the author to create unbiased opinion, review about anythings, and almost everything. And thats what contextual ads have done to you.

Mark
2007-08-20 09:25:27
Have you gone to this guys real web site? The first post on it mentioned the "Religion of Evolution." At first, I was angry about this Firefox blocking thing, but having read his blog, I think he was doing us all a favor.
Antony K
2007-08-20 09:29:46
Good article - couldn't agree more.


The only adverts I've ever clicked on have been by accident due to them expanding upon mouseover or adverts sliding in to the center of my screen.


If a site makes money from me clicking on adverts mistakenly via the deceptive techniques mentioned above, surely it's an equivalently grievous action as those who block firefox claim adblock users are committing?


As you say, people block adverts for a reason - they're annoying and they know they're never going to click on them.


Obviously these sites aren't proud of their content or don't consider themselves to be pervaying a message of any worth otherwise they'd let the content attract users and enjoy harvesting clicks from firefox users who don't use adblock and like clicking on the occasional ad.

lennon
2007-08-20 09:31:01
The "terrorism" Danny seems so concerned about (DoS attacks, etc.) is almsot certainly just the result of the "Slashdot effect" (a.k.a. "Digg effect", "Reddit effect", etc.). Unfortunately, by giving this wingnut yet another public forum in which to rant, you have pretty much guaranteed that he will be sufficiently infamous to have a voice in future debates about this topic, despite his logic being at least as flawed as pointed out in this article.


Please, folks, stop feeding the trolls. We don't need Andrew Keen, or Danny, or any of their ilk using illogical B.S. (like calling people "terrorists" and "thieves") to mask their simple anti-Internet agenda. For those who think they have it all figured out, the Web can be a nasty shock: it's far too dynamic, fast-changing, and far-reaching a phenomenon for any one person to master, which apparently scares the hell out of some of them.

Antony K
2007-08-20 09:32:11
Quoting 'anonymous': "If there is no incentive no-one will actually bother about content creation. Contextual ads give the author to create unbiased opinion, review about anythings, and almost everything. And thats what contextual ads have done to you."


So there's no point making music or being creative if there's no $$ in it? Please.

@Danny
2007-08-20 09:43:32
Danny,


You argument about saving bandwidth is ridiculously stupid. I, as a browser of your site, also expend my own bandwidth to do so. Why should you have the right to consume my bandwidth for advertising? As another poster pointed out, there is no contract between us. I am in no way obligated to view your ads in order to pay your expenses. You are trying to force a business model on your users that is against their interest, and you will fail. If your content is so valuable you would be wise to implement a secure payment model, otherwise, get off your soapbox and shut up.

Tommy
2007-08-20 09:46:51
Its a funny old world, get a grip Danny if you bounce people they go elsewhere! and will not return what ever the software used.

2007-08-20 09:51:10
"There is something called hypocrisy and I assume that you understand that. If you are with a clear conscience, why do I still see ads on your blog ???"


That's funny, I don't even have AdBlock on this Firefox, and I don't see ads (other than the word "advertisement") on this blog.

kieranmullen
2007-08-20 10:04:37
I think we should call him and get his opinion...


[EDIT:MDP] <snip/>
[Update:MDP] Not cool, kieranmullen. There's nothing that justifies this kind of crap.


My apologies to the rest of you for not noticing this before now.

Jeff
2007-08-20 10:05:37
I've been using Firefox for years now, and never installed Ad Block. Thank you for reminding me that, really, it's about time I did. I have no idea what has taken me so long.
Jeff
2007-08-20 10:06:44
OMG, kieranmullen, WTF is wrong with you?


Not cool, dude. Not cool at all.

Bumbleguppy
2007-08-20 10:11:54
Umm...in case you didn't know, I can block ads (in Windows) using my hosts file.


http://www.mvps.org/winhelp2002/hosts.htm


So if I want to block ads, I don't really need to use Firefox to do it, using the host file blocks a lot of ads in ALL browsers. So the argument that only add-ons are responsible is without merit.

Sharky
2007-08-20 10:13:34
I installed that ad-blocker in my Firefox and found that it does indeed load pages faster. (they should thank those guys for the free advertising)


I think it's a fact that ads often have beneficial informational content and I'm not normally averse to seeing them, but it does bother me a LOT when an advertiser is overloading his adserver and it slows down MY browsing.


If this kind of software makes advertiser ensure that their ads do not slow web page loading down, it's a good thing.


One slow-to-load ad can slow a webpage down and everyone suffers.


Make sure your advertisements are both entertaining and informational/educational and no one will want to block them.


Make sure your ads load fast and no one will need to block them.


Is that REALLY so hard???

zack
2007-08-20 10:13:58
This guy is a moron who doesn't understand the first thing about the internet. Or maybe just a lame publicity stunt. If he sees this, http://www.mvps.org/winhelp2002/hosts.htm I wonder how long it will take him to block all web traffic. That'll show 'em.
Khyber Kitsune
2007-08-20 10:17:56
I'm sorry, I use adblock because I pay a metered bandwidth bill every month. Huge flash-based advertisements quickly eat up the limited bandwidth allocation I already have, and personally, since it's MY bandwidth that I have already paid for, I have the right to choose what does or does not come through my pipeline.


As it is, most of Mr. Carlton's ads are Flash and Java-based. As I automatically disable all Flash and Java scripts, there really is no need for AdBlock, as I've effectively disabled his ads by just clicking a couple of boxes and disabling the technology he needs to have his ads displayed.


Of course, I could always turn those addons back on, and then just send Mr. Carlton the bill for an unauthorized usage of my resources, and if he refuses to pay I can take him to civil court and really deprive him of money. The courts have sided with every company and individual that has ever sued for that reason, and I'd guarantee I would win just as easily.


Mr. Carlton is just making the rest of us technically knowledgeable people hang our heads in shame. The internet was never meant to be commercialized, and commercializing it has ruined it's original purpose - the spread and freedom of information through a network that could stay active even if multiple nodes were destroyed.


Now, because of people like Mr. Carlton, our internet is an unsafe s***storm due to the forcing of people to use a non-W3C compliant browser that has more security holes than any other browser out there.


Thank you, Mr. Carlton. You and your ilk are bound to destroy this network, and this is why we're making a second internet, one that can be free of capricious and uneducated fools such as yourself.

dean
2007-08-20 10:34:41
That site owner seems to be under the impression that there is a contract between him and his site viewers. There is no contract. There is no obligation. I wonder why he thinks there is?


I am not obligated to pay attention to ads or commercials on TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, billboards, web sites or tattoos on people's foreheads. In fact, this site owner should ask his own advertisers what they think about this supposed obligation. He will be surprised by the answer.


Advertising is like fishing, you throw out the bait and hope you catch something. They hope to catch people's attention, but there is no obligation for us to give it.

Tom
2007-08-20 10:44:20
Oh, this is fun.


Firefox users (an alternative browser from the Mozilla Foundation) can install plug-ins for managing the user agent value, such as the User Agent Switcher at http://chrispederick.myacen.com/work/firefox/useragentswitcher/ or the UserAgent bar at http://uabar.mozdev.org. Alternately, type the special URL "about:config" in the browser's location bar to access the browser's properties and use the popup menu to add a new property called "general.useragent.override" with the desired value.

Danny Carlton
2007-08-20 10:44:26
It doesn't help your position much when, even after asking them not to, commenters in agreement with your position then encourage even more illegal activites in retaliation for what I do on my own site.


Please remove the personal information posted here. There are some sick people out there and I've already had to pay extra to have a private registration of that site (my fault for assuming FireFox and ad block users wouldn't be crazy enough to personally attack me and my family)


If you attempt to illegitimately modify my behavior based on fear of what you'll do to me, then that's terrorism. No violence is needed, only the threat of it.

sabat
2007-08-20 10:46:33
"It's my site, and if i want to control how people view it, I'm not letting a bunch of terrorists force me into changing that"


You have lost perspective, my friend. Once something is publicized, it is no longer completely yours. And I as a reader/viewer/consumer can and will choose how, when, and where I will view your site.


Your mother is ashamed of you for calling people terrorists because they expressed opinions. I'm certainly ashamed of you.

BobH
2007-08-20 10:48:46
I'm not defending Mr. Carlton, but I don't get how the people posting here expect content providers (from newspapers and magazines to only-only news/commentary providers to bloggers) to survive. You seem to be saying:


1. You will not pay a subscription fee.


2. You will block any ads on any site -- not just the bloated Flash ones, but all of them.


Of course, you still want to benefit from the information and entertainment these sites provide. You just want it for free. Sounds nice, but how will this model work? And what will you do when these information/entertainment sources start to dry up?


Please explain. I really want to understand.

Ed
2007-08-20 10:53:13
You correctly point out that according to their own argument, websites that block Firefox only succeed in preventing people from viewing their site who wouldn't have clicked on the adds anyway. That makes it sound like a zero net loss/gain.


However, you failed to point out that these people who can no longer view their site can no longer tell all their non-Addblock using friends how great the site is! Hence, it's now a net loss!



len
2007-08-20 10:55:20
Just FYI:


Terrorism: see Section 2 (15), Homeland Security Act of 2002, Pub. L. 107-296, 116 Stat. 2135 (2002)

sabat
2007-08-20 10:59:24
"And lets hope it stays that way!"


LET'S, not LETS.


Dude, you're not on wordpress.com -- this is a professional blog on a highly visible and respected network. Where are your editors? Where is your spell-checker? This is not nit-picking, considering where you're posting.


The rule isn't that complex. In English, if you leave out a letter, you have to add an apostrophe. "Let us" becomes "let's". "Do not" becomes "don't". Learn it. Love it. Live it.


http://owl.english.purdue.edu/handouts/grammar/g_apost.html


[INSERT:MDP] Thanks for the catch! Fixed.

Gabe
2007-08-20 11:01:01
Hear hear Leah! This is the crux of the issue. There is no implicit contract.


@Danny - You should be allowed to block Firefox users, just the same as I should be allowed to use Ad-Block. You should be allowed to post hyperbolic inflammatory accusations with a tenuous basis in reality, just as I should be able to post a rant about how ridiculous it is to equate "theft" with something that is not stealing.


The reason people are so angry about this is first because no one likes to be called a thief. You can not simply redefine thief to mean some abstract and indeterminate loss you believe you may have suffered indirectly. "Theft" has an actual meaning, but here it is just used as a political term to smear someone else. It's kind of like calling anyone who disagrees with Bush unpatriotic.


Second, there are a lot of "facts" about Firefox, that really appear to be made up out of thin air. I don't buy for an instant that Firefox users spend less money online. It's use is dominated by well-earning tech professionals and hipsters who are far more likely to do as much business as possible on-line. I don't have any numbers to back this up, but neither does the original page, it just smells funny.


But keep in mind, NEITHER M DAVID PETERSON NOR MYSELF ARE DISPUTING YOUR RIGHT TO DO THIS. Do whatever you want... I don't see how it will work to your benefit, but feel free to try.



sabat
2007-08-20 11:02:57
"Sounds nice, but how will this model work? And what will you do when these information/entertainment sources start to dry up?"


1- They probably won't dry up.
2- AdBlock doesn't block text ads. So *useful*, contextual advertising like AdWords is not blocked. Sometimes I even find myself clicking on an ad.
3- You doubt the market's ability to innovate. If you create something that doesn't work, someone will come along with an idea that the market likes better, and voila. Thus the death of the banner ad and the birth of contextual advertising. Just an example.

A. W. Shucks
2007-08-20 11:06:38
Since I'm being banned from some site because the browser I'm running might have a plug-in, I guess I'll install that same plug-in. If they're gonna convict you for doing it, you might as well do it.
BobH
2007-08-20 11:10:45
@sabat:
"1- They probably won't dry up."


Got anything to back that up? Look at what's happening to newspapers -- even the very best ones (NY Times, Washington Post) who clearly have a lot of compelling content to offer. Virtually all of them are cutting back, some drastically. It's expensive to pay those reporters, columnists and photographers. If you think little AdWords ads will bring in anything approaching that kind of revenue you're out of touch with the business world.


Oh, and I've read plenty of complaints about the intrusion of AdWords and its ilk. How long before some innovator has figured out how to block them as well?

Chris
2007-08-20 11:14:30
Oh, poor Danny Carlton. He calls people thieves and is upset when they get angry at him and behave, like, well, people. No, its not worth my time to get angry, write him a nasty letter, but I'll wager the so-called "DOS attack" is really the net effect of being posted on every blog and link agglomeration site on the internet. POOR, POOR Danny Carlton.


Next time don't be a jackass.


2007-08-20 11:16:59
http://image.bayimg.com/gagfdaabb.jpg


Got to love AdBlock!