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Michelle
Michelle
8/9/2016 3:06:02 PM
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this is it
I assume this means other content providers will follow suit. I enjoy the ad-free experience. There are so many ads all over the place these days, it's nice to have fewer in the browser. I guess those days are over...

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Ariella
Ariella
8/9/2016 4:25:10 PM
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Re: this is it
@Michelle The ads are generally annoying and sometimes distracting. But the most annoying ads of all are the kind that cover the content you are really there for. 

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DHagar
DHagar
8/9/2016 7:52:18 PM
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Re: this is it
@Ariella, here - here!  I am fully with you and Michelle.  It is an interference.

What I think is distasteful about Facebook is the tactics they are using as if it is OK for them to profit but not others.  If they would create a "options preference" and be consistent, I think they would get further.

Of course I am not a big Facebook fan anyway, so I am probably biased to be critical!  (That's not an ad)

 

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vnewman
vnewman
8/10/2016 1:13:31 AM
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Re: this is it
The ones that frustrate me the most are those that have an "x" to close the ad, but somehow the ad opens even when you've clicked it.  Or - the ads that seemingly don't have a close button until after it floats around on your screen for a certain period of time. 

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JohnBarnes
JohnBarnes
8/10/2016 7:08:18 AM
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Re: this is it
vnewman,

You're up against the same phenomenon that made "free" broadcast radio and TV what they became: you're not the consumer (the thing that does the buying), you're the product (the thing that is bought and sold; internet companies,Facebook even more so than others, are paid to assemble audiences in front of screens and then sell space on the screen. You have the same say in the matter as an apple in a bin at your local grocery store (remembering that the produce aisle's function is not so much that people like fresh fruits and vegetables -- fewer than half of shoppers ever buy them -- but they like to buy food in places where fresh fruits and vegetables are on display).

The apple might prefer to have been sprayed with a few less chemicals and coated with less wax, but it doesn't get a vote.

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DHagar
DHagar
8/10/2016 7:54:46 PM
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Re: this is it
@JohnBarnes, that's how I feel exactly - an apple in a bin without a vote!  Exellent description.

One would think that with digital intelligence we could find a better fit and at least make the experience more tolerable!

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Ariella
Ariella
8/10/2016 8:32:53 AM
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Re: this is it
@vnewman what all these ad designers fail to get is that forcing people to see something they have no interest in will not make them want to buy the featured product. It does the opposite of inspire goodwill.

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vnewman
vnewman
8/10/2016 1:30:16 PM
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Re: this is it
@Ariella - So true. I have trained myself to tune them out.  Why is this so hard for "marketers" to understand?

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Ariella
Ariella
8/10/2016 1:33:52 PM
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Re: this is it
@vnewman I know, this kind of thing gives marekting a bad name. It becomes invasive and counterproductive rather than appropriate and helpful.

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vnewman
vnewman
8/10/2016 1:43:49 PM
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Re: this is it
It feels like stalking.

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JohnBarnes
JohnBarnes
8/15/2016 7:35:26 AM
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Re: this is it
Ariella, vnewman,

Absolutely true to the individual experience -- there are several products I won't buy because of their advertising -- but unfortunately, all but completely false to what the statistics show. Name recognition is so powerful in buying decisions, and branding is now so trained into the culture, that obnoxious advertising does better because all that really matters for many products is the association between Name X and Product Y.  For several years Mr. Whipple squeezing the Charmin was the most-hated commercial on TV; during those years Charmin sales grew explosively, because no matter how much people disliked an exhibition of the strange fetishes of a depraved store manager, they by-gum remembered that Charmin was a name for toilet paper.

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Ariella
Ariella
8/15/2016 11:00:48 AM
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Re: this is it
@JohnBarnes Never cared for Charmin myself, though I do recall the commercials. I must be dating myself here.

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JohnBarnes
JohnBarnes
8/10/2016 7:01:08 AM
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Platinum
The problem is easily solved, if we stop worshipping the private sector
Much of the content on the internet -- and an unusually high fraction on Facebook -- is produced by users for free. And advertising is straight-up harmful in much of  its intent: it's about getting people to feel that they must/should buy things that they're already aware of and would not feel attracted enough to buy without the boosting. at the local/individual level, and about promoting and promulgating the idea that buying things (especially for irrational emotional cravings) is a positive good, at the societal level. (If you don't believe me, check with a parent whose kid has seen a lot of breakfast cereal commercials).

The obvious solution would be cheap public servers for the general staying-in-contact that people like the net for, for organizations to use to be in touch with their members, and for ordinary business purposes -- i.e. the kind of thing the Post Office was created to do, back when well-known socialist Ben Franklin proposed it. And such a scheme could easily be supported by a straight-up tax on advertising -- especially because in nearly all the market economies, advertising has been tax deductible for many years, so we already have long records going back decades to tell us what is really spent on advertising and thus make it hard to cheat.

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mhhf1ve
mhhf1ve
8/12/2016 7:03:07 PM
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Re: The problem is easily solved, if we stop worshipping the private sector
> "The obvious solution would be cheap public servers for the general staying-in-contact that people like the net for, for organizations to use to be in touch with their members, and for ordinary business purposes -- i.e. the kind of thing the Post Office was created to do..."

That's a fascinating suggestion, but I'm skeptical that it would actually work. That Kickstarter campaign to create an open source social network... didn't really go anywhere after it was released. Maybe if the US Postal Office required everyone to get an Official USPS social network account based on diaspora or whatever social network platform is deemed appropriate...? But I shudder to think at the "junk mail" that would find its way on to such a government service (the USPS also relies on junk mail revenue, too).... 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diaspora_(social_network)

Ultimately, I think the problem would be getting competent developers to work on such a public social network to keep it running and to filter out all the junk and spam and attacks and malware.... and who would figure out the roadmap for development or updates or feature requests?

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JohnBarnes
JohnBarnes
8/13/2016 7:39:55 PM
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Re: The problem is easily solved, if we stop worshipping the private sector
mhhf1ve,

Oh, I don't think for a moment anyone is going to try to do that. The Ben Franklin/Alexander Hamilton/Whig Party/Bull Moose/New Deal/Eisenhower stream in American politics, of using the power of goverment to restructure the economic infrastructure for the benefit of most people, appears to be dead, and the last people who were any good at that kind of politics died long ago too. And a genuinely public internet not supported by advertising would be a vast, complex project that would take a commitment of many years to carry out, and a lot of smart planning at the beginning. So politically and culturally, it's not really possible anymore (just as no one could launch a Post Office, Bank of the United States, Erie Canal, St. Lawrence Seaway, or Interstate Highway System as good as those were in their day now -- agoralatry ("market worship") is simply too deep in the culture now.

But from a purely technical standpoint: money is just information, which we calculate from other information (n months of occupancy---formula--->$m rent, x items sold at $y price ---formula---> $z to wholesaler, etc.). A really public internet would require tracking which screen ran which content (or fraction thereof), and attaching a "net payments" account number to every screen/user combination (so people could share a device, and, for example, you could bill a student doing a school assignment differently from the same student watching videos at home). That's just a big old honking database.  Big Data is already managing to track most of what happens at Wal-Mart; it just isn't analyzing or reporting it yet. But the capability is almost there, and if we had to have it because we insisted on a true public net, we could do it pretty quickly. The will and the vision are lacking, not the social and technical knowledge.

(This is not unusual in history ... Robert Fulton offered to build steam gunboats for Napoleon that would have smashed the British fleet and allowed an invasion of England ... Harry Truman could have had the first Earth satellite spying on Russia by 1949 .... there is many a road we didn't walk down that was open whenever we wanted it).

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mhhf1ve
mhhf1ve
8/13/2016 9:32:01 PM
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Re: The problem is easily solved, if we stop worshipping the private sector
Agreed. No one is likely to create a huge tax-funded social network. There isn't even a USPS version of email. I wonder, though, if any large platform can even exist without some kind of advertising revenue. Ello still exists, but it's not exactly mainstream. Neither are any of the Twitter clones that aren't supported by ads.

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JohnBarnes
JohnBarnes
8/13/2016 10:31:40 PM
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Re: The problem is easily solved, if we stop worshipping the private sector
Yep. And again, that's a matter of what's socially/politically doable, not what's feasible. Those of us who have spent some of our lives in space advocacy are too familiar with this; as Stephen Baxter points out in Voyage, if the will had been there to do it, the first humans could have landed on Mars 30 years ago. (And probably would have been so underprepared that the mission would have been a disaster).  Here in the US we can't achieve much of the social safety net that much of hte world takes for granted, and we have gigantic tax and insurance industries (both huge drags on our economy) that we could theoretically replace almost overnight with something more efficient and less cumbersome -- but to do so would disemploy an enormous number of workers and trigger economic chaos.

Still, as Mark Twain once pointed out, the Civil War cost more than ten times what it would have done to just buy every single slave in the US, manumit them, educate them to the white national average at the time, and set them up on homesteads and small businesses. And all the reparations Germany was supposed to pay for WW1 to the Western Allies would have paid for only about 8 months of WW2 (which lasted 5 years and 8 months in Europe). 

The problem that we have a hard time figuring out how to pay for the most rational thing to do remains unsolved, and is likely to do so for a long time.

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mhhf1ve
mhhf1ve
8/14/2016 12:08:21 AM
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Re: The problem is easily solved, if we stop worshipping the private sector
Very true. A manned mission to Mars 30yrs ago would have been a complete disaster.... We haven't figured out how to shield astronauts from radiation levels found outside earth's orbit even today. People might have gotten to Mars decades ago, but they'd probably be dead from the radiation shortly afterward.

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JohnBarnes
JohnBarnes
8/14/2016 12:41:17 AM
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Re: The problem is easily solved, if we stop worshipping the private sector
mhhf1ve,

Yep, and as Baxter points out, we had no idea we'd be landing in soils so dense in peroxides (basically exploding sand). Small landers with little jets are one thing; a hundred-ton crewed lander would have received a big surprise.

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mhhf1ve
mhhf1ve
8/14/2016 12:12:15 AM
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Re: The problem is easily solved, if we stop worshipping the private sector
Paying for a social safety net is a difficult political proposition in the US. Maybe someone will come up with some Bitcoin-enabled tontine that avoids some of the fraud/abuse.

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JohnBarnes
JohnBarnes
8/14/2016 12:39:27 AM
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Re: The problem is easily solved, if we stop worshipping the private sector
>>>Maybe someone will come up with some Bitcoin-enabled tontine that avoids some of the fraud/abuse.

Fraud and abuse is negligible in US social programs; it's almost entirely a fiction of right-wing media, and dwarfed anyway by the immense organized corruption cesspools that are defense procurement and business subsidies. The taxpayers spend around $1.10 on a poor kid's school lunch and around $65 on a high ranking military officer's lunch; guess where there's more corruption money to make.

The problem of political will is not fraud or abuse; it's the systematic hate-the-poor campaign that is part of PR for enabling the 1%.

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mhhf1ve
mhhf1ve
8/15/2016 5:01:38 PM
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Re: The problem is easily solved, if we stop worshipping the private sector
> "Fraud and abuse is negligible in US social programs.."

Just to clarify -- I wasn't talking about US social programs, but tontines. Tontines of the early 1900s were abused and often fraudulent, which is why tontines are illegal even today.

However, if there were a trustworthy way to get tontines back into fashion (using DAOs or cryptocurrency schemes that aren't as prone to abuse), then maybe a tontine system could be implemented for some of our social security woes?

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/09/opinion/09baker.html?_r=0

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2015/09/28/this-sleazy-and-totally-illegal-savings-scheme-may-be-the-future-of-retirement/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Decentralized_autonomous_organization

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clrmoney
clrmoney
8/10/2016 11:03:40 AM
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Facebook Ads
Now why would they do that whcih means that would be more money for them unless it is something negative or something they don'e want on there.

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Michelle
Michelle
8/11/2016 2:42:09 PM
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Platinum
An update
Today, AdBlock Plus announced a temporary workaround. I guess this is the start of Adwars: Round 2.

https://adblockplus.org/blog/fb-reblock-ad-blocking-community-finds-workaround-to-facebook

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mhhf1ve
mhhf1ve
8/12/2016 7:12:33 PM
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Platinum
Re: An update
> "AdBlock Plus announced a temporary workaround..."

Doesn't AdBlock have its own business model that is somewhat inconsistent -- where some advertisers can pay to be unblocked? That seems like a conflict of interest... but I suppose if there's really demand for adblocking, there will be other adblockers with different business models.

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Michelle
Michelle
8/13/2016 11:49:37 PM
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Platinum
Re: An update
@mhh I'm not familiar with AdBlock's business model to allow some ads through the filter. If true, it's all kinds of crazy. We're getting into murky territory. 

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mhhf1ve
mhhf1ve
8/14/2016 12:02:24 AM
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Platinum
Re: An update
Adblock only accepts payments from "large" entities that have "acceptable" ads. "We receive some donations from our users, but our main source of revenue comes as part of the Acceptable Ads initiative. Larger entities pay a licensing fee for the whitelisting services requested and provided to them (90% of the licences are granted for free, to smaller entities). It should be noted that the Acceptable Ads criteria must be met independent of the consideration for payments. If the criteria are not met, whitelisting is impossible." https://adblockplus.org/about

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JohnBarnes
JohnBarnes
8/14/2016 12:45:58 AM
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Platinum
Re: An update
mhhf1ve,

And the whitelisting requirements are one of the best things about AdBlocker; they basically spell out that ads must not get in the way of content and that it should be possible to read or watch while totally ignoring the ads.

Whenever I get the snotty little "you're using adblocker so we're not getting paid" note from a site, if possible I don't use it; if necessary I hack in via Google, which has the tools to let you extract from almost any site without counting as an ad; and I put it on my don't link or recommend ever list, and it never appears in any of my work or recreational postings. Glad I never made the move to Facebook; it would have been a nuisance to get clear of them.

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mpouraryan
mpouraryan
8/15/2016 4:58:19 AM
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Platinum
Re: An update
Welcome to the New Week You all :)

As I assessed the discourse here, my view it:  Not surprising at all--because Facebook is dependent on it.  As for Facebook itself, it depends on what you use it for--some are not "comfortable".   But the engagement @ Facebook is frankly too enticing not to pass up--and if Facebook is taking steps to makes things even more seamless--kudos to them!!!



 

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Michelle
Michelle
8/15/2016 2:10:23 PM
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Platinum
Re: An update
@mhhf1v thanks for sharing that bit of disappointing news. I really had no idea and I can't say I'm not surprised. 

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mhhf1ve
mhhf1ve
8/14/2016 12:14:10 AM
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Platinum
Re: An update
I'm not totally familiar with how Adblock's whitelist and Acceptable Ads policy works, but presumably Facebook couldn't just pay to get through the filter?

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JohnBarnes
JohnBarnes
8/15/2016 7:48:04 AM
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Platinum
Re: An update
mhhf1ve,

AdBlock users adopt AdBlock because they control ads at the page level, screening for things like ads that jump in front of the content, animations that move around in the margins, easily findable close buttons that work right away (and are not purposely mis-labeled links to more advertising) and other things that detract from the reading experience (plus, of course, places that have not paid to be whitelisted).  The advertisers pay to get their own ads whitelisted, and Ad Blocker will only let them do that if the ads meet the criteria. Enabling/ creating a "bribe-in" system for third-party ads (which is what a blanket whitelist for Facebook would do) would destroy the value of the service to the users, and wipe out any incentive for all the now-paying customers to buy whitelisting at all; and anyway, Ad Blocker scans in the reverse order for that (first they throw out the obnoxious ones according to the specified criteria, and only then do they check to see which of the remaining ads are whitelisted). 

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Michelle
Michelle
8/15/2016 2:12:06 PM
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Platinum
Re: An update
@mhhf1ve Maybe they are having a fued. Perhaps Adblock's fee was a lot higher than Facebook was willing to pay.

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mhhf1ve
mhhf1ve
8/15/2016 5:06:23 PM
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Platinum
Re: An update
> "Perhaps Adblock's fee was a lot higher than Facebook was willing to pay."

I doubt it. I think Facebook simply wanted to avoid the scrutiny of having to make sure its ads were "acceptable" by some arbitrary set of 3rd party rules. Facebook could easily pay, but it sets a bad precedent if they pay for a service that restricts how they might be able to introduce new ads in the future. 

I also assume that someone at Facebook did the PR math and decided that it looks worse in the court of public opinion if Facebook pays to get whitelisted on adblockers than it does if it tries to circumvent adblockers with technology. I think people expect facebook to try to use technology to "hack" everything -- and that's acceptable to most users.

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mhhf1ve
mhhf1ve
8/12/2016 7:06:07 PM
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Platinum
Obnoxious...
Facebook should really respect the wishes of the users who have gone through the trouble of installing an adblocker. Focus on the users who don't have ad blockers! Why are the users who have adblockers so much more valuable? I suppose if a user has the resources and knowledge to install an adblocker.. they must have a higher income and be a better target for ads? 

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JohnBarnes
JohnBarnes
8/15/2016 8:11:51 AM
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Platinum
Hockey helmets, real SPAM, and Ad Blocking: a thought
The Nobel-prizewinning economist Thomas Schelling, whose book Micromotives and Macrobehavior I can't recommend enough, analyzed problems of Tragedy of the Commons (or multiplayer repeated prisoner's dilemmas) and noted that many times the best possible position is to be the only cheater in a world of honest people. (I would argue this is part of why local democratic control is so bad for schools, and have at other times...)  For example, when the NHL started requiring helmets, in a secret poll, the great majority of pro hockey players wanted them, but they didn't want to be that dorky guy that wears a helmet when no one else does. The player's union even put on a show of opposing the helmet rule and then "graciously" accepted defeat so everyone got to wear helmets.

Similarly the Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906 was passed with a great deal of covert support from big canned food packers who had more to gain from canned food having a reputation for safety and cleanliness than they had to lose from having to spend a penny per can not to use formaldehyde to preserve green vegetables or to keep the waste chute away from the salvage chute. They couldn't afford to be the most expensive brand out there but the dirty and dangerous cheap brands were hurting everyone's business. Still, while slipping a fair bit of money to Congress to pass the PFDA, they went on publicly ranting about socialism and our inalienable right to formaldehyde and poop in our food.

Now consider Ad Block. Officially no site supported by ads likes it, and advertisers hate it. But the truth is that distracting videos in the margins, autoplay audio ads, trick ads that open pages when you click "Close," floating boxes that block what you're trying to read, etc. etc. etc. do make people hate advertising and cause them to ignore all ads if at all possible.

Furthermore unrestricted advertising triggers a race to the bottom: if your ad has a floating dancing girl in a bikini in front of the news report the reader clicked there for, my ad needs to be bigger, faster, louder (and probably with smaller bikinis), and the next advertiser's ad needs to add flashing lights and non-metaphorical sirens. 

Further-furthermore, processing time and space get taken up by these enormous distractions, and crashes become more likely, and the whole experience is severely degraded.

So just maybe, like hockey helmets and spam, ad blocking is something that enhances the value and gives people what they actually want, but everyone needs to complain in public that they're not allowed to cheat. (Other examples: school dress codes (every kid says they hate them in public but in private surveys many students are relieved not to have to status-compete); the beaning rule in baseball (players need to talk tough but they are reasonably terrified of 100 mph fastballs aimed at their heads); talk-off rules in sales (in many fields the FTC says that if you determine that a possible buyer cannot benefit from your product/service you must tell them this and try to help them decide not to buy; every salesperson I've worked with in those fields  has complained about that, but nobody wants to have to compete for sales numbers with con-men who bilk the gullible and the foolish).

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mhhf1ve
mhhf1ve
8/15/2016 5:17:57 PM
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Hockey helmets, real SPAM, and Ad Blocking: a thought
> "Officially no site supported by ads likes it, and advertisers hate it."

I'd argue that is not true. There are plenty of sites that love their sponsors -- as long as the sponsors aren't terrible. Charlie Rose started with sponorship from Coca-Cola, and his show ran for many years with that sole sponsor -- and happily without distraction. 

The problem isn't the advertisements, but how the advertisements are executed. Obviously, you can't sell used cars with a "branding campaign" ads like Apple, Dove or Coca-Cola, but some of the best ads are works of art in themselves. Superbowl ads are ads that people actually enjoy watching (sometimes). If only more ads were entertaining or informative, and not distracting and annoying!

Soap operas used to be sponsored by.. soap makers -- and the shows were popular and not THAT annoyingly filled with soap ads. Somehow advertisers have gotten into the "race to the bottom" ads that you describe. It's sad, but it didn't necessarily have to be this way. Unfortunately, I'm not sure what can turn it around now -- besides adblockers and the like.

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