Mark Thompson, CEO of the New York Times, recently said that “No one who refuses to contribute to the creation of high quality journalism has the right to consume it.” Thompson says that the Times will resort to blocking all ad blocking users if necessary. This falsely dichotomous stance has taken hold of most content providers, as they feel that they are victims. My bone to pick isn’t about their stance (it’s hardly unexpected)but rather their refusal of ambiguity. Ad blocking will, without question, cause the Times to lose money. Consumers, however, continue to lose their privacy, safety, and time to internet advertising. Woe is me will not be received well by an audience that is manipulated just to read the news.
We’ve mentioned Forbes’ paywall use and malware attacks previously. Try visiting their mobile site without an ad blocker; the amount of ads is preposterous. Not one content provider has taken steps to prevent malware from being in their advertisements, and sites like Forbes continue to employ ad tactics that can accidentally cause consumers to click on them.
Thompson seems to believe high quality journalism can exist across a literal background of ads that are fraudulent, infected with malware, or just generally annoying. When a high-profile establishment makes a rallying cry against ad blockers, they’re eschewing facts and recent history. None of these calls for pity make mention of their fragile security, tracking tactics, or low-brow advertisers. Abandoning the truth isn’t going to convince a base of mostly tech savvy people to change their actions. Perhaps this is known by the Times, which means this type of move is due to a perceived stubbornness in ad blocker users. The truth is that ad blocker adoption is a decision based in reality, and responses that don’t account for the whole truth will be rightfully scoffed at. Try again.
While this crying fit persists for the foreseeable future, you’ll probably want to block ads on your phone. Mobile phones are the new frontier for advertisers, and they’re trying to milk their profits while they last. AdClear is available for free on Android from our website. There is also the new AdClear Lite browser extension for Safari and the Samsung browser.
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