Reply to post: Re: ad-blocking ethics

The case for ethical ad-blocking


Re: ad-blocking ethics

People lose sight of how the internet actually works.

I turn on my computer and it accesses my ISP and requests a web page (which is essentially a data file download) from somebody else's computer. This transaction occurs for free, or more accurately, is paid for at my end within a monthly data access limit that I have negotiated with my ISP; and at the provider's end within the data upload limit they have negotiated with their ISP.

So somebody else prepares data to be consumed, and I nonchalantly walk along and instruct my computer to consume a copy of that data.

Now, when my computer receives the data from somebody else's computer, that data belongs to me. I have downloaded it and paid for access to it with my ISP. No matter what anybody may think, once the copy is in my computer's memory, I can do with it pretty much whatever I please.

If I choose to run a program that automatically strips out some of that data that I have already chosen I don't want to see, before it is rendered onto my web browser's screen, that's strictly my business. There is nothing ethical or non-ethical about it whatsoever.

If enough people cleanse their data of un-solicited ads that it causes the web page provider to go out of business, that's an awful shame, but that's the way the business world works. That's what you get for running a business where you spend money & resources to put together information for public consumption but then have no mechanism to charge cash directly for access to that information (probably because nobody, or a very tiny proportion of people, would ever agree to such a payment scheme anyway). Your business provides the information for free, and you throw in ads from other companies that pay for that access, but then the ads are filtered out before they are ever viewed. That sucks, but that's the way the cookie has crumbled baby.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon


Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2020