01 September 2013

Adblock Mendel Test

It is better to believe in science. 

Look, whatever happens with this Adblock campaign to "use ads to get rid of ads," or whether or not you agree with Gene Lee's point of view (about how him working hard sans pay justifies passing judgment on how others earn an income), one fact remains above all else: I cannot tell you not to use Adblock. I don't have that right, something I don't believe the "minds" behind the Adblock campaign have any respect for. 

You are adults, and if you're not technically an adult, you at least want to be treated like one. As such, all I can ask is that, if you use Adblock, please use it responsibly. What do I mean by that? Simple, you understand that while certain content creators insist on not being paid for what they provide for your entertainment or even insist you put up with a few ads, that is not the case for all, and it is unfair to judge or otherwise ostracize them for it. If you do not like the content someone produces on their site, nothing obliges you to continue visiting their site. If, however, you enjoy their content and frequent their pages, all we ask is that you acknowledge the time and effort put into their work, that there are real and legitimate expenses to producing even the most barebones text weblog. Your internet access bill does not offset those costs. That's access, not content. That's a road, not the stores along the road. After all, wouldn't you rather more of your money went to the sites you enjoy than simply everything all at once? Moreover, whatever you're unable to contribute to those sites can be aided by advertising. The point is you have options, very few of them essentially bad. 

Here's where I have to get a little mean: If you're upset by this, or you think what's being asked of you right now is unreasonable or unfair to you, or if you disagree with the outlooks and viewpoints I'm here advocating, that's fine. You are more than welcome to disagree with me, but I do want you to do something for me. I want you to get a piece of paper and something to write with (or open a new text file) and make an itemized list of what makes someone a sellout in your view. If someone says anything along the lines of what I've said above, put that there. If someone earns any amount of money from something you don't think is a proper job, put that there. If someone offers something for sale in addition to whatever they may give away, put that there. If someone takes on a sponsorship from an organization you dislike, put that there. Don't second-guess yourself, put it all on there, fill out that list, and see exactly how many people you can find that don't tick off a single box on it. If and when you do, tell as many people as you can about them, and ask if they agree with your findings. You may be surprised. 

Good night, and good luck. 

Full disclosure: I do not use Adblock. The closest thing to Adblock I use is the "block pop-ups" feature that's equipped with all browsers I've ever used. It does not hide banner ads and has no effect on the ads attached to videos. In fact, when a pop-up is detected, a bar appears asking me if I wish to allow the pop-ups to appear (it's opt-in, not opt-out, unlike Adblock's whitelist feature). I hate pop-up ads as much as you do, if not more. I feel that of all the types and styles of ads out there, the pop-ups are arguably the worst, the most distracting, and the most invasive form of advertising. In other words, I don't hate the message, only one particular medium for it.
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