Putting Mobile Ad Blockers to the Test

 Description:  To block ads or not to block ads on your mobile device? That’s the philosophical dilemma facing consumerssince Apple added support for ad blockers to its iPhone operating system

Source: NYtimes.com

Date: Oct 1, 2015

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We will get to the results in a minute, after a quick primer on the ethical debate surrounding ad blocking. While such technology has existed for years — it has long been available on PC browsers — ad blockers are new for iPhones and iPads. Using the blockers is easy: You download one of the programs from the App Store and then set your Safari web browser to enable the blocking. Ads are choked off inside the browser when you load mobile websites, but the blockers do not stop ads from appearing in apps READ REST OF STORY

Questions for discussion:

1. Are ad blockers a technology you would adopt?  Why or why not?

2. What are the ethical and commercial impacts of this technology?

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119 thoughts on “  Putting Mobile Ad Blockers to the Test

  1. Gray.yu

    Yes, I would adopt it. Because it is really useful for me, there are too much advertisement on the website, we need a clear network environment.
    Some people remind that there are many good website is free because advertisement, if we use the technology it will make them close. It’s a good viewpoint but I don’t think so, because I there are too much advertisement on the website, one or two advertisement will be able to make the owner earn money.
    On the other hand, I dont think this technology will be free, it means that not everyone will use it to block ad. So the website will still have many chance to earn money from ads.
    Thirdly, I don’t think the people who to post the ads will know that we use the techonlogy. because I think the technology just make computer not show the ad to us.

    Reply
    1. Gray.yu

      As for the impacts, I think it will bring a technology competation but not will have a big ethical impacts. Maybe there will are some website will close because this, but not too much.

      Reply
  2. stephen lunn

    1. Are ad blockers a technology you would adopt? Why or why not?
    It depends. if the adds stop me from doing my normal activities then yes. if they do not then I don`t have a problem with them, there are some ad pop ups that don`t let you use your internet until you have done something to interact with that pop up, and that would be a case where i would use one. the other case is with explicit ad`s. Dating sites, and pornography these are examples of things i would pay to block from coming up on my system.

    2. What are the ethical and commercial impacts of this technology?

    ethical impacts of this technology are thus. some one pays for advertising and is told that a certain number of people will see it. if ad blockers come on the market then you may be paying for something you are not getting, but a commercial impact is that the ad companies will start to develop technology to by pass the ad blockers. the real question is and i don`t have an answer to it is should it be regulated. with that question i would say that somethings should be, for example the things that kids might stumble onto and should not be exposed to.

    Reply
  3. Evelyn.Jia

    1. Are ad blockers a technology you would adopt? Why or why not?
    I would use it because of the data savings that could be made. I am not sure that how the websites I frequent impact my data usage. But something must be true, all of us need one avoid these, either it cost money and time. Some of the ads can be useless, harassed or unsafe. It is not an allowable ad. Thus, I’ m sure to adopt ad blockers to improve the user experience. After all, if a website is filled with ads which people don’t want to see at all, people will never go to see this page anymore.
    2. What are the ethical and commercial impacts of this technology?
    I don’t think this is an ethical issue what so ever. But the users of the sites don’t want to see any ads. The company needs to put on ads to earn more money to maintain the sites. That may be a problem between the companies and the users. Everyone care about their own benefits. Then if this technology widely used, many company depend on the ads to survive will have a big financial problem.

    Reply
  4. Kevin Phan

    1) Yes! I’ve been using AdBlock for a while on Google Chrome since most of the websites I visit have pop-ups and ads everywhere. I find ads annoying and purposeless. Ad-blockers are pretty amazing since they block everything. Now, I don’t have to watch those short advertising videos before watching the actual YouTube videos. I highly recommend ad-blockers to people if you don’t to see those annoying ads ever again.

    2) As a matter of fact, it doesn’t have anything to do with both ethical and commercial impacts since those companies who put their ads up there are intentionally trying to make money by being on the bad side of the customers. With the technologies nowadays, companies can easily approach customers and advertise their service/product without being on the consumers’ nerves.

    Reply
  5. Ashley-Raye Miles

    Would I adopt Ad-Blockers?

    Yes and no, not a black and white.
    I think there needs to be a limitation on ads in some way that still allows for targeted information to get through. Perhaps in the future a condition is imposed in which you must identify what types of ads you are interested in to use a site, service etc and a limited number of ads are shown. Advertising which impedes navigation should be removed.

    Many companies rely on internet advertising and there have been many times that something interesting has popped up based on my search history. There are no ad blockers on TV, radio and other areas so why so why would the internet be different. I think exploring these types of options need to be looked at as a whole instead of isolation.

    As a free-market economy what would the implications of cutting off advertising be for strictly internet -related businesses? The internet is a mix of information and commerce so unless we are moving to a more socialist society, I don’t see how we would cut off ads in one specific area (online) but perhaps there is a way to make advertising more productive and less annoying or users.

    Reply
  6. Brooke Reynolds

    Are ad blockers a technology you would adopt? Why or why not?

    I do not use ad bloggers and I don’t think that I ever would adopt this. I rarely use data if I am not on Wi-Fi, just to make sure that I don’t go over on my data or even come close to doing so. They do seem like they would be beneficial, but ads have never been a big enough issue for me to seek out an application. Perhaps when I am older and more annoyed with ads, then I would make an effort and contact the ad blockers to get rid of this annoyance.

    What are the ethical and commercial impacts of this technology?

    By blocking ads we are cutting of a revenue for companies that rely on making money from ads to keep them running. But in reality ads aren’t that bad if they are on the side or on the top of the screen. But if they pop up at you that is when it starts to get annoying and a pain. Even though often people don’t even look at the ads, they are still there because people are trying to make money from it.

    Reply
  7. Bobby Hamilton

    Ad blockers are most certainly a technology that I would adopt. The frequent amount of advertisements that pop up on our phone tend to seem like a pest to our everyday browsing. Not only are the pop up advertisements annoying when using a computer, they seem to be worse when using a smart phone or non-wired device. A desktop computer is available to unlimited power, our smart phones aren’t when we are on the go. The use of advertisement blockers is supported by their ability to deliver faster loading times, use of less data and longer battery lives.
    People are always looking for new ways to make their lives more simple and efficient, advertisement blockers help in the process. Advertising will always be a major part of business. I do understand why businesses choose to advertise online but a person should be able to decide whether or not they want the advertisements to be blocked. If these online advertising businesses are not okay with the use of advertisement blockers, they should be using a different mode of advertising anyways. If people choose not to want to see your advertisements, the advertising department is simply not doing their job to their full potential.

    Reply
  8. Miriam

    1. Are ad blockers a technology you would adopt? Why or why not?
    No I would not adopt ad blockers for several reasons. The reason why so many websites are free is because of advertisements. With the use of advertisements companies that are starting off who don’t have much capital will be able to rely their message. If people say that they have received computer problems from advertisements they do not have proper security on their computer. Ads don’t give you cookies on your computer unless you click on something you’re not suppose to. I do not agree with ad blockers, I think companies should be able to rely their message through the use of internet and social media because that is the most influential part in our generation. I find those people who say that ad blockers are necessary, as lazy people because all you have to do is click out of the ad if you are not interested in the company providing it. It is just like watching commercials on TV, all you have to do is fast forward through the commercials if you don’t want to watch them.

    2. What are the ethical and commercial impacts of this technology?
    The impacts of ad blockers can be extremely negative for future businesses that are generated through the internet. If this technology is developed, business on the internet may become absolute, forcing them to present their ideas another way, which people will get irritated by anyways. Just keep the ads. There is nothing wrong with them, especially when we are getting things for free from them.

    Reply
  9. Maryam

    An ad blocker is a program that will eradicate different kinds of advertising from a Web user’s experience online. These programs target certain kinds of ads, such as pop-ups, banner ads and other common forms of online advertisement, allowing a user to surf the Web without infuriating disruptions.
    Arguments against ad blocking incline towards the prospective monetary tribulations. As mentioned in the article, a lot of applications and websites do not charge a user fee but rather gain from advertisements. Empowering ad blockers will discourage companies from endorsing and supporting other businesses with their adverts.
    Concomitantly , users view these adverts as exasperating and befuddling, consumers also condemn the tracking of their data usage for “relevant ads”, while others make use of ad blockers in hopes of speeding up their internet.

    Reply
  10. Andrea Stronks

    1. Are ad blockers a technology you would adopt? Why or why not?
    as nice and convenient as it may be to say yes- I realize that nearly every site and app that I utilize daily (FOR FREE) are covered in ads. I don’t know how these sites and apps could possibly continue to remain free if the population starts a major movement into blocking the ads. Sites wont be able to charge companies as much for ad space because they realize that their ads are not getting many views. These websites and companies are in the business to make money and as annoying as ads may be to us as consumers, they will not just absorb that cost. I would hope that they would just try to move into better, less obnoxious marketing techniques, but there is that risk. More and more apps and websites may start to charge a fee or subscription in order to avoid ads. However, there are sites such as Wikipedia that don’t advertise in the first place and only rely on donation, but I do not know how practical that would be across the board. As far as ethics go, there are people whose jobs are to create the ads we see online, and with ads possibly being phased out – job loss is inevitable.

    Reply
  11. Julian Atkinson

    1. Are ad blockers a technology you would adopt? Why or why not?
    Without a doubt. I have been an ad-block user since the first day I heard about it and never looked back. The amount of time I spent on the internet previously closing all the advertisements that pop-up or gave previous computers problems was incredibly frustrating. Ever since I downloaded Ad-Block as a Google Extension I have had no problems on any of the websites I browse in terms of advertisements or viruses attached to some advertisements. Websites like facebook and youtube are filled all over with advertisements, and I mean some ads are from local businesses and such and it’s great that they are putting their money out to get their name out there, but I’m past the point of wanting to accidentally click on an ad or have something pop up on my screen. I have adopted this on my devices as well because on a device it can become a living hell trying to close an advertisement, or 10. I have seen increased browsing speeds due to less bandwidth being eaten up by flashing GIF or video ads, and I don’t wish to sacrifice that for some silly ads promoting some magic tea that will make you lose weight instantly.

    Reply
  12. Brian Kemp

    1. I have adopted ad blockers on my pc but not on my mobile phone. I personally do not spend a lot of time browsing on my cell and therefore the benefits for ad blocking on my cell would be rather limited. However, on my pc I find it to be an amazing technology, as I have described in previous posts I do not have TV. The amount of ads that litter a service that I have to pay for seems overwhelming to me. While I understand I don’t pay for content on my computer I do like to watch you tube videos and the sheer amount of ads on YouTube has also become a concern for me so I block them. I don’t need to be told what to buy, I buy what I need.
    2. The ethical and commercial impacts of this technology are massive while I do believe some of the content deserves an income from the ads and overwhelming amount does not. It reminds me of seeing movies at the theatre, I don’t mind paying top dollar to see a good film but when im roped in by brilliantly constructed ads and end up seeing a horrible movie because of them I feel ripped off. So am I “stealing” from those quality youtube videos I watch, yes but unfortunately I cant pick which video gets the click so I just block them all. Commercially these providers need to adapt to the changes of these ad blockers and provide users with a system that appeases both sides of my argument. Until then ill happily roam the internet ad free.

    Reply
  13. Robin Heaver

    1. Ad blocker is a technology I already adopt. I adopt it because it clears the “crap” off my screen. As i work in the apple store in lethbridge i see many people coming in with malware that a simple ad blocker could have stopped. How many times do you click the wrong download button and its actually an intrusive ad or malware. Their are time that the ad-blocker shouldn’t be used, but that is as simple as creating a white list, or specifying what cookies from which website to accept. I wish companies where more transparent with ad’s and the cookies they use to collect and display content, and gave you the option to set up which ads you would like to see, and what data to collect, so its easier to customize then doing so manually which leads most people to just block everything.
    2. Ethical comes when an entire business model is using ads to thrive. I also like challenging these smaller companies to be more creative in which ads to display so there not intrusive (something like google). Also the ethical reasons of displaying ad’s that come from collecting data from me with out my knowledge, its kinda like every action has an equal and opposite reaction. Commercial impacts are just the dollars, and forcing these companies to be more forthcoming with their activities and relationship with the consumer online.

    Reply
  14. Tom Urbin-Choffray

    I completely disagree that we should have any sort of moral dilemma about blocking ads. The marketing business is absolutely ruthless and they will institute any kind of tactic to try and get more hits on whatever it is they are pushing. We are bombarded with ads from the moment we wake up until we put our head down on our pillow at night. I have no problem with a service like Spotify, which allows you to use their service for free if you listen to a 30-second ad every few songs, but I don’t think I getting a break from ads for a few minutes a day won’t be overly detrimental to anyone.

    Are ad blockers a technology you would adopt? Why or why not?
    Yes I would adopt ad blocking technology without a second thought. I already use one on my browser while surfing on my laptop, which I would guess is pretty commonplace among internet users. For one the massive boost in speed is an invaluable asset of ad blockers, my laptop is well past its prime and any increase in efficiency is welcomed. This would also be valuable for my phone as the browser tends to noticeably lag sometimes (possibly due to ads). Also an increase in battery life is always a plus in my book.

    Reply
  15. Jason Ferrie

    Ad blockers is a technology I would adopt. I use ad blocking on my pc unit already. I was unaware until I read this article that there was ad blocking for iPhones, which I have. The fact is that most of the ads on pages are more an annoyance than anything. The hassle that they present like if you miss click it pulls up that ad page. This if more prevalent on iPhones because of the touch screen.
    Because of what was just mentioned there are commercial impacts. It is an industry that employees people and is trying to make it. From that side there could be some concern that you’re eliminating jobs. On the other side, by blocking ads you’re allowing for what I think, is freedom. Like I said, to me it is more annoying than anything and to get rid of ads is great for me. To me I don’t see the effectiveness of if.anyway. In today technology heighten day so much of our time is spent on the internet and if we want something we are going to first go directly to it or second search it.

    Reply
  16. Joan G.

    1. Are ad blockers a technology you would adopt? Why or why not?
    Absolutely. Watching movies online is my thing and ad blockers technology helps a lot when I’m trying to browse movies. Before when I don’t have an ad blocker install in my computer it takes forever for the movie to load because of ads that pops-up non-stop, and sometimes if the ad does not want to be close, I have to quit everything just to stop the ad from popping up. There are also other benefits that ad blocker technology that I would totally enjoy such as eliminates the clutter of promotions, faster web page load times and the most important thing is longer battery lives for devices. Longer battery lives will be very great specially when you use your phone all the time.

    2. What are the ethical and commercial impacts of this technology?
    In my opinion there’s no ethical and commercial impacts of this ad blockers technology, because in the first place these ads create an annoyance that I would totally want to get rid forever. And also ad blocker will not really get rid every ads, this will only work in the browser, apps will ads all over them and I don’t think these will be a problem. There are other ways that ads can reach consumers.

    Reply
  17. Kirstie

    1. Are ad blockers a technology you would adopt? Why or why not?
    Well, everyone may be catching on. Ad blocking has been around for years, but adoption is now rising steeply, at a pace that some in the ad industry say could prove catastrophic for the economic structure underlying the web. That has spurred a debate about the ethic of ad blocking. Some publishers and advertisers say ad blocking violates the implicit contract that girds the Internet — the idea that in return for free content, we all tolerate a constant barrage of ads.
    But in the long run, there could be a hidden benefit to blocking ads for advertisers and publishers: Ad blockers could end up saving the ad industry from its worst excesses. If blocking becomes widespread, the ad industry will be pushed to produce ads that are simpler, less invasive and far more transparent about the way they’re handling our data — or risk getting blocked forever if they fail.

    2. What are the ethical and commercial impacts of this technology?
    Arguments against ad blocking tend to focus on the potential economic harms. Because advertising is the dominant business model on the internet, if everyone used ad-blocking software then wouldn’t it all collapse? If you don’t see (or, in some cases, click on) ads, aren’t you getting the services you currently think of as “free”—actually for free? By using ad-blocking, aren’t you violating an agreement you have with online service providers to let them show you ads in exchange for their services? In response, defenders of ad blocking tend to counter with arguments that ads are often “annoying,” and that blocking them is a way to force advertising to get better. Besides, they say, users who block ads wouldn’t have bought the advertisers’ products anyway. Many users also object to having data about their browsing and other behavioural habits tracked by advertising companies. Some also choose to block ads in hopes of speeding up page load times or reducing their overall data usage. What I find remarkable is the way both sides of this debate seem to simply assume the large-scale capture and exploitation of human attention to be ethical and/or inevitable in the first place. This demonstrates how utterly we have all failed to understand the role of attention in the digital age—as well as the implications of spending most of our lives in an environment designed to compete for it.

    Reply

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