I do not have a problem with advertising. I have a problem with loud, grotesque, ugly, distracting, and insulting advertising. A testimonial ad for Backblaze on a tech podcast by a fussy developer who uses Backblaze is great. A loud, obnoxious, misleading, and outright dishonest advertisement for colloidal silver is disgusting.

I choose to avoid all such advertising. In the cesspool of the internet, one tool I use for this is an ad blocker. I should not have to go to a webpage and see the ugly ads before choosing to close the webpage as the damage is already done. I also don’t wait for someone to steal from me before putting a password on my computer. Pre-emptive is an acceptable policy position.1

I completely understand if a content generator says he would rather I don’t view his website if I am using an ad blocker. In such a case, I will either choose to turn off the ad blocker, or not view his website. I know of at least two websites that do test for ad blockers and will not display their content if one is detected.2 I respect that. One of those sites, I have white listed. The other I have not.

Preferring to pay for content and only be exposed to tasteful advertisements is a logical, consistent, and respectful way to live.

Update: A friend sent me this:

Sometimes OkCupid runs this ad for free users using adblockers. Only other way to block ads is to sign up for the monthly pro service. There are some “pro” features but you can get by forever with free.

This is totally fair. I have no idea what the normal ads are on Ok Cupid, so I don’t know if I’d prefer the ads or not, but if I was in the dating world, which hopefully will never, ever, happen again, I’d pay the money.

Update 2: He sent me a follow up:

I think the ads on OkCupid were pretty awful, which is probably why I got an adblocker in the first place.

  1. One Twitter user tested my consistency by querying if I watch TV and subscribe to magazines. I do not subscribe and do not have cable, but I do not understand the connection. Who doesn’t use the commercials to grab a drink or snack, or go to the bathroom. I do not think starting to watch a TV show is a contract to sit chained to the couch and watch each ad intently. 

  2. Unfortunately, I’ve had Hulu repeatedly tell me I’m using an ad blocker when I’m not. I browse the web with Safari, which has the ad blocker, and watch Hulu with Chrome, which doesn’t.