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Friday, September 14

AdBlock: "not evil"

nicholas carr
The always interesting blogger, author and commentator Nicholas Carr has a thing about AdBlock - that's a little plug-in or add-on which around 1-2% of users have installed - to the point that he just asked the question

If that sounds OTT that's because it is .

As I explained before, there is no way that AdBlock, the effort of one geek in Germany, not the Russian mafia, is ever going to seriously challenge ecommerce.

AdBlock somehow representing armageddon for ecommerce, if not capitalism in general, is what Nicholas and most others on this subject have been carrying on about.

And here's why they all need a bex and a good lie down:

broadway world with ads

This is the faaaabulous Broadway World website trying to flog me Xanadu tickets, finding it's own way around my AdBlock, which is the red circle in the bottom right of the screengrab.

Haaretz and others get some ads round my default AdBlock set-up as well.

xanadu banner
(Xanadu? Is this some sort of off-beam behavioural targetting? I Haaaate Xanadu, brings back bad memories .. :{ )

bex tabletsSeveral industry commentators have written that AdBlock is evil.

Some are arguing that Firefox users be actively blocked, (which just sparks another add-on arms race).

Carr is right on one thing though, that a paid commentator should see the Web the same way as the poor sods who don't use AdBlock. I won't spoil his post by telling you his answer to 'Jesus's' conundrum ...


Postscript: here's Google getting around AdBlock on JackP's blog:

And a comment made me investigate my filters in AdBlock and - ahah! - there is indeed a 'Dr Evil' involved in this conspiracy against capitalism!
[Adblock Plus 0.7.1]

! Filterliste von Dr. Evil & MonztA (mit Hilfe der Foren-Nutzer auf
! Zuletzt geändert: Thu, 13 Sep 2007 19:06:37 +0200 wird alle 4 Tage aktualisiert (expires after 4 days).
! Kommentare (verbleibende Werbung, fälschlicherweise blockierte Inhalte, Danksagungen ;-), ...)

! bitte per Mail an oder auf an uns richten

I come back to The Pickards after clicking 'add filter' a few times and - voila! - Jack's Ads disappear :{ Even when I disable AdBlock on Jack's site :@ It must be learning !? Only when AdBlock's entirely disabled do Jack's Ads reappear :~



  1. You talk about Adblock Plus but you link to Adblock? Just to avoid misunderstandings - they are different projects, and Adblock is abandoned. The difference between the two is explained on

    As to some ads not being blocked: the assumption that some software might "magically" block all advertising is wrong of course. Adblock Plus only blocks what should be blocked according to filters, and by default it comes without any filters at all. I guess you subscribed to some filter list, one of many (see list of subscriptions). Depending on the preferences of the filter list maintainer, it could be more or less effective for the sites you visit.

  2. Sorry, I've changed the link.

    Thanks for confirming my point though - that AdBlock by default doesn't block all ads and that you need to know where to look to block all ads.

    I have the default set-up and lists get updated when AdBlock updates — like most people who've got this far, I suspect.