Chrome’s Proposed Built-In Ad-Blocker
When the gates are closed, they’ll find another way in
I want to be happy to hear about this, but there’s a catch:
They’re building the Trojan Horse even as we speak.
Google’s proposed “tool” isn’t really an ad-blocker as we’ve come to know them. They’re attempting to portray it as a quality-assurance filter to sift out extra-annoying or inappropriate ads, but it’s at least partially based on a list of “offensive ads” published in March by the Coalition for Better Ads, of which Google is a member.
It only affects ads that Google and affiliates consider valid targets. We’re talking about ad filtering based on political correctness, not respect for individual convenience, and it doesn’t ensure we won’t still be bombarded with tons of “appropriate” ads either.
Don’t you just love watching Viceland and seeing the same ad five different times in one hour?
Oh well. At least they’ll be appropriate.
Before I started research for this little piece, I thought:
“Even though ad-blockers are common, traditional ads are still generating revenue, and when they’re not anymore, the ads will adapt. Only an economic shift that’s more focused on a product’s intrinsic social value or usefulness — and less on money itself as value — could change ads from a fundamental perspective.”
I still think that, but…
Now, I’m starting to realize:
Google’s new tool coming 2018 seems to me like a great way soften the blow of another tool they’re calling “Funding Choices.” This will supposedly let publishers ask visitors (via pop-up) to disable their third-party ad-blockers, or pay to remove the ads displayed on their site.
Why would they ask you to pay to remove ads if your existing ad-blocker does it for free?
Well, it’s because Funding Choices will allow them to restrict access to the content of their choice if you are currently running an ad-blocker and haven’t paid their per-page ad-removal fee.
This isn’t an entirely new idea, either. Try visiting Forbes.com with an ad-blocking program active, and you’ll see this basic tech design in action.
How long before this carefully-orchestrated corporatization of ad-”blockers” conveniently absorbs the third-party, non-profit offerings that exist for the sole purpose of removing unwanted ads and improving the browsing experience?
Funding Choices is already in beta.
How long before they’re no longer asking?
If you haven’t tried it, AdBlock is currently available for free as an extension to Chrome (and most other browsers) and it works really well. The vast majority of banner ads, pop-up ads, ads on either side (or in the middle) of web content, and even video ads are just gone while AdBlock is active.
Get it while you still can, and it still works!
(In case you’re wondering: I’m not affiliated with or endorsed by AdBlock. It’s just the single greatest thing I’ve ever found to improve my browsing experience.)