top of page

The User Experience or the Ad Revenue? Give Me a Reason to Disable My Ad Blocker

Ad Blockers and the User Experience Series Part IV and Final

Give me a reason to disable my ad blocker. According to Statista, 33.6 percent of U.S. internet users use an ad blocker, meaning (theoretically) 66 percent do not. Not using an ad blocker is akin to putting “Kick Me” on the back of your shirt. Unfortunately, many have become numb to pop-ups and ads of all types. 

If you must know what Lebron James or Taylor Swift thinks or what the rat is doing with the pizza in the subway on that video, you’ve asked for it. If you’re looking for games, gambling, lyrics, music, news, recipes, sports, drugs or an online dictionary, you know what you’re in for.

Enjoy the repulsive ads for toenail fungus, weight loss, hot singles, gambling, house-flipping, secret foods that kill you/make you live forever, or the one thing that successful people do every day (aside from avoiding annoying ads).

Is Anything Real

Is Anything Real?

Want fewer ads? Here are the instructions I found on Facebook: “To regain friends in your news feed and get rid of ads - hold your finger anywhere in this post and click 'copy.’ Go to your page where it says ‘What's on your mind?’ Tap your finger anywhere in the blank field. Click paste. This upgrades the system. Hello new and old friends!”

Just kidding. Your ad blocker won’t block that hoax, but users have been reposting that ‘hack’ by the thousands for a decade. Perhaps they are among the 66 percent who don’t need ad blockers.

Give me a reason to disable my ad blocker

Give Me a Reason to Disable My Ad Blocker

Three most common reasons users disable their ad blockers:

  • To enable publishers to maximize their advertising revenue

  • So advertisers can gather your information to present products

  • To view content on sites that require you to disable your ad blocker

You may have never used an ad blocker and are none the worse for it. You're probably fine if you search responsibly and regularly clear cache/browsing data and cookies. Still, using the ad blocker can help ensure fewer infringements on your privacy, unless you’re into that sort of thing.

YouTube now warns some users that ad blockers could interfere with the viewing experience as it constantly seeks new methods to increase revenues.

“Ads are a vital lifeline for our creators that helps them run and grow their businesses. That's why the use of ad blockers violates YouTube's Terms of Service,” said a YouTube spokesperson to Business Insider. “We've been urging users for some time to allow ads on YouTube or try YouTube Premium for an ad-free experience.”

You Can't Regulate Taste

Tasteless ads are everywhere. It is a common opinion that many of the internet ads you see are only effective in being annoying. However, much of the ad selling is automated, bypassing standards. The FTC can regulate truth, but you can’t regulate taste. That is if you don’t know what ads permeate your website.

In many cases, advertisers can now simply go to a third-party broker, set their ad budget through an automated auction, and aim for websites closest to their audience.

Tiffany Hsu explained in Why Are You Seeing So Many Bad Digital Ads Now? for the New York Times that streaming and major news websites have more stringent guidelines and limited and expensive ad space, which makes regulation easier. “Some publishers, like Bloomberg Media, are starting to avoid third-party brokers and automated auctions of ad space, which deal with enormous volumes and are more likely to miss low-quality ads.”

David A. Broniatowski of the Institute for Data, Democracy and Politics explained in the same story that social media is a much easier target and that their ads “are designed to evade ‘very brittle’ moderation algorithms by spacing out the letters of banned keywords or replacing them with emojis.

“They will use whatever means necessary to get their message out there,” he said. “Ads are simply one tool in their toolbox.”



bottom of page