Ad blocking — the controversy and the future

So, you used Google to search for a new clock. Maybe you also viewed some clocks on Amazon. Later you noticed many ads on other pages for clocks. Yes, that’s the result of tracking your web browsing. Are you okay with that? Did you consent?

Are you using an ad blocker? Is it ethical to block ads?

Prior posts have covered this topic, but this VOX article from 2015 remains an excellent summary, with links to other articles on the topic.

Interestingly, evidence from past technological shifts suggests that whatever happens with ad blocking technology, it is unlikely to alter the total amount of money spent on advertising.

Conceptually, an ad is basically something you publish because somebody paid you money to publish it. Ad blocking software can identify ad networks, and block certain kinds of advertising scripts, but it can’t read minds and discern why a given story was published. Consequently, forms of advertising that fit natively into the editorial content stream should be immune to ad blocking.