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If You're Blocking Ads While On ATS, You Get A Big Ugly Message

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posted on Mar, 10 2016 @ 12:28 PM
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a reply to: ForteanOrg

I think we have enough threads on the issue.

And I'm not sure what more, along the lines you suggest, needs to be discussed. The ethics of not abiding on the agreed-upon Terms & Conditions is rather straight forward.




posted on Mar, 10 2016 @ 12:42 PM
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originally posted by: TrueBrit

Your opinion is all very well and good, but it has absolutely no bearing on the facts of the situation.


Well, my opinion is just that an opinion. However, as someone who works with just these very issues for work and a hobby it's something I've put a great deal of thought into. I'm a game developer and one of the things I've struggled with is just how many rights do I have to dictate a customers behavior. I've thought of this question for the better part of 10 years now, from the side of a hardcore gamer (and occasionally professional gamer) and the side of a game developer. What I eventually came to, and is the side I'm currently on is that content providers have zero authority to dictate terms to their customer beyond what is necessary to ensure the product is delivered as imagined. Even revenue sources are in my opinion secondary to this.

Additionally, I own and run multiple smaller forums, I've paid for them out of pocket, I've paid for them with advertisements, I've worked on them for free, I've worked on them while getting a paycheck. I may not understand everything that goes on with a site as large as ATS, but I do understand what it's like to run a large community or a moderately sized forum and I fall on the side that it's unethical to dictate certain behavior from your readers, with the exception of prohibiting behavior in the community that disrupts others.


originally posted by: XTexan

I'm unaware of Apple's T&C so I can't comment on them. But with the PS3 I don't see your point. You can use a PS3 without the update you refer to you just can't connect to Sony's online services, and game developers can choose to not allow your game to work based on the software version you run. Are you saying that Sony and the game developers don't have that right?


Game developers can insist that you play with a certain configuration while playing their game as it's in the process of using your service. The moment you close that game though, they have no right to what you do with your console.

In the case of advertisements I find it interesting because ATS also cannot control what ad's are shown. The fact that so many get through that represent security risks is proof of that. If ATS could show only the ad's it wanted to show I would feel different on this issue, like when a company advertises their own product on their own space. Once you contract a portion of the webpage out though, I feel that you lose claim to dictate how the user manages that portion of the webpage, and as a result I find ad blockers in this context to be stepping outside the realm of what ATS has legitimate claim to.

Do note however that I recognize ATS needs to make money. If there's one thing I've done in this ad threads it's give ideas as to how ATS can still generate revenue. I'm opposed to ad's, I'm not opposed to funding ATS, I don't even see ad's on ATS without a blocker for me it's a matter of arguing about proper practices for websites in the first place. I think that what they need to do is to start getting several revenue streams going. I'll probably keep repeating these for awhile since I can get pretty long winded on topics I care about and things get lost in the shuffle. Even if the following cannot completely remove advertisements, it can very much reduce how many are used (and that allows the site owners to exercise far more discretion in who they advertise with).

#1. Revamp the star/flag system, make stars something equivalent of reddit gold, and sell gold rather than ask for donations. I would leave flags as they are to encourage good threads, but let people vote for posts with their wallet. Voting for a post even keeps ATS up.

#2. Add a subscription system. Subscribers could get X gold/month to spend on posts without having to buy it specifically, additionally create some subscriber only content. For example ATS has made a big push to get notable people here for AMA's, rather than a subscriber forum I think that posting in AMA's would be a terrific reason to subscribe, and reading the posts could still be open to the public.

#3. Return the ATS Store. I've heard it didn't make all that much, but more is better than zero. If you're trying to diversify this is a good idea. Additionally, the challenge in forums is that so much of the content is user produced, which should be free. I think that a successful large forum needs to be producing it's own products in addition to mere content management and this is a step in that direction.

#4. Affiliate links to purchase items. This is different from advertisements. I've been on a few small forums in my time that just weren't able to fund themselves through ad revenue, and no one wanted to put the money up to keep them going. Our solution was to use the Amazon affiliate program and let people buy products they were going to buy anyways after clicking the affiliate link. For small forums, this can fully fund a forum without costing anyone a thing. For large forums it can help slightly offset costs.

Also note that this is just good business. There are way too many ad's when you're not logged in or brand new. The life blood of forums is getting new members and advertisements detract from that, getting revenue from other sources is a very good idea.
edit on 10-3-2016 by Aazadan because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 10 2016 @ 12:44 PM
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Am I the only one that doesn't get adds?

I dont use ant blockers.

Does SO just love me sooooooo much im exempt from ads?



posted on Mar, 10 2016 @ 12:49 PM
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originally posted by: crazyewok
Am I the only one that doesn't get adds?

I dont use ant blockers.

Does SO just love me sooooooo much im exempt from ads?


If you have a certain level of posting prestige you don't see them while logged in. I'm not sure if it's posts, flags, or a combination but whatever it is the threshold is actually quite low. With my mere 210 flags I don't see any advertisements, I don't know when the crossover was though. I had adblock running on this website until recently (and if I saw ad's it would go right back on),

That said, on the computer I do 90% of my ATS browsing on (which is a several year old netbook with a resolution of 1024x600), without ad block (or being logged in) the website is quite literally unusable. Because there are multiple page sized advertisements on it.



posted on Mar, 10 2016 @ 12:56 PM
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a reply to: crazyewok

blinks - how come you get zero adds ???

it was explained to me somewhere in the carnage of this entire none issue that [ to paraphrase ]

another member [ quite new ] - saw more adds on more pages than i cos i had post count , threads written , stars , flags , applause all higher than the new member

oi actually see very few adds on only a couple of the index pages - so adds are not an issue to me

but if the explaination i was given is true - you should see more adds than it - i dont know how many - but NOT zero

i am now suspecting that add exposure is either utterly random or calculated by some non eluicidean algorithm



posted on Mar, 10 2016 @ 01:01 PM
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a reply to: SkepticOverlord

This reply goes for ForteanOrg as well...

I believe I have had to say something to this effect before and trust me when I say, I hate repeating myself because I loathe boredom, but there is clearly good reason to repeat myself in this instance.

I take my oaths, my word, my bond, very seriously. When I signed up to this website, I read the terms and conditions carefully, considered them, and signed up to the site. I consider membership here as my oath, my word and my bond. It is a pact between myself and the ownership and management, and indeed the rest of the membership as a whole. I know what I can expect from the site, and in return I give what is expected from me.

Some people are very casual about their word, they frivolously say that they will do a thing, or be in a place, willy nilly, here and there. And yet, when time comes that they honoured their word, they are not doing the things they said they would be doing, they are not in the places they said they would be. They break their word, their bond, their oath means nothing to them, and so it means nothing to those to whom it is uttered.

What use is that to anyone? I take my membership here seriously. I appreciate it, I care about it, the site, its members, and its ownership. And when I signed on, that was my oath, my pact, and like every other pact I have ever made in my whole life, I intend to keep it to the best of my ability. That is the least, the bare minimum I expect from myself as a gentleman. My word has a value of its own, because it is backed with honour, honour I carry for myself, and gain by the reliance people can place upon that word, upon me.

It is these concepts that are the basis of every contract law in every land on Earth, but for some reason, some people think it is appropriate to break their oaths, to tarnish their own honour, to spit on their word and the amount of store others can place upon it. Regardless of that current trend, once an oath be made, it must never be broken lightly. Breaking pacts like that which was made between myself and this websites owners, management, and membership in 2007, is something I would only consider in the most extreme circumstances, and I am sure that if it were to ever come to it, I would relinquish my membership rather than break that oath deliberately.

I realise that I am quite old fashioned, that most of the things which I find important about my conduct and that of others, are obsolete, that I myself may well be obsolete. Never the less, the terms and conditions are our law here, and I made an oath not to wilfully violate them, and it is one I intend to keep. I would personally prefer it, if I could rely on every other member here to do the same.



posted on Mar, 10 2016 @ 02:02 PM
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originally posted by: TrueBrit
...It is these concepts that are the basis of every contract law in every land on Earth...


Actually, the basis of all contract law is that people will break their word. Otherwise, we wouldn't need to have laws about it.

That aside, I prefer a man who isn't too obsessed with keeping their word. You can usually anticipate their actions more effectively and they tend to make more rational decisions.

I'll stand beside my vows to my wife, but I'm really not going to lose much sleep over breaking a few rules on a website. Sorry, ATS. On the other hand, I like to think that I do make some genuine contributions.



posted on Mar, 10 2016 @ 02:08 PM
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Such dramatics over something that appears pretty much on every bit of media you use.

I'd actually rather stick a fork in my eye than read another baby wail about ads that are fact of life for a site.
Ads are on tv, or you pay subscription, and even then you might get ads....
Radio you get ads.....
Magazines and newspaper you get ads......

Stick a pacifier in your mouth to silence the tantrums and get back to posting something relevant or actually interesting for members to read.



posted on Mar, 10 2016 @ 02:20 PM
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a reply to: TrueBrit

1 - translation into english required

2 - i never read website T&C pages - i navigate by the glow of the bridges i have burned

3 - is there a point to this thread ?



posted on Mar, 10 2016 @ 02:21 PM
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originally posted by: SkepticOverlord
a reply to: ForteanOrg

I think we have enough threads on the issue.

And I'm not sure what more, along the lines you suggest, needs to be discussed. The ethics of not abiding on the agreed-upon Terms & Conditions is rather straight forward.


O, sure.

But that is exactly the point: you are, in as far as I know, one of the site owners. Your notion of ethics is largely defined by your needs, your needs are that you want us to allow you to display stuff / enable functions on our systems you can use to check for certain things. This may or may not be because it makes you money - I don't know, this is a conspiracy site so perhaps you WERE forced by some letter agency

Anyway, anybody with more brains than a jar of marbles has detected that you are not really quite convinced this is the proper thing to do. My guess is that you actually don't like this any more than I do. If you WEREN'T the site owner, but just a contributing user, you might even be firmly in favour of ad blockers - you strike me as a nerd caught in a commercial web. But that's just my opinion.

OTOH: I'm a contributing user. My notion of ethics is of course also largely defined by my needs. My needs are that I want to be able to discuss some topics with other members here. I also do not like ads. They clobber my workspace, are loud, ugly, sometimes dangerous and they take up expensive bandwith. I also have no use for them. I won't even consider clicking them, they offend me. But there is doubt here too: if you aren't simply a greedy bastard, and you really NEED the money to keep this place up and running, and posting ads is the only way you see fit to - well, it all changes your ethics, doesn't it?

So, I'm not here - and hence started another thread - to discuss if you are right or I am. I want to find out what the ethics behind all this are - and also if there is some common rule we all can agree on: are there certain ethics to be applied here that "feel right" for all of us? I dont' know, but I wanted to discuss it, that's all.

About "But we already have a thread on it" - you also allow a kazillion threads on the US elections, the Brexit, refugees in Europe etc. and you haven't in as far as I'm aware closed one of these totally overlapping threads, which also often keep repeating the same arguments over and over again.

But more importantly: my thread was significantly different from this one - this one does not discusses ethics. This thread is simply a row of opinions about your decision to do as you did ("this is going to be ugly").

I'm not sulking. I'm puzzled.

edit on 10-3-2016 by ForteanOrg because: he did not bracket the unbracket..



posted on Mar, 10 2016 @ 02:26 PM
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a reply to: ignorant_ape

Which part are you having trouble comprehending?

As for your navigation method, I applaud your embracing chaos as broadly as you have. My personal preference is to burn only the bridges that lead to and from places that aggravate me.



posted on Mar, 10 2016 @ 02:30 PM
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originally posted by: crazyewok
Am I the only one that doesn't get adds?

I dont use ant blockers.

Does SO just love me sooooooo much im exempt from ads?


Perhaps - I don't get any either, they must love me too.

Either that - or the network I'm on does something to these ads. It's all out of my control, shoganai..



posted on Mar, 10 2016 @ 02:43 PM
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originally posted by: TrueBrit
a reply to: SkepticOverlord

This reply goes for ForteanOrg as well...


Well, I'm here


I realise that I am quite old fashioned


Well, a man a man, a word a word. Nothing "old fashioned" about that.

Just a question: when you signed your contract in 2007, did it contain -and were you aware of- the lines that say you should not install an ad blocker?


that most of the things which I find important about my conduct and that of others, are obsolete, that I myself may well be obsolete.


Oh, come on, cheer up you old bugger. I for one love you, as you are one of the few here that still writes in understandable sentences. Many oddah bros in da hood no.

I am also quite old (fashioned). I adhere to ethics rather than rules and laws. But we agree: a word is a word, and once given, you should not break it. But if you hand me a paper with 1000 lines of small scribbling on it and look me in the eye and say "it's allright, sign this" - I will. I will trust you, I won't even read the contract. Silly me.

Your soul is mine.
edit on 10-3-2016 by ForteanOrg because: he forgot to remove part of a quote



posted on Mar, 10 2016 @ 02:44 PM
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originally posted by: ForteanOrg

originally posted by: crazyewok
Am I the only one that doesn't get adds?

I dont use ant blockers.

Does SO just love me sooooooo much im exempt from ads?


Perhaps - I don't get any either, they must love me too.

Either that - or the network I'm on does something to these ads. It's all out of my control, shoganai..


once you hit a certain number on your stats you get minimal ads? I thought this was now understood and could not get why you continued to complain?

I get 3 video ads on the front page and one static at the top of recent or live thats it.

I don't know how I cope some days I really don't



posted on Mar, 10 2016 @ 02:55 PM
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a reply to: ForteanOrg

I read like a machine. The terms and conditions do not take long to read at all, especially if you utilise the zoom function on your desktop, laptop, tablet, phone, or other internet connectable devices.


Now, I will grant you, my memory is not perfect by any stretch, rather the opposite. But I have read those terms and conditions, and I read them again every once in a while, just to make sure that I am still aware of any amendments or alterations that may have occurred over a certain period, although SO does a pretty damned fine job of keeping us abreast of updates to it, in my experience.

So when ad blocking comes up, I always revert to those T&C, and if it is in there, then I signed up to it, and must abide by it. Simple as.
edit on 10-3-2016 by TrueBrit because: added detail



posted on Mar, 10 2016 @ 02:56 PM
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originally posted by: nonspecificonce you hit a certain number on your stats you get minimal ads? I thought this was now understood and could not get why you continued to complain?


Oh - I'm not complaining!


I get 3 video ads on the front page and one static at the top of recent or live thats it.


I don't even get these. And look at my stats, I mean - I'm not ashamed of it, but it's rather small, don't you think?


But please, pretty please mark my words: I'M NOT COMPLAINING



posted on Mar, 10 2016 @ 03:12 PM
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a reply to: ForteanOrg

Ask this instead:

Is it ethical to break the terms and conditions of use (including the use of adblock)?

What term would you give to someone breaking the t and c and then claim enforcement of terms and conditions are unethical?



edit on 10-3-2016 by zazzafrazz because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 10 2016 @ 04:09 PM
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a reply to: EvillerBob

Predictability makes for damned fine engineering, but makes for lacklustre and tiresome human beings.



posted on Mar, 10 2016 @ 04:10 PM
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originally posted by: zazzafrazz
a reply to: ForteanOrg

Ask this instead:

Is it ethical to break the terms and conditions of use (including the use of adblock)?


Actually, that's not that easy to answer.

It seems my thread about the ethics of it all will not be re-opened. So, okay, we might just as well continue the discussion here. I'm sorry if various other topics / subtopics that are NOT about the ethical aspects of (anti-)(anti-)blockers intermingle with it, but that's how the moderators have decided, ugh.


What term would you give to someone breaking the t and c and then claim enforcement of terms and conditions are unethical?


It all depends. Hero? Coward? Opportunist? Sensible User? Bandit? ATS critic? Hippie? Anarchist? Stupid?

What would one call Snowden?

Oh, well, Snowden. Okay, granted: Snowden is in a different league than the rogue ATS user that installs an AdBlocker. I mean: nobody will show up on the doorstep of such a rogue user to arrest him for breaking the T&C. He may get banned. Oh dear. But the rogue user does not have to flee to Russia. Breaking the T&C is hardly as important as disclosing malpractice on behalf of the American government.

But there are similarities, and they boil down to ethics. Hardliners say "oh, Snowden is wrong, because he was sworn to secrecy. He should have kept his word." Others feel that Snowden did the right thing by breaking his word - if he had not we would not have know about the betrayal of the American people by their own Government. So, what is right, what is wrong?

In my book, you keep your word, unless it is unethical to do so. The common good prevails over the T&C, but it is difficult to determine what the common good is. Hence, we discuss this. Openly.

If we all just simply stupidly adhered to T&C's, Laws, rules and regulations without regularly re-considering their ethics, we would still adhere to medieval laws. It are indeed the occasional disobedient that help keep our system working.

So, my answer would be "it depends, and I'm currently trying to figure out on what". What would your answer be?



posted on Mar, 10 2016 @ 04:12 PM
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originally posted by: TrueBrit
a reply to: EvillerBob

Predictability makes for damned fine engineering, but makes for lacklustre and tiresome human beings.


Coming from a man that recently stated he ALWAYS keeps his word ...



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