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Are blocker blockers ethically correct?

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posted on Mar, 10 2016 @ 04:52 AM
i love my ad blocker i keep it on all the great well pleased with it..

posted on Mar, 10 2016 @ 04:54 AM
a reply to: Jonjonj

Secondly, suggesting that great ad blockers are available on the "dark net" is setting unknowing people up for a great fall, you really should not download stuff from the "dark net" especially if you are not savvy about it.

I went there once...there is stuff and there is stuff.
What you're suggesting sounds like the "bogeyman is going to get you", or you will go to "hell if you study witchcraft" type of response better suited for the religious threads.

posted on Mar, 10 2016 @ 05:01 AM
a reply to: TheConstruKctionofLight

As someone who uses the non-indexed side of the internet frequently I am simply making the point that, in many cases, downloading programs from that part of the net is not good practice. You can debate that if you like, but would you suggest people with no computer awareness download "stuff" from non-indexed sites?

I know I wouldn't.

posted on Mar, 10 2016 @ 05:02 AM
a reply to: Jonjonj

So now it is law, not ethics the debate?

And yet you have carefully avoided voicing an opinion on the ethics...

ForteanOrg wrote

Ethics, like Law, are moral principles that govern a person's or group's behavior. They are often predecessors to Law. Hence, it makes sense to discuss the ethics of ad blockers, anti-ad blockers and anti-anti-ad blockers; we are breaking new grounds here. We might even see a number of camps that apply differing sets of ethics, but eventually we will get to the point where ethics will be tested by Courts.

So you want to perhaps stay on topic rather than just repeating "but you signed the T & C", there are countless other threads started in the last few days about the T & C's that you are welcome to play in.

posted on Mar, 10 2016 @ 05:04 AM
a reply to: TheConstruKctionofLight

You might try to read the thread again, it seems you missed my posts.

Edit: I take your comments about "playing in the thread" as an insult. The points I made are valid, you however have made no points at all.

edit on 10-3-2016 by Jonjonj because: addition

posted on Mar, 10 2016 @ 05:14 AM

originally posted by: JonjonjHowever, I think that one of the main points of your OP was whether you should provide url's for ad block software, wasn't it? That is what I mean when I say offering a way around the T&C's.

Good - so, in your opinion it would be unethical to provide the URL to the anti blocker blocker. If it exists, of course. Your reasons are that ATS staff has T&C's in which it is said you are not allowed to switch off ad blockers. Now, the mere fact you weren't aware of it and even tried to help others to block ads (if I understood you correctly) - does that in itself not prove that you thought that using ad blockers was ethical?

So, in general, could it be said that you feel that using ad blockers is ethically correct UNLESS you signed the T&C's?

posted on Mar, 10 2016 @ 05:22 AM
Ethically it is completely wrong to block people who use ad-blocker.
I understand that it says in the 'Rules and regulations' blablabla but anyone can put anything into that, where do you draw the line of it being reasonable?
If I ever get banned for using Ad-blocker, they are basically getting rid of one of their content producers.

I ain't no bandwidth-thief and I ain't no 'drain' on a website that relies on people to even exist. If we all used adblockers and all got banned, ATS would be an empty space, generating absolutely no money whatsoever.

Now, why is it ethically wrong [after all everybody thinks that ATS would die a paupers death if we don't 'look' constantly at adverts. How comes that TV can survive on adverts that not everyone is watching?

My TV adblocker is my remote control. Adverts are on, channel will be changed. Simple as that. Oh, of course making Tea and going to the loo, are other ways to ignore adverts.

By ATS logic, not watching adverts deliberately I am doing something wrong.

I envisage a future, where people are forced to watch TV adverts and are not allowed to leave the room whilst they are on, not allowed to close their eyes or ears. This can be measured by facial recognition software or implanted chips [why not? /S] People who use these natural 'adblockers' will then be punished by being either banned from watching the channel or having to pay extra, despite the advertising being on. To go even further, you have to let adverts be on anything where people congregate. So if Tesco wants to put their logo on your coffin, you have to let them, unless you pay extra. After all, no space should go unadvertised!

IMO advertisers are the new gods. They don't just want to chance it by plastering their annoying 'buy this' crap everywhere but now we are FORCED to actually look at it...or else.
For some strange reason, there were millions of interesting websites to spent hours reading on in the early 2000 and only a handful had adverts. It was a delight, because they existed because people didn't make them to make money but because they liked doing them.

We also own a website and we also have adverts on it but no advertiser has yet asked us to tell our readers to stop using adblocker and if they would, they can go and put their stuff somewhere else.

I believe that advertisers should pay and have the right to ask a website to display their useless crap but by no logic do they have the right to force me to look at it. That is a chance they have to take.

So ethically it is completely wrong to forcefully make adblock users stop their adblocking. My one is on and it stays on. If I even get banned, so be it, this isn't the only website on the net and I'll live fine without it.

posted on Mar, 10 2016 @ 05:23 AM
a reply to: ForteanOrg

I think you are confusing ethical with convenient. Let me be clear, when I installed my adblocker I did not have some kind of internal, ethical debate about it. I perceived a problem that could be solved by using the software.

Does everything you do in life have to have some kind of ethical forethought? Life would be impossible if that were true. The case could be made that donating to charity is unethical, in the long run it allows authorities to turn their backs on their responsibilities in the knowledge that others will take care of the problem for them.

I don't see how, in any way, anyone can claim the moral high ground by encouraging the use of a product that is clearly stipulated to be against the T&C's of the site. At most you could, if you had proof, show people exactly why the ads are so harmful.

posted on Mar, 10 2016 @ 05:40 AM
a reply to: ForteanOrg

I used to use ad blockers all of the time, it was mainly for YouTube.

Then I watched a video from a guy I am subscribed to and he mentioned that it took him a long time to make and edit his video's and the reason he used adverts was so he could justify the time and effort.

I disabled ads on YouTube after this because I realised that although it's great to have something for free you cannot expect someone to provide something to you for no return, that is not a fair system in my mind.

Now I always allow the ads to run as they get paid more, I just check ats or whatever whilst it runs in the background.

I used ad-blocker on ats too until I became aware that my doing so was giving me something for free but denying the site owners a revenue for there giving me an ATS to be on.

When I took it off here I was surprised at the lack of ads and found out that my stats mean they are kept to a minimum, something that the site does not have to do but chooses to.

Most of the ads are on the front page and I have ATS zoomed in a few notches and do not see them anyway.

Given that I have recently discovered that ad-blockers white list sites for a monthly fee and the above I would say that in my opinion using ad-blockers is unethical.

posted on Mar, 10 2016 @ 05:40 AM

originally posted by: Jonjonj
a reply to: TheConstruKctionofLight

You might try to read the thread again, it seems you missed my posts.

Edit: I take your comments about "playing in the thread" as an insult. The points I made are valid, you however have made no points at all.

Mm. Page 2 and we already managed to get one member insulted (or at least say he is). Pity.

Anyway, though this thread is about ethics, I believe that it is totally acceptable to discuss Law if that somehow helps the thought process. I do agree though that the simple observation "you signed the T&C so it is unethical for you to block ads" should not be seen as a show-stopper for further discussion.

In my country, the Law used to prohibit people for driving through a red light (duh). However, it was perfectly safe (and done massively by bicyclists) to make a right turn on a crossing. The light was interpreted to mean to stop traffic that wanted to cross the crossing, not to stop traffic from turning right. But police officers simply applied the Law and issued fines. Bicyclists decided that it was ETHICALLY correct to turn right nevertheless and so continued their practice. Of course, a lot was writtten and said about it and almost everybody was of the opinion that "turning right" was totally logical and unharmful - ethically correct.

After a few years, Judges also decided that this was the case and after a while it became Law.

So, discussing ethics can not be, nor should be, stopped because current Law disagrees.

We once had the death penally here..

posted on Mar, 10 2016 @ 05:50 AM

originally posted by: ForteanOrg

Very good point. Who's paying for these ads? And why don't they mind if you clip out the - say - spiders?

Of course the advertisers are paying for the ads. They pay for the newspaper to place the ads, and that's where the newspaper's requirement ends. But if you are cutting out the ads, you are looking at them, no? You have to see them to be able to physically cut them out, right? So, the advertiser still wins, as you are "viewing" the ad. If you have a web ad blocker, the advertiser loses because you never see the ad at all. Advertisers don't like that, so they won't pay for ads that are never view-able. Can you blame them?

Well, there is a big difference between a commercial site and a non-profit site. The "business model" of a non-profit site relies on contributions and voluntury work. As non-profit organisations and their volunteers are mostly deeply respected by societies, many ISP's offer free web hosting for non-profit sites, many volunteers offer free expertise etc. - Actually, part of the problem may well lie with the fact that this site is largely driven by unpaid volunteers, suggesting it is some kind of non-profit, open discussion forum, where in reality it's a (semi?)commercial organisation.

So, let's assume for now that I can and would be able to set up a "free ATS", no ads.

Suppose I'd do that - would that be ethical in your opinion?

No, ATS is not a non-profit in the sense that they don't feed the homeless or provide shelter for battered women. So they aren't offered free web hosting. You are assuming that the management of this site makes a profit off of it that they keep in their own pockets. Are you certain that is the case?

posted on Mar, 10 2016 @ 05:54 AM
a reply to: Jonjonj

In fact, most decisions one makes are based on some kind of "ethical" forethough, albeit that it is not necessarily YOU that thought things true. In many cases we do things because our parents / friends etc. do likewise, they in turn may have learned it from a person who DID think things through. I do agree that in some cases simple personal comfort is all we have: if you are hungry and you see an apple hanging from a tree, you will pick it and eat it, and if somebody thinks that's unethical because it is not your tree, well, sorry, but one has to live.. but it does not feel right, so..

I are situation like these, in which we find ourselves doubting our moral high ground that we should discuss what is the best (ethically correct) action to take. I believe that ATS blocking ad blockers is a good example of a similar situation: is stealing the apple (reading content whilst blocking the ad) morally acceptable even though it is against the Law (T&C) if you do so while (very) hungry (you have good reasons to block ads as they upset you)?

About your question why ads are (or could be harmful); I provided a number of examples, like say pictures of spiders that upset arachnaphobiacs, ads that remind you of a recent loss, ads that offer products you are opposed to (e.g. tobacco, liquor, sex toys, dating sites for married people, religious or political ads etc.). From a technical and security related point of view it is entirely possible that ad content creators will steal data from your system without your permission.

posted on Mar, 10 2016 @ 06:05 AM

originally posted by: Hecate666IMO advertisers are the new gods. They don't just want to chance it by plastering their annoying 'buy this' crap everywhere but now we are FORCED to actually look at it...or else. For some strange reason, there were millions of interesting websites to spent hours reading on in the early 2000 and only a handful had adverts. It was a delight, because they existed because people didn't make them to make money but because they liked doing them.

The Internet used to be a place run by the military (so, actually driven by tax payers money, a commodity) and Universities (many of which saw it as a privilege to help create a medium to disperse knowledge). No ads were needed. Nowadays, the Internet is a place for all - and hence the same rules apply as in real life society: billboards, ads and stuff like that are common place. So, in itself I'm not surprised we now have ads on the Internet.

On the other hand: using the Internet does not say I'm not entitled to protect myself from harm. if a large poster of an almost nude woman (showing the latest fad in underwear) is put right next to the bus stop, I will complain and the ad company will remove the ad, as it offends me. I have the exact same option when I use an adblocker. So, it might be said that, if you say that the Internet should more or less reflect real lif, ad blockers are totally ethical.

it is completely wrong to forcefully make adblock users stop their adblocking. My one is on and it stays on. If I even get banned, so be it, this isn't the only website on the net and I'll live fine without it.

Certainly. But is it FAIR to be banned for using and ad blocker? You have been contributing to the succes of ATS, never got a dime for it, and then as a reward get banned for protecting your system? Does that sound 'ethically correct'?

posted on Mar, 10 2016 @ 06:11 AM

originally posted by: kaylaluvNo, ATS is not a non-profit in the sense that they don't feed the homeless or provide shelter for battered women.

Correct. But there are plenty of non-profit informational websites, maintained by volunteers, e.g. Wikipedia. Their business is remarkably similar to that of ATS: users offer content within the predefined rules and framework of Wikipedia, free of charge. All can contribute and read the content freely. No ads. So, it could be done, and perhaps it SHOULD be done.

So they aren't offered free web hosting. You are assuming that the management of this site makes a profit off of it that they keep in their own pockets. Are you certain that is the case?

No. On the other hand: are you certain they don't? How does that relate to the ethics of blocking ads - is it less unethical for a non-profit organisation to demand us to whitelist them?

posted on Mar, 10 2016 @ 06:24 AM
One can use a linux running on vmware in windows, or have a linux box as firewall, redirect traffic thru it using iptables and drop unwanted ad-sources, a problem I solved 15yrs ago.

I don't use it anymore, it doesn't bother me no longer but I still have my homemade scripts.
So, if someone wants me to wrap my lazy ass over this again, I would be happy to help, free of charge.

Sorry admins, i'm just more qualified, you guys and chills and the site are funded enough :p

posted on Mar, 10 2016 @ 06:24 AM
a reply to: ForteanOrg

You posit an example of a person stealing an apple, but owing to hunger, rather than whimsy.

In the situation you describe, the human body requires food in order to perform vital processes, those which sustain the body in life. This could be referred to as a necessity.

However, to compare that situation to using an ad blocker on a site like this, which relies on its advertising space to cover its operational costs and remain current and functional, is somewhat disingenuous.

For a start, as great as this place and this membership is, it is not a biological necessity. Nor, for that matter, is Internet access, although in this day and age, access to the net is very close to becoming an absolute necessity, as more and more functions of government and banking, more and more access to basic services are beginning to revolve around the net and rely on it to smooth out their functions.

To return to analogy for a moment, stealing Internet access is actually much closer to being the proverbial apple, than is membership or use of this particular website. Without access to the Internet, people are unable to access goods and services exclusive to the web, as well as being unable to access services which are easier to use and more efficiently accessed via the net. For someone out in the sticks, or with physical disabilities preventing them from easily leaving the house to access goods and services, it is an actual necessity in this day and age.

This website is more like a premium holiday ham, or a bottle of expensive tipple. It is not a necessity, but a luxury we enjoy, a luxury we are lucky enough to enjoy free of charge to us. It comes with some terms and conditions, but essentially it is something we do not actually NEED, in that without it, we could still, in theory, access all the data contained here by our own research, rather than relying on other members, find other places to discuss the topics at hand, other communities dealing with similar issues. We have no biological need to access this particular website, of all websites on the web, we will not suffer starvation, or thirst, we will not suffer failure of our kidneys, our livers will not shut down, our hearts will not stop and our brain meat will not begin to die through lack of blood flow.

However, only here, in this place, can we learn and discuss subjects in this specific environment, with this specific membership, under these specific and advantageous conditions, and all we have to do in return is allow advertisements to display, in accordance with the terms and conditions of the site itself, terms we agreed to when we signed up.

I think it shows a distinct lack of respect for the community, the site management, ownership, and staff, for anyone to suggest that the membership are being dealt with harshly or poorly, by the terms and conditions of use of the site, any of them, but especially where the way the site gains its revenue is concerned. We are getting this service, this forum, for free, for no money down, or at any time. We can donate to it if we wish, or have funds available to do so, but we are under no obligation to contribute financially, save to have an add run on the page we might be viewing at the time. Not only that, but membership of long standing reduces the number of adds one sees as time goes on, and frankly, I find the entire line of reasoning which finds fault with the system as it is here, to be utterly ridiculous.

There are many things in life which are unfair, unethical, an outrage. The way this site deals with advertising however, is not one of them.

posted on Mar, 10 2016 @ 06:31 AM
a reply to: ForteanOrg

Wikipedia is run by a parent non-profit organization, funded by donations, grants and gifts.

The Wikimedia Foundation is funded primarily through donations from millions of individuals around the world. The average donation is quite small, but the sheer number of donations we receive have allowed us to continue to serve our mission. We also receive donations through institutional grants and gifts (see benefactors).

Could ATS set up something like this? Since it isn't viewed as a source of knowledge like an encyclopedia would be, it is highly doubtful. Yes, ATS could theoretically be run on a donation basis only, but I recall the outrage when the donation button was added. People were actually upset at just a request for donations! Unbelievable. Not to mention the outrage at the suggestion there be an optional "pay for no ads" deal offered.

Let's face facts - there are a lot of real jerks who frequent this website who don't want to pay anything, donate anything, or look at anything that bugs them. I find that HIGHLY unethical.

posted on Mar, 10 2016 @ 07:29 AM
Advertisers have NO ethics. They could care less about the ethics of the under-handed tactics they use. They want you to see their ads, even if only subconsciously. One way to do that, is to pay businesses like ATS to host them, and DEPEND on the revenue. This then becomes a vicious circle, and advertisers know this, but too late! Now they have everyone fighting about the "ethics" of their unethical ads to start with. They cry foul when ad-blockers are used. But the reason people started using them is because of the in your face, can't get rid of without closing your browser ads that made you want to use a hammer on your monitor. But...but...the reason they started using in your face ads, is because people were blocking the normal ones. Which came first? Chicken or egg? I'll tell you which came first. Under-handed businesses that could give a damn about you, me, or ATS. They absolutely love it that we are having this debate with ATS, and among ourselves, and they are laughing all the way to the bank. They are scum, and they know it.

ETA: This whole fiasco has nothing to do with ethics. And to use ethics as a base for argument is a guilt trip at best. It comes down to this. If you want to keep enjoying the ATS community, then support them by not blocking the ads. If you don't care about ATS, and are still blocking the ads, why are you coming here to begin with?

To address one of the OP's mentions. Yes, there are numerous ways to block the ads without detection by ATS or the advertisers, but why bother? The ads here are not in your face, nor are they EVERYWHERE. Just be careful of clicking on some of them. A few of them will take you to places you don't want to go.

edit on 3/10/2016 by Klassified because: add

edit on 3/10/2016 by Klassified because: eta

posted on Mar, 10 2016 @ 07:36 AM

originally posted by: ForteanOrg

There is almost no realistic case against ATS under the CMA 1990 in this current situation. There is actually a surprisingly strong criminal case against the user who posts on ATS while using adblocking software.

Also, only some cookies require consent and implied consent is sufficient. Explicit consent is not required in the UK. For example, I never use traditional cookies, instead preferring php sessions. I am not required to inform or seek consent for setting session cookies on the user's browser. Link to ICO page on cookies

If ATS holds a reasonable belief that it has authority, the actual legality of the T&Cs doesn't really affect that. If ATS expect AdBlockers to be disabled, it is entirely reasonable and forseeable that they will take reasonable steps to check. You don't give your permission to shopkeepers to draw on your £20 note with a forgery detection pen, but they do it anyway before accepting the money to ensure it's genuine.

It's just part of the thousands of implied consents that we use throughout our daily life, along with entering the bus without paying (because it's implied that you can enter in order to pay) and squeezing melons in the supermarket (because it's implied that you can cause minor physical damage the melons - even at just a microscopic level - in order to check if they are of sufficient quality).

In fact, don't think of the T&Cs in terms of "legally binding" because it's distracting from the point. Think of them as "knowledge". It is within your knowledge that ATS will take the actions outlined in the T&Cs, therefore your continued use of the site constitutes implied acceptance. If you want a nice parallel, Sale of Goods has one. If you find a fault in a product but you continue to use it anyway, the court can find that you have accepted that fault. What you should do is stop using the product immediately. Exactly the same concept applies here.

So, as stated earlier, there is a stronger criminal case against the user under CMA 1990 for posting while using AdBlocking software. ATS clearly set out the grounds on which they permit you to access their systems - just reading the site might be a squeeze under CMA but I think posting could be made to fit - so you know that you are not acting with their authority when you click the "submit" button that changes the data held in their database on their server.

Ethically... I see no issue with checking for adblockers or changing the site delivered based on the presence or otherwise of adblockers, any more than I change the site delivered based on device, screenwidth, or whether the user is logged in.

Edited to add: completely forgot your last question. I have exactly that link but I wouldn't post it or share it. Not through any great ethical concern or high horse for me to perch on. It's just that I created the script for the fun of doing it, not because I'm actually that interested in stopping ATS cover the entire world in ads for sex toys and hamster lubricant.
edit on Ev39ThursdayThursdayAmerica/ChicagoThu, 10 Mar 2016 07:39:38 -06006102016b by EvillerBob because: (no reason given)

posted on Mar, 10 2016 @ 07:51 AM

originally posted by: ForteanOrgAlso: given that we are all virtual persons here and TTBOMK currently the Law does not provide any provisions to allow VIRTUAL entities to sign a contract or agreement, and in as far as I know I, as a physical being, have NOT really signed anything, am I bound to the T&C? I don't think so.

Sorry, you're so far off base with this that you're practically colonising Mars.

Ever used Amazon? Paypal? Sainsburys Online? Any online shopping site? What exactly do you think you are doing if not contracting for the sale of goods?

A contract is just an agreement that meets certain criteria. It doesn't need to be written, signed, or anything else - except for specific instances relating to deeds/land, if memory serves. In fact the most common form of acceptance of a contract isn't acceptance by "signing", it's acceptance by "conduct". When was the last time the bus driver made you sign the ticket?

However, and it's worth coming back to this and repeating it, it's entirely distracting to think of the T&Cs as a contract that can be argued in court. It's about knowledge. Most of the relevant arguments revolve around whether people knew, or could reasonably know, or could reasonably be expected to know, or could reasonably be expected to give implied consent, etc etc.

The point of the T&Cs is that both parties know what is expected and what is likely to happen.

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