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France's media websites declare war on ad blockers

By midian182 · 37 replies
Mar 22, 2016
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  1. The use of ad blockers is always going to be a contentious issue, especially in the eyes of websites that rely on advertising as their main source of income. In France, several of the country’s biggest media sites have taken a joint stance against ad blocker users, asking them to disable the software or go without content.

    The scheme is being organized by French trade association Geste, which is representing the online businesses. Some of the media owners involved include Le Monde, L’Equipe and RTL, along with several smaller traditional publishers. They’re joined by a number of print, radio, and television websites, as well as music streaming service Deezer, which is based in France.

    “For our 400 journalists to provide you each day with high-quality, reliable and varied news each day ... we must be able to rely on advertising revenue,” wrote Jerome Fenoglio, Le Monde’s Editor-in-Chief.

    Some companies that are part of the initiative, such as L’Equipe and Le Parisien, require users to completely disable ad blockers if they want to view their websites' content.

    Those members of the scheme who aren’t putting a total ban on ad blockers are presenting users with a message asking them to please consider whitelisting their sites as they rely on the money brought in from ads.

    When Geste announced plans last year to create the joint action, it said users needed to be reminded that “content and services aren’t free.” The trade association went on to emphasize “the indispensable character of advertising as a source of financing.”

    27 percent of internet users in France have ad blocking software installed – more than any other country in the world. In the US, the number of people using the software has doubled in the last three years. With the technology becoming more advanced and increasingly popular – it now comes built-in with Opera’s latest browser – will more sites eventually require it to be disabled before allowing users access?

    Permalink to story.

  2. "...high-quality, reliable and varied news..."

    I lol'd
    ThanosPAS, Arturo, ikesmasher and 2 others like this.
  3. Adhmuz

    Adhmuz TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,768   +598

    “For our 400 journalists to provide you each day with high-quality, reliable and varied news each day ... we must be able to rely on advertising revenue,”

    Granted English may not be this guys mother tongue, but to repeat yourself no less than 7 words later doesn't strike me as terribly professional, certainly not "high-quality" and this is coming from the Editor-in-Chief. Honestly the internet is barely worth using without ad blocking software, and tell me this, if I were to disable it on these sites and didn't click on any of the ads, what difference would it of made had I had my ad blocker in the first place?
    cliffordcooley likes this.
  4. Ziffel

    Ziffel TS Booster Posts: 75   +62

    Anti-Adblock Killer. This simple script added to Greasemonkey (in Firefox) or Tampermonkey (Chrome) removes a site's ability to detect you are using an ad-blocker.

    This shows how easily such silly "wars" are circumvented.
    Leo Martin Lim and Adhmuz like this.
  5. Burty117

    Burty117 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 3,041   +793

    I was thinking the same thing, they've declared war but the war is already over...
    Anti-Adblock Killer ended it before it even began
    Ziffel and Leo Martin Lim like this.
  6. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 2,780   +1,531

    An interesting experiment might be for someone to develop a "site blocker". That is to say, you set the number of ads you are willing to tolerate and any sites that exceed that number would be blocked. The fallout of advertisers might be shocking.
    cliffordcooley and stewi0001 like this.
  7. m4a4

    m4a4 TS Evangelist Posts: 887   +437

    I'm glad they have the consumers interests at heart /endSarcasm

    But seriously, if the average person is looking up ad-blockers, then you know something is wrong on the ad server's end......
    cliffordcooley likes this.
  8. Tosikko

    Tosikko TS Booster Posts: 24   +25

    There is a difference between not viewing ads and ignoring them. Well targeted ads fit into website design and shouldn't bug you in the first place. Regardless of how you view ad-blockers, financing content by ads is certainly a interesting topic.

    In my experience, most people seem to start using ad-blocker because of disruptive and superfluous advertising. Especially ads that are either indistinguishable from original content or feel poorly targeted seem to annoy people. So maybe instead of looking to simply disable ad-blockers, these sites should focus on more curated advertising. Sure, I'm simplifying this, but ad-blockers are only the other side of the story here.
    Cycloid Torus likes this.
  9. J spot

    J spot TS Booster Posts: 102   +42

    Ad blocking is something that I personally try not to promote to others. I try to disable it on the websites that I frequent often, because hey, money doesn't grow on tree.

    Now you have browsers and corporations incorporating it into their products. With others probably soon to follow. Believe it or not, that's going to kill off a lot of sites.
    FF222 likes this.
  10. stewi0001

    stewi0001 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,512   +900

    I understand that people got to make money. But if you want people to not use ad-blockers, how about you setup the ads to be oh I don,t know... LESS ANNOYING.

    Instead of trying to change everyone else, work with what you do control. In their case, their website. They can then post an article with a screen shot showing it and state something like, "hey we've made it less annoying, please support us by turning off your ad blocker."
    cliffordcooley likes this.
  11. General Sam

    General Sam TS Enthusiast Posts: 59   +13

    The problem with adverts are and Youtube is a great example of this, intrusiveness. Youtube forces you to watch the advert before being able to watch the video. I like Linus Tech Tips, he talks about his sponsors a little after the intro of the video, this way you can skip over it if you've seen it/doesn't apply etc...

    Adblock passes this 15 second~ nuisence (which is the reason I mainly use it) and it boosts webpage load up speed. According to its statistics, Ive blocked over 700 on my work computer since installation 3 weeks ago and I rarely use the web on this machine.
  12. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 7,968   +2,867

    I guess if you can get used to Linus's squeaky, high pitched, annoying voice then I suppose it's easy to get used to annoying ads.
    GirlDownunder likes this.
  13. Cycloid Torus

    Cycloid Torus TS Evangelist Posts: 2,612   +487

    Without an ad blocker, I would have imported several trojans over the past couple years. I will not white-list a website without strong assurance that they vet what they serve - none do at this time.

    They will eventually wake up to the fact that their 'media' is not worth the trouble that 'ads' could bring.

    So, yes, I am in favor of blocking EVERY AD until they get their act together.
  14. Adhmuz

    Adhmuz TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,768   +598

    Hey, just because he hasn't hit puberty yet shouldn't classify him as an advertisement, as annoying as his voice is, he does give some sound advise on occasion. But it's great how a discussion about ad blockers turned towards Linus' squeaky voice being a good comparison.
  15. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 7,968   +2,867

    I really don't mind Linus but he can become a bit much very quickly for me.
  16. umbala

    umbala TS Maniac Posts: 197   +176

    I will never look at or listen to any ads on TV, radio, or the internet. Period. I don't care if these "journalists" and their families starve to death. Find another business model, one that doesn't involve constantly bombarding us with ads, or perish. If your business' success relies on constantly annoying your own users with ads in order to survive then your business doesn't deserve to exist. Whatever vital news or information these companies claim to produce is available elsewhere on the internet for free and without ads, so get the hell of my internet!
  17. umbala

    umbala TS Maniac Posts: 197   +176

  18. Axiarus

    Axiarus TS Maniac Posts: 228   +108

    You don't know how things work, do you?
  19. seefizzle

    seefizzle TS Evangelist Posts: 313   +169

    As soon as advertising stops being a security risk and advertisers learn how to create sensible, non obtrusive advertisements, I'm on board.

    But that will never happen. So **** it. I'd rather lose access to news articles than be subjected to advertisements.
    cliffordcooley and SirGCal like this.
  20. lripplinger

    lripplinger TS Addict Posts: 281   +97

    Ad blocking is important from a computer security standpoint. Much of the ads on the web implant adware or spyware onto your system without your consent. Also, so many people are suckers and click on ****, that then in turn infect their computers. Also, websites that use obnoxious intrusive ads that infect your computer, even if you click on the "red x" to "close" them screw you over. The problem is, ad server companies aren't held accountable by any standards or practices. I will keep using ad block plugins and Privacy Badger from the Electronic Frontier Foundation until **** changes.
  21. SirGCal

    SirGCal TS Maniac Posts: 365   +136

    Yup, When advertising is so horribly invasive with data collection, in-your-face spam adds, etc. I block em. If they were more benign and off to the sides, I'd keep them. Some sites I've setup with blockers and noscript now run SO fast cause all the adds aren't chewing up resources.

    If they had half a brain to do sensible advertising safely, I wouldn't care.
    cliffordcooley likes this.
  22. Tosikko

    Tosikko TS Booster Posts: 24   +25

    What kind of advertising would that be? Every website has a specific target audience, and several focus groups. How do you distinguish between those without collecting any data? Sure, online advertising needs to be improved to allow improved targeting and subtlety, and most companies in the business need to step up their game, but it's nigh impossible to do without profiling.
  23. SirGCal

    SirGCal TS Maniac Posts: 365   +136

    Profiling doesn't work anyhow. It assumes one person uses a given computer. But when it takes a page 3 minutes to load with adds and half a second to load without, that's extreme overload. And the in-your-face spam advertising is just too much, so I block it all since they can't be sensible. It's the advertisers own fault.
  24. Tosikko

    Tosikko TS Booster Posts: 24   +25

    How would you like to see those problems addressed then? The basis for online advertising isn't all bad. Sites and companies don't usually profit or pay for marketing done wrong on purpose.
  25. p51d007

    p51d007 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,159   +548

    Ok, here is the thing, in my opinion with web ads.
    IF they were STATIC, I wouldn't care that they were on a web page.
    If they were not IN YOUR FACE, auto video, pop ups that have to be
    closed, then I wouldn't be blocking them.
    I view web pages as "newspapers". If newspapers had all the crap that
    websites have, people wouldn't put up with that horse sh*t either.

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