The popular browser extension Adblock Plus has angered some Webgoers after deciding to stop blocking certain advertisements by default. With previous builds, the add-on would block any ads that it could, but the developer has reconsidered that approach because it discourages users from supporting their favorite sites. The new version will allow "non-intrusive" ads to be displayed, while simultaneously blocking those that are less kosher.
Wladimir Palant has defined some requirements for "acceptable" ads: they can't have any animations or sound, no attention-grabbing images, and at most one script that delays page load times. Adblock also hopes to establish mandatory support for Do Not Track, but it's not in a position to enforce that yet. If you're against seeing any ads, you can block everything again by unchecking the "allow non-intrusive advertising" option in "Filter Preferences."
Palant said he must enable the feature by default because it's the only way to get advertisers onboard. He noted that most users won't enable it on their own, simply because they won't tinker with their settings. "In the long term the web will become a better place for everybody, not only Adblock Plus users. Without this feature we run the danger that increasing Adblock Plus usage will make small websites unsustainable."
According to a survey, only 25% of Adblock users oppose all ads and as you might expect, they're the most vocal about this change. The reality is that many sites exist and remain free purely because of ad revenue – TechSpot included. When you think about it, it's a vicious cycle. People block ads because they're annoying. That dents a site's income and ultimately forces them to seek more lucrative (read: peskier) ads.
That prompts more people to block the site's ads and thus it grows even more desperate. Before you know it, audiovisual billboards bombard you at every turn unless you rely on extensions like Adblock Plus. That's a dramatization of the Internet in 2011, but it's not entirely inaccurate. Being the tech-savvy crowd you are, most of you probably run some form of adblock filter. Are you willing to let "non-intrusive" ads slip through?