Knowing how the web works, it was only a matter of time: if ad-blockers were created to help users avoid advertising on web sites, and anti-adblocker be merged so that websites could recognize if we had an ad-blocker installed, forcing us to disable it to access its contents, the logical next step was anti-adblocker-blockers or anti-adblocker killers, which allow us to keep our ad-blockers active even when a site requires us to disable them.
This isn’t just a tongue twister; it’s a mind twister. I’ve said many times that ad-blockers represent the most significant collective boycott ever, but once we take the step of installing one, we find web sites that deny us access to their content unless we disable it, which defeats the object of the exercise. In some cases, the request may be reasonable, mainly if the site uses consistent advertising formats, but in others, it is by disabling our ad-blocker we are subjected to an avalanche of annoying or ultra-segmented advertising, even if we have applied the “Do not track” option, which advertisers have mostly decided not to respect and which now serves no purpose.
What is the point of hassling visitors to your site and bombarding them with advertisement after advertisement when they have already told you that not only do they not want you to do that but that they find the practice disturbing and sinister? Online advertising has a real problem: it is managed people with an idea about something as necessary as respect for our privacy.
On today’s websites, using an ad-blocker is the logical option and completely necessary for minimally efficient browsing. The discussion about whether or not ad-blockers are legal is closed: every case brought to trial by site owners has ruled in favour of users, as should be the case, considering that blocking affects our computers and the bandwidth we pay for. Advertising is a business model that, to survive, needs to manage the relationship with us delicately: many years of abuse have destroyed that relationship to the point that several hundred million users worldwide want absolutely nothing to do with it.
It will take many years to restore that relationship, and it is possible that, in some cases, that trust never be recovered. Meanwhile, companies interested in effectively advertising their wares need to look at things from the other side, to understand the inconvenience this causes and to exorcise the demons created by so many years of going about things in the wrong way. Otherwise, they’re just wasting everybody’s time, attention and money.