10 Reasons I Use Adblock

1. Privacy.

If an advertiser can display an ad, they can use it for tracking. And they do, all the time, in egregious and persistent ways. There is no decent way of opting out of this; the train-wreck that the do not track proposal has become shows that advertisers have extremely inventive ways of interpreting “not tracking”.

2. Security.

It turns out that ads are increasingly becoming a vector for malware delivery.

3. Advertisements are inefficient, part 1.

In order to be sustainable, ads need to produce more profit than they cost the companies employing them. So, while ads are commonly thought of as free, they in fact must be costing consumers more than companies pay to content creators. Thus, it would be more efficient to pay content creators directly.

4. Advertisements are inefficient, part 2.

The efficiency of markets depends on how well informed consumers are. Any advertiser doing their job makes ads that highlight the strengths of a product while downplaying its weaknesses. That is, effective ads are fundamentally misinformation. Thus, ads make the markets they exist in less efficient.

5. Advertisements fuel greed.

The point of ads is to make people want things they otherwise wouldn’t. And they are surprisingly effective.

6. Advertisements are annoying.

Without adblock, the web becomes a constant assault on the senses.

7. It works.

The bottom line is that adblock works. Content creators are giving away their product for free, whether they want to or not. In a sense, ads are to adblock as DRM is to copyright infringement. They punish legitimate customers; meanwhile there is a free and superior alternative available. The difference is that copyright infringement is illegal and adblock is not.

8-10. I lied.

I’m only listing 7 reasons, not 10.

Why it’s terrible that I use adblock.

Despite all the reasons ads are awful, the web has settled on them as the primary source of revenue for content creators. Usually the only way to support content creators is to view ads. I do want to support content creators, I just don’t want ads more. And that’s kind of selfish.