Update: *EXCELLENT* follow-up post from Wladimir in which he closes with the following,
I guess I need to thank Danny for so many great articles in such a short time. On the other hand, maybe instead I should remind him that denial-of-service attacks are illegal, even in the USA.
I’ll let you come to your own conclusions as to what that last sentence is referring to, though I will point out the fact that no matter who you are or what you believe justifies your actions, while blocking ads is not a crime, DOS attacks and other forms of Internet harrasment and vandalism most certainly are.
If you are guilty of any such crimes, please don’t turn yourself into the authorities (our prisons are filled with too many people who shouldn’t be there in the first place), but please stop, think, and then find ways to get over whatever it is you are hung up on in a peaceful manner.
Thanks! Our Internet will be a better place if you are willing to consider the above request.
Thank you for this article, it is real fun to read it. Btw, the numbers you were asking about - I don’t have exact numbers either but it seems that no more than 2% of Firefox users have Adblock Plus installed. Which makes this campaign as ridiculous as ever.
Of course one can only assume that after all of this attention, the number of AdBlock Plus users have increased, but not so much as to drastically change the above percentage to the point where any of the legitimate sites on the net in which use ad revenue as their primary support are going to be noticeably effected. In fact if you think about it, it’s quite possible that, while ever-so-slightly, the reduced cost in bandwidth savings from those who have no interest in the ads being displayed will *more* that offset any potential loss in ad revenue.
In fact, if you *really* think about it, if all of the people in which had no desire nor willingness to click on the ads presented on your site were to install AdBlock Plus there’s an ever-so-slighter (is slighter a word? Probably not, but today let’s make it an honorary word just for fun ;-) possibility that the net result will be that of increasing your cash flow instead of decreasing it.
Okay, maybe thats a bit of stretch, but if nothing else it’s definitely something to consider. Of course if it turns out this theory were to actually hold any water you would have none other than Wladimir Palant to thank for your decreased cost structure and therefore increase in monthly revenue. And according to the following forum entry from about this time last year (which was in response to a question regarding Wladimir’s preferred charity), here’s how you can thank him for your new found cash cow, ;-)
I don’t favor any organization, feel free to choose the one you like
Edit: On the other hand… I do favor one organization: http://www.mozilla.org/foundation/donate.html
Seems reasonable to me. :D
Update: NOTE: For those of you who first read this update at the top of my last post, here it is again but this time at the top of the correct post! ;-)
Upon clicking the link to http://whyfirefoxisblocked.com/ I was met with a blank page. Interesting, I thought to myself. Let’s check this out in more detail… I bet they want me to wipe the dust off my Internet Explorer and access their site that way. Admit defeat? Go back to using Internet Explorer? Hardly. I simply opened a new tab in Firefox and went to Google. In the Google search field I entered the search term: site:whyfirefoxisblocked.com and then loaded the conveniently offered “cached” version of the page in question. It loaded smoothly in my AdBlockPlus-enabled copy of Firefox.
Absolutely *CLASSIC*! :D Thanks for the laugh, Yours Truly! Of course the real test would be to do the same for the site that you would have been redirected from, but two things,
1) Why waste any more of your valuable time.
2) The spirit of your hack is most certainly in place, which leads to one very important observation,
As mentioned already: Don’t Fight the Internet! There’s fame (the good kind) and fortune and good times for all in whom find ways to embrace the way the web *truly* works, not the way you think it should work. And if anything this is the point of the entire post.
Update: Based on the evidence that has been mounting up in my inbox and in comments I’ve done a quick research project and have come to the same obvious conclusion that everyone else has: That the content that follows that now has a strike through is more than likely a completely bogus attempt at justification. My apologies to each of you that were simply following Digg, Slashdot, Reddit, and other links for proliferating the garbage that is being fed from this guy.
Oh, and Danny, (AKA Jack Lewis),
You know what, nevermind. Why even waste any more of my time.
No wait, I’m sorry, I do have something else to say: You are not a victim of terrorism. You’re a victim of yourself.
Best of luck to you.
Oh, and one other thing: If you are bothered by the ads on this or any other site and would rather read this or any other *FREE* content without being bothered by ads you find annoying: I’ve heard that Ad Block Plus is pretty good. Of course you’ll need Firefox if you don’t already have it, but if you’re interested in my opinion, Firefox is as good as a browser gets.
Enjoy your ad free Firefox browsing days, everyone! The content here on O’ReillyNet is free to read however you might choose in whatever browser you might choose. If you choose to reprint it (beyond that which can be considered fair use) please do so under the terms of the Creative Commons by-nc-sa. Otherwise, do what you want. That’s your right.
And as always, thanks for reading! :D
It’s my site, and if i want to control how people view it, I’m not letting a bunch of terrorists force me into changing that–and when you attempt to change someone’s behavior by threat of harm, you are a terrorist. The vile, obscene emails and phone calls, they attempts to shut down my server with DOS attacks and bandwidth eating programs, are all acts of terrorism, and it’s really interesting how many people who seem to get offended at being called “thieves” have no problems acting like terrorists.
Folks, I don’t care who you are or what it is you think you’re accomplishing, as far as I’m concerned anyone who involves themselves in this type of activity is absolutely as Danny specifies,
That’s absolutely shameful to do that kind of crap. You mind not be a criminal for blocking ads placed in the content you read, but you’re certainly a criminal if you take part in any of the crimes mentioned above.
Whoever is involved with the above: STOP!
It’s not funny. It’s not cool. And it certainly isn’t justified. It’s stupid. It’s illegal. And it needs to stop.
Don’t fight the Internet! I promise, you’ll lose.
The Mozilla Foundation and its Commercial arm, the Mozilla Corporation, has allowed and endorsed Ad Block Plus, a plug-in that blocks advertisement on web sites and also prevents site owners from blocking people using it. Software that blocks all advertisement is an infringement of the rights of web site owners and developers. Numerous web sites exist in order to provide quality content in exchange for displaying ads. Accessing the content while blocking the ads, therefore would be no less than stealing. Millions of hard working people are being robbed of their time and effort by this type of software. Many site owners therefore install scripts that prevent people using ad blocking software from accessing their site. That is their right as the site owner to insist that the use of their resources accompanies the presence of the ads.
Here’s the thing: If people are going out of their way to block ads via Ad Block Plus do you honestly believe they represent a significant percentage of the +/-2.5% of the people who actually ever click on web ads in the first place? Wait, hold up, I think you answer your own question in the next paragraph down, but first let me take a quick moment to point something out,
While blanket ad blocking in general is still theft, the real problem is Ad Block Plus’s unwillingness to allow individual site owners the freedom to block people using their plug-in.
So here’s my question: If I pick-up a copy of The Stranger (if you live in Seattle) or my local City Weekly (if you don’t), both of which are free, to then spend my time ripping out each of the ads such that I can read my aforementioned copy of my local alternative press completely ad free, am I now guilty of a crime?
Or hey, how about if I use Lynx (a terminal based non-graphical web browser for those unaware)? If you send to me a graphical ad as part of the markup for any given page am I now guilty of a crime because my browser is unable to render that graphic?
Censoring others (unless you have the legal right and/or responsibility (e.g. your children)) is one thing. But censoring yourself? As far as I know, censoring oneself is still completely legal.
And let’s hope it stays that way!
Okay, so back to your answer to your own question,
Demographics have shown that not only are FireFox users a somewhat small percentage of the internet, they actually are even smaller in terms of online spending, therefore blocking FireFox seems to have only minimal financial drawbacks,
So, in essence, what you’re suggesting is that the people you are blocking are,
1) Small in number, and
2) Cheap and/or poor, so therefore
3) Blocking them from reading your *FREE* content will,
have only minimal financial drawbacks
So then wouldn’t the same be true if you didn’t block them?
whereas ending resource theft has tremendous financial rewards for honest, hard-working website owners and developers.
So let me get this straight: The people you are blocking hold the potential of being cheap and/or poor “criminals”, a subset of site visitors which represent a small percentage of your total site visitors in the first place and yet,
ending resource theft has tremendous financial rewards for honest, hard-working website owners and developers.
You sure about that? Here, let me pose the following question/scenario to you,
What percentage of Firefox users have Ad Block Plus installed?
A quick search doesn’t bring up anything so at this stage I really have no idea what the number is. But what I do know is this: I don’t have Ad Block Plus installed and I have Firefox open all the time, sharing its web browsing duties with both Safari and Opera. In this regard while I can only speak for myself, the fact that I don’t have Ad Block Plus installed means that we can safely assume that the number of installs is less than 100%. But lets just throw a number out there and see what happens. Let’s say that 50% of Firefox users have Ad Block Plus installed (I doubt it’s even close to that many, but you never know.) and the other 50% do not. Coming back to the question I posed at the beginning of this letter,
If people are going out of their way to block ads via Ad Block Plus do you honestly believe they represent a significant percentage of the +/-2.5% of the people who actually ever click on web ads in the first place?
Okay, now lets take this from the reverse,
Using the above 50/50 assumption, are the remaining 50% who have not installed Ad Block Plus more or less likely to click on an ad than those who have installed Ad Block Plus?
Oh wait, I’m sorry. Given that you’re blocking *ALL* Firefox site visitors from viewing your *FREE* content, I guess there’s no way for you to know exactly just how much potential revenue you’re losing out on.
Hmm… That must suck, huh?! ;-)
Well, best of luck to you.
Yet Another Lost Potential Revenue Generating Firefox User