Adblocking is completely ethical, what are opponents smoking?

I don’t understand why anyone would try and run a moral argument in the 21st century. It’s patently absurd to try and argue against adblocking because of some insinuation that it’s “unethical” to block ads when they lower the quality of your content consumption experience and the publisher of the content hasn’t offered an appropriate payment method for your jurisdiction.

I use Purify on iOS to block ads in Safari, which not only saves mobile data, it also improves page loading times. I use Adguard on my laptop and that, too, improves the browsing experience and reduces page loading times. I really couldn’t care less that some content producers can’t make money – there are so many choices of content to consume on the internet that losing a couple of marginal voices because no one wants to pay for a subscription isn’t really something to run to the barricades about.

Does this mean I don’t pay for content? Ironically, I pay for the content I value and can access on reasonable terms to me – remember, in this consumer driven era, it’s not about what the producer wants to sell it’s what the consumer wants to buy on their terms.

My current content subscriptions include:

  • SKY + SKY Sport
  • Netflix
  • Apple Music
  • New York Times
  • Scribd

My one-off online content purchases include:

  • Amazon – ebooks
  • Apple Store – ebooks, some music

If someone wants to block ads to improve their browsing experience that’s their perogative. If content drops out of the marketplace because it can’t survive, then that’s too bad for them. The internet, like life, isn’t fair, and attempts to make moral arguments in an inherently amoral sphere are amusing.

Even with very high rates of adblocking, the major online content sites people think of when they think about who is impacted by adblocking are still generating revenue and visitors. The site founded by former Wall St analyst Henry Blodget, Business Insider, was recently sold for a pretty sum. I’m sure most of its users would block ads or their IT department would.

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