AdBlockers, good or bad?

After taking almost all of January off, I will try to be posting regularly with some new style posts. Included in these new posts will be debates and stories broken up into different parts.

What exactly is an adblocker? And what’s the significance of this debate? An adblocker is something that comes in the form of a browser extension, preventing pop-ups, banners, and autoplay videos. They help provide the user with a more efficient, cleaner internet experience. However, they also may damage small websites and businesses.

AdBlockers do more good than harm

Three main arguments for adblockers are that they protect the right to privacy, they help prevent malware and viruses, and they save people’s time.

1. Adblockers protect your right to privacy

Adblockers don’t just block ads, they also block trackers and cookies from following you around the internet and building up a profile on you and your activities. This is why you see ads all over the internet for a product you looked at a couple weeks ago, and maybe didn’t even buy.

These trackers may be put out by big companies like FaceBook and Google, and installing an adblocker on a computer keeps these mega-companies from building up a profile on internet users.

This protects the constitutional right to privacy, guaranteed by the fourth amendment, along with the Universal Right to Privacy put forth by the United Nation’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights in Article 12, “No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy.”

2. Adblockers help prevent viruses

Some pop-up ads may contain links to infected websites. Clicking a malicious ad allows the virus to enter the system and insert its code, therefore infecting the computer.

An adblocker, especially one which blocks pop-ups, will keep dangerous software from having a chance of entering the computer. Many adblockers are also able to distinguish normal pop-up ads from malicious ones, the blocker may also send alerts when it has blocked a malicious ad.

This helps protect both your personal information and computer, effectively protecting your privacy by not allowing your computer to be at risk of such viruses.

3. Adblockers help you save time

Time is, arguably, our most valuable asset, once it’s used it can’t come back. Each time an irrelevant ad pops up and distracts a viewer from their work, they lose their time and focus.

By installing an adblocker the user prevents useless ads, which aren’t relevant to their interests, from distracting them from their work.

AdBlockers do more harm than good

Two arguments against adblockers, are that they take profit from small websites and that they could take away the free internet.

1. They steal profit from small websites

Small websites who don’t make money from anything other than ads lose valuable revenue when a software is blocking users from seeing their ads. Advertisers usually pay for each view the ad receives, meaning that if more people are blocking the ads, less people are seeing them.

This means that the owner of the website would lose money and might have to scale back, or completely shut down the website. According to a report by Page Fair, adblockers are projected to cost $41.4 billion in 2016 around the world.

2. Could take away the free internet

“There’s no such thing as a free lunch,” and when websites lose revenue from ads, they must turn to other means of making money. The websites could choose to put up paywalls to force users to pay in order to have full access to their site.

This could end up taking away the internet from multitudes of people who could, or would not, pay for a subscription to the site.

Have an opinion on adblockers? Please comment below! Be sure to check back on Saturday for a special type of post.

About Luke Scorziell

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Mr. Scorziell created The Edge of Ideas when he was 15 years old. After a few years of blogging he found a passion for podcasting and now regularly has guests on his show, Bills with Luke Scorziell. Find out more about Luke and his unique journey. Feel free to send Luke a message below.

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