Online advertisements distract me from my duties, deceive me of the truth, and often make the day a little worse. Nowadays, I can barely go anywhere on the internet without being bombarded with them. Yet, they are probably the reason for the size and depth of the internet. How much work would you do, after all, if you weren’t being compensated in some way? With advertising, as consumers, we don’t have to pay anything to get a large variety of content. Of course, this doesn’t mean we should accept all of it. There’s a lot of power in our hands.
Most modern browsers equip us with pop-up blocking. I have many personal stories where pop-ups have led my computer to near-death. In this regard, pop-up blockers have saved my life. Yet, to me, rolling flash advertisements and other forms of intrusive idea-forcing once caused me to consider other forms of ad-filtering.
The web browsers Opera and Konquerer feature ad-filtering services by default. If you don’t want to make the leap to these far less popular browsers, a good option might be Adblock or Adblock Plus on the Firefox browser and all-in-one plug-in IE7 Pro on Internet Explorer 7. These programs work by using blacklists, web code strings, and file filtering to stop certain ads from being displayed. In my experience, they have been highly effective. I don’t condone this type of ad-blocking, anymore, because I want to make a living off the internet and advertising in my view is essential to that.
In terms of external programs, your options are plentiful. These programs usually have the added benefit of utilizing proxies, or additional servers to reroute your content, and therefore filter the ads before they even show. Programs include Squid, Privoxy, Adextinguisher, Guidescope, Ad Muncher, Proxomitron, and Proximodo. I don’t condone this, either
Recently, some companies have gone through great lengths to combat this anti-advertising. A new method that is gaining traction is sponsored words in content. For example, if someone wrote an article on spaghetti, they can install ads that would make each mention of “pasta” display an ad when a user rolls over it. And if clicked, the user will be redirected to a sponsor’s web page. This is a strategy of advertising that ad-filtering and proxies have no power over, other than to block the site altogether. I especially do not condone this method of advertising.
If you’re really serious about adblocking, the hardest but most effective thing of all is to stop using the internet completely. That is the only surefire way to stop seeing online advertisements. If anyone is willing to try it, I’d love to know about it. Leave a comment!
Wikipedia Entry on Ad-filtering: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ad_filtering
Wikipedia Entry on AdBlock: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adblock
Wikipedia Entry on Online Advertising: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Online_advertising