Is Adblocking a Necessary Evil? [Poll]

Is Adblocking a Necessary Evil?

There isn’t anyone who uses the Internet regularly who hasn’t been bothered by the ads. They can be quite a nuisance, which is the reasoning behind having adblocking. No one wants to go through the extra steps of having to blocks ads, but is it a necessary evil?

No matter where you go in the Internet, it seems you’re hit with ads. They pop up through certain sites on the Web, they show up on Google, they appear on YouTube, and they’re even integrated into the process of Facebook. To be able to block them at least some of the time with the aid of adblocking can be helpful. However, many online publishers, including Make Tech Easier, rely on ads for a living and blocking their ads is as well as killing off their businesses.

Where do you stand with adblocking? Do you just put up with the annoying ads or do you look at adblocking as a necessary evil, something you must live with in order to avoid the annoyance of the ads?

Is adblocking a necessary evil?

Laura Tucker Laura Tucker

Laura has spent nearly 20 years writing news, reviews, and op-eds, with more than 10 of those years as an editor as well. She has exclusively used Apple products for the past three decades. In addition to writing and editing at MTE, she also runs the site's sponsored review program.


  1. Advertising is like a drunken party crasher. Every time he shows up he promises to behave, to be unobtrusive and tasteful.

    He can’t do it. Before long he’s noisily forcing himself into other peoples’ conversations to tell an inane and pointless story about some completely unrelated topic. Worse yet, he justifies poking his nose into peoples private affairs on the basis of someday being able to make less irrelevant, but no less unwanted, intrusions.

    It’s bad enough that our drunken party crasher annoys us at every turn. Worse yet is that he has taken over all of our public dialogs. Transportation policy, transportation policy’s fraternal twin energy policy, health care, nutrition: All areas of public concern where the by-far largest source of “information” is paid commercial messaging.

  2. > Is Adblocking a Necessary Evil?

    You don’t call a mop “evil”.

  3. I run an adblocker in Firefox and don’t feel there is a moral or ethical component in doing that.

    Ads on the web are fundamentally different than ads in print or ads on TV and radio. An ad in the latter doesn’t know what I was reading or viewing before the ad entered my field of vision. When I carry a newspaper around with me, it doesn’t report my changing whereabouts to the publisher. An ad in print does not obscure what I want to look at until I take some action to make it go away.

    Advertising is necessary to generate profit to pay people to produce content that I think is worth paying attention to. The no-pay “free” commons generates a useless flood of content by amateurish people pushing their own agendas with debatable concern for accuracy or truth. Our well-documented unwillingess to pay for anything we do on the web is, fundamentally, the root of that problem.

    So, I have no solution. In the meantime, ad publishers would do themselves a favor if they made ads faster to load and less obtrusive. If your ads blink, flash, toot, honk, or cover my browser window, I’m blocking you.

    1. ‘The no-pay “free” commons generates a useless flood of content by amateurish people pushing their own agendas with debatable concern for accuracy or truth.’

      Nonsense, there are way more lies spread by well paid professionals. There are trainloads of ‘unpaid amateurs’ doing thorough investigation uncovering those lies for us. And usually those ‘amateurs have no hidden agandas or interests and not bother us with evil ads either.

  4. I will stop using an ad blocker when ads stop being annoying and stop stalking me. I don’t want obnoxious flash ads, obtrusive banners or things I have to click in order to see content. I also don’t want ads that follow me to the next page I visit. Until ads stop doing these things, my ad blocker stays.

  5. Thanks for asking! Not a necessary evil, but a lot of fun actually. No greater joy than blocking some ad that passes through my blocking wall.

    In Firefox I run Ghostery, Privacy Badger and Adblock+ with the Easy List and Privacy filters as well I’ve built about 65 custom element blocks to avoid all the spinning, bouncing, pulsating, sliding, overlay, popup-ing, drive-by installing and noisy crap. And the intelligence insulting, mindless, low-life, rip-off garbage like “how to make any woman obsess over you” and “melts fat like butter,” just like one finds on this Web site. That said, I do whitelist some sites where ads are mostly benign and where artists and creative producers provide their content for free (i.e. daily comics, blogs).

    OK. Now I’ll back to ad blocking this site…

  6. If all ads were as fast and unobtrusive as plaint text google ads, then I can partially disable my adblocker. But I’d still keep the anti-tracking feature of those same adblockers.

  7. I would call the current way of advertising the real evil, it’s technically agressive, contains all kinds of spy-software like cookies, supercookies, trackers, beacons and flash ads often contain viruses and malware. Nothing against image links with referral url’s, but the rest better be blocked. I’m glad there’s Firefox, Ghostery and Adblock+ for Android!!!

  8. I hate ads just like any other normal person. I too use adblocker+. That works pretty well. I also use Ixquick for searches. They don’t track your stuff. I don’t care if that helps block ads. I just hate google. I don’t want to participate in their march to world domination.
    Start Page on your phone is great for search.

  9. Does somebody know how to get rid of that annoying ‘Promoted Content From The Web’ rubbish?

    1. It’s real easy (with Firefox) get the µBlock addon (the better adblock+) set your own filters for all images, text fields and the frames and other elements that belong to that annoying even disturbing Promoted Content garbage and it won’t come back for sure. :)

  10. I block ads on pages where the advertisements break the site’s functionality or where they make noises that won’t mute. In other cases, I turn off adblocking on sites where the blocking of ads breaks the page. On Mediacom’s “TV Everywhere” service, adblocking is disabled since blocking ads breaks the player.

  11. I do use Adblock, but, there are sites where the ads are NOT intrusive or invasive, these ads pay for the website. I do subscribe to their newsletters and try to support them, in any way I can. As for the rest of the websites, that I go to or wander through, I could care less and definitely, do NOT want to see all of their ads!

    I really do like Adblock, not Adblock Plus, but, Adblock. I have also, used Adblock Plus, but, about 6 months or so, I was having major issues with that program. Whereas, Adblock is so simple to use and you can choose which sites, you want to block or not. I always like it, when I am in control. :)

  12. I notice that MTE has a new pop-up for MTE Community popping up in the lower left hand corner when individual articles are displayed. It is unobtrusive but a pop-up nonetheless.

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