A New Approach to Ad Blocking: Charitable Adblockers and More

The idea for charitable adblockers stems from a common pitfall of using most adblockers: the implicit knowledge that the sites you’re using aren’t benefiting from your traffic. To alleviate this, sites like YouTube have implemented services like YouTube Red to allow users to avoid the ads they dislike while still supporting their favorite creators and the site at large.

Fortunately, the idea of a charitable adblocking solution is now reality. We are now capable of blocking ads and giving back.

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Brave Browser is a lightweight browser with a built-in adblocker and a unique twist: the ability to enable clean, lightweight Brave ads that ensure publishers are still paid and sites can continue to run. Finding this browser is what spurred my creation of this article. A moral quandary I’ve faced as both a browsing enthusiast and a content creator is finding the right balance between ensuring a safe, non-intrusive browsing experience while still allowing my favorite sites and creators to continue doing what they do.

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In addition to the adblocking solution offered by the Brave Browser, the “charitable” aspect doesn’t stop with Brave ads. Users can opt into removing all ads in favor of setting a monthly budget that goes proportionately to their most used sites. For instance, if you put down $20 a month, and there’s one site you spend 25% of your time on, that site will receive $5 a month from you.

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Tab for a Cause is an extension for your pre-existing browser that replaces new tab pages with ads for charity. It replaces your new tab page with one that has a few ads: ads that earn you “hearts.” These hearts operate as a currency that can be used to donate one of eight charities of your choice, including Save The Children and Water.org.

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Over time it will allow you to make a charitable difference – all by just browsing the way you normally would! If any of these charities interest you, and you’d like to generate revenue for them, using Tab for a Cause is a great way to go about that.

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Goodblock is a charitable adblocker that works like most others, but with a twist: being able to view curated ads once a day. It’s from the same company as Tab for a Cause and therefore has a fairly similar Hearts system that can be used to donate to charities of your choice.

Looking forward, the future of web advertising is hazy. It’s clear that users are sick and tired of overly-intrusive ads, but sites and services still need to find a way to pay their bills, and thus far ad revenue has proven to be the way to do that. At the end of the day, it’s up to the end users and publishers to work together to ensure that free web content can survive without intruding on a user’s experience or threatening their web security and safety.

I’ve written quite a lot on adblockers before, including the battle between uBlock Origin and AdBlock Plus. This article is a bit different: instead of an outright brawl between adblocking solutions, it’s a showcase of adblocking solutions that don’t just take away. These solutions give back.

What do you think?

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