Daily Meditation – Ad Blocking Recommendations (TechHoly)

A couple of months ago, one of the major tech websites had a problem that only seemed to affect a small number of their users. Further investigation showed that an ad being served by the site had some CSS that broke the page navigation when the ad was shown. Part of the reason it took a while to debug was that it turned out that almost all the writers and admins of the site were also using ad blockers.


The reality is that much of the web is unfortunately centered around an ad model for payment. It’s not just unfortunate because of the ads, but also the tendency to care more about volume over quality to raise more money from the ads, and so on. I have some thoughts on how to monetize that don’t require ads, but that is a discussion for another day.


In the meantime, the question comes up as to which ad blockers are recommended. For most uses, I am personally most comfortable with the uBlock Origin plugin. It is important to note that this plugin is NOT associated with the ublock.org website. I understand that is an issue that confuses folks in much the same way as the confusion between WhiteHouse.gov (the presidential site), and WhiteHouse.com (which was a porn site though most of the adult material has been removed).


If you are on a mobile platform, this will not be as helpful. On Android you can choose the Dolphin Browser, which has an ad blocker that does not require you to unlock or root your device. Another option is to use a VPN that is designed to block ads as well – which is one of the few options that will work if you have an iOS device.


Like many folks, I used to use and recommend Ad Block Plus. Unfortunately, their current model where they have a whitelist that installs by default is troublesome. While a bit of time can configure the plugin to work as well as the other plugins, there is no reason to choose something that isn’t focused on the user first.


Hope this helps!



What do you think?