The Ethics of Ad Blocking

By including content blockers in iOS, Apple now allows developers to build ad blocking apps for mobile Safari. But more importantly, Apple has started a conversation about the ethics of ad blocking on the web. After only a few days Apple has (inadvertently?) pushed the topic into the limelight. With the advent of content blocking apps, people show they are willing to pay a some amount of money to block ads.

iOS 9 Ad Blocking Apps
Marco Arment’s Peace was the top app at $2.99 (now it’s gone)

But when users pay, to whom should the revenue go? Solely to the developer of the ad blocker? Or shared amongst the developer and web content producers? Sharing revenues is easier said than done, but for online publishers who make a living off advertising, cutting ad revenue is a serious detriment to their livelihood.

No Ad Blocking on
But the appeal of this site just feels great…

Ad blocking offers not only an aesthetic improvement, but also a considerable performance boost in both web page load time and data usage. For those on mobile web browsers (such as Apple’s safari), cutting out web tracking and advertisements can extend the life of a constrained mobile data cap.

Regardless of their reasons, people want a fast and focused web experience without any distractions. Maybe its time for a different advertising model, or a brand new way to monetize the web. Let’s see where the conversation progresses.