Sign up FAST! Login

The Internet’s next victim: Advertising -

Stashed in: Advertising

To save this post, select a stash from drop-down menu or type in a new one:

“Large companies,” says Faida, are held to a different standard. To pay for the cost of operating Adblock Plus for everyone, the company charges such companies a fee to participate in the “Acceptable Ads” program. If they pay the fee, their non-obtrusive, community-acceptable ads go through.

When I first learned of AdBlock Plus’ business model, I wrote a headline calling it a “pay-to-play” scheme. A P.R. person representing Adblock Plus named Mark Addison wrote me an email asking for a correction. I declined, largely because I couldn’t get a clear answer to my direct questions as to what would happen if a company such as Google refused to pay.

Several weeks later Addison told me that Faida was visiting the Bay Area and offered a chance for an in-person interview. But during the interview I had to ask the same question – what happens if the large companies don’t pay? – three separate times before I got a straight answer: If a company doesn’t pay, then all their ads are blocked by default.

So if Google fails to pony up, all of the ads that support Google’s services –- including text ads and sponsored search result ads that Adblock Plus users have already decided are acceptable— are blocked.

Faida and Addison portrayed the business model as an exercise in fairness. For the little guys to get their acceptable ads whitelisted automatically, those who could “afford to pay” must contribute.

But it still sounds to me like something that bears more than a passing resemblance to a protection racket. Pay up, or we’ll break your windows! Pay up, or millions of Adblock Plus users will never see any of your ads.

Faida is not shy about the club that Adblock Plus wields.

“I think we have come to a point where we have so many users,” says Faida, “that blocking all ads would be destructive to the Internet.”

At the very least blocking all ads would destroy Google, Yahoo, Facebook, and Twitter.

Amazon and eBay would be fine. 

You May Also Like: