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Old 09-03-2007, 05:15 PM   #3
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Location: In Connecticut, on the Housatonic River near its mouth at Long Island Sound.
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Thanks. I know one can identify (and then block, it seems) a particular flavor of browser. Reading all that, though, I wondered why they cannot block or confuse the plug-in. The article implies that there are actually many flavors — and users can customize the filters — so maybe that is the problem.

The ethical issues are also interesting. The web site managers feel they are being cheated in a transaction. That is, they let you read their pearls of wisdom or pleasure but require you also to view their ads. Assuming that visitors buy into that agreement — and I do, in a general way — there is still the fact that too many ads create unnecessary problems for visitors.

For example: Things that blink do weird things to my mind (and do worse to others more susceptible). Scrolling text anywhere within view makes it nearly impossible to read anywhere on the page. Flash junk can be annoying; if it makes me wait, I resent it. If it makes my browser slow, I also resent it.

I can actually enjoy an ad that has some relevance to me, but so many of them are off the mark, chosen by some robot system somewhere. Does anyone seriously expect a visitor to click a link to info on a woodworking router when trying to research a computer device, for example?

I have a pretty standard desktop setup, have few serious problems that would require special viewing aids, etc. But for those who do, many of these ads are actually a barrier to viewing some sites.

The ethical issue is cloudy, in other words. But I believe the question will continue to arise.

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