Adtech: Then and Now

With the introduction of iOS 9 and its support for (easy) mobile ad blocking, the commentariat has been working overtime pumping out pixels on the issue of whether or not it is ethical to use ad blocking technology. Some folks just don't want to see ads and have always used whatever technology is available to get rid of them. These people are, I think, in the minority. Most of us are willing to tolerate the ads as the price of admission for all that free content.

The real issue is whether ad blocking is justified in light of the rampant abuse—in the form of adtech—that advertisers have perpetrated on their hapless users. When a 1,500 byte article results in downloading multiple megabytes of tracking scripts and cookies using up bandwidth and draining batteries, users might be forgiven for losing their patience.

I've already written about my position on the matter but via John Gruber we have this concise and spot on summary from Kontra:

A few years ago, the browser manufacturers tried to ameliorate the tracking script problem with the do not track option. The advertising industry told us to pound sand and ignored it. Now they're whining that users are taking back their machines.

Kontra has a few more words on the matter:

It's hard to argue with that.

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