Ad blocking makes the free internet worse
Using an ad-blocker makes your personal experience with the internet better. Many people collectively blocking ads makes the internet worse for everyone over time.
By blocking ads, those people have opted out of paying for free journalism. Only those without ad blockers pay the salaries of many editors, journalists and content creators. Such workers become incentivised to create content that appeals to this audience, who is older, less tech savvy, and more prone to fraud and misinformation. Over time this causes journalism to be less useful for all.
What to do instead
For those who refuse to support advertising companies but want to support journalism:
- Read Slow journalism, which is not advertiser-funded.
- Read personal blogs which often have no ads. Maybe try My favourite blogs!
- Set your ad-blocker to allow ads on sites you wish to support
Take the example of desktop web browsers. Let’s face it, unless you’re really slow on the uptake, you’ve outfitted your web browser with an ad blocker. Ha ha, you win! But wait—that means most web ads are only reaching those who are really slow on the uptake. So their dollars are disproportionately important in supporting the writing you’re getting ad-free. “Not my problem,” you say. Oh really? Since those people are the only ones financially supporting the writing, publishers increasingly are shaping their stories to appeal to them. Eventually, the writing you liked—well, didn’t like it enough to pay for it—will be gone. Practical Typography ↩︎