As I’ve said and written elsewhere, everything that’s happening with adblockers is just a war that definitely had to happen sooner or later, and will leave the world in better shape. Part of the problem has been that websites with terrific commercial content have never charged for what they publish.
And by that, I mean that they never explained the transaction. If there’s a paywall up, well, that’s crystal clear, isn’t it? “If you want this, here’s what you need to do.” If not, then the site is simply “free” and the users lack any sort of awareness about what the publisher needs to have in order to keeps the site operational.
The upsides of adblocking (controlling the threat to personal privacy, making browsers run faster and more reliably) have always been obvious. Thanks to posts like Guru3D’s, users are being educated about a big downside that affects writers to whom they probably feel a great deal of affection and gratitude.
As for the publishers, I hope they change their site scripts to clearly lay out the “deal” they’re making with readers. If you want to read our stuff…you’re going to have to whitelist us.
When I found out that Teslas cost $70,000 I didn’t scream “unfair!” I nodded and simply acknowledged that the price of admission wasn’t something I was willing to pay. Similarly, there will be readers who, on a case-by-case basis, are fine with enabling trackers and blockers on certain sites but not others.
I’m not saying that this will usher in a new era of peace and prosperity for all. But it’ll surely replace the old, unworkable foundation with one that will let more people succeed in publishing.
And finally: thank God that the ad industry is finally seeing large-scale pushback. That’s often what’s necessary. An industry (or a business, or even just a person) assumes that you’re OK with certain behavior and policies unless you somehow communicate that you aren’t. Let’s see if all of this leads to some new self-restraint.