Adblock Plus is a popular plugin for filtering advertisements, but it won’t hide Google ads by default. That’s because the company pays for inclusion in a whitelist.
If you have ever wanted to keep annoying, intrusive advertisements off of your computer screen? Then you have probably installed Adblock Plus, a freeware product that has been downloaded by millions of users. What you probably did not know, however, is that Adblock Plus is not as indiscriminate as you would think; though the program hides a number of advertisements by default, advertising monoliths like Google can and do pay Eyeo, the company running Adblock Plus, to keep their advertisements on the company’s Acceptable Advertisements whitelist. By default then, Adblock Plus does indeed display adverts from those who pay and are visible when Adblock is enabled!
“Scandalous!” I hear you cry! But the policy is not exactly new. Eyeo have implemented the Acceptable Ads white list two years ago, back in 2011, partly to prevent the depriving of small websites of valuable advertising revenue. The move was also pragmatic: as per the Frequently Asked Questions section on the Abdblock Plus website. Managing a portfolio of white listed advertisements can be expensive and so charging larger companies to participate keeps the Acceptable Ads initiative viable.
The inclusion of a white list in ad blocking software may seem insincere, but Eyeo co-founder Till Faida thinks of it as a way to promote positive change in the online advertising sphere. In a recent interview, Faida suggests the company’s philosophy is more about reaching a compromise between internet users and advertisers than shutting advertisers out completely. Less in your face ads are a start, apparently: the Acceptable Ads policy mandates that advertisements be nonintrusive.
Considering a number of points; the number of small internet publishers that rely solely on ads for income, and the services companies like Google, provide at no charge, Eyeo’s policies looks reasonable. Adblock Plus’ current approach allows legitimate advertisements while discouraging harmful ones and in doing so helps. A greater transparency in these matters is necessary, granted, knowing exactly how much Eyeo charges certain advertisers would be a wonderfully clear beginning, but the balance that Eyeo has struck between internet users and advertising companies is sound.
[Image via gizmodo]