The Ad Blocking Dilemma
Lets face it the internet is one giant multi national billboard. A means for anyone to plug their product or service by directly reaching their clients or potential clients though search engine specific content targeting. In terms of advertising there has never been anything this direct or successful in achieving this end. But for the everyday internet user they see this constant stream eerily and applicable advertising for your particular circumstance or disposition at the time. How many times have you looked at the advertisements and thought “this thing knows me, better than I know me” to escape this weird orwellian nightmare of content specifically geared for you many have turned to Ad Blocking software to avoid the omnipresent distraction.
But the very content we seek out and love can only maintain its level of excellence through the direct funding of advertisers. Thus Adblockers is undoubtedly a big deal for the internet and the future of the production of content. and it is clear that something has got to give in this arena because they are loosing money, in a big, big way. Ad blockers put themselves forth as a means to circumnavigate the ills of data collectors and bring place themselves upon a plane as an almost robinhoodian hero of the internet and net neutrality. However, we often forget that Ad Blocking services need to keep the lights on and are a tech business in the same way any internet company is. Their business is not different than the very ones they claim they are protecting you from.
In fact the Ad Blocking companies are making their money by streamlining the way to advertisers by offering a back door to your internet content, and giving the most robust and complete look at your data and search history. what are the implications of this? well that remains to be seen, but what we do know is that this huge industry very few people are even aware exists. The industry is in a kind of limbo period where no one really knows where it will go, or what to expect in the future. Although we can be certain that the several high profile cases surrounding this industry will come to a head in the near future.
Some experts in the field have argued that by solely focusing on ad blockers buisness model is a red herring for the real topic at hand, which is of coarse how to better serve its users and the relationship to advertisers advertisement and internet security in general. This debate is the result of a larger systemic problem that defines the perimeters of this para dime and our navigation of the internet in general. As the Harvard business school associate Benjamin Edleman writes “You’ve modified our website for your business purposes… You’ve modified it in order to get us to pay you tribute, in order to get us to buy our ads back in. You claim it’s all about protecting consumers from bad ads, but actually you’re perfectly willing to certify our ads so long as we paid you.”