How adtech, not ad blocking, breaks the social contract

Doc Searls, Sept 23, 2015
Commentary by Stephen Downes

The Applesphere has been roiling over the ad-blocking controversy(*) recently (the Firfoxsphere has been happily blocking ads for years). The argument is that people blocking ads are somehow taking advantage of publishers, since they rely on advertisements. Hokum, I say. The initernet is filled with non-ad supported content. And I think Doc Searls gets it right: the advertisers are the ones breaking the social contract. "When I go to, I expect the browser to display that page and its links, and nothing more." Educators should take heed. Students have a similar sort of expectation - when they take a course, they don't expect to be added to some company;s client list.

(*) (p.s. I don't believe pulled the 'Peace' ad blocking service simply because "it just didn't feel good" - read the text and we see he says "Ghostery and I have both decided that it doesn’t serve our goals or beliefs well enough" which to me suggests a third party intervention).

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