Last week I began relating my experience using a program “uBlock Origin” (not to be confused with the similarly-named “uBlock”), the function of which is to block advertising from appearing on web sites.
I am still conflicted over the practice of blocking advertising because I fully appreciate the economic model of today’s internet is built around advertisers paying for all of us to get so much content for free. Some advertisers though have gotten so aggressive about loud, in-your-face pop-up ads that I feel a certain level of justification in saying “Enough!”
It was not in any way my intention to unfairly spotlight Forbes.com last week when I used that site as an example. When I first visited forbes.com while blocking all ads with uBlock Origin that web site said “Thanks for coming to Forbes. Please turn off your ad blocker in order to continue.” Later the site changed to read “Hi again. Looks like you’re still using an ad blocker. Please turn it off in order to continue into Forbes’ ad-light experience.” I never had a chance to learn what an “ad-light experience” was because when I next visited forbes.com a few weeks later the site no longer protested my using uBlock Origin. Forbes then permitted me to read their web site while my uBlock Origin icon happily reported it had blocked 24 ads from appearing.
That was especially interesting to me because my take on this policy change is that the management in charge of the Forbes.com web site must have taken a look at the impact of banning users of ad-blocking software and decided it was in the best financial interest of the company to not continue blocking us. There will always be tech-savvy users who find a way to block out ads they do not want to see, and apparently some managers of web sites realize this and still desire to have the traffic generated by this segment of the market.
Okay, so I know some readers are now dying to know how can they get uBlock Origin and rid their online experience of so many obtrusive ads. The program extension is available for several browsers: Chrome, Firefox, and Opera. This means if you stick with the company store (Edge and Internet Explorer by Microsoft, or Safari by Apple) then you just better get used to lots of ads. If, however; you choose to download and install Chrome, Firefox, or Opera plus uBlock Origin then you can begin to enjoy a more ads-free internet experience. The Firefox browser and uBlock Origin extension are available for Android-powered smart phones. Unfortunately, I am not aware of this being available for Apple iOS.
After downloading and installing one of these browsers you will also need to download and install the uBlock Origin extension. After doing that you will notice a new dark red icon in the upper right of your browser window. Browse to the web site breitbart.com and see this icon display the number of ads that were blocked, in the case of breitbart.com for me that was just 52 ads!
Charles Miller is a freelance computer consultant with more than 20 years IT experience and a Texan with a lifetime love for Mexico. The opinions expressed are his own. He may be contacted through his web site at SMAguru.com.