The Instigator
PoeJoe
Pro (for)
Losing
14 Points
The Contender
s0m31john
Con (against)
Winning
21 Points

Ad Blockers Should Not Be Used

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 5 votes the winner is...
s0m31john
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/3/2008 Category: Technology
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 4,495 times Debate No: 5259
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (18)
Votes (5)

 

PoeJoe

Pro

----Agreed Upon----

Through messages, the following has been agreed on, and should not be disputed.

Resolution: "Ad Blockers Should Not Be Used".
My burden as PRO: "Ad Blockers Should Not Be Used".
John's burden as CON: "Ad Blockers Should Be Used".

----Definition----

Ad blocker: "a program that prevents an Internet browser from displaying online advertisements".

----General Arguments----

The arguments I will use for this debate are as follows.

1) Ad blockers hurt the online industry. Imagine if everyone had ad blockers! Web entrepreneurs like Philip Ferreira would go broke! And many commercial sites like Google, debate.org, Facebook, Myspace, Yahoo, eBay, YouTube, and many more would go out of business!!!

2) Often times, ad blockers disable important Internet browsing functions.[1]

3) Often times, the ads on a website are essential to the layout. Blocking these ads will make the look of a website odd and distorted. A few examples include newgrounds.com,[2] the hotmail inbox, ultimate-guitar.com, and many more.

4) Ad blockers are not to be trusted. They are inconsistent (particularly with flash ads). And often times give your computer spyware![3][4]

5) Internet ads are good; they help consumers find the products they want. To cite a very relevant example, two major debate.org users and friends of my opponent--Rezzealaux and PoeJoe--found debate.org through a facebook ad.[5]

----References----

[1] http://www.marketresearchterms.com...
[2] http://img110.imageshack.us...
[3] http://www.download.com...
[4] http://www.download.com...
[5] http://www.debatef.com...
s0m31john

Con

I will argue why people should use ad blocking technology, and why such use should be acceptable.

---Rebuttal---

1) Perhaps ad blockers do take away ad revenue from certain people, but it's not someone else's decision on what you want to see. It's common for people to change the television channel while commercials are on, and that is not seen as putting someone at risk of going out of business. If anything ad blockers help online entrepreneurs because they will be forced to come up with new ideas on how to get their site or product out to the public. Plain old text and flash ads get boring, ad blockers will force advertisers to become more creative, or risk losing potential customers.

2) Your source stating that ad blockers disable important functions seems a little lacking. They don't even give one example. Ad Block Plus for Firefox is fully user customizable, so if an important thing is blocked the user can easily unblock it. Nothing majorly important has every been blocked for me, please give some examples.

3) Having never analyzed the Newgrounds front page, I headed on over there with my ad blocker in full force. Nothing looked strange or out of place to me. I turned off Ad Block plus and the only new things to appear were a few banner ads, not anything essential to the layout. Same goes for the other sites, having never seen them without ads, they seems just fine. Distortions can easily be fixed, although it's up to the user to do that. Easylist subscriptions even have a special script just for that. "The EasyElement" "Additional leftover space and text-hiding subscription" [1]
Also, Ad Block plus has black list capabilities, if it's messing up hotmail the user can simply tell it to never work on hotmail.com.

4) Getting spyware is not the fault of ad blockes, the problem exists between keyboard and chair (the user). Just because some people are idiots and will install adblocker.not-a-trojan.exe does not mean common sense users should stop using ad blockers.

5) You harp on about spyware, but a large amount of spyware comes from advertisements, and users clicking on them. [2] The main ad blocker, ad block plus, is a Firefox extionsion. Firefox has only 21% of the browser market share. [3] If the only way a site can spread is through intrusive ads, then maybe it doesn't deserve a userbase. Perhaps a site should be good enough so it's users what to spread it, and not just rely on ads.

---Arguments---
I'll only state 2 for now.

1) Bandwidth limits
We're lucky here in the USA. Most of our ISPs do not limit the amount of bandwidth we use in a month. Although in places around the world like Great Britain, Australia, and even Canada users can't go over a certain download limit or they are charged extra. If I were facing bandwidth caps I certainly would not want to risk having to pay for seeing ads. Ad blocking allows users to control what content they download, so they only get what they are paying for. Today with flash ads, adverts can use up a considerable amount of bandwidth.

2) Mobile Phones:
It's hard enough as it is to look at websites on a little phone screen, but it's even harder when you have to wait for a huge ad to load, and scroll past it. Mobile ad blockers fix this problem, and my opponent is suggesting people just deal with it I guess. Mobile users also face heavy bandwidth limits, so why should they be forced to use bandwidth for content they do not want to see?

---Sources---
[1] http://easylist.adblockplus.org...
[2] http://tinyurl.com...
[3] http://mozillalinks.org...
Debate Round No. 1
PoeJoe

Pro

----Thanks----

I would like to thank my opponent at this point for accepting my debate, and to the readers who are reading it. Thank you.

----In Defense of My Arguments----

1) My first argument--that ad blockers hurt the online industry--still stands. My opponent attempts to counterargue this point in two ways: (1) That it is not the place of webmasters to choose what you want to see; and (2) that ad blockers encourage ad makers to become more creative. To prove (1), my opponent enlists the "equivalent" example of being able to switch channels while watching television. However, television ads are vastly different because of two main reasons. Firstly, they (generally) reach a wider audience, and thus switching channels will not hurt the television industry as much. Secondly, switching channels requires an active thought process every single commercial break, which is simply not practical. Television is meant to be a passive activity, while Internet browsing is largely active. Obviously, your first counterargument does not hold. As you admit, "Ad blockers do take away ad revenue from certain people." My opponent's second counterargument does not hold either because it is both ridiculous and contradictory. It is ridiculous because there are simply no other ways to deliver ads through the Internet other than that of text, pictures, and flash. And getting more creative? I thought you were arguing against ads!

2) My argument--that ad blockers often times disable several internet browsing functions--still stands. My opponent's only problem with this contention is my sources. (Which is funny considering John sourced a completely unsourced section of a Wikipedia article.) However, I assure my source is reliable. Market Research is owned by a company known as GMI, one of the largest Internet research companies in the world. I'm glad that we got that cleared up.

3) My argument--that ad blockers will often times make websites look odd--still stands. Surely that blank section of odd lines bothered you when you visited newgrounds.com. And surely the big black space from ultimate-guitar looked strange and out of place. My opponent does offer a workaround, but workarounds only lead to more problems--more potentially infected computers, more user confusion, and even more wasted hardrive space. And furthermore, it is unreasonable to expect most people using ad blockers to download scripts just to get rid of a few ads.

4) My argument--that many supposed ad blockers contain malicious viruses--still stands. My opponent deems the people who download these programs as "idiots". How dare my opponent insult the thousands of innocent people who've had their files completely lost due to viruses and trojan horses! How dare my opponent! Clean and simple: Seeking ad blockers will often times lead innocent people to receive viruses. It is NOT their fault. Please address my argument without slander.

5) My argument--that Internet ads often help consumers find the products they want--still stands. I find it curious that my opponent uses an unsourced section of a Wikipedia article. What's more, is that my opponent uses a redirect to disguise his source. Could he be ashamed of not having a better source? He certainly had enough characters to post the real URL... I checked! Anyway, his counterargument that advertisements contain spyware should be ignored until proven. Also, he has not addressed my example about the two debate.org users Rezzealaux and PoeJoe.

----RE: Bandwidth limits----

"Today with flash ads, adverts can use up a considerable amount of bandwidth."

Are you kidding me? The absolute largest internet ads are 40kb.[6] Going over bandwidth caps occurs when users watch too many movies, download too many illegal files, and h3x0rZ too many websites. I'd like to ask my opponent if he is trying to be sarcastic. Otherwise, I'll ignore this contention for now.

----RE: Mobile Phones----

First of all, Internet browsing via mobile phones is still relatively new--very few people prefer mobile browsing to computer browsing--and therefore, the argument of mobile phone browsing should hold very little weight in this debate. Secondly, most mobile phones can not deal with flash ads, so the size of them should be of no concern. What's more interesting is that my opponent is more concerned about the minuscule size of text/pic ads, and not worried about other, heavier files like--oh, I don't know--html.

----Conclusion----

All five of my contention stand. Both of my opponent's arguments have successfully been refuted.

Thus far, the winner is obvious.

----References----

[6] http://www.iab.net...
s0m31john

Con

Sorry for the late reply, been very busy with school, third degree felony charges, etc.

Sure ad blockers hurt the online industry, but that is not reason enough to stop using them. Me using Ubuntu linux hurts Microsoft, but that does not mean I should have to use Windows.
It comes down to the user choosing what content he or she wishes to view. They are the ones paying for their bandwidth, they should make the ultimate decision on what content they want to use it on.
It would be absurd if everyone was forced to download, for example, Open Office, but they don't have to because it's their decision how to use their purchased bandwidth.

My problem is not the source, but the content from the source. All it says is that it blocks important features, it not once ever mentions what those features are. How do they know what features are important to what users? I'm not asking for more valid sources, I'm asking for some detail. What features, why are they important?

Having to use workarounds is not justification to not use ad blockers. If that reasoning were good, where would we be today?

"I'm sorry Mr. Edison, your light bulb will just take too much effort, we'll stick to what we know best, what just works."

Plus the things I mentioned we're not workarounds. If you call those work around then I guess you call putting CDs in the CD drive is a work around. Adblock Plus does not block ads by default, that is not its purpose. Scripts have to be installed for it to work. Just like a CD drive does not contain data, it simply uses data you put into it. Adblock uses the data you put into it. Also, because of the scripts and customization I have done, the sites mentioned do not look like my opponent describes them, they look just fine.

Just because some people are not computer illiterate, does not mean tech savvy users should suffer. Some people do not know how to drive semi trucks, but we do not get rid of those. The fact is some people are stupid when it comes to computer, they'll install what every they can get their hand on then be like "lol wat how'd i get a virus lol". They are, for the most part, not innocent. Let me put it this way: PEBKAC (Problem exists between keyboard and chair)

Their are many things one must download from the internet. There are risks, but we still do it. Perhaps I want a word processor because Microsoft Word is too expensive. A Google search will turn up tons of word processors, some of which may be virus and spyware ridden. It's up to the downloader to determine what they want their bandwidth used for and decide what to download. Just because aunt Betty may get trojan.mecrosoftword.exe and think it's safe, does not mean tech savvy users should use ad blocking technology.

When I pasted the URL, debate.org broke the link. I had to use TinyURL because without it the link would not have worked.

It does not matter if ads take up 1KB of bandwidth or 200GBs or bandwidth, it's still up to the person who paid for the bandwidth to determine how to use it.
It would not be ok for you to buy 20 pounds of rice, then for me to come along and tell you how you have to cook it. It's not ok for you to tell someone how to use their bandwidth.

Most mobile phones and PDAs have very weak processors. When viewing an ad ridden site, a main concern is CPU usage. Your home computer may be able to load a flash ad in no time, but the 250Mhz processor in a PDA will probably kneel over and die.

There's a common argument that is used in favor of piracy, it can be used in this situation as well.
The people that pirate games for the most part do not take revenue from game makers because if they couldn't pirate it, odds are they wouldn't of bought it anyway.

In order for a site to make money off their ads, they need to be clicked. Users that are tech savvy enough to get proper ad blockers are not the kind of people that would click on the majority of ads out there. It's the non tech savvy people that don't use ad blockers in the first place who generate click revenue. A tech savvy person knows sponsored Google results from the regular results and would never click on them, so having an ad blocker block them does not hurt that industry. The same with other ads.

Again sorry if this seems hurried, I've got a lot of homework I still need to do tonight.
Debate Round No. 2
PoeJoe

Pro

----A Reminder----

I'd like to remind my opponent that by the common rules of debate, he may not post any new arguments in a closing argument. He may rebut, but may not introduce any more points other than the two he has already provided.

----Response----

"Sure ad blockers hurt the online industry, but that is not reason enough to stop using them. Me (sic){1} using Ubuntu linux hurts Microsoft, but that does not mean I should have to use Windows."

True, but when you surf the web, you are expected to view the ads on the websites. Content providers provide content with the assumption that their web page will not be manipulated. They expect to receive compensation for the bandwidth their users/viewers take up. Being a webmaster is a job after all! Owning a particular brand of computer on the other hand, is not expected.

Also, let it be clear that my opponent has admitted that ad blockers hurt to the online industry.

"It comes down to the user choosing what content he or she wishes to view. They are the ones paying for their bandwidth, (sic){2} they should make the ultimate decision on what content they want to use it on."

It comes down to the webmaster having their money scammed. They are the ones providing the content, and paying for their servers. Users should not be manipulating HTML for the purpose of deleting ads. Doing so is completely unfair to the webmasters, and is, in essence, a break of an unspoken agreement. Webmasters provide content for users, and they expect the users, at the very least, to view their ads. Can my opponent honestly say that people who use ad blockers are not at fault??? Oh wait, never mind. I forgot my opponent has conceded that ad blockers hurt the online industry.

My opponent continues on by enlisting another example--the invention of the light bulb. However, this is a straw man argument. Never did I say that technology is bad, and that it takes too much effort. Yes, ad blockers are a form of technology, but so what? Ad blockers are in no way similar to the light bulb. The intent of the light bulb is noble--to easily carry around light. The intent of ad blockers is not--to essentially steal from webmasters.

Lastly, I'd like to note that my opponent has ignored most of the content in my first point. Am I to assume my opponent concedes the many sub-arguments in it?

"My problem is not the source, but the content from the source."

That is irrelevant. My opponent has conceded that my source is reliable. My source says that ad blockers disable important internet functions. Ergo, my argument should still stand even in my opponent's eyes. Ad blockers disable important internet functions.

"Plus the things I mentioned we're not workarounds... Also, because of the scripts and customization I have done, the sites mentioned do not look like my opponent describes them, they look just fine."

Okay, subscribing to scripts is achieved by most people; they ask you to subscribe directly after instillation! Customization on the other hand, is not. My point that ad blockers can make web pages look awkward still stands.

"Just because some people are not computer illiterate (sic){3}, does not mean tech savvy users should suffer."

In using that statement, you must prove two points:
1) Most people are tech savvy; therefore ad blockers should be used by the general public.
2) Tech savvy users will not ever download ad blockers with viruses.

Also, let it be clear that my opponent has conceded that many ad blockers contain viruses.

"Their (sic){4} are many things one must download from the internet. There are risks, but we (sic){5} still do it."

To prove this statement, my opponent enlists the example of word processors. However, what my opponent fails to see is that word processors (and other programs my opponent is thinking of) can be, and will most likely be used for good things (like typing essays, reports, stories, poetry, and much, much more). The only purpose for ad blockers is to block ads. As I have proven, that is bad. Why risk receiving a virus for such a lowly pursuit?

"When I pasted the URL, debate.org broke the link. I had to use TinyURL {6} because without it the link would not have worked."

That is a lie: http://en.wikipedia.org...
My opponent purposefully used tinyURL to cover up the fact that while he criticized my very reliable source (he conceded this), he was using a completely unreferenced section of a Wikipedia article.

"It does not matter if ads take up 1KB of bandwidth or 200GBs or bandwidth, (sic){7} it's still up to the person who paid for the bandwidth to determine how to use it."

Ad blockers steal money from webmasters. You are expected to spend a few kilobytes of hundreds of gigabytes to view the ads. (A kilobyte, by the way, is a millionth of a gigabyte.) Obviously, my opponent's argument that ads take too much space is irrelevant. If people go over their bandwidth limits, it is not because of internet ads. It is because of movies, illegally downloaded files, and hacks.

"Most mobile phones and PDAs have very weak processors. When viewing an ad ridden site, a main concern is CPU usage. Your home computer may be able to load a flash ad in no time, but the 250Mhz processor in a PDA will probably kneel over and die."

Again, mobile phones account for only a few Internet users. The majority of people view the internet through PCs. This argument holds very little value.

But to counter it anyway, the flash player only needs 450Mhz to optimally play flash.[1] I urge my opponent to do a Google search to see how fast most cellphones are. Most, are well over 600Mhz.

"Users that are tech savvy enough to get proper ad blockers are not the kind of people that would click on the majority of ads out there... A tech savvy person knows sponsored Google results from the regular results and would never click on them."

Prove it. The burden is on you for the statement.

I consider myself a tech savvy person. Rezz considers himself a tech savvy person. We both found debate.org through an ad.

----Conclusion----

I believe that I have successfully defended all five of my arguments. I have met the burden of proof as to why ad blockers should not be used.

REMEMBER, MY OPPONENT AGREED THAT HE MUST PROVE THAT AD BLOCKERS SHOULD BE USED. HE HAS ONLY COME UP WITH TWO ARGUMENTS THAT HAVE CLEARLY BEEN DEFEATED.

You, the audience, must now weigh my argument against my opponent's two. The winner is obvious. VOTE PRO!!!!!

----Corrections----

{1} "Me" should be "my" because the subject is a behavior.
{2} Two independent clauses should be separated by a semicolon or period.
{3} Double negatives should not be used, especially when they change your intended meaning.
{4} Intended word was "their".
{5} My opponent switched the point of view.
{6} When combining two independent clauses with a subordinating conjunction, one must use a comma.
{7} Two independent clauses should be separated by a semicolon or period.

----References----

[1] http://www.adobe.com...
s0m31john

Con

I'm terribly sorry PoeJoe, but my family is making me go to some BBQ, we're leaving now. I guess that's what I get for putting this off so long.

Anyway, I enjoyed this debate, but there's no way I can finish now.

PoeJoe deserves the win, maybe we can do another sometime.
Debate Round No. 3
18 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Logical-Master 8 years ago
Logical-Master
CON won hands down. Maybe if you had an anime avatar as well, you would have been more convincing.
Posted by PoeJoe 8 years ago
PoeJoe
Those who voted for CON will soon meet their swift deaths.
Posted by s0m31john 8 years ago
s0m31john
Magic
Posted by PoeJoe 8 years ago
PoeJoe
WTF?! LOST ON THIS DEBATE?!?!?!?!?!?!?!??!?!?!??!?!?!?!?!?!?!?! ( no caps )
Posted by PoeJoe 8 years ago
PoeJoe
Tied on a debate my my opponent conceded in?! Darn you John!
Posted by PoeJoe 8 years ago
PoeJoe
I is losing? I be sad now...
Posted by PoeJoe 8 years ago
PoeJoe
Wat? A tie?! My opponent conceded!
Posted by s0m31john 8 years ago
s0m31john
Oh god, I just read my reply and it's full of grammar mistakes. Oops.
Posted by s0m31john 8 years ago
s0m31john
Yeah, I'll get to it later tonight.
Posted by PoeJoe 8 years ago
PoeJoe
John: You are sure taking your merry time with this debate.
5 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Vote Placed by GeneralIvan 8 years ago
GeneralIvan
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Vote Placed by DucoNihilum 8 years ago
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Vote Placed by Labrat228 8 years ago
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Vote Placed by s0m31john 8 years ago
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Vote Placed by PoeJoe 8 years ago
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