The Instigator
Pro (for)
The Contender
Con (against)

Blocking ads is ethical

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/28/2017 Category: Technology
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 671 times Debate No: 102795
Debate Rounds (5)
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I have been using unlock orgin for years. Obviously advertisers hate it. The ads are not only intrusive and annoying, they also carry Malware. Blocking ads is nothing new, just more people using them. Adblockers have also come to mobile.


Ad blocking not only harms the website creators, but also harms you. The main source of the website's revenue is from ads.If the companies that provide those ads feel as though no new attention being gained, than they will remove the ads from the website. If a website were to have no ads, than no revenue would be gained. Incentive to create new and appealing content will diminish. Ad removing compounds website quality.
Debate Round No. 1


If publishers and website creators don't like people blocking ads, then it's up to them to complain to advertising companies. The fact is Malvertising has tripled since last year. When I visit a website, I'm not asking to get tracked, nor am I asking to open myself up to vulnerabilities. I will give a perfect example. A popular site Forbes asked people to disable their adblocker to view their context. As soon as they did, the people that did, were served with malware; Forbes just proved that ad blocking is a essential part of security.

When people search online, they want to consume the content without any interruptions. It would be one thing if the ads were at the very bottom and they were stationary, but their not. The ads cause a series of redirects, pop ups, track users, and yes even deliver malware. When you watch TV, do the ads intrupt what you are viewing? No they don't, they have commercial breaks. Now can you imagine if the ads intruped the movie or sport game you were watching, most people would be post.

People don't hate advertising, they hate bad advertising. A lot of people will watch the Superbowel just for the commercials and half time. If the advertising is good enough, people will seek it out. Until online advertising networks get their act together, people including myself are going to keep blocking their ads.


Ethicalbeing in accordance with the rules or standards for right conduct or practice, especially the standards of a profession

The purpose of this debate is to ascertain whether or not ad blocking is ethical.If we were to accept ethics as what is always within rules or standards for right conduct or practice, than pro's points are wrong.

Pro's argument relies upon the notion that ads usually present malware.

-Pro must prove that malware is a frequent threat across all websites.

-Pro must also explain how adblocking is within accordance to rulese or standards.

When an individual accesses a website, than they are enjoying content that was created by them. Ads provide a source of revenue for these websites to continue to create new content. Pro claims that websites should be obligated to resolve this problem.

-The problem with Pro's argument is that it generalizes all websites as sources of malware. It would be like claiming that every Muslim in America shows a general inclination towards radical beliefs, and we must disassociate ourselves from Muslims in order to avoid being killed in a explosion. is an example of a website that presents ads that do nothing to harm the viewer. YouTube is an example of a website that presents ads that do no nothing to harm the viewer. is an example of a website that presents ads that do nothing to harm the viewer. Pro's mindset not only will deprive the great majority of good website of returning profit to the companies that give them money, but is simply unethical.

-Adblocking is simply not right conduct. It bypasses the standard every website has for its visitors. No provider of content will be content with dismissal of the source that keeps that content afloat.
-Adblocking hurts the good websites which is obviously unethical.
Good websites are included in the majority of adblocking softwares.

-Adblocking generalizes websites which is unethical in America.
Generalizing any group of people is usually considered to be immoral, but also a blind decision to make.

-Adblocking harms the survival of a website.
As a result of adblocking, companies will see a low return in profits, and will simply cut off ties to the website creators that were being paid.

The ethical solution is to download antivirus software, refuse to visit websites that contain malware ads, or sue websites that infect computers with malware.
The three courses put forth are ethically permissible. They are within the set of laws and standards of society, and actually fix the problem. Antivirus software detects and extracts viruses on a computer. A loss of a significant portion of viewers of a website will compel the website to take immediate action in extracting any malware present. Suing the company that made the website will immediately compel a website to take action.

The best part of the solution offered in this case is that,if put into action by a majority of internet users would, would solve the problem permanently.

Adblocking is a solution that only is an individualistic and unethical way of solving the problem. It renders all websites as liable to malware content. It fails to compel websites to reduce the amount of possible malware content on their websites.
Debate Round No. 2


If blocking ads on YouTube is unethical, then are you going to tell me that its unethical to watch YouTube videos from my IPhone or Ipad, or how about from a gaming console. If you watch YouTube from any of these devices, everyone loses out on ad revenue. If you watch YouTube videos on your Ipad or IPhone the ads are blocked automatically even without an adblocker. If you really want to support someone on YouTube, then you will need to watch video from your PC, Mac, or laptop and have your Adblock disabled. A lot of people don't even realize this, so even if ads still ran on your device, everyone still loses out on ad revenue, unless your watching from a PC, Laptop, or Mac. A lot of people watch YouTube videos on their mobile device or Ipad. I use my IPhone and Ipad 75% of the time, are you going to tell me that I am being unfair just because I Choose to watch youtube videos on my IPhone and Ipad? Adblock isn't the only way to block ads. I can also employ techniques such as running no script, open DNS servers, or using a text only browser. Are you also going to start telling me what browser And DNS settings I should use.

Malvertising is becoming a really big problem even for the mainstream sites. I never said that all websites are sources of malware. I will say that Malvertising has become the number one vector for malware. Let me ask you a question, "If someone you knew gave you a USB device, would you just plug the USB in your PC or laptop and trust that the drive did not infect your PC or laptop, or would you take precautions, so that you don't get infected." A friend or co worker may not even know that their device is infected and if your not careful the malware will infect your system. I would hope you would handle the USB device with extreme care. If you don't think that Malvertising can happen to main stream websites, then think again.

You offered some solutions and most of these solutions are ineffective. Most Antivirus products and firewall products on the market are not going to protect you from drive by downloads, or zero day exploits. The only solution here is to run my browser in the sandbox, but then again malware can sometimes break out of the sandbox. I can sue the websites if my system or device get infected. This is obviously ineffective for several reasons. It's almost impossible to prove in court. Suing a website, publisher, or ad network would be like calling the police because I got infected with ransomware. You also mentioned not visiting websites that contain intrusive or embeds malware in their ads. I have left many websites because I was not happy with their ads. I have left sites like Facebook, refuse to use Google when ever possible, and even switched to IPhone.

The problem is everyone wants free stuff, but its not really free. Android is more popular then Apple because you can download just about any App for free. The only problem with that is, the apps really aren't free not by a long shot. Most people don't even bother to read the dangerous permissions that come with these free apps. Some of these permissions can be turned off, but most of them cannot, unless of course you download the privacy X app which requires the phone to be rooted. This brings me to my next point; If I did this am I also being unfair. Would you say that I am stealing from the Google Play store, or the App developer, just because I don't like the dangerous permissions that I am forced to accept. People love everything for free and that's the problem, why do you think Microsoft was so eager to give everyone Windows 10 for free? The old saying goes, "If your not paying for it, then your the product."

The real question is, when is the goverment and the FCC going to step in and regulate online advertising. If I can't rely on my own goverment and the FCC to protect me from aggressive advertising, then what recourse do I have other then to block ads.
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Debate Round No. 3
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Debate Round No. 4
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Debate Round No. 5
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