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Activity Forums Creative Community Conversations Interesting study and article from PageFair and Adobe on the impact of adblock software

  • David Lawrence

    August 10, 2015 at 5:34 pm
  • Michael Gissing

    August 11, 2015 at 12:47 am

    The recent exploit in Firefox was via malicious code in ads on web pages. Ad blocking is a security issue as well as content. I have done it for as long as Firefox has had ad blocking add ons.

  • Scott Witthaus

    August 11, 2015 at 9:35 am

    Interesting. I just forwarded this to the director and several faculty at our school. It’s one of the reasons we have shifted our focus away from “ads” and more towards a total experience design idea for clients. Thanks.

    Scott Witthaus
    Senior Editor/Post Production Supervisor
    1708 Inc./Editorial
    Professor, VCU Brandcenter

  • Bernard Newnham

    August 11, 2015 at 9:28 pm

    I didn’t bother with ad block software until the level and style of the ads just became too much. I felt that I was being stalked – and I was. All those context sensitive ads that looked at what I or my wife or family had bought and just kept chucking more at us. At times I was surrounded by bra ads.

    Eventually I succumbed and just installed Adblock on my browser. Of course it blocks everything, including ads on this site, which I didn’t mind at all and which were at times useful intros to equipment I didn’t know about, and which I know pay for the site.

    Everything in moderation – hopefully advertisers will work that out soon enough.


  • Tim Wilson

    August 12, 2015 at 5:07 pm

    [Bernard Newnham] “Of course it blocks everything, including ads on this site, which I didn’t mind at all and which were at times useful intros to equipment I didn’t know about, and which I know pay for the site. “

    I use AdBlock Plus too, which is why I happen to have handy some screenshots showing how to disable it on this site. 🙂

    The principle is the same for any browser – click on the AdBlock Plus icon to get to the context menu, and select disabling for this site.

    For Chrome:

    For Firefox:

    You get the gist.

    As I humbly ask you to enable ads for this site, I want to assure of you some things that I hope you’ve noticed anyway:

    We employ no tracking of any kind. The only cookies we set are client side, for things like your account profile, your forum view preferences, forums or members you’ve subscribed to, etc. We have no access to that information.

    We don’t have any personal data about who’s doing what in the site, who’s clicking ads, or anything else. We can’t see your passwords or any of your preferences. Anything yours stays yours, even from us.

    All of which is to say, we take your privacy seriously because we take OUR privacy seriously.

    We appreciate you coming here, and wouldn’t dream of abusing your good will by supporting stalking you after you leave here.

    This is one reason why we do not employ Google ads. Not to disresprect other industry sites from major least not any more than usual LOL…but if you DO visit them without AdBlock Plus, mouse over the ads sometime. You’ll see they’re almost all Google ads, which tells you two things.

    One, it tells you that the vendor in the ad didn’t pay to place those ads on that site. Strictly an arrangement between the website and Google… so the support those sites SEEM to have from industry partners is a ruse. It just doesn’t exist.

    (Which is of course another reason we don’t employ Google ads: we don’t need to. We’re fortunate to have partners who support us directly.)

    Two, it tells you that you’re gonna get tracked. We don’t do that, and we don’t allow it.

    So yeah, as a fan of privacy, we suggest that, if you have to visit such sites — and really, do you? LOL — you absolutely should have AdBlock Plus on…

    [Bernard Newnham] “At times I was surrounded by bra ads.

    …unless you care to be surrounded by bra ads. LOL No judgements here, my friends. No judgements.

    [David Lawrence] “Anyone wondering why people use ad blockers should look at this article….

    The Lightbeam report on The Verge was pretty hideous, and definitely includes a meaningful amount of “stalkerware.”

    I was also intrigued by how this stalkerware affected page load times at The Verge. Again, pretty hideous.

    That said, Lightbeam casts a pretty wide net. It just reads everything on the page, whether it’s relevant to privacy or not, or whether it touches you or not.

    I took a look at the COW through Lightbeam, and even though I’m not involved in that part of the site, it was pretty much as I suspected: no stalking.

    In fact, none of the third parties interacting through us know any personal information about you.

    I’ve pasted a screenshot of the list from Lightbeam below, and there’s actually even less there than it looks like.

    For example, twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn appear on this list. It’s NOT the case that those guys are tracking you.

    What happens is that those APIs load on every page so that you can SHARE content on those services….but none of those services know you’re here.

    Even AFTER you use one of them to share content, they STILL don’t know that you’re here. The reason why you have to log into THOSE services before you can share COW content is BECAUSE they can’t see you at the COW.

    You’ll recognize Google and Google Analytics of course, neither of whom are tracking YOU. The ones for Typekit and Akamai are loading on our side, and don’t actually touch you except to the extent that you see fonts and other content we serve.

    You’ll note that two of them are and — again, as noted above, no personal information is stored on our side.

    The other folks you see in the Lightbeam list are mostly click-counting platforms, and are ONLY there for our partners to track the NUMBER of clicks to verify their counts against ours, as of course they should. Different sponsors use different platforms for this, and NONE of them track WHO’s clicking. They don’t know anything about you, your activity in the COW, or your activity elsewhere. NO TRACKING.

    You’ll find if you look up any unfamiliar names on the list that a couple of these have been reported elsewhere as malware, which is nonsense. None of them install anything, and they don’t collect any data. They just pass through the NUMBER of clicks, nothing else.

    If you’ve searched for any topic in the media production field, you know how highly Google rates us. Google bots are actually responsible for about a quarter of the traffic on the web, so I figure it’s probably about the same here. Believe me, if Google (or Bing or anyone else) found any malware here, we’d have heard about it from THEM.

    And as we celebrate 20 years of building online communities for media professionals this summer (actually the same year as Yahoo, and predating Google), it ain’t happened yet. And it ain’t gonna. Nobody watches for this more carefully than we do…

    …because we use the web too, and we HATE people tracking us. We’d never violate your trust by doing anything that even vaguely approaches intrusive, abusive, or otherwise annoying.

    Other than some of the posts. LOL

    So, to end where I began, please do consider disabling ad blocking software here. We rigorously guard your privacy and your load times, and yeah, you’ll help keep Timmy in chocolates and nylons.

    If you have AND questions about ANY of this, please ask.

    Nota bene, I’m a bit underwater and not on top of the forums as thoroughly as usual, but I’ll look into anything you’d like to know and get back to you as quickly as I can.

    Yours in privacy,

    Tim Wilson
    Creative COW

  • Bernard Newnham

    August 14, 2015 at 9:05 am

    Done – and I really do appreciate the ads on this site for their usefulness and the restraint in their use. Not a bra ad in sight.


  • Tim Wilson

    August 14, 2015 at 4:51 pm

    [Bernard Newnham] “I really do appreciate the ads on this site for their usefulness and the restraint in their use. Not a bra ad in sight.”

    Thanks! You’re awesome!

    While noting that the majority of humans might find bra ads useful, Bessie is still waiting for one with four cups.

    We’ll otherwise stay committed to relevance and decorum, and above all, your privacy.

    Thanks again,

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