UPDATE: Marco pulled Peace from the App Store today. Such a shame but I get it.
I’ve been following the debate lately about the ethics of using content blockers. The argument falls on two sides, those serving and hosting ads and the rest of us that are tired of all the junk loaded in our web pages. The average user browsing a web page is often faced with a barrage of ads and popups all while being tracked with every click they make.
I’ve been running Ghostery for a few weeks and the experience is great. A couple things I’ve learned in the time I’ve been using Ghostery:
- The shear number of trackers on most web sites
- How fast the web is without all these being loaded
- How my WordPress sites were loading trackers I wasn’t even aware of thanks go some plugins
Think this isn’t really a problem? Visit the CNN main page. How many different mechanisms are either tracking you or serving an ad?
See that little red “14” next to the address bar? Yes, that’s how many. What are they you ask?..here’s a sample:
No, it’s not OK.
Mobile Content Blocking
The introduction of iOS 9 gives users the ability to use content blocking on their mobile devices too. Developers have stepped up right away and given users good add-ins. One such content-blocker is Peace, which uses Ghostery data to do it’s job. Peace is developed by Marco Arment.
Today, I’m launching my own iOS 9 content blocker, called Peace, to bring peace, quiet, privacy, and — as a nice side benefit — ludicrous speed to iOS web browsing.
This is really a game-changer. It’s not the only content blocker, there are a ton. This one uses Ghostery which works really well, so this is at least a solid place to start.
We depend on mobile more and more. Blocking content here helps us reduce bandwidth and speeds up our experience. Even Marco blocks the ads displayed on his site:
But Peace uses the Ghostery database, and Ghostery includes The Deck. It’s classified as “Advertising”, and even though it’s far nicer than most other entries in the category, it’s fair to call it advertising.
Obviously traditional advertises and tracking applications appear to be on the losing end of this wave of content blocking add-ins. The problem is, consumers aren’t respected..tons of trackers and advertisements are forced upon us. I don’t mind ads from networks like the Deck, they are very tasteful.
Tasteful, unobtrusive should be the goal of advertisers. Ad networks need to rethink how to make this work, take lessons from those like the Deck.
Many people are not happy with content blockers, calling them unfair. What’s unfair unknowingly being tracked and advertisements in our face.
Two thumbs up for the content blockers. Go try Ghostery and Peace and see how your web experience improves.