Next Steps after Ad Blocking (200 million votes for what?)

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Beyond Ad Blocking

Wednesday 2F

Convener: Doc

Notes-taker(s): Judi and Doc

Tags for the session - technology discussed/ideas considered:

revolution, RSS, Ghostery, Lumascape, tracking, advertising, #NoAds, #DNT, do not track, inner voice, user pain,

  1. SafeAds (tweeted, face booked, blogged) #SaeAd (on an advertisement)

Discussion notes, key understandings, outstanding questions, observations, and, if appropriate to this discussion: action items, next steps:

LUMAscapes show how complex the current adtech plumbing is.

Google Trend searches make a convincing case that tracking has driven ad blocking. It isn't just shitty and annoying ads.

While ad blockers are popular, the biggest, AdBlock Plus, is not taking the right lead with its "acceptable ads" program.

The press is hypocritical in their disdain for ad blockers while running so many trackers that burden the users.

Thus the popularity of ad blockers is huge.:::

200 million people currently using ad blocking in their browsers. With this action, they're saying "no ads" and "do not track." (Also, it amounts to the largest #boycott or #blockade in human history.)

People often think that when they block ads, they're blocking tracking as well (and vice versa) This isn't necessarily so. There are cases where people want #SafeAds but don't get them. Or when they block tracking and in effect ruin their experience of a site because so much of he site is based on tracking, even though the ads may not be based on tracking. (e.g. when using the EFF's privacy badger)

People also don't know what the sliders in Privacy Badger, Ghostery and others actually control. And Ghostery has >500 different tracking companies that can be opted out of. Crazy.

The 200M people got the attention of Verge, other big companies. Mozilla thinks of the web as an ecosystem. Worst case is that some big sites go full-on silos, start an escalating war. Main difference between safe and unsafe ads: tracking. Safe isn't based on tracking, unsafe is. (For today. Later, when ads are permission based by individuals, some tracking may be allowed — but the individual is in charge of that.)

Doc's proposal: Step 1: what about popularizing #SafeAds. Make it a trend. Step 2: Verge and other advertisers will be open to working with

  1. SafeAds, as will be advertisers, who have already demonstrated that

they're willing to put code and symbols on ads. So ads will start to say "#SafeAd," in response to user pressure. Step 3: Person-driven programatic (VRM).

When we can get the #SafeAds movement large enough, Step 2 and 3 will follow.

Until then, we're sill using AdBlockers until the movement works...

Other factors...

  • Big advertisers aren't feeling the pain.
  • Small bloggers need their networks to make advertising work for them.
  • Are there examples of opt-in that is working? No examples today.

Start to align the incentives in the right direction. No incentive today, though most of the pipe is there.

Bullies tend to win, and no big players are open to experimenting (yet).

George Fletcher of AOL: Until #safeads gets popular, people will continue to run ad blockers. Once popularity happens, however, the existing system will adapt.

FedEx as an example, they work with ad agencies, which work with everything in the LUMAscape. But #SafeAds would be desirable for them.

Source:

http://www.blogs.law.harvard.edu/doc/2015/09/24/the-adblock-war-series