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Adblock Plus to Allow "Acceptable Ads" By Default, And That's Not Terrible

Adblock Plus, the sophisticated surfer’s best friend, is trying something that is sure to make waves: Adblock Plus is going to start showing “Acceptable Ads” by default. Yep. There’s no arguing that this flies in the face of, well, Adblock’s very name, but there’s actually some very strong logic behind it if you give it a little bit of thought. The assumption is, however, that most user’s won’t give it a little thought, which is why it’s going to be enabled by default. Don’t worry though, you can turn it off if you really, really want to.

This all begs the question of “what is an acceptable ad?” As far as Adblock Plus is concerned, and I think I agree, it’s an ad with no animation or sound, no attention grabby images, and a maximum of one script so that it doesn’t bog down page loading. Basically, acceptable ads are the ones that aren’t super annoying, a group that is also known as “the vast minority of ads.”

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It’s that last bit that Adblock Plus is aiming to change with this alteration. The idea boils down to the fact that advertising is a necessary evil, especially when it comes to financing all the content that comes to you for free. By allowing acceptable ads, Adblock Plus, and you, are giving advertisers an incentive to not be dicks, and you’ll doing your part to help out the sites that are working with advertisers that aren’t being dicks, all at the minor inconvenience of not reading some non-intrusive text at the side of your screen. Everybody wins.

The reason that this box is going to be checked by default is simply because most users probably wouldn’t turn it on. Instead of asking users to go to a menu to allow some ads, Adblock will now ask more easily miffed users to go to a menu to turn off some ads. Really, it’s not that big of a deal. The change was spurred, in part, by a survey of users that turned up the interesting fact that only about 25% of Adblock users are vehemently against all advertising. Most are against the annoying stuff (or certain stuff) but would be willing to see some advertising so long as they have control over it. This could be the first step in a good direction and provide incentive for advertisers and sites to be more measured about their advertising instead of forcing an ad vs. Adblock arms race.

(Adblock Plus via reddit)

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