billboards7598819756_859c2e9e96_zThe Telegraph is the latest publication to wage war against ad-blocker users. The good news is that the ads are less pushy than those at another combatant, Forbes, which has unwittingly served up security threats to visitors who turn off the blockers. Furthermore, just now, I myself was able to call up the Telegraph without any hassles when I tested it while using an ad-blocker. Same earlier for TeleRead editor Chris Meadows. Just a ceasefire going on here? Or has the Telegraph wised up?

Meanwhile, TeleRead community member Robert Murphy has weighed in with his own thoughts on ad-blocks and our reinvented site: “I really like the new site, and the ads are spot on, not intrusive.  A buddy of mine, who resisted ad blockers for years, thinking that he did not want to spoil e-commerce for websites, called me yesterday in an outrage. Two sites he went to had ads that covered his phone screen, and when he tried to dismiss them, the button was so small and next to the ‘take me to the site’ button.  He told me that he could not get rid of them, and did not want to go to whatever site they sent him to.  He was so annoyed that the ads could not be dismissed, and he felt they were malware.

“So he told me that he went out and got AdBlocker Plus, Ghostery, and another I cannot recall, and will just kill all ads from here on out.  For him, that was a shocking admission, but I guess everyone gets to their breaking point, and fed up with the unethical ad pushers.

“On my tablets I have ‘whitelisted’ TeleRead, but an still ruthlessly blocking almost everyone else.  Since I placed the ad blocker on my phone, my data usage has gone way, way down, and AT&T no longer sends me those ‘You have used 75% of your data’ messages.  Now, I am lucky if I use 25% of my monthly data allowance, which allows the wife and kids more data usage.  On their iPhones, I installed Crystal, and am ruthless since AT&T is so proud of their data, they charge an arm and a leg for each extra meg.

“Please accept my very best wishes to you and your wife, and I hope she has responded well to treatment, and things are looking up.”

Thanks for your nice words, Robert—next week we’ll get scan results and see how Carly has responded to her chemo and radiation treatments for pancreatic cancer. As for the Web kind of malignancy, the kind perped by Forbes’s advertising side, I doubt that anyone there will pay attention to us. But I am still pleased to post your comments, with which so many other TeleRead community members will agree.

As publisher of TeleRead, I’ll continue to investigate honestly labeled sponsored content and other alternatives to the standard advertising model. Yes, we’ve had offers from prospective sponsors, but the fit hasn’t been right. Do TeleRead community members really want to see material from term paper ghosting services and the like?

Related: The New York Times on the extent to which ad bloat jacks up cell phone bills.

Photo credit: Here.


  1. And there are, and have been for some time, scripts out there that effectively fool the anti-adblock script used on pages like Forbes into thinking adblock isn’t on when it is. I use one of those as a matter of course, which is probably why I was able to view The Telegraph.

    As a side benefit, I also don’t get turn-off-your-adblocker-please nag pop-ups anymore. (Like the one we use. 😛 ) Which is too bad, in a way, as sometimes I might have been inclined to be nice and turn off my adblocker when reminded to—but I don’t get those reminders anymore.

    It’s not a cease-fire so much as an arms race.

  2. I don’t object to subtle ads, just ones that flash, yell, cannot be dismissed, play videos, take over my screen, track me without my permission, download personal information about me, and keep coming back after you kill them. I use Do Not Track for a reason, and the ad companies ignore it. Personally decent ads like here or over at The Online Photographer are fine by me. Serving malware, taking 100 megabytes to serve a 100 kilobyte page is ridiculous (hyperboly here but you get my drift). The ad companies insist that we have to accept the garbage on our phones and tablets, and so I block. I block ruthlessly. And until they decide to abide by some sort of reasonable ethical conduct, I will keep escalating the ad block war until one of us surrenders.

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