« The ad-blocking giant, which claims to have 50 million users, will still remove advertisements from the web. But instead of showing the "peaceful, blank spaces you're accustomed to not noticing," Adblock will replace publishers' ads with banners supporting Amnesty International.
Sat 12 Mar 2016 11:42:35 PM CET - permalink -
The Amnesty ads, which mark March 12 as the "World Day against Cyber Censorship," are a cause that Adblock believes is worthy enough to, well, advertise. The company says the messages, from US whistleblower Edward Snowden, Chinese artist and dissident Ai Weiwei, and Russian punk band Pussy Riot, are a one-day exception to its business as usual.
"Right now, there are billions of people whose access to internet content is restricted and monitored by their own governments," wrote Adblock CEO Gabriel Cubbage in a statement explaining the campaign.
An important caveat: I installed Adblock on my Chrome browser while writing this story, to see what Amnesty's campaign looked like, but never saw the touted Amnesty ads.
Even though it's for just one day, it puts Cubbage and his company in the unusual position of becoming a platform for large online banner ads—a business he has denounced vociferously. Even users who let Adblock know they're willing to see "unobtrusive" ads will never see banners the size of the Amnesty campaign. The ads that Adblock deems "unobtrusive" are limited to things like Google text ads, and Amazon suggestions. (The companies that have their ads whitelisted also pay Adblock for the privilege.)
"It looks like Adblock is actually becoming an ad network, without paying fees to the publisher," said the questioner. »