Why Zuckerberg’s Anti Adblock Crusade Is Doomed

First and foremost, Facebook’s entire business model is based on theft.  Theft of personal information.  Throughout it’s history, Facebook has fought a war against it’s users with respect to forcing them to “share” more personal data than they wish.

Remember the nearly weekly “privacy setting resets” that they were doing for a long time?  This was common until Facebook got too large to keep getting away with it.  When Facebook “changes” their privacy policy (which used to be monthly) they would always RESET every single user to the default.  Which meant that to keep what Facebook allowed you to keep private set private, you literally had to redo your privacy settings on an increasingly complex and misleading control panel almost constantly.

Now that they can’t get away with this anymore (with the eye of regulators upon them now that they are a public company) they face the problem of users over time figuring out the privacy settings and taking more and more of their data private.  Which harms Facebook’s core business model which is personal data theft. This is starting to reach a crisis for them.

Their latest putsch is in the area of adblocker blocking.  Which has received the inevitable reaction:

Oh well, looks like Facebook just got all anti-user · 2016-08-09 17:52 by Ben Williams

Earlier today Facebook announced that it would start trying to circumvent users with ad-blocking software and show them ads. This is an unfortunate move, because it takes a dark path against user choice. But it’s also no reason to overreact: cat-and-mouse games in tech have been around as long as spammers have tried to circumvent spam filters.

But you kind of have to wonder about the thinking that went into this decision. I mean, let’s also not forget something their blog post said: “When we asked people about why they used ad blocking software, the primary reason we heard was to stop annoying, disruptive ads.” So if that’s true, Facebook apparently agrees that users have a good reason for using ad-blocking software … but yet those users shouldn’t be given the power to decide what they want to block themselves?

In any case, it’s hard to imagine Facebook or the brands that are being advertised on its site getting any sort of value for their ad dollar here: publishers (like Facebook) alienate their audience and advertisers (the brands) allow their cherished brand name to be shoved down people’s throats. Yikes.

So why keep wasting our time on cat-and-mouse games that are a decade old? Wouldn’t it be better to address users (like all of you!) who have chosen to block traditional ads on their own terms? That is to say, don’t you want to be consulted here?

If nothing else, all this attention from Facebook shows that ad blocking has finally made the big time. We’re ready for our close up …

Adblock Plus is an open source project maintained by a company in Germany.  Programmers from around the world contribute code to it.  And the open source community has so far managed to counter every attempt by Facebook’s Indian programmers to force ads down their user’s throats.

This is a game of cat and mouse that the open source community can fight forever.  For Facebook to stay in the game costs them money even if piss poor Slumdog “coders” are cheaper than quality American and other Western programmers they are still an expense.  The open source community has no costs because it’s all volunteer.  They can stay in this game forever.

Furthermore, their users are getting a quick education in adblocking.  I dare say that more Facebook users now have some form of Adblock installed today than a week ago.

This effort is doomed to fail because it’s disrespectful of the user.  As long as Facebook has video ads, pop up ads, content obstructing ads, audio ads, etc, in my opinion, the user has every right to block them.  Facebook may own their website but the user owns their web browser.

Their next move will be to sue and I expect a lawsuit to be filed in the next week.  Which will inform even more Facebook users about adblockers and will only stiffen the resolve of Western open source coders to defeat Zuckerberg.  A lawsuit will be a futile gesture.  Every attempt at publishers or “content creators” (which Facebook largely is not, almost all the content is user created thus intensifying the hypocricy) have failed.

Simply put, courts have held that a “broadcaster” doesn’t own the user’s device.  Meaning if a user wants to alter their web browser to not receive “content” they don’t want (ads) they have every right to.  There is no obligation to watch the ads if you watch a TV program.  The same precedent will doom any attempt by Facebook to get Adblockers outlawed.  The bandwidth used by advertising in this day and age of wired internet DATA CAPS renders their argument even less likely to succeed, as advertising is now being paid for BY THE VIEWER who has to pay for the data to load them.

The best analogy I can offer is that Mark Zuckerberg has become Don Quixote charging the Adblock windmill.  Zuckerberg is taking on the very people who made him rich, his users.  Rather than co-operate with them and come up with a respectful way of running ads (it can be done, you see it here) he has chosen to use FORCE against the very people he depends on to amass his fortune.

Ask Metallica how well that worked out for them, Zuck.  No one ever wins a pissing match with their customers.


Written by Constantine XI

Born in Ashland, KY 1972.


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