Artist Statement

Web advertising:

  • Is really, really bad for privacy. Advertisers track sensitive data about you and sell it to third parties, without any form of meaningful transparency. This information inevitably gets gobbled up by the NSA, which (perhaps unintentionally) uses it to create a perfect resource database for more ambitious future oppressors.
  • Costs you money. Most cell phone plans charge bandwidth overage, or throttle after a certain amount. Less ads downloaded means a smaller bill.
  • Bad for web surfing. Downloading unneccessary content slows down (and increases the annoyance of) your browsing experience.
  • Bad for sustainable businesses. Tech megacorps compete unfairly by price dumping ad-driven services for cheap or "free" and then use the money to bribe and buy out journalists into doing "money reporting" junk food news, eat competitors running profitable businesses, shut them down, and turn you into a product after they've locked everybody in. Then when advertising rates collapse (as they inevitably do), they implode, taking down the rest of the industry with them.
  • They just suck. They're annoying and stupid. Nobody likes them. Almost nobody clicks on them.
  • It doesn't work anyways. Someone will always find a way to get block them, filter them out, fight them, and get rid of them. If you try to stop ad blockers, people will just get annoyed and go somewhere else.

Ads have always been and always will be an unstable, ephemeral foundation for building large sustainable companies, with countless warnings from history. People that lived through the first dot-com bubble remember when advertising collapsed to almost nothing, bringing down a lot of companies that were thought to be successful. Ad blockers will undoubtedly be blamed when this happens again, with everyone forgetting that it doesn't require mass adoption of ad blockers to have ad rates collapse in value.

If not having your web pages look like a dystopian stroll through a Mong-Kok flea market from a crappy cyberpunk novel questions your fragile and manipulated morality, then simply don't use an ad blocker. But if you like a site and really want to reward it's proprietors for making something you find useful, instead of trash talking me on your favorite ad-driven social network job, why not spend the resource of your time to send them some actual money? We'll all be better off for it. Why? Because when you do that, and they build their business that way, you become a customer, not the product.