Rules for acceptable ads

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Ares2
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Rules for acceptable ads

Post by Ares2 » Sat Aug 29, 2009 6:48 pm

I'm just brainstorming here, all ideas and comments (even if it's just a "that's just bs, don't do it") are welcome.

I already posted something like that here: https://adblockplus.org/forum/viewtopic ... 200#p26200

I don't how long it will take until we have the "general solution" of completely categorized filters Wladimir mentions there (and I also don't really know how to start working for it), BUT I think it's time to start thinking about and discussing a way to handle this for EasyList, and I'm sure many things will also be usable for the general solution.

First of all I want to clarify that this not going to be the end of EasyList blocking ideally 99% of all ads, out of personal interest there will definitely be an easy way to block as much ads as EasyList blocks now (and most likely even more), probably with a supplemental list. ;-)

The goal I want to reach is to give a webmaster that is interested a chance to have his ads not blocked by EasyList (atm, EasyList tries to block all ads). I thought about putting together some very strict rules how REALLY acceptable ads should look like/be served etc. Those shouldn't even be designed to be easy to comply, there should just be the possibility to have one's ads not blocked by the "default" list in an objective way. I think this is important because otherwise we decide based on our preferences:

Example: http://forums.lanik.us/viewtopic.php?t=4498 : Although those banners are obviously more intrusive (many animated gifs etc) than lots of other things I blocked with site specific filters, I felt the same like fanboy when I tried to decide if I should block them.

So all I want to say is that even if those rules are changed over the time based on new situations/sites, they will still apply to all sites in the same way. I also think this is a first step in the direction of a community based list, instead of letting 4million+ users being the dependent of the subjective decisions of a single person.

Finally, here are my first ideas for the strict rules:

* Ads have to be hosted on the same domain (maybe also important for the complete categorization to use $third-party for general ad blocking rules)
* Only text ads and static images with reasonable coloring are acceptable
* Ads have to be visibly tagged as such
* Ads may not interfere with the site content (article inline ads, intellitxt, etc)
* Ads may not take up too much additional space (728x90 leaderboards are too much if the whole thing can be collapsed imo)
* Ads vs content has to be 25% vs 75% at max

Alrhight, that should be enough thinking for today. ;-)

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Hubird
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Post by Hubird » Sun Aug 30, 2009 3:29 am

I am one of those people that "cannot stand ANY kind of advertisement" and I hope that you don't lose sight of what EasyList has always tried to do, block ALL ads regardless of weather or not they are deemed inoffensive.

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fanboy
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Post by fanboy » Sun Aug 30, 2009 3:59 am

I'm against blocking self promotion, minor donor ads.. everything else is up for consideration. Ofcourse non specific filters (like the dimensions filter mainly) may catch some of these..not a biggy, but it would I won't actively block them if asked.

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Lian
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Post by Lian » Mon Sep 21, 2009 8:03 pm

Hello,
I'm not sure to have well understood your idea. Do you want to create two lists, one with "annoying ads" and another with "strict rules ads" ? So people who accept the last ones would disable the related list ? Is it intended to prepare the categories or Easylist will still have two lists in the future ? It's maybe a good idea to encourage webmasters to make better ads.

But IMO the more urgent problem is to make people aware of the adblocking consequences on their favorite free sites. Whatever we do, most people never read their filters FAQs. I am very enthusiastic about the Wladimir idea : https://adblockplus.org/blog/an-approac ... d-blocking and I hope it will be created soon. With the crisis, some advertisers have lowered their payments, and some good websites can't only live with donations.
http://adblock-listefr.com/
Présentation, conseils de blocage et soutien au projet

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Post by eighty5cacao » Mon Sep 21, 2009 9:10 pm

How is this plan meant to take EasyPrivacy into account?

On a related note, how is Wladimir's idea mentioned above ( https://adblockplus.org/blog/an-approac ... d-blocking ) meant to accommodate the function of EasyPrivacy? Presumably some users will want tracking scripts to be blocked even after they have allowed ads on a site. Blocking third-party cookies is a start but doesn't do everything.

EDIT: reworded for clarity
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Michael
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Post by Michael » Sun Nov 08, 2009 5:15 pm

I have to say that I did not intend to pose such a difficult decision with one of my first posts. I must apologise to Ares2 for the tricky predicament I placed him in.

My opinion on the matter is that in the vast majority of cases adverts should be blocked by EasyList and that if any exceptions are proposed they should be objective. While we all have hobbies that could bias our opinion on the "annoying" qualities of a section of a website, these views are probably very different to those of the end users.

I firmly believe that the decision of whether a part of a site is annoying or not should be down to the discretion of the individual. EasyList should display a neutral attitude towards any adverts and users should be aware of this. Those who wish to support a website have many options, the most obvious being simply to add a filter to change the display of a page as much or as little as they wish.

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Erunno
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Post by Erunno » Sun Nov 08, 2009 7:20 pm

I agree with Michael that EasyList's mission statement should remain simple ("We block ads. Period.") and the maintainers should not impose any kind of highly subjective decisions on the users. On the other hand the idea to allow blanket whitelisting has its merits as it would allow users to unblock special types of advertisement (e.g. allow all text ads). If the additional code and maintenance complexity is actually worth it remains a topic still to be discussed. I'm currently thinking about an educational approach and will probably further elaborate it in the future once I have made up my mind.
Last edited by Erunno on Mon Nov 09, 2009 6:35 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Post by Michael » Sun Nov 08, 2009 8:24 pm

In the vein of Erunno's idea I would suggest this could occur as a part of an update to Adblock Plus. Within each subscription the maintainers would include folders; deselecting a folder disables everything within it. This would not only mean that EasyList would be clearly laid out, but would also allow users to deselect certain types of advertising (such as text adverts) at will.

However, I can see three major flaws that would need to be addressed before implementation:
  1. How would we distinctly categorise each filter according to purpose?
  2. What happens if a filter has multiple applications?
  3. Would users realise that they had the ability to disable groups of filters and would they be able to do it?
Overall I would say that the level of complexity and the amount of additional code and effort required for this approach would be negated by the fact that many would never use this feature.

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Erunno
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Post by Erunno » Mon Nov 09, 2009 7:48 pm

I still think that the whole idea of trying to categorize filters is an exercise in futility for a well-intentioned but ultimately doomed idea which will only be used by a minority, if at all. Not that I intend to determine how anybody should use their leisure time but I fear that such an endeavor would consume a lot of time and energy which might be spent better somewhere else. I've been toying with the idea of establishing an infrastructure which maps filters to sites on which they apply so they could be tested regularly if they are still needed. Anyway, this is another topic for another time. :D
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Michael
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Post by Michael » Fri Jun 11, 2010 7:48 pm

I think that this idea was generally rejected when proposed and have therefore changed this topic back to being a standard type; it does not appear to represent any current or future plans for the subscription.

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