Sorry about the ads

I use an ad blocker. Two of them, actually. I’m willing to add a website to my whitelist(s) if their ads aren’t obnoxious, but if it’s flashing in my face, popping up new windows, or autoplaying audio, forget it.

So I didn’t know; that’s my only excuse. I had actually never seen the ads on Fierce Roller until a friend messaged me on Twitter [Pg-13 below the fold]:

ad 1

So I turned off my ad blockers and reloaded the page. What the actual fuck? You want misogynistic clickbait? We’ve got that! Naturopathic nonsense? Check! Ads in the middle of posts (so they look like I put them there)? You betchya! Popups? Oh, yeah! And all on my beautiful Volvox background.

Goddammit. I didn’t sign up to work for the National Inquirer. Actually, I don’t even know where the ads take you; I haven’t clicked on them, and I hope you won’t, either. Really, please don’t reward these bottom feeders. Starve them of nutrients and let their economic niche fade into oblivion.

I have been in touch with the powers that be here at Freethought Blogs, and, without betraying any privileged communications, I think I can safely say that no one is happy with the ads. Would you expect that a bunch of feminists and skeptics are going to be happy with “Look how fat formerly hot actress got!” or “Stick an onion in your sock to stop diabetes!”?

ad 2

Solutions are being discussed, but I think nothing is likely to happen in the next few weeks. The only short-term solution that’s been suggested to me is to click the “Remove Ads” box on my WordPress interface.

remove ads

This has the disadvantage, of course, that my posts will not generate ad revenue for Freethought Blogs. I don’t care about that, since my share doesn’t amount to a hill of beans, but others here do, and I want to be a team player. Of course, with my minuscule page views, my contributions don’t amount to a hill of beans either, but if everyone turned off their ads, there’d be no way to keep the lights on (who was it that said that morality lies in asking ‘what if everyone did this’?).

For the time being, I’m going to take the imperfect option of turning off the ads in new posts (after this one, so you can see what I’m talking about). I make no promises for the long term, but right now I’m not in a compromising mood. If we can get our shit together and ditch the worst of the ads, I’ll turn them back on. I might also forget sometimes, just as I sometimes forget to put in a break or choose a featured image. If so, I apologize in advance.


  1. says

    I hate to say it but without an ad blocker installed I would not be on the internet. I haven’t willingly watched commercial TV in 25 years either. So I haven’t the faintest idea what ads FTB has for me.

  2. Johnny Vector says

    I never see them, since I also use an adblocker. That comes in handy when I’ve been logged out (which happens too quickly, in my opinion, even when I click “keep me logged in” or whatever that checkbox says). I guess it’s good to have to go back to the login page occasionally, so I can see how much time is left before I have to resubscribe.

    So, thanks for making the ad-free subscription option available. Since I can afford it, it allows me to avoid the ads while still helping keep the lights in the server room flashing. I wish there were a way for everyone to afford it. Ooh, I know! Universal basic income!

  3. Pierce R. Butler says

    … who was it that said that morality lies in asking ‘what if everyone did this’?

    Immanuel Kant, in rather more words – but he probably got it from his mother.

  4. Dave X says

    If you don’t mind my asking, what is “miniscule amount”? Is it something that could be offset with Patreon at the FTB or blog level?

    • Matthew Herron says

      I have been on FtB for a bit more than a year, in which time I’ve netted $21.54 (after PayPal took $0.95). That’s not quite fair, since I also don’t have to pay for the old domain anymore, but either way I’m not exactly going to retire on it. The idea of crowdfunding has come up, and I wouldn’t be surprised if something like that does eventually happen.

  5. suttkus says

    I wouldn’t worry about the ads so much. Yes, they’re offensive and disgusting, but at the same time, just think of all the money being wasted by the producers of those offensive and disgusting ads. People PAY to put those ads in front of our faces, and I’m pretty sure the population here isn’t exactly clicking on them with any regularity. We’re, essentially, taking money from sexists, naturopaths, and other assorted bottom feeders and giving them nearly nothing in return. The less the add matches FTB’s ethos, the more the money spent putting it here has been re-purposed for better things!

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