But how does that affect websites that rely on advertising revenue?
Recently, Ars Technica's editor-in-chief Ken Fisher wrote Why Ad Blocking is devastating to the sites you love. The goal was to let people know how ad blockers can hurt websites:
There is an oft-stated misconception that if a user never clicks on ads, then blocking them won't hurt a site financially. This is wrong. Most sites, at least sites the size of ours, are paid on a per view basis. If you have an ad blocker running, and you load 10 pages on the site, you consume resources from us (bandwidth being only one of them), but provide us with no revenue.
Ken's article prompted a lot of discussion and debate over the issue of ad blocking, including a response from Mike Masnick on TechDirt called Don't Blame Your Community: Ad Blocking Is Not Killing Any Sites:
Claiming that ad blocking is harming sites is like the recording industry claiming that piracy (or home taping) is killing music. Or it's like the newspaper industry claiming that aggregators are killing them. It's passing the blame. If you run a company, it's your responsibility to put together a business model that works.
On an upcoming episode of Spark, we'll talk to both Ken Fisher and Mike Masnick about this issue, but we'd like to know where Spark users stand. Do you use an ad-blocker? Is ad-blocking a moral or ethical issue? Leave your comments below, or dial them in to 1-877-34-SPARK (1-877-347-7275 toll free in Canada) and we'll do our best to include some of them as part of the show.