Ads are bad

Hey guys, I recently took down all ads off this website and closed my Google AdSense account in protest against Google and the ad model in general. I only made a few hundred dollars per year off ads, so it’s not a massive sacrifice, but I feel like I’m doing my part.

Lately I’ve strongly felt that the ad model is doing serious harm to the content that is produced on the internet. It encourages safe, mainstream click-bait instead of high-quality, honest content. Some examples include:

• YouTube is de-monitizing any videos that could be considered controversial to appease advertisers, including video-game violence, swearing, and discussions about the news or politics. A lot of videos are also flagged falsely. For example a video providing help for suicidal people would be flagged as controversial as it’s related to a controversial topic. I’ve noticed that even harmless fail videos are censoring swearing. This is a bad direction to be going if you want a diversity of content to be produced (which I’m assuming YouTube is no longer interested in, despite this being a major advantage it had over TV).

• News websites are printing any garbage that will get clicks. They produce the most addictive headlines and site layouts, keep users outraged over petty nonsense, and do whatever it takes to keep users on the site longer to see more ads. I feel like this is doing major harm to public discourse as the most outrageous articles will always get the most exposure.

• Many ads are just outright scams or otherwise malicious. There’s obviously no quality control going on when ad space is being purchased. I often see ads like “Get Minecraft for free!” or “Try this new bullshit health supplement!” and other obvious scams. I’m assuming these are effective otherwise they wouldn’t be appearing.

So my recommendation would be to use an Ad Blocker (like uBlock Origin) for your own safety, but also to discourage platforms like YouTube and Facebook from bending over to the demands of advertisers. F.B. Purity is also a good chrome extension to block most of the garbage on Facebook.

If you can afford it, throwing a few dollars at your favourite creators on Patreon will do them more good than watching hundreds of ads will. Free stuff is great, but I feel like a couple of dollars isn’t a high price to fight back against the harm that ads are doing – and also to save you the time wasted on them.

And a final note: Short, high-quality content in particular doesn’t do well under the ad model. Stuff like animation or well-researched videos. Those don’t get a lot of clicks relative to the amount of work put into them, and it’s most important to support the creators of works like these through donations.

That is all. Thoughts?

30 thoughts on “Ads are bad

  1. Irae

    Very interesting bit about YouTube de-monetizing shit that isn’t mainstream, as I don’t monetize videos I’m not too familiar with it, doesn’t surprise me though – no wonder some major channels STILL censor words like ‘shit’ ‘fuck’ etc even when talking about mean jokes, fantasy violence and so on + it’s VERY obvious what word was censored.

    100% agree on the other two though! News in general is a whole other can of worms honestly..there is so much BS on news TV/websites it’s not even funny. Very difficult to even pick through it for actual NEWS, between the scare campaigns of xyz crime that occurred in another state, “russians and chinese are hacking us all” “Terrorism is everywhere”, celebrity gossip, and just plain irrelevant BS. I’ve also long since lost count how many ads I’ve seen on both TV and internet that are obvious scams – cheap shit that advertiser spends 5 minutes going on about being the latest and greatest, worth 5x what they are selling it for, etc etc for TV, and ofc malware and fake download links for internet.
    Honestly, fuck advertisements lol. I mute / close ads that pop up regardless what it is, avoid obvious click-bait, and so on. Nothing “moral” about it for me, they are just annoying/intrusive, and of no interest whatsoever to me..if I actually want to buy a given product type, I search for it myself, I don’t need random ads for it popping up – and when I want to support someone’s good content, I pay for it myself.

  2. Commiestalker

    You’re right, you’re absolutely right. That’s not taking into account malware and disgusting pop-ups, I tried browsing the internet without adblock for a day and 15 minutes in I had to put it right back on, and all that you said about google censorship policies and clickbait is spot on. Glad to hear this from you :yay:

  3. AzoriusGamer

    I use an adblocker myself. This is mainly because I don’t like the ads on YouTube taking away from my video viewing time. The unobtrusive ads on the sides of pages, I didn’t find too obnoxious. Because I’ve been using one on my school device as well, I haven’t really gotten to see as much of the BS that is appearing in online advertisements. :ooo:

  4. anavn

    I fully agree these ads are mostly false advertisement irrelevant to the content but now are even complaining to legit sources they are associated too (YouTube monetisation). I support the content creators directly by paypal, pateron or goods in Po box and for indie devs by pre-ordering/buying there games.

  5. tanny

    But at least poor peoples gonna have something to watch. And YouTube gonna get credits as a return. Isn’t equality why you’re against capitalism? This IS equality you want! C’mon! I’m capitalist but your action is a little illogical unless I’ve missed something.

  6. Devin de Vries

    When I first heard of the new demonitisation system, my first thought was; “So this will be politically correct Youtube from now on? Great….” Google really needs to stop giving in so easily to the Buzzfeed culture imo (I know this is a more prominent occurance in America, but they’re reinforcing this behavior ffs)

    I never really click on ads to begin with, my only real reason for refraining from adblockers was to support creators. Guess I should start dropping a little support on Patreon every now and then, since ad revenue is this bad nowadays.

  7. Sheth

    You’re exactly correct. And what frustrates me the most is the complete lack of vetting for ad revenue services.

    You let your ad bars run complex content with more than a picture and a link, and see webpages ruined by dialogue messages and page hijacks to serious scams. Good lord, why?

  8. Jeffrey Webb

    I use the brave web browser, which has an adblocker built in. it’s logo is an orange lion face and i highly recommend it.

    1. adfdsasdfasdsdfda

      yeah, because clicking a whole *few* times to install the adblocker into like any other browser is so very difficult

  9. Remus Lupine

    I wish I had the money to support content makers I like. It sometimes makes me feel guilty that I use an adblocker, so I usually turn it off on sites that I want to support. But you are totally right in every regard imho. Clickbait is the lowest of the low, and it gets even worse when you realize that more and more kids are learning to use the internet at earlier and earlier ages.

  10. ChaosSorceror_Davidicus

    I’ve been a generally happier fellow once I got AdBlocker. I’m so sick to death of watching ads for things I’ll never purchase or even have interest in. If the ads were things I would be interested in, that’s one thing, but they never are. Even if they were, I’ve always been of the mind that if I were really into hearing about the thing, I wouldn’t need the ad, because I’d’ve found it on my own. It is just a shame I don’t have some sort of AdBlocker on my phone, because when doing chores around the house, I usually leave my phone on Youtube playing music from a playlist of mine (usually Phyrnna, heh, but lots of video game and NinjaSexParty/Starbomb, etc) and let that play while I do. But every single video is stopped by an ad, and many times, while they have the skip option, the ad is longer than the song itself! 5 minute ads for 3 minute videos! Agh! 😡 :phone2:

    Either way, I’m glad to see that you share this viewpoint with me/us, Matt, I just hope it doesn’t hit you too hard. It sounds to me that without ads, you could require a little extra funding, and while I love your work and will scrounge up the money to purchase your games off of Steam and play them on Kongregate, I can’t afford to donate, otherwise, believe me, you’d be getting something from me regularly.

  11. Tater

    I agree. Although my use of adblocker has a lot less moral backing. I frankly don’t really care about any of the finer details, I just hate being exposed to marketing. Worst shit in the world.

  12. Kemezryp

    Yeah, that’s true but I still would like to support people somehow since I haven’t got much money. Probably I’ll install adblock BUT I will turn it off on YouTube and thrusted websites like this. Also I spent so much time on the internet when I was a little boy and I know what’s an ad and what is not, I feel safe. :smirk:

  13. MorganRue

    Youtube does not vet any of their ads, but other sites can/do. Notably I think Twitch vets their ads, but they only seem to display ads for partnership stuff and games.

  14. HOTS

    I actually like google sidebar ads compared to any other ad platform, not that I click on them but I’ve never seen anything close to malicious actually coming through google. I have a much stronger aversion to any crowd-funding.

    I do find it pretty stupid how companies are fighting to pay millions to advertise on Game of Thrones with its nudity, rape, and murder, but refuse to pay a couple bucks to advertise on a youtube vlog of someone saying that self-harm is bad. Nobody on the inside is driven by logic though, just business politics and power-plays

  15. Raining Swords from Above

    I installed an adblocking plugin not because I don’t want to see ads but because advertisements are a large vector for malware. I think it says something when advertisements have such little review and oversight that they can be used in such a way. I understand how burdensome it would be to manually screen advertisements, but the system is clearly not working as intended.

    It’s a shame to deny people I follow online revenue by marginal inconvenience because the risk to me is too great.

  16. SomePrick

    Even Patreon has started shutting down content that they consider “controversial”, so I would recommend throwing money directly at the people you want to support if they have a method is available.

  17. Eitan

    in my opinion the worst type of adds are all the fake download type and the type of real download that send you first to fake/add site and only then sands you to the download site.
    that maybe isn’t related to the subject but i once fall for an add that was both and made me to download a Trojan-horse and then forced me to do a hard-reset to the computer in order to make it usable again :bleh:
    so why did i point that out? because i’m hoping that now more and more site owners will start to be more responsible abut the adds in their sites (like what you just did)

  18. Thrynity

    That why I use an Adblock since I heard of it, I let add show only on site of great content, and quality stuff (like
    Nice to see your concern, I always like your shares over those kinds of topic :stars:
    Adds wasn’t a bad idea to start with, but like everything today, it goes to the side of the money, this capitalist side who is now an insult to quality

  19. WelshRabbit

    Yes, ads are really annoying and most of them are based on scam. It makes it more annoying when you click anywhere, you get a pop-up. Ad blockers are a really good invention, I’m sure you are doing the right thing. :smirk:

  20. Trycka

    You said absolutely everything that had to be said about the ad propaganda at this time. I’m totally ok with what you said since i think the same. And because you have some visibility (With your games success) saying such things could help some others who don’t dare to talk about it.

    Just keep your good work. I can’t afford to help you on Patreon but when your games are released with a buyable version, be sure i pay for it. And only because you make things of quality and not some bullshit we can see on Facebook for this pseudo-MMO online. Everyone should know what i mean :D.

    And here is some bacon for you :bacon: :bacon: :bacon: :bacon: :bacon: :bacon: :bacon: :bacon: :bacon:

  21. GriffyBluecrow

    I totally agree with you. This stupid ad model and my kind of watching ads on different platforms (I am an ad skipper to the core…) is why I do NOT want to monetise any of the videos I make on Twitch and Youtube. Mostly I can not even identify myself or the content I am uploading/streaming with the shown ads. I prefer advertising other content creators and artists in my videos and helping each other out with donations by people who really like the content they see and hear

  22. Rashtor Nesmarck

    Eh, honestly, i like to support people in both ways, seeing ads and giving cash. Thing is, i only donate to patreons that i REALLY like, or buy their stuff (that includes you, as cliched as that sounds). But i think is a good thing, and you have a good point.

  23. Risky Business

    You’re absolutely doing the right thing man, the ad model has become a massive problem recently and I’m glad to see at least one content creator taking this route.


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