On Privacy and Intrusive Advertising

Some musings on the current state of the web

There's an upcoming post on performance, and that has a little bit to do with it as well, but it's mainly because, and I don't want this to sound like some "knight in shining armor" puff, because it's really just me having basic human decency, but, in the interest of full disclosure: this site uses one client-side script, Google Analytics, to help analyze traffic. On occasion, gists and tweets are pulled in using JS, and those probably do their own tracking.

I also use an ad blocker (specifically, uBlock0) on every single one of my devices: desktop, laptop, phone, tablet. By default, this blocks Google Analytics.

You can see there's a little bit of tension between these two, so let's be clear: I have absolutely no problem if you want to use an ad blocker on this site. Your privacy is more important than my visitor analysis. Maybe I'd feel differently if my livelihood depended on ad revenue, and I do try to empathize with those who this is the case for, but I honestly doubt I'll ever be in that situation myself.

Every time I reformat or factory reset a device, I end up hitting one page on the web before realizing I need to install an ad blocker. I can't believe how slow and ugly a place it can be when there's more non-content than actual content.

How did we get here, to a web that's not about sharing of information, but about trying to sell you stuff?

What's more, run something like Lightbeam for a few days, start to see your information being shared, and it becomes clear how these networks piece together who you are and what you do online. It's a scary place, if you're not careful!

So block away, and stay in control of your own experience and privacy on the web. Let your actions be your voice, and let the revolution begin!