UK’s culture secretary John Whittingdale claims that ad-blocking is a ‘modern day protection racket’, and a bit like piracy.
Whittingdale promised to set up a round-table between social media groups, online publishers and adblocking companies in order to discuss the ‘problem’.
Whittingdale said: “Quite simply – if people don’t pay in some way for content, then that content will eventually no longer exist… And that’s as true for the latest piece of journalism as it is for the new album from Muse.”
Of course this might cause a few problems if the UK stays in the EU. In Germany, the home of Adblock Plus, it is the one country which has explicitly ruled adblocking to be a legal practice. It might be worth remembering when you cast your EU vote, that it is the community which prevents a lot of Cameron’s attempts to turn the country into a poor version of the US from happening.
Currently publishers think that the only way around ad-blocking is to have software which blocks viewers unless they subscribe for a dollar a week. Although that has the effect that people don’t bother with the content.
Of course adblocking would not be a problem at all if publishers did not use adverts which fill your screens with rubbish when you want to read the content.