Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

Blocking Firefox

If you’ve visited any tech-orientated web site recently you may have heard about Why Firefox is Blocked, a campaign by some webmasters who obviously got out of bed on the wrong side one morning and decided to ban all Firefox users from their sites. Their reasoning? Firefox users can install an extension called AdBlock Plus which blocks all internet advertising on their sites.

In other words, webmasters (well, one webmaster at least) are preventing around 10% of web users from visiting their sites because some of those users (someone said 5% of Firefox users) may have an add-on installed which blocks ads. Yeah, that’s totally logical.

The web site claims that the Mozilla Foundation and/or the Mozilla Corporation is actively promoting AdBlock Plus, probably due to the fact it is featured on its recommended add-ons page. This is despite the fact that the page itself says that the addons listed upon it are the “most popular” add-ons and so its featuring is more to do with its popularity than anything.

Of course, by the argument presented by the site, any browser that has an add-on which allows ads to be blocked should be banned. I notice that Microsoft is ‘promoting’ Super Ad Blocker on its Windows Marketplace web site, so surely IE should be blocked too?

Disclaimer: This web site carries advertising from Google AdSense, and the author of this article is a Firefox and AdBlock Plus user. Decide for yourself whether that makes me biased or not.

5 Comments

  1. Heh. I think you can guess my view: I’m sticking to AdBlock and my zero-tolerance of any web advertising at all.
    Besides, as you said in a comment at my site in 2005, those of us likely to install and use ad-blocking utilities are unlikely to respond to adverts anyway, so there’s no point blocking us.

  2. That’s odd. So a person blocks ads using ad block and the webmaster decides that s/he doesn’t want any traffic from that person?!!!? It seems to me like cutting off one’s nose to spite their face.

  3. Heh, Good for them. A web site that blocks traffic due to whether a browser supports extensions that blocks ads or not. Result, less traffic to the site. Less attractiveness to advertisers, so they get paid less by advertisers.
    Sounds like they are cutting off their nose to spite their face (as B.D. put it) to me too!
    I’m all for it. I suspect that it’s a site I have never visited and will probably never visit anyway.
    If a site like Digg were to do it, I would not lose any sleep over it and if Google were to, for some reason, block all browsers from using their tools that support ad blocking, I suspect that they would pretty much go out of business.
    So, in my opinion, more power to them and good luck.
    I notice that they don’t want any input on their desire to do this since they didn’t leave an email address on their site. I would love to explain to them how much I could care less. :)

  4. Well… I’m using Safari 3.0 beta and… SafariBlock… oh no, is safari gonna get blocked now?? :p
    And there are other adblocking plugins for Safari too… ;)
    PS: I’m only using Safari because FF is sloowwww as hell on OSX :( arghh
    PS2: Preview on your blog, and at least on Safari3, seems to not keep the forms filled, so I have to copy+paste or reenter the comment :/