AdBlock Plus responds to “rather unfair article” by GoMo

As we sink more and more into the mire surrounding these anti-ad activists

block all those annoying online ads

The organisation that is AdBlock Plus responded to our criticism of any transparency of numbers of mobile users though its PR company  thus …. “We didn’t release our Android numbers because of a technical issue that makes us doubt their validity. As soon as we have numbers we feel confident in, you [Gomo News] will be the first to get them. Until then, we have over 250 million downloads (excluding Android downloads) and vehemently stand by our position.” The AdBlock Plus spokesman explained, “We are a compromise between advertisers and users to make the Internet better.” That’s an interesting shift in stance. The organisations now admits that it acts as a middleman.

“When you stand in the middle, and have daring ideas that challenge a billion-dollar industry, people throw rocks and stir up needless controversy,” the spokesman claimed.

This statement should be taken in context with AdBlock Plus’ own description of itself – “Adblock Plus is a community-driven, open source project to rid the Internet of annoying and intrusive online advertising.”

So, what the app really does is decide which online ads are “annoying and intrusive” for the typical net surfer. It achieves this objective by installing as standard a ‘whitelist’.

GoMo News re-installed the Android version of AdBlock Plus and spotted this disclaimer. “We Have selected a suitable subscription for you: ‘Easylist’. You can change it at any time in the application’s setting.”

If you make that change, then the setting option ‘Acceptable Ads’ finally changes to saying, “Block all ads”.

What’s bizaree is that AdBlock Plus’ app makes no attempt to tell you what ads are contained in the Easylist/whitelist. So users have no idea which advertisers they could chose to let through the ‘filter.’

GoMo News does admit that it found blogger, Sascha Pallenberg’s claims that AdBlock Plus is akin to the Mafia as very definitely excessive.

The company’s spokesman described them as “absurd.” “We responded to them to them at the time, and they are as ridiculous now as they were in July [2013].”

We have never claimed to be a non-profit, and we, along with others, have written at length about our business model,” he added.

Hmm. So when does a “community-driven, open source project” translate into a business being run for profit, then?

Finally, AdBlock co-founder, Till Falda, boasted back in March [2013] to The Salon here that the organisation’s “relatively new app for Android phones … already boasted 900,000 users.”

Therefore,  it must have millions of mobile web users of its Android app by now. Strange it is so coy about them, then.

About Tony Dennis

Tony is currently Editor of GoMobile News. He's a veteran telecoms journalist who has previously worked for major printed and online titles. Follow him on Twitter @GoMoTweet.
This article was published in Mobile Ad&Mktg, mobile news, mobile security and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to AdBlock Plus responds to “rather unfair article” by GoMo

  1. Howard Moorey says:

    “people throw rocks and stir up needless controversy” is maybe the relevant phrase here – check the definition of “sabotage” and you’ll see that this isn’t the first time people have objected to change, and I’m certain it won’t be the last. That doesn’t mean that the change won’t happen.

    Perhaps Adblock Plus are doing many of us a favour, or indeed working on our behalf – maybe it’s time the “billion dollar industry” began to realise we don’t want adverts thrust in our faces anymore!

    We have a choice don’t we? “No” according to the industry. Well “Yes” actually, those who choose Adblock or something similar, are simply expressing that choice.

    Time the industry started telling stories we want to hear, and finding a different way to get the message across!

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