Have you noticed that more and more news outlets are using software that blocks ad-blockers? I happen to hate pop-ups and babbling panes and things that flicker and flash at me, so as soon as a reliable ad-blocker came available for Firefox, I installed it. Works pretty well: 99.9% of ads are squelched, even on YouTube.
But of course, news media make their money by selling you, so it’s not in their interest to allow any ad-blocking shenanigans. At first just a few news organizations had ad-block killer — notably Forbes. Now at least 30% to 50% of them do — and they’re signing on in increasing numbers. Washington Post, one of my stand-by news sources, now makes itself unreadable to people who don’t care to be subjected to distracting ads.
You can install an anti-adblock killer. But there’s a limit. How many counter-counter-counter nuisances do I have to load into my computer? A lot can go wrong with these things…and when it does, what a time-suck! Consider the degree of farting around required to cope with this mess:
- Check if you have only one Adblocker enabled. (Adblock, Adblock Plus or uBlock Origin)
- Check if the script manager is enabled (Greasemonkey, Tampermonkey, NinjaKit, etc…).
- Check if you have installed the latest version of Anti-Adblock Killer Script (Step 3).
- Check if you have subscribed to Anti-Adblock Killer List (Step 2).
- Check if Anti-Adblock Killer Script is enabled.
- Check if Anti-Adblock Killer List is enabled.
- Try update or re-install Anti-Adblock Killer Script.
- Try update or re-subscribe Anti-Adblock Killer List.
- Check if you have another userscript that might interfere with Anti-Adblock Killer.
- Check if one of these extensions is problematic (Disable Anti-Adblock, Ghostery, Online Security Avast, Donotrackme, Privacy Badger, Disconnect, Blur, TrackerBlock, Kaspersky Anti-Banner, Freebox (Anti-pub), No Script, YesScript, HTTPS Everywhere).
- Remove duplicates Anti-Adblock Killer (Script/List).
- Remove or disable personal filters.
- Enable only the filter lists you need, too many can make your browser unresponsive.
- Force an update Adblocker lists
- Force an update Script Manager
- Check if the site is in “Supported Sites” or in “Changelog”.
- Try with another Browser.
- Try with another Script Manager.
- How to disable the update check Settings
- How to disable the list check Settings
- How write Adblock filters here
- Where can report an advertisement here
- Consult Discussions or Issues
So…no, guys. I don’t think so.
I’m not turning off the ad-blocker: I refuse to subject myself to advertisers’ garbage or allow it to soak up bandwidth that I have to pay for. There’s an easy alternative: don’t go to sites that block your ad-blocker.
Since more and more sites are doing that, what that means basically is I read less and less news.
And y’know what? That’s a good thing! Cruising news sites is one of my worst habits: I waste hour after hour after uncountable hour reading the news in its many Web-based iterations.
Fewer functional news sites = more time for living
The trick to getting the news, then, is simply to go to PBS, NPR, and BBC. I’m willing to donate to PBS and NPR. But I cannot afford to pay to read every news outlet that is required to get a full, reasonably balanced view of what’s going on in the world, nor am I going to subject myself to endless, intrusive nuisance advertising.
NPR’s national website has a news section that covers the nation, the world, politics, business, technology, science, health, and race & culture. Separately, you can go to your local NPR station’s site, and also to local NPR stations in other parts of the country. These often provide superior news coverage — of course, it’s not hard to get superior to a local news station’s play-nooz, but…just sayin’. Just Google NPR plus the local city of your choice; click on the “news” tab at the station’s website.
The daily update of PBS Newshour comes on at the PBS website late in the day — hereabouts, it appears around 5:00 or 5:30. And it’s a yakathon — I personally don’t have a lot of time to listen to talking heads. I can read a news report two or three times faster than a pretty woman or studly man can yap it at me. PBS publishes some transcripts of the Newshour’s content, which is useful.
BBC News is excellent. Coverage is superb, and you can get US and Canadian news at their website, as well as other international reporting.
Of course, this lets out reportage on the talking cows and the two-headed babies. But, alas, truth to tell, we can do without those lurid time-sucks. If you want lurid and freakish, try your local “news” stations, which are usually full of fluff and time-waste. By and large local news outlets do not report news well, but it’s more or less sort of better than nothing.
Heh. Maybe it is nothing. Maybe “nothing” is better than that stuff.