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I have no problem with well-behaved banner ads. But increasingly they seem to be locked in a sort of arms race of attention-getting behaviours.
Windows pop up over the text content but within the browser, dance around so you have to chase their close buttons (if they have them at all), play music
but don't have an off switch, and generally harsh your mellow when all you're trying to do is waste some valuable working time reading about the seven best ways to demotivate your staff.
And it's not just porn sites that do this - 'reputable' sites like Wired and New Scientist are among the worst offenders. There needs to be a way for the hapless workday web-surfer to Strike Back !
Enter AdPunisher - an enforcer of social norms in banner ads. It works like this:
1. You register with the AdPunisher site (via a captcha) so it knows how many unique users it has.
2. In return, you download a browser toolbar button marked 'Punish!'.
3. When you see a truly annoying banner ad, you simply click the 'punish' button, and then click on the banner ad the way it wants you to.
4. AdPunisher then sends that URL to the AdPunisher server's "annoying ads" database.
5. If more than some percentage (say 60%) of AdPunisher users find an ad annoying enough to punish, that URL gets sent out to all the AdPunisher clients' "blocked" lists. Thenceforth, any attempt to go to that URL is simply discarded.
So you can click on an annoying banner ad and it will go away, *but* the advertiser won't get a click, so the site host won't get their two cents worth.
There's probably wrinkles in this, and of course advertisers will find countermeasures, but that's the general idea...
AdBlock Firefox Extension
Doesn't punish, but highly effective at eliminating ads. Install it and find out what an ad-free Internet looks like. [land, Dec 10 2006]
AdBlock Filter Updater
Works with AdBlock and delivers an updated ad filter list every so often. [craigts, Dec 11 2006]
||If only it would bombard the URL's owner with junk mail at home too.
||This gave me an idea. I went to a site with advertising and found what URL the ad comes from. It's:
||So I went into IE's options and added that URL to the "Restricted Sites" under Security tab.
||VOILA! No more ads on that site :)
||[BrauBeaton]: Also, unfortunately,
useful functionality... The newest
darling of the Internet, AJAX, has
||Fortunately, for those of us who use
Firefox, there is the ever-reliable and
always-convenient AdBlock extension,
which, while it fails to punish the
offending ads' owners, certainly gives
me a much less advertising-encrusted
||So much so that I am astonished when I
use someone else's computer to see
how much adcrap they are willing to
||I think the worst of all are the ones that
pretend to be Windows dialogs -- I'm
on a mac, so they're obviously fake, but
I can imagine that a lot of ... shall we
say, less-sophisticated Internet users
are taken in by them. "Oh, no! My
computer is at risk? I'd better click on
this dialog and see why!"
||Ironically, the best way to punish banner ads might be to follow them, causing the advertiser to be charged the pay-per-click cost.
||The thrust of this isn't to remove ads altogether or to otherwise distort the web-advertising economy. It's simply to enforce some kind of social norms about how intrusive banner ads can become, by leveraging the kind of 'wisdom of crowds' idea that Digg and Reddit use.
||Punishing by making the advertiser pay for the click-through wouldn't help matters necessarily, since someone would still receive the click-money - and thus the incentive for intrusive ads would remain.
||This strikes me as illogical. The users that would be having the link blocked are the ones using the adpunisher system, who probably wouldn't be clicking the links anyway.