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AdBlock Plus Wants you to Pay for what you Read Online

  • May 3, 2016
  • 2 min read
AdBlock Plus Wants you to Pay for what you Read Online

Online publishers often hate ad-blockers like AdBlock Plus. Owners of smaller blog sites complain that they get little to no revenue from the work they produce. You may have also noticed some major news sites like Forbes and Wired have restricted access to their articles unless you turn off your ad-blocker or pay a monthly fee.

There are advantages to ad blockers, however. It keeps the readers safe from malicious ads that can harm your computer and from tracking URLs that invade privacy. It also preserves the original design of the page and doesn’t display annoying loud or flashing ads. There are also a large number of sites that don’t filter adult ads, which makes browsing at work or in public very difficult.

Recently, AdBlock Plus has announced that they are teaming up with a company called Flattr. Flatter is founded by Peter Sunde, one of the original co-founders of The Pirate Bay. AdBlock Plus and Flatter plan to implement a solution that they feel will make both advertisers and readers happy. The team will release a product called “Flattr Plus” that will allow readers to decide which content they want to pay for.

How will it work? The platform will let users to fund the content they wish to see within a set monthly budget. The money spent will be distributed to publishers based on engagement of their material. It is unclear at this point how exactly they plan to track engagement, since many people click on things they don’t mean to, or wish they hadn’t. There are also plenty of instances where readers leave tabs open for long periods of time.

Publishers will have to sign up with Flattr Plus in order to get paid. One problem with this is that Flattr Plus could decide to exclude websites they don’t like or disagree with, which would make it unfair for many users on the Internet.

Would you pay for a service like Flattr Plus in order to eliminate ads from your browsing experience? Some say they will simply switch to another ad-blocking service such as Ublock.

Photo Credit: Francisco Osorio

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1 Comment

  • FlattrPlus is a good idea I already have had myself independently. However it should be something similar to the html-standard – open for everyone to implement or use.

    There could be rating categories from “total-shit, not interested, ?, nice-to-read, gets-bookmarked” for content.
    A page could be “nice to read” if the user clicks links on that page or spends some time scrolling/commenting on it.
    “not interested” could be used to stop the side from being supported.

    When I spend 40€ on internet and TV a month, I wouldn’t have a problem spending 10€ divided among sites I visit except that it is too difficult to manage all those micro-transactions and setup security for it.
    I also think that this system should not give one individual personally more money than you gain personally. I see it more as a service-cost-support or basic-income-insurance.

    I often have 100+ tabs open in firefox and use them as a “check later” list.
    If I could choose to block ads, for performance I would block flashy ads, noisy ads, ads which overlap content and those which have a high download size. For privacy I would block ads from third party sites.

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