No offence to the journalist but most ads are a direct contradiction of publishing. The purpose of the press is to distribute truth, the purpose of most ads today is to distribute lies, lies-by-omission, emotional manipulation and deception.
Macro-economically most ads are also a complete waste as they serve no real purpose. The time when ads where to actually inform people about new or existing products is LONG gone. Of course there are many exceptions, but most ads are unethical. It's therefore a logical fallacy to accuse people who block them of behaving unethically.
And as one of the previous posters has noted there's many practical problems with ads, and especially internet ads:
- Many people have developed the ability to completely blend out ads in their mind. I today for the first time noticed an ad on the LWN page.
- That ability is usually not complete and fails with e.g. animated or very brightly coloured ads - however, the people who have this ability will usually get very annoyed at the rudeness of the advertiser in making it difficult to concentrate on the article.
- Ads are usually hosted on obscure domains by dodgy "marketing networks" that wouldn't know how to detect malware even if they did care. If I go to example.com I expect to connect to example.com, and not google-analytics.com, adcrap1.com, adcrap2.com and adcrap3.com.
- Most (all?) of these dodgy companies make it their business to walk all over the human right to privacy of the reader. Their tracking "technologies" are clearly illegal without opt-in in Europe for example. And is there even a single major web ad network/provider that uses opt-in? I doubt it.
Now I do exclude _sensible_ ads from my claims. Sensible meaning:
- it doesn't attempt to emotionally manipulate the reader
- it contains the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth (as far as is reasonably possible given space constraints)
- it doesn't use flash, JS, or any other method that executes remote code on the reader's machine
- it doesn't flash, blink, move, make noise, or otherwise unduly distract the reader
Since the LWN ads I've seen so far qualify I'm not using adblock on LWN (I do of course use NoScript tho) but I have no quarrel about using it on any site that collaborates with third parties to manipulate or deceive me.