Firefox segregation based on malformed logic

Mikey 20 comments
Firefox segregation based on malformed logic

The opening statement "You've reached this page because the site you were trying to visit now blocks the Firefox browser" is only the beginning of rant abundant with malformed logic, on a web site that among other things, says that people who deliberately use software to block adverts on web sites, are thieves.

It's quite a dumb thing to claim. Further into the statement in, (also mirrored here) it is mentioned "Numerous web sites exist in order to provide quality content in exchange for displaying ads" which may be true, but they make a bad move further down the track when they say statistics show Firefox users "are even smaller in terms of online spending". Last time I checked, any revenue is better than no revenue.

But the biggest flaw in logic, is the claim that Firefox users are typically smaller spenders (as already mentioned), but then go on to say:

"FireFox users also have the option of using the IE Tab plug-in which uses the IE rendering engine to display pages, but also disables the Ad Block Plus plug-in."

I am trying to understand what makes them think that using the IE Tab plug-in will suddenly transform a 'penny pinching' Firefox user into a big spender? Do they think the IE Tab plug-in magically transforms Firefox users into their preferred demographic?

What is laughable though, is the assumption that Internet Explorer is incapable of ad-blocking. It is more than capable, and ironically, is a feature they copied from Firefox.

"It's comparable to denying a particular demographic entrance to a store because statistics show they don't spend as much money as another demographic."

For the record, and any reputable web developer or online business entrepreneur will tell you this, blocking a particular browser to make what is essentially a political browser statement is a very outdated way of thinking. You know what people do when a web site doesn't work in their browser? They go and spend their money at a web site that doesn't redirect them to a piss-ant excuse page.

The site owners are making statements founded on poor logic, and bad web development practices...but I won't go down the latter path in this article.

If I may offer a couple of 'real world' examples.

1) It's comparable to denying a particular demographic entrance to a store because statistics show they don't spend as much money as another demographic.

And as far as the thieving allegations go...

2) Its comparable to someone placing a product on my desk and giving me the option to buy it, but labelling me a thief when I refuse to even lay eyes on it.


3) It's comparable to saying that every time I skip adverts during a pre-recorded television show, I am stealing revenue from the advertisers.

Complete lunacy.

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Saturday 18th August 2007 | 11:02 AM

On that site, check out the first link under "other comments on ad blocking..." to the Popular Technology blog.

The article is a less sensationalised version of the same argument. Interestingly, there's a link to a poll at the bottom of the page asking readers whether they support ad blocking:

Not exactly a huge response, but a unanimous one in favour of ad blocking!

So that's the "big backer" for the anti-Firefox crew? Doesn't hold much weight.

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Saturday 18th August 2007 | 11:05 AM

FYI, I don't block ads past Firefox's default popup-blocker. In fact, every so often I make purchases through ads I see online (gasp!) - usually relevant text ads. Last year I went skiing in Norway through a relevant text ad in my Gmail account.

I respect online advertising with good placement and with some aesthetic flair. I think Rusty Lime's example is something to aspire to.

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Saturday 18th August 2007 | 09:32 PM

This whole argument is just pure idiocracy.

Lets block firefox users because they block ads, which make us lose money

So block out 30-70% of people (depending on the type of site), But ill go with 30, Block 30% of people which will cut ur revenue FAR more than just the adblocking

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Saturday 18th August 2007 | 10:01 PM

Idiocracy is the prefect word eSeM. Why not block the Internet Explorer users who have ad blockers as well?

Generally speaking, your average Firefox user is technologically in-tune when compared to your average IE user. It got to a stage when people got fed up with the pop-ups and security issues, but only the more resourceful people went and did something about it, and they discovered Firefox.

The rest of them continued to use IE, and think that pop-ups and self-installing toolbars are just a standard part of how the internet works LOL. Twits.

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Steve Parker

Sunday 19th August 2007 | 08:47 AM

I run a website funded by adverts - it's a technical audience, being a shell scripting tutorial (UNIX/Linux stuff - techies): if you want to see what it is.

I checked recently, and found that over the past month, 43% of my visitors used IE, whilst 46% used Firefox. The rest were Opera, Safari, bots, etc.

I also sell a PDF of the tutorial; I don't monitor what browser my customers use, but I wouldn't be at all surprised if the vast majority of those were Firefox users also.

The entire argument seems to assume pay-per-click adverts; pay-per-view advertisers would only lose from such a policy.

Steve Parker

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J.D. Simms

Sunday 19th August 2007 | 12:43 PM

Firstly congrats on what is one of the finest looking blogs on the internet. And no wordpress to be seen thank goodness.

A lof of people have blogged this topic and the conclusion among many echoes pretty much what you are saying, although your analogies are much better.

Keep up the good work.

J.D. Simms

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Sunday 19th August 2007 | 09:06 PM

I think the solution to their problem is this:

When accessing to the website, display a legal text stating that by accessing the site you agree to buy at least one of the advertised products in the website. They could even ask you for your credit card information and charge you in advance, avoiding that you don't click "yes I agree to buy your crap" and then you are such a bad person to not buy anything.

So many retarded people on the net..

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Sunday 19th August 2007 | 09:07 PM

LOL. I just checked and their website reached the maximum bandwidth consumption.

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Monday 20th August 2007 | 08:03 AM

Just checking now, so far 2007 for this site shows:

Firefox: 63.5%
Internet Exploiter: 29.5%
Safari: 2%
Opera: 1.7%

...and misc for the remaining small portion.

I can't imagine blocking 63.5% of our audience, when only a very small portion of them might have used an ad-blocker.

Curiously, my stats also show an overwhelmingly large majority of Firefox users click ads on this site compared to IE users, percentage wise as well.

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Thursday 23rd August 2007 | 07:14 AM

I udse adblock more for obtrusive ads, unexpected ads, and images in atricles that distract me.

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Thursday 23rd August 2007 | 07:26 AM

"Hey, people are viewing our content without being deluged by our ads. Let's block their browser so they can't view our content either."

Congratulations, jackholes. You just turned a long shot sale into an angry zero sum. Way to cut your losses. How about trying to create advertising that makes people aware of your product without giving them the urge to punch babies? Is that completely out of left field or what?

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Thursday 23rd August 2007 | 04:22 PM

Does this mean they block anyone behind a SQUID proxy, as it can be used with ad-zapper, which blocks ads? How about Microsoft ISA, which can also block ads?

Maybe they should limit their market to direct modem-attached Windows XP Home Edition users, running the PC just the way Dell shipped it?

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Ben Zyl

Saturday 25th August 2007 | 12:20 AM

I mostly block ads because they are annoying and irrelevant, this is really easy when they come from adfarms. When the site itself is hosting ads I don't like to block them as that would also block relevant content, but strangely enough when they are locally hosted they are usually of some interest and a lot less annoying. Perhaps that's the trick - centrally hosted ads (like spam) have that bulk generic scattergun approach that surely isn't a big earner whereas locally generated ones have a bit of thought and intelligence present. That must be a better bet, but isn't that usually the problem, intelligence and effort are such hard work compared to tiling the walls with 'shoot the ipod and win a duck'.

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Tuesday 28th August 2007 | 04:33 AM

Idiots. Its not as if Firefox users cant get around the block anyway. if you wanted to you could just download a useragent switcher.

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Saturday 15th September 2007 | 04:12 AM

I just clicked the link above to and find that they now allow firefox as long as the user doesn't have adblockplus installed. Fair enough but really this site owner needs to relax and understand that some of us just detest flashing ads. Personally, I often follow text ads and I don't believe this site owner has the right to limit my browsing and the original blocking is unfair and a ridiculous generalisation.
For the record, I use Firefox without AdBlockPlus because I like Firefox and it's extensions and I generally just ignore intrusive ads and if there are too many, I just go browse elsewhere.

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Website Design

Tuesday 18th September 2007 | 04:47 AM

Speaking of the ads issue with blocking firefox. The way I look at it personally is like watching television. When commercials come on, most people channel surf until their show is back on, I know very few people who actually enjoy commercials. A website that has ads on it is no different. The only people who complain about this are people who have their websites up for the purpose of scooping up ad revenue. The sad fact is, if most of these people weren't getting some kind of monetary compensation for what they were posting, etc, they wouldn't do it. Now... ask yourself... is that the kind of individual you want to give your time (money) too anyway?

I do not know one person that would switch back to IE for the chance to read anyones website. It's simply not worth it. Not to mention, the people blocking the ads are people who wouldn't click them anyway.

So FF haters.... Jog on!

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Tuesday 18th September 2007 | 02:28 PM

Oh shut up, Christ. People have been doing this same shit to IE users for years now.

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Wednesday 19th September 2007 | 07:18 AM

i think its foolish to block people if they are blocking ads the fact that they are on your website helps u with ranking so what if they wont buy from you who cares as long as they visit and enjoy reading your posts if they find what you are saying interesting or compelling they will e-mail you let you know about it to block any kinda user is foolish

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Thursday 20th September 2007 | 07:42 AM

I make many purchases on-line, and in the past few months I have changed my browser to Firefox for convenience. If I were to encounter such a ridiculous statement I would never shop with that business again. It is a matter of personal preference.

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Ken Chadwick

Thursday 27th September 2007 | 09:19 AM

I think it's Groucho I paraphrase: "Any club that will take me as a member, I wouldn't want to join".

I do not think I want to visit this guy's site, anyway

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