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Mozilla Sets Out Its Proposed Principles For Content Blocking (mozilla.org) 318

Mark Wilson writes: With Apple embracing ad blocking and the likes of AdBlock Plus proving more popular than ever, content blocking is making the headlines at the moment. There are many sides to the debate about blocking ads — revenue for sites, privacy concerns for visitors, speeding up page loads times (Google even allows for the display of ads with its AMP Project), and so on — but there are no signs that it is going to go away. Getting in on the action, Mozilla has set out what it believes are some reasonable principles for content blocking that will benefit everyone involved. Three cornerstones have been devised with a view to ensuring that content providers and content consumers get a fair deal, and you can help to shape how they develop.
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Mozilla Sets Out Its Proposed Principles For Content Blocking

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  • No thanks (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 08, 2015 @08:00PM (#50690311)

    I'll block every single ad you force down my throat

    • Re:No thanks (Score:5, Insightful)

      by JMJimmy ( 2036122 ) on Thursday October 08, 2015 @08:27PM (#50690457)

      This. Even the courts agree - what comes onto my system is my choice. I can block whatever the @$#$ I don't want, i can twist and control the data that is on my system for personal use. Does this harm the sites I visit? Sure, they don't get the ad revenue. That's not my problem that's their problem. Not getting enough ad revenue? Find a different business model.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Not getting enough ad revenue? Find a different business model.

        Such as?

        I'm asking a genuine question - people love to bash Internet advertising (and with VERY good reason) but then they state that a site should find a different business model to stay afloat, they very rarely suggestion what this business model could be. If they do, it's something like subscriptions which a site like ArsTechnica has but isn't enough to sustain it for the level of quality of its articles.

        No-one has a good answer for an altern

        • Not getting enough ad revenue? Find a different business model.

          Such as? [...] No-one has a good answer for an alternate business model.

          What's wrong with Blendle? [wikipedia.org]

      • by dave420 ( 699308 )
        Well, if you like going to those sites, it does become your problem as the more people who block ads, the less revenue they generate, and then their content will start to get worse, and eventually they'll disappear. It's not that I don't generally agree with you, but that point is clearly false.
        • Well, if you like going to those sites, it does become your problem as the more people who block ads, the less revenue they generate, and then their content will start to get worse, and eventually they'll disappear.

          So what if they do disappear? I'll move on to something else. I have NO problem paying for content that I find valuable and I subscribe to several sites. The rest of them can dry up and blow away as far as I'm concerned. What they provide isn't valuable enough for me to care. I might miss a few for half a second but I'd get over it. If they want to PAY ME cold hard cash to look at their ads and track what I do then we can have a discussion about it. Until then their business model is stupid and I'm no

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      I suppose efforts like this and Google's AMP, because while I do use multiple blockers I'd like to see the baseline shittyness of web sites decrease. With AMP, for example, they don't allow any non-library Javascript, so you get useful and vetted functionality but Javascript laden ads and annoyances are removed.

      Unfortunately I'm not sure Mozilla has quite the right idea here. Take this principal:

      Content Neutrality: Content blocking software should focus on addressing potential user needs (such as on performance, security, and privacy) instead of blocking specific types of content (such as advertising).

      Adverts are a category of content I want to block for my "user needs". They are distracting and annoying, waste m

      • Re:No thanks (Score:4, Interesting)

        by FireFury03 ( 653718 ) <{gro.kusuxen} {ta} {todhsals}> on Friday October 09, 2015 @08:20AM (#50692249) Homepage

        Adverts are a category of content I want to block for my "user needs". They are distracting and annoying, waste my bandwidth and I never interact with them anyway. They almost all violate my privacy with tracking, and are a security risk. They reduce performance at no benefit to me.

        Ok, so your "user needs" are:
        - Avoid annoyance and distraction
        - Avoid bandwidth waste
        - Protect privacy and security
        - Maintain performance

        These cover a wider scope than just adverts, and may not cover *all* adverts.

        Personally, I have no problem with advertising so long as they don't break the above criteria. That means an unobtrusive text advert is fine (and who knows, I might even click on it is it's useful to me), a pop-up flash ad that plays music and has to be manually dismissed will be blocked.

        FWIW, in recent times I've seen an increase in the number of pop-up ads which are getting through adblock plus. These generally take the form of "subscribe to the website you're currently looking at" rather than third party ads, but they are equally as annoying (and usually result in me hitting the "Back" button rather than reading and sharing the content on the site).

  • Don't RTFA (Score:5, Informative)

    by American AC in Paris ( 230456 ) on Thursday October 08, 2015 @08:01PM (#50690319) Homepage

    If you'd like to avoid the ad-infested miasma that is TFA over at BetaNews, you can go straight to the proposal here:

    https://blog.mozilla.org/blog/2015/10/07/proposed-principles-for-content-blocking/ [mozilla.org]

    • Re:Don't RTFA (Score:4, Informative)

      by musikit ( 716987 ) on Thursday October 08, 2015 @08:04PM (#50690335)

      heart of text.

      Content Neutrality: Content blocking software should focus on addressing potential user needs (such as on performance, security, and privacy) instead of blocking specific types of content (such as advertising).
      Transparency & Control: The content blocking software should provide users with transparency and meaningful controls over the needs it is attempting to address.
      Openness: Blocking should maintain a level playing field and should block under the same principles regardless of source of the content. Publishers and other content providers should be given ways to participate in an open Web ecosystem, instead of being placed in a permanent penalty box that closes off the Web to their products and services.

      • by musikit ( 716987 )

        to me adblock does all this.
        1. content neutrality - it my have started as an "ad blocker" but now blocks so much unneeded web elements that it truely enhances performance. those things it is blocking are more then advertising, and also includes tracking information
        2. transparency and control - user is able to blacklist/whitelist any site at any time
        3. openness - user is able to view complete list of blocked elements at anytime.

        so mozilla is ok with adblock/ghostery etc. IMHO anyway

        • Accepted Ads program and the mysterious new owner of AdBlock should make it completely fail Transparency and Openness.
        • Re:Don't RTFA (Score:4, Interesting)

          by Kinematics ( 2651345 ) on Thursday October 08, 2015 @10:26PM (#50690879)

          so mozilla is ok with adblock/ghostery etc. IMHO anyway

          Sort of. Your summary misses a key point at the start of item #3:

          Blocking should maintain a level playing field and should block under the same principles regardless of source of the content.

          "Regardless of source" is a weasely way of implying, "no public blocklists that block based on the source domains and such". A "level playing field" that isn't biased by source would be allowing you to block 320x200 video (because perhaps those are typically ads), but not "everything from doubleclick.net".

          Extensions like AdBlock and Ghostery explicitly block based on the source of the content, and that violates principal #3.

          Principle #1 might also vaguely be problematic, depending on interpretation. However, "blocking advertising" can be categorized under "a specific user need", even though it's specifically excluded in the example list (implying that users don't 'need' to block advertising).

          Principle #1 is really a guideline for architecting the software, not for use of the software. As a programmer, it's perfectly reasonable to have that guideline in place for how you design the code in general. However, for the purpose of actually using the software, it's not valid. Not all content is equal, even when it's of exactly the same type (just wander through YouTube comments for examples). The entire point of content blocking is content discrimination — you are explicitly not being neutral.

          Even in their examples of appropriate use (performance, security, and privacy), there is no 'neutral' value. I may be concerned about privacy with respect to Doubleclick, but not, say, Amazon (or whatever other sites of your choice). I may be concerned about performance on some sites, but willing to give it a pass on others. This explicitly goes against principle #3, of being agnostic to the source, when in fact the source explicitly informs my choice of action. I cannot ignore the source, and there is no "content neutrality".

          Of course this can be turned around. If Verizon offered an adblocker that they developed, that blocked all the ads they didn't want you to see (ie: competition), but gave you plenty of their own ads, that would definitely fail both the principle, and user expectations. So they could point at an example like that and say that their principals mean 'that'.

          However that's not all that that series of words means, and based on the behavior of Mozilla over the last couple of years, I don't expect them to change their wording based on user feedback, because they want to be ambiguous about this; it gives them an out. They'll "listen", and then dump all the feedback in the trash bin.

    • by PRMan ( 959735 )
      I didn't see any ads...
    • Re:Don't RTFA (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Dutch Gun ( 899105 ) on Thursday October 08, 2015 @08:43PM (#50690525)

      For me, the issue is safety. The rest of the issues, while not unimportant, are secondary.

      I won't allow some third-party advertisement company to run arbitrary scripting on my machine - or more accurately, allow them to run scripting that allows someone else who allows some criminal to run scripting on my machine. Until these ad-serving companies can make firm guarantees about the safety of the ads they serve, I'm not going to allow them. This point is simply non-negotiable to me.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        If you've ever visited any porn site, you'll know Mozilla can't even block popups and pop unders. They can't even get the basic features to work.

        So who cares what Mozilla thinks they should block. BECAUSE THEY'VE LOST THE PLOT!

        They can't deliver a popup blocker, they think there is a debate to be had as to whether adverts should be blocked or not.... THIS IS UP TO ME! I am the surfer, if I choose to block adverts then that IS MY CHOICE and MY CHOICE ALONE.

        It's not a negotiation, and if my browser decides th

        • by arth1 ( 260657 )

          You keep putting 'CLOUD' features in when the basic privacy/speed/control principles that underlined Firefox are being weakened. pocket lists? sync? Unwanted features that were available as addons now get forced in the browser?

          Sync was great, back in the original Netscape implementation. You could sync to your own web server, configured with whatever security you wanted. No sending your bookmarks and passwords to someone else.
          The sync functionality broke around Firefox 3 or so, and later it got removed instead of fixed. And then someone reinvented the wheel, but this time square.

      • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

        This is actually one of Google's proposals with AMP. They only allow pre-approved Javascript libraries, no custom code. It's part performance (can be optimized, cached and pre-compiled) and part safety (no arbitrary code).

        While I'm sure people like yourself will continue to block anyway, it would be a big win to get this principal into the mainstream so that everyone can benefit from it.

    • Re:Don't RTFA (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Dutch Gun ( 899105 ) on Thursday October 08, 2015 @08:51PM (#50690549)

      Also, Mozilla, since when are advertisements called content? The content is what we're trying to get to. The ads are in the way of the content, sometimes literally.

      • by Tom ( 822 )

        This is the most brilliant reply to the whole thing and deserves to be modded +10.

        You spotted the fast one they are trying to pull. You are right, "content blocking" is a newspeak word. We are not talking about content, we are talking about the non-content bullshit that is getting in the way of the real content.

        Good catch.

        With that in mind, these "rules" are even more evil than I found them on first reading. In fact, they are a good sign that someone at Mozilla has his head on backwards, and I should really

    • by arth1 ( 260657 )

      The real problem with "proposed principles" is the same as the "Do not track". It assumes that the players will follow the rules. They won't. They will take whatever extra is given, and otherwise only follow their own rules, which are based on what gives the most profit.
      This will only make it easier for unscrupulous advertisers, as they now have published guidelines for what to defeat.

  • by swb ( 14022 ) on Thursday October 08, 2015 @08:06PM (#50690343)

    Many websites only exist because of user generated content (like /.).

    Don't impose your idea of what's fair to the content I provide for your site.

    Web sites had the chance to go the NPR route and be low key about advertising but by and large they went the obnoxious way and embraced pop ups, pop unders, Flash, animation, and widespread invasive tracking.

    Fuck that, I'm not participating in your scheme to get rich off my content, at least the part where I provide you with content and am then expected to be shouted at by ads and tracked. That's not even remotely fair.

    • by Ritz_Just_Ritz ( 883997 ) on Thursday October 08, 2015 @09:04PM (#50690579)

      I agree completely.

      Furthermore, if Google decides they want to "charge" for software they're currently giving away as a result of dropping ad revenues, THEN I'll decide if I want to pay for those products on their individual merits rather than suffer from the constant ad bombardment.

  • by JustAnotherOldGuy ( 4145623 ) on Thursday October 08, 2015 @08:07PM (#50690355)

    Here's my "guideline": I'll block whatever the hell I want, whenever the hell I want, for as long as I want.

    "Guidelines? We don't have no guidelines...I don't need any stinkin' guidelines!"

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      That is the same attitude that lead to the horrendous ads you want to block. Advertisers felt that they could do what they liked, serve any content they wanted, and to hell with your bandwidth and performance. I mean, fuck you right, freeloading scum trying to get valuable content for free!

      If major browser vendors start introducing blocking as standard with some guidelines to follow if you don't want your ads to be culled, it will cut down on a lot of bullshit. You and I will continue to use ad blockers any

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        The difference is that the GP owns his computer and his brain, the assets he is trying to defend. The advertisers do not own his computer or his brain, but they think they are entitled to use his computer to help brainwash his brain. See the problem?

        If the advertisers want to use THEIR computers to brainwash THEIR OWN brains, while leaving the rest out of it, they can go right ahead, and I don't think that the GP will install even one ad blocker to stop them.

      • You're getting it all mixed up. Ad blocking started being A Thing because of the obnoxious ads, not the other way around.

        If all ads on the internet were simple, text based or at least not animated, didn't play sounds, didn't block the content I actually want to see, didn't use tracking cookies and didn't take up much bandwidth, I would be happy to switch my ad blocker off.

        But since ad companies insist on pop-ups/unders, animation, videos, sound and a whole host of similar bullshit tactics in a desperate att

        • If all ads on the internet were simple, text based or at least not animated, didn't play sounds, didn't block the content I actually want to see, didn't use tracking cookies and didn't take up much bandwidth, I would be happy to switch my ad blocker off.

          The ads bother me for three reasons.
          1) Bandwidth - if they want to buy me a gigabit fiber connection then they can talk to me about taking up my bandwidth. Until then then can fuck off.
          2) Tracking - What I do on the web is my business and not theirs. If they want to track me then they can pay me cold hard cash and a lot of it. I'm NOT trading my privacy for a bit of ephemeral news content or articles about kittens.
          3) Time - They are wasting my time which is the most precious thing I have. I have countle

  • by RichMan ( 8097 ) on Thursday October 08, 2015 @08:08PM (#50690361)

    HTTP is a pull protocol. The client pulls data from the server. Bandwidth usage is a resource. The more that is required to download to render a page the longer it will take. And where users pay for usage, the more it will cost the user.
    Page render time is a high end user criteria and end users should expect to be able to have the client pull only the content they want to improve performance.

    The web site producers only have themselves to blame for creating sites loaded with massive visual and data bloat.

    Using a computing device to perform optimizations for the benefit of the user is normal usage. Nobody should be surprised by the use of ad blockers.

    • by arth1 ( 260657 )

      HTTP is a pull protocol.

      HTTP 0.9, 1.0 and 1.1 are pull protocols.
      HTTP 2.0 has push too, inherited from Googles ad-centric SPDY protocol.
      Both SPDY and HTTP/2.0 are abominations unto Nuggan.

      • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

        Can you describe, in technical terms, what is "ad-centric" about HTTP/2.0 and SPDY? Or is this just anti-Google FUD?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 08, 2015 @08:10PM (#50690373)

    What this is really about (and what a lot of people are finding hard to accept) is that for the most part, people don't want to see or consume ads. With TV, we never got the chance to opt out except for "ad skip" and "fast forward." The advertising industry never really took notice of that because the numbers weren't there. With the Internet, it is possible to both block ads and measure how many ads are accepted/blocked.

    Now people that deliver advertising are starting to see what customers really think: they don't like advertising. This is proving hard for business folks, especially those whose business is advertising, to stomach. How do they sell products?

    Sure there are a token few that say "I'll allow advertising to support this site" but if you look in slashdot polls, those people are not a majority.

    But lets face it, if there was no impact to a website and people had the choice to either accept ads or reject them, most people are going to select reject.

    The main problem with advertising is that it is given to us when we're not looking to buy (or rent) something. If I'm watching Star Wars then I really don't want to hear about your latest car. If I'm reading slashdot, I don't want to see an ad for your latest cloud offering.

    When I want to see ads is when I'm shopping for something - specifically when I click on the "shopping" tab in Google search. Then and at no other time.

    • by cavreader ( 1903280 ) on Thursday October 08, 2015 @08:33PM (#50690479)

      The reason companies advertise is to generate name recognition and ultimately sales. And if advertisements did not increase sales or derivative income companies, both large and small, would not be spending billions of dollars a year placing ads. Google is an advertising firm not a technology firm. Their technology efforts are centered around increasing the number of users to feed advertisements to. Most of their attempts to generate revenue from other services or products do not even come close to the amount of money they generate by serving as a conduit for advertisements. There are already ways to block the majority of ads and unwanted content if that is your preference. However if Googles revenue starts declining don't be surprised when they start charging money for all of their current services which are currently offered for free to regular users. Every major browser and search engine also rely on advertising income to support their efforts.

      • by epyT-R ( 613989 )

        Good riddance. Most of what's on tap these days is garbage.

      • The reason companies advertise is to generate name recognition and ultimately sales. And if advertisements did not increase sales or derivative income companies, both large and small, would not be spending billions of dollars a year placing ads. Google is an advertising firm not a technology firm. Their technology efforts are centered around increasing the number of users to feed advertisements to. Most of their attempts to generate revenue from other services or products do not even come close to the amount of money they generate by serving as a conduit for advertisements. There are already ways to block the majority of ads and unwanted content if that is your preference. However if Googles revenue starts declining don't be surprised when they start charging money for all of their current services which are currently offered for free to regular users. Every major browser and search engine also rely on advertising income to support their efforts.

        Well, then they damn well better fix that eh?

        I hate eating Pork bungs (The pig's asshole)

        Now some advertiser really really wants me to eat pork bungs (the pig's asshole) I don't give a flying fuck if an advertizer will die if I don't eat pork bungs.

        I won't do it, I don't give a damn if every provider of Pig's assholes (present day web advertisements) starves to death and goes out of business, In fact, I would be very pleased to find out that happened.

        They caused this problem, and it is not my resp

        • Well, then they damn well better fix that eh?

          I hate eating Pork bungs (The pig's asshole)

          Now some advertiser really really wants me to eat pork bungs (the pig's asshole)

          I don't give a flying fuck if an advertizer will die if I don't eat pork bungs.

          This simply means you aren't the target audience for the advert - if you liked pork bungs then an advert might increase the chance that the next pork bungs you buy will be that particular brand, or someone who likes pork bungs might say "you know what, I feel like having one now".

          Now, showing adverts to someone who isn't the target audience is a problem for both you and the advertiser - it annoys you, because your time is being wasted seeing adverts for things you're not interested in, and it costs the adve

      • by 0123456 ( 636235 ) on Thursday October 08, 2015 @11:04PM (#50691009)

        The reason companies advertise is to generate name recognition and ultimately sales. And if advertisements did not increase sales or derivative income companies, both large and small, would not be spending billions of dollars a year placing ads.

        [citation needed]

        The only thing we can really conclude is that people whose job is to convince people to buy stuff are able to convince companies to buy their services.

      • Google is an advertising firm not a technology firm. Their technology efforts are centered around increasing the number of users to feed advertisements to.

        I think that's a very simplistic view. Google is _both_ a technology firm and an advertising firm. They are symbiotic sides to the same company - neither side can survive without the other (or at least, a replacement for the other).

        If you're going to say "Google is an advertising firm, not a technology firm" just because they derive their income from advertising, you may as well say "Lego isn't a toy company, they are a sales company" because they derive their income from sales.

    • by HiThere ( 15173 )

      I don't like ads, but before they got obnoxious, I didn't bother to block them. Then, for awhile, I just refused to have flash installed. Now I also use noscript.

      If they make things obnoxious, I'll avoid them. It doesn't bother me to avoid sites that require flash...and I consider flash a security risk. It's easy to get me to avoid a site. Just ask me not to visit, and I'll leave and not go back. (It's been years since I've visited the New York Times site. They wanted more than I was willing to offer

    • by Dutch Gun ( 899105 ) on Thursday October 08, 2015 @11:49PM (#50691171)

      When I want to see ads is when I'm shopping for something - specifically when I click on the "shopping" tab in Google search. Then and at no other time.

      Even then, it can be annoying if it's done incorrectly. Amazon has been putting more and more ads inside their own web pages, and it's starting to irritate me. For heaven's sake, I'm already shopping with the intent to purchase something. Yet Amazon is still trying to monetize my eyeballs? Let's face it, they're simply cashing in on my bandwidth and wasted time that it takes me to skip over those "sponsored results". Why would I want to go to another website when I'm clearly intent on shopping at Amazon?

      The problem is that it's clearly too tempting for the MBAs that make these decisions to turn down the extra cash this stuff generates for them. Unfortunately, they can't directly measure the ire it generates from their customers when they do this. It's that lack of consideration for the user experience (and safety) that's driving users to install ad-blockers.

    • by Tom ( 822 )

      advertising are starting to see what customers really think: they don't like advertising

      And that is putting it very friendly.

      Yes, nobody except the advertisement industry likes advertisement. Consumers don't want to see them, and most companies see them as expensive bullshit they only do because they don't know how else to survive against their competitors, who do.

      The main problem with advertising is that it is given to us when we're not looking to buy (or rent) something. If I'm watching Star Wars then I really don't want to hear about your latest car. If I'm reading slashdot, I don't want to see an ad for your latest cloud offering.

      This.

      I have a concept floating around in my head to fix this, to replace unwanted advertisement with wanted product information, but as I'm busy with one hundred other projects, I don't see an opportunity to make it happen.

      But I stro

      • by dave420 ( 699308 )
        True, consumers don't want to see ads, but if they are given the choice between "see some ads and get the content you want" and "see no ads and get very little content" their disgust of ads abates somewhat.
    • What this is really about (and what a lot of people are finding hard to accept) is that for the most part, people don't want to see or consume ads.

      I don't think that's it at all. I think people don't want to see *obnoxious* ads and that most people simply don't care whether or not they see other types of ad.

      Examples of obnoxious ads:
      - Things that pop up when you're in the middle of reading an article, which you then have to dismiss.
      - Things that play music without you asking for it.
      - Things that you have seen a million times before - i.e. you're watching a series of 2 minute youtube videos and you have to sit through *the same* preroll ad before each

  • People like me have been using content filtering proxy servers like Privoxy for a very long time. What makes you think we'll trust a web browser (especially an Apple browser) to do the job for us?
  • by UnknownSoldier ( 67820 ) on Thursday October 08, 2015 @08:30PM (#50690467)

    The day the content guys pay for *my* internet access that's when they can serve me ads.

    My computer. My browser. My bandwidth.

    Until then, they can FUCK OFF.

    If you want to do ads "right", look at what Steam does. It shows me which games are on _sale_ and *I* get a say in what ads I see. i.e. None, Next, or Product Sale.

    • and nothing else. Steam is showing you ads for stuff to buy. Very different than ads surrounding content you want to access.
      • [Then you'll have paywalls] and nothing else.

        Incorrect - the internet was filled with information even when no website advertised. It will continue being filled with information if ads go away. The ad-supported sites are no longer needed due to their decreasing signal/noise ratio. Even cracked.com has become pointless. Let them become paywalls and we'll pay for the ones that deserve to live.

    • by narcc ( 412956 )

      The day the content guys pay for *my* internet access that's when they can serve me ads.

      A long time ago, there lived a company called NetZero. They loved the internet and wanted everyone to have free access. They devised a plan by which users could connect to the internet for free, provided they were willing to allow an ad banner at the bottom of their browser.

      All was well. Advertisers were happy, NetZero was happy, and (for the most part) their users were happy. But there lived an evil wizard who hated ads in all forms. He didn't like that banner ad. It made him very angry. He wanted f

    • The day the content guys pay for *my* internet access

      Isn't that called "zero rating"? I thought the Mozilla camp called zero rating initiatives, such as Internet.org, a net neutrality violation.

  • by NotInHere ( 3654617 ) on Thursday October 08, 2015 @08:42PM (#50690519)

    1. Publish a product that's better than competitors'.

    2. Open source it.

    3. Earn the cheers from the free software crowd, and get the advantage from external contributors, as only large browser vendor.

    4. Your users will love the freedom they have, and your product will be famous for its extendibility. They'll love ad-blockers as the web gets more and more annoying ads.

    5. Get more and more market share by staying better than your shitty competitors.

    6. Let other browser vendors copy your success by open-sourcing their browser as well, or giving up to EEE the WWW.

    7. Start your downfall:
    a) Require add-ons to be signed because we live now in a world of apps and every app is is signed.
    b) Publish ads in your product's start page. Enjoy the annoyment of your users.
    c) Integrate an useless closed source product. (Pocket). Enjoy the annoyment of your users.
    d) Announce that your addon API will be locked down.
    e) Publish your "principles for content blocking". <====== We are here
    f) Enforce them. This is the point of no return.

    8. Gently shove a Yoda Doll up your user's asses. Be careful, its larger than the dicks the other browser vendors ram up their ass as well. That's also the only reason your browser is still used.

    9. Enjoy your 2% market share.

  • by rlk ( 1089 ) on Thursday October 08, 2015 @08:45PM (#50690535)

    What does "[c]ontent blocking software should focus on addressing potential user needs (such as on performance, security, and privacy) instead of blocking specific types of content (such as advertising)" mean? Most users *want* to block specific types of content, namely advertising (particularly obtrusive, bandwidth-heavy ads). People don't want to block something just because it's bandwidth-heavy, otherwise they'd be blocking videos and such that they do want to watch.

    And how's this going to play with Firefox's mandatory extension signing that's scheduled to take effect with FF43? Will they refuse to sign extensions that don't follow these guidelines, thereby going beyond a model of simply ensuring that the extension isn't harmful? Will they get around that by defining extensions that don't follow these guidelines as "harmful", even if they're doing exactly what users want?

    There's a really slippery slope Mozilla looks like it's heading down...

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 08, 2015 @08:47PM (#50690539)

    Mozilla, remember when you transitioned to requiring all addons to be signed, and then assured everyone you wouldn't use this as a mechanism to set policy on what addons can and cannot do? Well, you'd better have meant it, because this blog post looks very suspicious coming so soon after that transition.

  • No. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ArylAkamov ( 4036877 ) on Thursday October 08, 2015 @09:14PM (#50690617)

    I'll stop blocking everything when they stop tracking me, using ads that break the layout of the webpage, popups that take 10 seconds before you can close them, autoplaying audio and video, etc.

    Like somebody else said in the last article about adblocking:

    Users: Please don't track us
    Companies: Fuck off

    Companies: Please don't block our ads
    Users: Fuck off

  • Security Now (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Thyamine ( 531612 ) <thyamineNO@SPAMofdragons.com> on Thursday October 08, 2015 @09:19PM (#50690633) Homepage Journal
    Listen the last few SecurityNow podcasts. They've been debating tracking, advertising on sites, and content blocking off and on. They've had good talking points from both sides of the issue. Basically it comes down to the good sites who provide service needing ads to help pay the bills, and users not wanting to be tracked and preventing obnoxious, terrible, or even malicious content. It all makes sense, however right now the only way users can safely protect themselves ends up being content blocking.
    • by Tom ( 822 )

      good sites who provide service having no better idea than ads to help pay the bills

      there, fixed that for you.

  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]

    intro to Robot Chicken

  • If(isThisAnAdvertisement)
    Block();

    Mozilla is seemingly saying:
    if(isThisAnAdvertisement && !weveBeenBribed)
    Block();
  • Seriously, Mozilla should stay out of this. They've already butted into too many things they shouldn't have with their attitude of trying to dictate how the web works. The whole reason for their breakneck release speed was to make sure customers adapt to their new whims as soon as possible. They should stick to making browsers instead of telling people how to make web sites.

  • Mozilla declares itself COMPLETELY out of touch with the vast overwhelming majority of the userbase.

    Nice way to declare yourself absolutely irrelevant.

    I've said it before and I've said it again, THIS IS AN ARMS RACE that the advertising industry started.

    Live by the thermonuclear obliteration of your users rights, die from the thermonuclear backlash.

    You made your choice long ago, and continue to poke the bear, be sure to enjoy the consequences of your obnoxious actions.
  • by firewrought ( 36952 ) on Thursday October 08, 2015 @11:27PM (#50691089)

    Normally I just ignore all the Mozilla-haters because they're whining about stupid stuff (like Chrome-style versioning) or minor mis-steps (like Pocket) or things I find totally awesome (like Awesome Bar).

    But if they go where I think they're going--banning ad-blockers--then I'm going to have to seriously re-evaluate my trust in this organization. Sorry Denelle: I'm not "content neutral". I want to maximize signal and minimize noise, especially in this overloaded information age, even if it's "just" the psychological noise of ads trying to manipulate me. I'm freaking tired of everyone thinking they can deceive me, play on my fears and doubts, tinker with my self image, and re-frame my perceptions to match their agenda... and advertisers are the worst of the lot.

  • by cas2000 ( 148703 ) on Thursday October 08, 2015 @11:30PM (#50691107)

    It's my computer, my browser, my bandwidth - *I* get to decide how it's used, no-one else does.

    btw, one of my absolutely required needs is "blocking specific types of content (such as advertising)", and javascript.

    another of my needs is to have my browser modify or override bits of CSS (e.g. fonts, font sizes, div widths, etc) so that the content actually displays on my screen in a form that is readable by my eyes.

  • Personally, I have no problem with visiting a web site that has ads on it, within reason. That mainly applies to my home internet connection, but my mobile is a work tool and I rarely browse the internet on it anyway.
    However, pages that load within a second or two, but then sit with a blank window "waiting for Adserve/Adsense/some-other-bullshit-3rd-party-ad-site" for a minute or so; or pages that have a tiny amount of useful content but which have 30-40 trackers on them, meaning that my (admittedly crap) h

  • fucking idiots (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Tom ( 822 ) on Friday October 09, 2015 @03:35AM (#50691621) Homepage Journal

    Content Neutrality: Content blocking software should focus on addressing potential user needs (such as on performance, security, and privacy) instead of blocking specific types of content (such as advertising).

    Seriously?

    Have you been on the Internet lately, like in the last five years? Have you been outside lately? Have you watched TV in the last 10 years?

    Advertisement is not neutral content, so it doesn't deserve content neutrality. Advertisement is the heroin of communication. It is intentionally designed to attract, bind and consume as much of your attention as possible, and attention is a limited resource. Both in time and in total your attention is limited. If it is tied up by roadside advertisement, you cannot focus on driving as well. If it is busy processing the ad messages on the train, you cannot focus on the conversation with your lover as good. If by repetition it has entered your long-term memory, it impacts you whenever it is triggered, not just when it is present itself.
    And we all know that if you have to focus for a long time, you feel exhausted. That is your mental battery running low.

    This shit does not come for free. Advertisement, by its very nature, burns user resources and violates user needs. Anyone who doesn't understand that has no place writing rules about content blocking. Go back and take at least the 101 class before you write a textbook on the subject matter.

  • I'm sure everyone has seen APK ("crazy hosts guy") flooding pretty much any topic on this.

    There's ups and downs to host based blocking. But one upside that I hadn't considered until reading the Mozilla statement is that the existing web browsers have a lot of pull- if these "guidelines" become enforced, then ublock origin would be removed from the firefox store. You probably won't see this until chrome and firefox can both do it at about the same time, but it definitely looks like we are seeing a slow mov

    • If uBlock et al. are blocked from the browsers, I will simply go back to using Privoxy or a similar proxy-based solution. Obviously that won't work on my Chromebook, but that's to be expected since it basically uses the Chrome browser as the OS. And I'm sure I will still be able to find a solution. If nothing else, a transparent proxy on my custom firmware'd router will solve the issue.

  • There should be one and exactly one principle as far as content blocking:

    Block any and only the content the user identifies to the best degree possible.

  • Mozilla want to focus on user needs instead of advertising. However a big user need for me is not to be the target of constant sales pitches. This means for me that the problem is advertising full stop, not the way that the advertising is carried out.

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