Who owns the Internet?
OK I still have some residual guilt over my recent militant ad blocking on the internet. To that end I keep reading up on it.
Guilt is maybe not the right feeling. Sympathy is. I keep using the Guardian newspaper as an example. Its clear they're making next to no money from advertising, meanwhile others, with either no content, brokers, google* etc etc or with dubious or pirated content, outbrain, google (again), clickbait are minted. This is hardly my fault. So guilt that I'm running very effective, ad, script, flash blockers really shouldn't exist.
I am used to what I call the "digital divide" between those who use tech, I.E. everyone one, and people like my self who understand and can control it. I always thought the internet belonged to us techies, and in a way it does, as the years go on and more money and more drivel is plowed in and it became commercialised I find it harder and harder to keep up that feeling. Still the net does belong to us techies. We still have power, we were on it before the advertisers, hell before google, its not up to the late comers to define our behavior.
Ultimately I'm not like the wolves, I don't feel the need to pipe other peoples content through tricks and false links for money. Neither will I be a sheep, I will use the net as if it was a free place where everything is run by hippies who don't charge. The extent of the government wolves was exposed by Snowden the lengths to which commercial wolves go is relatively well known. I've just grasped how many rogue wolves there are in the advertising sector.
So I am publicly saying, fuck 'em, I'll block, lie, and cheat and encrypt my way around the net, I will not let my scruples and residual guilt get in the way, its clear nobody with power or influence online is going to step up and protect me, my privacy or content creators. Government intervention against the ad industry is not going to happen, for two reasons, one google has a massive lobbying budget and two, it would look like censorship. Which would be a bad thing.
The only way to deal with this is at a personal level. The net belongs to us the users, its up to us to define the standards of behavior online. Its the wild west out there with great freedom comes danger. The net is where naughty people can still get around, its meant to be like that. In the old days the naughty people wore black t-shirts and lived with their mum. Now its large corporations and bloke-who-lives-with-his-mum who are the bad guys, they are making a killing. Out of advising money, privacy violation and tracking. Block, lie, cheat and obviscate is the only choice we have.
Did you know about:
- mailinator.com - open email system great for signing up to crappy websites.
- Apples's IOS allows ad blocking - (they don't make money from ads and are no friend of google)
- Ad blocking will save you time and money? Just search your browsers extensions for ad blocking.
- You are tracked all over the net all the time, by people like google, I do mean ALL THE TIME, install the ghostery plugin for your browser.
Don't feel guilty about it, the more damage done to the current online ad regime, which is rotten top to bottom, the better. And if you were wondering about the illustration, its a blank hole where an ad used to be.
* not including youtube