tutor2u | Ad Blocking - free markets at their best or worst?

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Ad Blocking - free markets at their best or worst?

Jonny Clark

3rd March 2016

Yesterday, Culture Secretary John Whittingham described Ad Blocking software as a “modern-day protection racket”, yet for many users of the internet they represent a support mechanism that improves web page viewing and speeds up access to information. Whittingham is suggesting that the Government may need to get involved and regulate the development or use of ad blocking software - so why is ad blocking causing such a concern?

If you are not so sure what ad blocking is, it is a third party piece of software that prevents adverts from popping up as part of your internet browsing. The web pages that you are viewing have probably been paid to allow those adverts and that payment is how the web page provider might be making their money. So, for instance, if you go to this Guardian article on Whittingham's comments, you will have free access to the page - the Guardian are making their revenue from being paid by the advertisers whose adverts you may or may not see on your screen (depending on whether you have ad blocking software or not!).

The image below is a screen grab from my own laptop, showing you that, as I have an ad blocking piece of software, 6 adverts were prevented from popping up on my screen as I viewed the very same Guardian article.

Jonny Clark

Jon Clark has been teaching economics and business studies for over 25 years primarily in the Further Education sector. Before joining tutor2u, he was a senior manager at South Cheshire College in Crewe.

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