If all you’re seeing is Comic Sans MS, then you should read this article. Seriously.

If you haven’t noticed anything different, then it most likely means that you’re not using AdBlock and that I love you. Instead, if you are using AdBlock, then you’ve most likely noticed the new banner at the top of the page:

And naturally, if you’re using AdBlock, every single font on the site has been changed to Comic Sans MS. Oh man, I’m going to hell.

But today, instead of showing out photography and girls in latex, I’d like to express my opinion about AdBlock in the form of an open letter to AdBlock users.

Internet’s all fun and games and it’s a cheap way to spend time by watching pictures of kittens and such. Practically all you need is a machine capable of browsing internet and an internet connection. Sure, there are a glimpse of pay-to-view sites, mostly porn, but most of the accessible internet sites and services are free, such as Facebook and YouTube, which together draw over two billion unique users per month.

And what allows them to host their services while being constantly bombarded by the huge amount of people?


Even though Photour is a relatively small site, with an only average of 225 visitors per day and doesn’t cost really that much to host, I sympathize with the bigger sites. When traffic starts hitting astronomical numbers, the expenses follow. When there are a multitude of people creating content, you’ll need more storage space, more processing power and more bandwidth. And it’s not free.

Of course I understand how people don’t like seeing constant advertisement on a site they use every day. Heck, even I’m sometimes put off by those. But what makes you think you are privileged to block advertising completely? Even in Facebook you can, by default, hide certain ads and recommended pages that you don’t want to see again. And you can send feedback about them.

But what makes you think that you deserve a site with no advertising? Are you constantly partaking in the expenses? If not, then what is your effort to keep the site running?

Naturally I have to be realistic – there is always a bunch of selfish people in the world and nothing can be done to them and their justifications. But what about you, who’s using AdBlock just to block the mild annoyances that sometimes make you slightly discomforted to use the site you visit daily? Have you ever thought it from the service provider’s side? Have you ever given feedback about the advertisements that annoy you?

Of course there are plenty of sites that use those actually annoying advertisements that start autoplaying an annoying voice whenever your cursor happens to swing over them, or a huge box stating that you’re the 100,000th user whilst giving you a seizure. Or the sites might have pop-ups, pop-unders or even malware or scams.

I’ll have to admit, I have nothing against blocking those advertisements; if a visitor honors the site owner’s choice to advertise, then the site owner should honor the visitor’s stay by only choosing good-quality advertising. I would believe that those annoying ads are the main cause of the AdBlock’s existence in the first place.

Now I’m not going to make a statement that you should stop using AdBlock entirely, but have you ever thought that you could just enable it for the sites that are really pushing it with the quantity and/or bad quality of advertisements?

If the common trend of blocking every single ad continues, many free-to-use sites will have to start setting up pay walls or privigeled accounts, just like Finland’s biggest magazine, Helsingin Sanomat, did at the end last year. It’s the same reason why the Finland’s biggest image board, Ylilauta, chose to start selling “gold” accounts that give more features than regular users get.

These kind of pay-to-browse solutions will become more common if everyone just keeps blocking the advertisements. This will most likely lower the common creativity and create a higher thresold of joining a community of same-minded inviduals.


Tuomas Siitonen
Editor of Photour.net, journalism student and a voluntary administrator at Ylilauta.org, Northpole.fi and Naamapalmu.fi


Disclaimer: Photour does not make actual profit from the advertisements, the small amount which it creates goes straight go into running expenses such as new costumes for the models, Photour-related gas expenses and so on. In the long run I’m losing money here, but that’s to be expected at the current state; I love photography. The ads are there to smooth out the sure-to-be expenses.

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