Ads can seem like the bane of the Internet. They take up real estate and slow Web pages while they load; at worst, they splash across the screen for interminable seconds, shout loudly and unexpectedly from an invisible corner, or surreptitiously infest the host computer with malware. Around two hundred million users worldwide have tools to block these ads and prevent them from loading, according to reports from the ad-blocking-circumvention startup PageFair. Blocking ads, however, also keeps the Web sites you read from making money. And so, typically, sites try to earn back this business with appeals to visitors' empathy: they ask you to please "white-list" the site and let it stay in business.
Advertising has always been a core part of the news business, and its importance to the industry has only grown with the advent of the internet. We don't opt in - online ads just happen. Publications need advertising to make money. Other methods have been shown to not work, so it is just driving publications away from the open internet onto platforms where they can sort of guarantee their life cycle. But there are ways to opt out.
Websites aren't always conspicuous in their attempts to combat ad blockers. Researchers from the University of Iowa and UC Riverside have learned that 30.5 percent of the top 10,000 websites have measures to thwart ad blocking, and they're frequently using methods you wouldn't likely notice. Many use scripts to introduce'bait' content that sets off ad blockers, prompting the site to relaunch ads in a way that blockers might not catch.