whyfirefoxisblocked: adorable muppets

August 17th, 2007

If you're looking for a good laugh, look no further.

So what's funny about it?

Many site owners therefore install scripts that prevent people using ad blocking software from accessing their site.

Many? I've never seen this page before. If "many" were doing this, then surely at some point I would have noticed it.

Secondly, he kills his own argument already in the second paragraph.

Blocking FireFox is the only alternative. Demographics have shown that not only are FireFox users a somewhat small percentage of the internet, they actually are even smaller in terms of online spending, therefore blocking FireFox seems to have only minimal financial drawbacks, whereas ending resource theft has tremendous financial rewards for honest, hard-working website owners and developers..

So if you block all Firefox users from accessing a website, that only has minimal financial drawbacks. That would necessarily imply that Firefox users running Adblock would also be a minimal financial drawback, since the browser is a somewhat small percentage of the market. So it's not even a problem, is it?

But the central argument here is a morality tale. Appealing to our sense of decency and all that, by telling us that we're crooks. That's right, we're stealing from honest, hard-working website owners and developers. I love those implications btw, apparently every non-developer is lazy and dishonest.

But then he says..

Netscape users can simply set their browser to IE mode to continue to enjoy the site that sent you here. FireFox users can use Internet Explorer, Opera or Netscape (in IE mode) to access it. FireFox users also have the option of using the IE Tab plug-in which uses the IE rendering engine to display pages, but also disables the Ad Block Plus plug-in.

Careful, of course, to not mention that any Firefox extension that allows you to switch your User Agent string will also allow you to enjoy the site just like Netscape (in IE mode). (In fact, quite a few Firefox users run in IE mode by default, purely because some idiotic sites block non-IE browsers.)

The guy would also be a bit more convincing about his denouncements of The Firefox Cult and Firefox Fanboys if his website (btw I can load it just fine in Firefox ) didn't look like some sort of shrine to a certain monopolistic company we know. He even copied the layout and the font (isn't that stealing btw?) He also has a page comparing browsers, where shockingly IE is the editor's pick.

I agree zealots are annoying and cults are dangerous, but Firefox is hardly the most dangerous cult out there. It's mostly about freedom from a certain company and control of your own computer. That's hardly the most evil plot ever.

Stealing what exactly?

I love this stealing argument. It's the same argument the RIAA uses to complain about their record sales. "If people would buy more records, we would have more money, and so since they aren't, that means they steal from us." Isn't it wonderful to claim profits based on projected income? Or better yet, *desired* income.

The fact is that Firefox is a community driven project, and the features it has, much more so the extensions it has, is a reflection of what people actually want. As opposed to a company telling them what they can have. The tv parallel is actually a very good one. If people had the option not to watch commercials, many of the garbage tv stations would be wiped out. Their whole existence is an excuse to mediocrity, because noone would actually pay for that content if they had to.

This may be a controversial view in the world of people who think they should be controlled by companies, but giving people the right to choose what they want to see is actually sort of the way it's supposed to be in a free society. Then they can decide for themselves if your content is something that a) they will only take for free or b) are actually willing to pay for.

Another thing is that Ad Block wouldn't be so popular if web companies didn't allow their websites to become the ad infested crap (even if the content is decent) that they are. A lot of sites are unbearable without (also often with) Ad Block and it's the one extension I definitely would hate to lose the most.

But but but what about these thousands of honest, hard-working website owners and developers? Well, do you weep over SCO going bust? (Should be any day now.) Lots of companies, no scratch that, most companies are started on a business model that isn't sustainable. So then the plan is that companies that control our technology will enforce ads so that we can keep these other bad companies afloat.

While we're on the subject.. If you've been here before you may have noticed that I slapped on Google Adsense recently just to see if it would make any sort of difference. I wonder if that's some sort of double standard, but on the other hand for those who are willing to look at ads, I'm letting them. I never see it myself cause I use Ad Block, and I'm guessing almost all my visitors are too.

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14 Responses to "whyfirefoxisblocked: adorable muppets"

  1. [...] Matusiak has written a nice little piece commenting on the “Why Firefox is blocked” website. That website argues that, cause Firefox allows [...]

  2. [...] has a great post about some shills who are blocking Firefox from their webpages because some Firefox users install third-party adblocking extensions. Nutcases. Like refusing to [...]

  3. I was watching TV last night and I got up to get a bite to eat when the commercial started, when suddenly before me the door closed, and on the door there was a note that said, "You are depriving hard working agencies of countless ad revenue..."

    I feel really bad now.

    "This website (btw I can load it just fine in Firefox ) didn’t look like some sort of shrine to a certain monopolistic company we know."

    lol, it's so true.

  4. Bug says:

    I'm using Eye-Blocking tool [ My eye! Will you blind me for that? ] to skip the ads.
    Though I do use Ad-Block for blocking Evil Content and really annoying ads.
    I am not going to throw up just because you force me to see a blinking ad that really annoys me. Nor going to watch content that I don't like just because of money argument, as I won't watch those stuff even if I'll get payed.

  5. Chaotess says:

    Any browser can be tweaked to disallow what is displayed on it. Also, why is it that people have to pay big bucks for cable TV (just for reception in many cases), when these paying customers are subjected to marketing efforts? If TV programming is sponsored, nobody should be lining the pockets of the despicable cable companies. I, for one, do not.

  6. numerodix says:

    "If TV programming is sponsored, nobody should be lining the pockets of the despicable cable companies. I, for one, do not."

    I guess the argument could be made that cable tv is paid for in part by the customer and in part by the advertiser. I don't know if that's the case, but it would make sense.

  7. [...] Martin Matusiak argues in his Adorable Muppets blog that since Firefox users are a small percentage of online traffic, and AdBlock users are a percentage of that small percentage, that there isn’t actually a problem with a volume of people “stealing” content in the first place. On the O’Reilly blog is the point that that of the +/-2.5% of web users who actually click on adverts, it’s very unlikely that many of them are amongst those who have installed AdBlock. [...]

  8. darklooshkin says:

    it's funny, when the window popped up saying that it was blocking firefox, i switched over to microsoft internet explorer to see if i could access the site using that. guess what: the damn thing blocks IE as well! don't believe me? try it out!

    plus, what's their problem anyway? they almost sound like the kind of companies who hate TiVo for exactly the same reason. pop-ups are the spam of internet sites and should not consume as much bandwidth as they do. so, instead of whining about effective pop-up blockers, how about working on the medium you are using? i mean, are you sure that inducing an epilepsy in a possible consumer is the absolute best idea you can come up with to sell him-her a penis enlarger? seriously, it is the worst form of advertising bar spam and carpet fire-sale adverts, and then not by much...

  9. Perculti says:

    Being a fellow editor of web pages i do believe that adding AdBlock to your arsenal is a MUST! Plus, I really hate to say it, but I ran AOL and IE for many years and felt happy with the services i got till i tried Firefox. There is just no comparison, Firefox doesn't force feed you any of those stupid extras like the 500th popup blocker/spam blocker/other anoying crap that takes time out of my valuable surfing time. IF I WANT IT I'LL JUST GO GET IT!!!!!!!! Thank you writer for being one of the many lights leading us away from the crap on the mainstream!

  10. Spleen says:

    You know the google ad feature? How it advertises things similar to what's on the page? Yeah, I visited the lads site and Firefox is mentioned so many times it advertises it with GoogleAds! Brilliant! Well, I thought so.

    Accessed the site with Firefox too.

  11. Solanum Tuberosum says:

    Actually, if you intend to take a looksy around the WWW, you should be equipped with 3 things: AdBlock Plus, User Agent Switcher, in the event that a website checks your browser, and IE tab, in case you can't seem to fool the goddamn website, and you really really want to check out that webcomic.

  12. anon says:

    It's a JOKE, people...
    They explain it in the 'ABOUT' section. Jeez...
    http://whyfirefoxisblocked.wordpress.com/about/

  13. Joel Wideman says:

    Delicious irony: your google ads are for pop-up blockers.

  14. [...] I don’t know where Al Gore is, but there is a highly Inconvenient Truth here. And it is this: publishers are working from the assumption that the viewer has implicitly agreed to make them money without ever agreeing to it. This is why the Ars Technica article has to do that weird dance around the issue where they’re not calling you a cheat, but then they are, but then they’re not etc. Because if they did just come out and say it, they couldn’t look themselves in the mirror, because they have more self respect than certain muppets. [...]