Posted by: William | January 27, 2008

Adblock Plus, an Invaluable Tool

You know what I hate? The ads on MySpace. Often they’re really inappropriate, especially for some of the age groups that take residence on MySpace; but frankly they’re inappropriate for everyone. Occasionally, if you log on late at night, you’ll get the privilege of seeing ads for something like naughty.com or even sometimes gay.com. These are websites that are just a hair under the technical definition of pornography and so I guess they get away with it. Other times, you’ll more than likely be met with a slew of ads for match.com which have really very little to do with pornography, but are presented to appeal to a subtle sexual undertone. My life is filled with enough sexual undertones, I don’t need a looped feed of some ‘regular girl’ on her webcam to remind me of that. Then, if the sex ads aren’t enough there’s plenty of ads for movies and ring tones and emoticons and those interactive ads; gosh, and who isn’t sucked in by those? Seriously, I pretty much always try to out run the shark, beat up George Bush and slap the fat guys belly—I pretty much always regret it.

Recently, a friend of mine introduced me to a most useful tool. Adblock Plus is a plug-in for Mozilla Firefox which automatically blocks and collapses ads on pretty much all websites. It doesn’t mangle the display of the page and almost never, if ever, limits functionality (I have yet to find a website where Adblock inhibited my navigation). A small, unintrusive, Adblock icon appears in the Firefox toolbar which allows you to easily and quickly toggle Adblock’s functionality on or off so in the event that it has caused some problem with navigation.

In addition to preventing the website from rendering ads, it also offers the option to collapse parts of the website that would have displayed ads. For example, at the top of MySpace profiles, there is usually a long horizontal ad. With Adblock enabled, the ad not only is not shown, the space in which it would appear is gone entirely. Here’s an example:

Without Adblock

With Adblock

That might not seem like the greatest achievement, but for me who has more than a thread of obsessive compulsive tendencies, I’d almost rather see the ad that purposeless space.

Adblock doesn’t only work on MySpace, it works all over the internet and it’s effective almost everywhere. I highly recommend that you install and use Adblock Plus. It pretty effectively removes the trash, helping us to keep the covenant we’ve made with our eyes.

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