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UK Minister Compares Ad Blocking To Piracy, Promises Action

Boing Boing reports that on Wednesday U.K. culture secretary John Whittingdale gave a speech at the Oxford Media Convention where he compared adblocking to piracy and vowed "to set up a round table involving major publishers, social media groups and adblocking companies in the coming weeks to do something about the problem." Whittingdale lumped in AdBlock Plus' business model which promises users that ads will be blocked, then quietly charges publishers to break that promise, with adblocking itself, which many users opt into for perfectly legitimate reasons: saving mobile battery life, blocking drive-by malware, improving the reading experience and preventing privacy invasions in cross-site tracking. Absent from the speech was any analysis of the ways in which social media platforms have siphoned off the lion's share of ad revenue into walled gardens where publishers are shaken down, according to Boing Boing, in a much more aggressive fashion than anything Adblock Plus ever dreamed of.

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