It it permissible to use web adblockers?

Particularly on sites like YouTube. It is my understanding that many sites don’t generate revenue from ads unless the viewer clicks on them, which is fine by me as I will never deliberately click on an ad.

My concern however is with YouTube ads, as I’ve heard that content creators on YouTube don’t receive ad revenue if the ad is not displayed to the viewer (as is supposedly the case with adblockers). Since many of these people make their living on YouTube, would blocking ads be wrong as it’s depriving them of revenue? Or are we not obligated to view these ads, leaving creators to find a more sufficient means of income (Patreon seems to be popular these days)? It seems like ad-based models aren’t very profitable these days, so maybe it’s on them to find one that works?

I suppose the main question here is whether we have an obligation to let the ads run on web pages (i.e. would blocking the ads be permitted), and if we do not, do we have an obligation to grant these creators the revenue they would have received? Or if I’m mistaken about how the whole thing works I’d appreciate if someone corrected me with a source.

In general I would prefer not to be exposed to many of these ads (they’re intrusive, and often immoral), but I’m willing to whitelist sites whose users I’m causing harm to. I’m not using YouTube as much now as I used to, but there’s still a lot on there I find useful.

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If your concern is with youTube ads, than you can simply disable the adblocker on that particular site.

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Often the ads crash my browser. I use Adblock because otherwise, I can’t use the internet.

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I Have never thought of this , but I have these applications installed. I am interested in hearing the response.

I believe those ads that let you skip after 5 seconds need to play for 30 seconds for them to get money too

A 4 paragraph OP worrying over use of ad blockers being somehow sinful?

Friend, it is nearly certain you’re overly scrupulous. You need to talk with a spiritual director about this, as such scruples can severely hamper a healthy relationship with Jesus the Christ.

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That’s what I’ve been thinking of doing. I’d rather not see the ads but I can tolerate them and it seems like cheating on my part to be viewing someone’s content without them being compensated for it. Especially when the “price” is just watching a brief advertisement.

Kei, that’s something I hadn’t considered. It seems like YouTubers are essentially accepting that option from viewers when agreeing to the site’s terms, but could the same be said of adblockers (even if they aren’t a part of the site itself, I do know some sites seem to require you to disable adblockers… not sure how effective this is given that I’m nowhere near an expert on programming and whatnot)?

Adblockers are not sinful. Period. Not even venially.

There is no Commandment saying “thou shalt not block annoying popup ads for thou inso doing may cause the persons ad revenue to be decreased”

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Admittedly I am being a bit scrupulous. See, I had a rather recent epiphany of sorts of the conscience and now I’m trying to set right all the things I’ve done wrong in the past, many of which were habitual things I’d never bat an eye towards, yet some of them are sinful nonetheless. It’s something that I’m sure will pass once I adjust.

I do think you’re right that I should talk with my confessor about some of this and I plan on it. Thanks for the advice.

Regarding your last post, would you agree with what I suggested here as a reason for there being no obligation here?

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I’ve had those experiences before myself, of intense avoidance of any even venially sinful things after a conversion or repentance experience, so I understand where you’re coming from.

And yes what you said is a legitimate reason why there’s no issue. Among other things it’s the fact that adblockers and such are common apps… ad blockers are similar to anti spyware and anti virus. In fact, an argument could be made that adblockers are a security measure, and therefore legitimate.

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I believe that reading ads can cause us to worship worldly things. Blocking them can be a holy act as long as we truly disdain worldly materialism.

I use an ad blocker because the ads slow my computer down a lot and take up too much ram Space. Also, I have been hacked in the past by scammers and hackers that ride in on ads. If there-is- were is something I want to see on UTUBE I will generally subscribe to the website. You have the right to protect your privacy. Getting through all the ads is really time consuming as well super annoying. It is not a sin to protect your privacy or time management. Peace.

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If it comes up and says turn off my add blocker I go to a different site and respect what they ask. You have to remember some of these sites are up to no good - they are trying to get your email address find out what you are interested in and them bombard you to get you to buy something - some sites when they know what you are looking for it will actually raise the price because they know what you want - I do not let my browser keep any history or site preferences - I expect my privacy to be respect which a lot of site will not do.

If I don’t want to be bombarded by ads and spam and my data mined I have that right.

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Ads are notorious for malware, for crashing browsers, for hogging resources, for blaring music without permission, and for being obnoxious and intruding on your browsing.

The websites that host the ads don’t care about how obnoxious and intrusive the advertisement is. And they don’t take responsibility for the viruses or malware that piggyback along with it on occasion.

Since they’re not willing to take responsibility for the information that gets processed through their site, it’s perfectly natural that someone would want to protect their computer by using an ad blocker, in conjunction with antivirus software, etc.

I remember the last time I tried to “turn off my ad blocker” because they asked me politely. I tried that… and they quickly reminded me why I had it turned on in the first place. That experiment didn’t last 30 seconds…

Some websites won’t allow you to browse their site with an ad blocker turned on. (Hello, Forbes, I’m looking at you, as well as certain newspapers.) I find a different way to go about reading my information. But I understand that it’s their right to pout about my ad blocker and keep me away, just like it’s my right to avoid their accidentally turning my computer into a thousand-dollar brick… which has happened before.

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Excellent post @midori

See what I said earlier now OP? The fact that adblockers have a legitimate security usage in and of themselves makes it not sinful in the least to utilize them.

And that’s not even counting all the other reasons why and the ethics behind them

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Number one, if there is an ad that is immoral or immodest, I will skip it, block it, go to another tab until it is done. But that is pretty obvious.

Now, about your real concern. There is not sin or problem with skipping an ad or blocking them. Youtubers usually get the money from you clicking on the ad. So just looking at it won’t give them money.

The other thing is, if you are walking down the aisle in Walmart and you see an ad for a Brand Name food, you are not obliged to look at it or buy it just so the person making it gets money. Likewise, you are not obliged to look at an ad longer than you want to just to give them revenue.

Basically, if what you are describing is a sin, the Church is forcing you to look at a product and give people money.

Another example, if there is a person standing in front of Walmart holding up an ad for something, you are not obliged to tip him or give him money even if that is his main source of revenue. Giving or not giving someone revenue is never a sin.

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I have a YouTube channel, which I use to propagate euphonium and tuba ensemble and solo music. It is not monetized, but if it were, it would not bother me if some people were to use an ad-blocker. I am well aware of how annoying internet advertisements are.

D

I think it is the same as recording TV programs and fast forwarding through the commercials. If it weren’t OK, they could limit it with the technology. I know some websites that will block you if you don’t turn your ad blocker off.

Also, I would not feel too sorry for YouTube. They are actively blocking and demonetizing sites with conservative political views. Sites with religious views will be next. Meanwhile, they have no restrictions on sites with disgusting immoral viewpoints. Also, they are owned by Google, who is making more money than they can count.

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To be fair my concern had more to do with the users themselves who produce and upload the videos. Though it seems the ones dependent on the platform for their income aren’t making enough from ad revenue anyway and end up turning to crowdfunding and whatnot for fan support.

Anyway, thanks everyone for the responses!

Adblockers are legal so there is no sin in using them. If there are a YouTube creator or website you want to support, it’s nice to turn it off for that site to give them a little more money. An alternative is like you said to become their patron. However, if adblockers somehow became illegal in the future, we would be obligated to follow legitimate authority (the laws of the country) and stop using them. I don’t think that will ever happen. Websites can fight this their own way by blocking people from using their site with an adblocker. This is legal but usually causes more lost money in the long run. I know Forbes used to do that until they lost too much traffic and had to stop.

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