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Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Why is Firefox browser Blocked on a few sites?

Did you know that the most rapidly growing and popular browser Firefox is blocked on a few sites. Well, you may be wondering what I am talking all about.

To give you some perspective on things - a website designer called Danny Carlton started it all to block Firefox on his website in order to boycott the Ad Block Plus extension of the browser. Now it seems that many other website owners have joined forces with him.

Firefox has an extension / add-on called Ad Block Plus which blocks most of the advertisements displayed on the website. This feature of the extension has irritated many website owners because the amount of money they receive was reduced since the users discovered the extension. Incase you didn't know this earlier - many of the website owners are receiving important funds from advertisements and now their business is strongly affected.

So Danny Carlton has created a special website called 'Why Firefox is Blocked'. He and many other Web designers / Website Owners need to just implement a special code in their content in order to restrict the access of the Mozilla browser. They are blocking Firefox as a whole since there's no way to block only the Ad Block Plus extension. Danny Carlton and others now fight against the entire application until the add-on is disabled.

I somehow feel(in my opinion) that Danny Carlton is right because many of the Website Owners are able to run and maintain their websites using the funds received from advertising. A website will need a lot of funds even in terms of hosting on dedicated servers, etc. Lets take AdSense, for example - Millions of registered members publish Google Adsense ads on their websites and, every time a visitor to the website clicks on them, a certain amount of money is automatically transferred into his account(although it is very small at most times). Since the Firefox extension blocks most of the ads, the website owner doesn't receive any money.

So let's watch out how this issue turns out in the end.


  1. Anonymous said,

    I can understand some web site owners getting frustrated and throwing toys like spoiled children.

    I've been reading for about people calling people who block ads Theifs and accusations of them 'stealing service' etc for the past hour or so. The reality is that these people have no legal knowledge or clue what they are talking about, nor have any of them quoted a law that has been violated.

    On the web it is quite common to come across crappy websites that make money hosting advertisements.

    Where it may be illegal/Wrong or Immoral:
    If the site owner had a sign up process requiring the visitor to agree to viewing advertisements as part of it's legal terms and conditions in exchange for viewing the sites content and the site visitor then violated these terms it would then be a slightly different scenario.

    For example: There is/was a company called NetZero in the states that offered free Internet services in exchange for viewing adds that were displayed on your monitor. The legal terms of the contract with NetZero made it illegal to disable these advertisements.

    The same thing can be done with websites. If those sites have such excellent quality content people will sign up. If not the sites will possibly die out and there will be more other sites left behind that have better overall quality. Not to sound shallow or insensitive but that's the reality.

    About ad blocking:
    People who also block Gecko browsers must also understand they are not just blocking Firefox. They are blocking a bunch of other high quality browsers as well. Most Linux users use gecko based browsers. Oh.. I must add that Linux use is growing rapidly as people are getting sick and tired of the problems and cost associated with it's Windoze counterpart.

    Why Blocking Firefox or Gecko based browsers is another BIG mistake:
    Most people that have enough brains to install an ad-block extension to Firefox (or other browser), also have enough intelligence to spoof their user client as well.

    What if a user client was spoofed to Googlebot??? Would the irrational- frustrated website owner block Googlebot just to prove a point and further spite himself? lol

    The bottom line is If I want to buy something on the Internet.. I'll search it out and buy it. If a site charges for content I will pay for the content if it's really worth paying for.

    Blocking a web browser is not he answer and just shows the incompetence of the website that is blocking it and tells you that the content of the site probably sucks anyway.

    on 9/23/2007 8:32 PM