I understand that some people want to try to make money from their websites, but this has gotten completely insane. I don't know how many times I started reading something that looked interesting but gave up because the barrage of various kinds of ads was simply too aggravating and distracting.
Notable offenders are those bottom-of-the-barrel news sites that have a bunch of links at the end of each post like "10 foods you should never eat" or "7 celebrities you didn't know were part Jewish" (the topics are usually stuff like that, which gives you an idea of the target audience). Ever click on one of those? Each one of the 7 or 10 or whatever items is on its own mini-page, requiring you to click "next" to get from one to another, and each mini-page is festooned with ads -- if you actually make it through all the items, waiting each time for all the flashy, jerky things to download, you'll have been subjected to enough ads to last you a lifetime.
YouTube is another big offender here. Pretty much every video with a lot of views now has a video ad that comes on at the beginning. The longer ones have a "skip ad" button you can click after the first five seconds, but the shorter ones don't. Then the inevitable rectangular ad pops up at the bottom, covering a good chunk of the action (especially annoying if it's a video with subtitles), and by the time you've found the X to get rid of it, one of those stupid "annotations" appears, so you have to click the gear symbol to bring up the "annotations off" button, which then shifts out of the way when you're about to click on it. By the time you've gotten rid of all this crap, you've missed a good 30 seconds of the video and have to drag the progress button at the bottom back to the start to re-watch it. Some longer videos even have ads in the middle now, interrupting them like TV commercials (this one does, for example, and it was not there when I originally posted it). If you watch a video embedded on a blog, the beginning video ads usually don't appear (though the other stuff does), but I've seen even a few embedded videos that had them.
The ignorance of psychology here is amazing. I never pay any attention to what an ad is advertising any more; the instant it starts autoplaying or flickering or pops up on the screen, I reflexively just look for whatever I have to do to get rid of it, and that's all. They are too numerous and too annoying to do anything else.
I've always been resistant to getting anti-ad software like Adblock because I don't trust an algorithm to distinguish reliably between ads and content, and don't want it blocking things that I actually want to see -- how good is it at distinguishing video ads on YouTube from the actual video, for example? But these days I'm reconsidering. Do any readers have experience using such software? How well does it work?
We've beaten back the attack on net neutrality, at least for now, but there's more than one way to tangle up a web.
[The forest view at the top has nothing to do with the post. I just thought people might like a more soothing image since the post is all about irritants.]