I noticed that one of my next privileges on the main site is seeing decreased ads. As an AdBlock Plus user, I don't see any ads regardless so I didn't realise that there were any. I know that some sites depend on ads to generate the income that they need to maintain the site.

My question is this: is the use of ad blocking software detrimental to Ask Ubuntu by way of revenue/income and would it benefit the site if I disabled it?


1 Answer 1


SO doesn't care about ad-blockers.

We entered into an agreement with Stack Overflow users long ago that we wouldn’t subject them to low-quality ads. [...] But really: anything that doesn’t speak specifically to the Stack Overflow audience is not permitted. We also don’t accept rich media like animated ads, expandable ads, or video, which are the norm for most publishers today. This strict policy means we leave money on the table, but our team wants to protect Stack Overflow from those kinds of ads, as they run the risk of alienating that established trust.


The truth is: we don’t care if our users use ad blockers on Stack Overflow. More accurately: we hope that they won’t, but we understand that some people just don’t like ads. Our belief is that if someone doesn’t like them, and they won’t click on them, any impressions served to them will only annoy them– plus, serving ads to people who won’t click on them harms campaign performance.

Many of the reasons why we block ads in the first place are eliminated:

  • Obnoxious, in-your-face ads aren't allowed.
  • Much lower risk of ads being a vector for malware.
  • Ads aren't that much of a burden on bandwidth.

Also: Does Stack Exchange use "acceptable" ads according to Adblock Plus? Yes, they do.

Lastly, a good portion of the ads are , created by us users to showcase things we think might be of interest to us.

I personally disable my adblockers on SE sites, and I don't find the experience to be degraded. Then again, I do have >200 rep on the sites I frequent the most, so I do see decreased ads in the first place.

You can vote on the ads you see (look for the thumbs-up/down buttons that appear in the top-left corner when you hover on an ad):

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  • 1
    Aww man! So you mean I can't run an ad that pops up taking over the whole browser window, plays a video and ends with "Download Stackoverflow for Free for a limited time!"?? :-p Commented Jul 11, 2017 at 2:52
  • 3
    @tudor there was a limited time discounted offer where ISPs could insert their own ads, including the one you'd like to show. Unfortunately, with the shift to HTTPS, you'd need to be able to MITM, so it's way more expensive now.
    – muru
    Commented Jul 11, 2017 at 3:52
  • @muru Let's just hook the pricing structure to bitcoin and away you go! :-D Commented Jul 11, 2017 at 3:56
  • 2
    ABP has an "acceptable ads policy", which roughly implies that ads meeting certain criteria will not be blocked by default. (Opt-out to block also these ads is possible.) Why, then, are these SO ads blocked? Incommensurate definitions of "acceptable" of SO and the ABP-company? Commented Jul 11, 2017 at 8:33
  • 6
    @nuttyaboutnatty presumably because money.
    – muru
    Commented Jul 11, 2017 at 8:41
  • Ad block doesn't really sing much on any of the stack overflow sites. So why bother?
    – endrias
    Commented Jul 19, 2017 at 20:33

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