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Why Most Websites Look the Other Way on Ad Blockers

Online publishers rage against ad blockers, but they're not doing much about them yet.
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Photographer: Getty Images
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Randall Rothenberg doesn’t want anyone to forget the dangers posed by software that hides online advertising. Rothenberg, who runs the Interactive Advertising Bureau, gave a scathing speech at an industry conference this week in which he accused ad blockers of “stealing from publishers, subverting freedom of the press, operating a business model predicated on censorship of content, and ultimately forcing customers to pay more money for less—and less diverse—information.”

Rothenberg said publishers have begun to fight back with their own technology designed to disrupt ad blocking software and encourage readers to either turn the blockers off or pay for content. Readers should be forgiven for not noticing that this battle is happening.