Is ad blocking the realization of an altruistic ideal or naïve disruption of an already fragile ecosystem?
Well, that depends on who you ask.
For publishers, ad blocking prevents them from earning revenue on about a third of desktop audiences. For ad buyers, blocking means a loss of reach. And for advertisers, ad blocking makes it that much harder to serve the right ads to the right audience at the most opportune time.
The only business to benefit in the battle of ad blocking seems to be Adblock Plus, which charges the biggest online players a fee to participate in its program to let certain "acceptable" ads through.
And if that wasn't enough, Adblock Plus now plans to sell those acceptable ads itself and serve them around the web.
If the road to hell is paved in good intentions, Adblock Plus might be pouring the cement.
The only certainty when it comes to ad blocking is its growing popularity. Some 86.6 million U.S. consumers, or 32% of web users, will use ad blockers in 2016, according to eMarketer up from just 69.8 in 2016.