Don’t Block Firefox!

A site has sprung-up recently called “Why Firefox is Blocked.” They claim that webmasters should block all users running the Firefox web browser (sorry, morons, but Firefox is king) because of the AdBlock Plus extension. They claim that users of the extension are thieves because they use websites while blocking the advertisements. By some weird logic, they believe that webmasters should be given the option of blocking AdBlock. Seeing as they aren’t, they think that Firefox itself should be blocked.

There are several holes in their argument.

  • Software that blocks all advertisement is an infringement of the rights of web site owners and developers.” I believe that it is within people’s rights to block online advertisements should they choose to do so. Note that this is coming from a webmaster who runs advertisements on his websites. I choose not to block ads on others’ sites because I believe they have a right to make money, but I also believe that it’s up to the user. To block or not to block, that is the question…and it’s up to the end user, not the webmaster.
  • Numerous web sites exist in order to provide quality content in exchange for displaying ads. Accessing the content while blocking the ads, therefore would be no less than stealing.” I don’t think it’s stealing, and that’s a pretty flawed business model.
  • While blanket ad blocking in general is still theft, the real problem is Ad Block Plus’s unwillingness to allow individual site owners the freedom to block people using their plug-in.” The developers of AdBlock should not have to give webmasters this ability. That would negate the purpose of the extension entirely.
  • Blocking FireFox is the only alternative.” No, shutting up is a good alternative…
  • Demographics have shown that not only are FireFox users a somewhat small percentage of the internet…” Yeah, about 8% and rapidly growing. Firefox will be the major web browser given time. Also, a heck of a lot of webmasters use Firefox.
  • Netscape users can simply set their browser to IE mode to continue to enjoy the site that sent you here. FireFox users can use Internet Explorer, Opera or Netscape (in IE mode) to access it.” Yeah, or we could just install a user-agent switching add-on and pretend to be Internet Explorer…
  • “If Internet Explorer came with a feature such as Adblock, you would effectively wipe out thousands of websites, maybe more.” Uh, you can get ad-blocking software for Internet Explorer, and a lot of people do use it.
  • If you are offended by the Mozilla Corporation’s endorsement of dishonesty please contact the Mozilla Foundation and ask them to stop empowering internet theft.” Or we could employ web forensics to track down your contact information…

The site links to pages that bash Firefox in every imaginable way, and provides PHP and JavaScript code to block Firefox.

Firefox is The Best Browser On The Planet™ (with Opera second), and users have the right to block ads if they wish. I don’t, but I have no problem with others doing it…however much it may decrease my ad revenues.

For some more discussion on this topic, check out the Reddit and Digg pages linking to

Update: Is AdBlock “Evil”? An in-depth article about Adblock and the state of online advertising.

  • Spencer

    Argh. The sheer arrogance and stupidity of these people is immensely frustrating. Pardon my language, but they’re so full of bullshit.

    Thank you for addressing the false and faulty claims on their page. Unfortunately, I don’t think anyone’s going to be able to make them see how utterly ridiculous they are.

  • minerva66

    The initiator of Why Firefox Is Blocked is assuming that the whole purpose of the web is for webmasters to make money. As a webmaster, that is not my primary purpose (although, of course, I hope to make some money from ads). The web was started solely for spreading info-not making money-and has grown tremendously since. Also, I believe that if all webmasters managed their sites in a way that considered what their users wanted, their would be no need for ad-blocking software. Webmasters who use pop-ups, videos, and sound are asking to have their ads blocked. If they want to have their sites viewed (which is the most important goal of the webmaster), they should consider not offending their viewers with the ads. If their whole purpose is making money off obnoxious/high-paying ads, then I think not only do they deserve to be blocked, they also deserve to have no users.

  • Alouette
    Another article about the Firefox adblock issue if you were interested.

  • codeblue

    It sounds like the guy who wrote that works for Internet Explorer.

    IE is full of bugs and grabs spyware.

    All webmasters should block IE due to the senceliss users that use such flawed software.

    bin windows(£200+) replace with linux (its FREE).
    bin IE(crap) replace with Firefox or equiv (it rox)

  • Anonymous

    Almost as bad as people who refuse to make pages work in IE!

  • ORI0N

    Or so by this deffinition any pc should be banned as well that runs a customized HOSTS file. many ad’s are already blocked using the one’s available online for just this pourpose, there’s just to many ads in my opnion which is why my sites are free of ad’s, sure I dont make any money , but then again I do this to help people not myself.

  • GuitarBizarre

    The internet was never designed as a source of revenue. Persecuting your users is only a knee jerk reaction. Find other sources of revenue or simply make your ads less obnoxious.

  • LGR

    I don’t like the site, but you have to admit they have created a great piece of link bait. Everyone on the web seems to be talking about the site. If they wanted to create some publicity they have succeeded.

  • CArrowman

    Obviously, the User Agent Switcher isn’t working anymore on the site.

  • wireless

    Windows application (Ad-muncher) blocks more Adds.. Are you block Internet Explorer users because allow it??

  • Matt Ellsworth

    yes I saw this as well as others – they are just silly. Why would you block a whole user group – just because a few people block the ads. Maybe you need to look at your site design if people want to block the ads. Additionally the way I look at it is – the people who block the ads – likely wouldn’t click them anyway.

  • PGC

    So by this guy’s reasoning, people who get up to go to the bathroom during tv commercials are stealing too. People can be so ridiculous sometimes.

  • Eric

    As someone stated before, just use a good hosts file. I don’t use Adblockers at all, but I can see how a majority probably do because they don’t feel like messing with files in windows directories. Simply stupid though to block access to the site based on the browser being used.

  • Marco

    HAHAHAHA! …oh man, sry, but that “whyfirefoxisblocked” thing is hilarious. I admit that I’m using AdBlockPlus and pledge guilty….wait…maybe not. I’m training my AdBlock the way I want to see the ads.

    There are ads, especially the pop-up ones, I don’t want to see at all, others I do want to see. So what now?

    Actually it is sad that the page has no comments section, would be funny to see the majority of the Firefox users show up there, telling the guy to keep his mouth shut…

  • George

    a “Who Is” search reveals:

    Danny Carlton
    19724 E Pine St
    Suite #149
    Catoosa, Oklahoma 75015
    United States

    Registered through:, Inc. (
    Created on: 06-Aug-07
    Expires on: 06-Aug-08
    Last Updated on: 06-Aug-07

    Administrative Contact:
    Carlton, Danny
    19724 E Pine St
    Suite #149
    Catoosa, Oklahoma 75015
    United States
    (918) 697-4039 Fax —

    Technical Contact:
    Carlton, Danny
    19724 E Pine St
    Suite #149
    Catoosa, Oklahoma 75015
    United States
    (918) 697-4039 Fax —

    Domain servers in listed order:

  • kylehase

    The Firefox user agent switcher is mentioned in the original post but if the site uses Javascript to detect Firefox you can probably write a greasemonkey script to fake that as well.

    This is what makes Firefox so great!

  • Dee

    Some people really are selfish and stupid. It’s these people that are turning the internet to shit. No browser should be blocked for anything, even IE (hound Microsoft to make it better, let users know why it is letting them down but don’t block it).

    Going by their warped logic the manafacturer of my TV’s remote (and hence my TV) are accomplices to theft because it allows me to change channel when ads come on.

  • rubytom

    tell you what, for a nominal fee I will personally disregard rather than block their advertising,is that not fair?

  • kylehase

    I just read the Javascript code example for blocking Firefox. All it does is check the user agent so the user agent switcher should work for both of their detection methods.

  • sean

    Hey, can anyone find any sites that actually do block firefox?
    I want to know which dolt thinks this is smart!
    Maybe they should start blocking IE because some sites have ads that cannot be viewed without downloading a activex control, so not everyone can see them!

  • Jim

    So, following their logic, if I look at a magazine in the public library, or in my doctor’s office, and I do not read ALL of the ads, I am stealing content from the magazine publishing company?

    This is fallacious logic. But then so is the pay-per-clicks advertising model.

    Just because a person uses FireFox does not mean that they use AdBlock (I do). Just because a person uses AdBlock does not mean that they block all advertising (I do not). I block ads that are annoying, and those that are served from companies/servers that are slow to respond, thus reducing my web browsing experience to what it was in the 90s, when all I had was dialup.

  • Jeff

    Yeah, I’ve run into this guy.

    He runs as well, that that’s where he rants.

    I can confirm that agent switching works.

    Turning off all javascript will work as well.

    I’d like to find a way to block a javascript by name (he uses DieAdBlockPlusDie) and be able to add scripts to a black list, like adblock allows you to block items.

    His script checks for the existance of (i think it was) google adsense i-frame, and if it’s gone you get a blanked page after a delay.

    to bypass his crap, you can use the usercontent.css file and make the frame he looks for a non-display frame, and use agent switcher to bypass the firefox check.

    He’s a zealot (on more ways than one) that thinks the world owes him something, IMHO.

  • Jeff

    forget that site, it’s dead. I misremembered what his place is called.

    and turning off javascript will bypass his ad block checker, not the agent check.

  • sean just sends me to a generic search.

  • sean

    so whats it called?

  • Alex

    My site has NO ADS at all, because (unlike that guy) I care about the users.

    • mickytricky

      Really? You must be making tons from your ads. wait. Oh your business does not care about money. By this day your site may have already been shut down.

      To the author – “I don’t, but I have no problem with others doing it…however much it may decrease my ad revenues.”

      Really? Is that why the bar on the top of this page is telling me that I ‘appear to be using ad blocking software, which hurts your site with a link to why this is important. What a Hypocrite!

      • Matt

        Perhaps you have heard of changing ones mind? I wrote this post about two years before I added that…because I was barely making any money at that time.

        My opinion has changed substantially since my ads began generating a large percentage of my income.

        • BitterHappiness (is kind of an ass)

          Sell out. GTFO. I’m gonna use your site and block all your ads, including the stupid message you put. You don’t deserve money from me.

  • Matt

    I’ll try to respond to as many of your comments as possible. Get ready, here comes a huge comment…

    Minerva66, I pretty much agree with what you said.

    Alouette, That was an interesting link, though subtly sarcastic.

    codeblue, I agree with binning IE (and Windows). However, Linux isn’t a viable option for most people. I played with it a little, but I wouldn’t use it as my main OS. I like the idea of going Mac when my current PC quits (Compaq/Dell/Gateway don’t last too long in my experiance).

    “Anonymous”, I have to disagree with you. While I don’t advocate blocking Internet Explorer, I do think that people just need to, as a group, stop coding workarounds so are sites work in IE. Internet Explorer deviates greatly from the W3C standard, and CSS layouts that look perfect in Firefox and Opera and Safari look horrible in IE. Plus, IE is %@##$ and I don’t think Microsoft deserves to have 86% of the browser market.

    ORION, Ah…but you can’t detect customized HOSTS files very well (legally), can you?

    GuitarBizarre, No I don’t think the web is about making money. It is first and formost about information. My views about ads are expressed in my article.

    LGR, I (and Minerva66) were thinking along the same lines about the linkbait.

    wireless, You’re right. There are plenty of other ad-blocking software packages that work in other browsers as well. Then you have Windows’s HOSTS file. It’s stupid to single-out Firefox.

    Matt Ellsworth, you’ve just touched the major point. People block ads mainly because there are lot of annoying ones. I don’t mind some AdSense blocks, but I hate pre-roll video ads, ads that make sounds, ads that expand across your screen, and pop-ups. I have AdBlock and “Remove it Permanently” installed, but mainly they sit there, inactive. If I see an extreemly annoying ad… bye bye. “Additionally the way I look at it is – the people who block the ads – likely wouldn’t click them anyway.” You forgot about CPM-based (payment per 1000 views) ads.

    PGC, LOL! Sorry about the chat-speak there, but that was funny and a good argument. I saw someone on Digg who said something about not liking people who speed on the highway because they don’t read the billboards. :D

    Marco, That’s exactly why they don’t have a comments section on their site.

    George, I ran a WhoIs too, but unfortunatley that won’t help you find an email address.

    kylehase, Or you can use the cool Web Developer Toolbar (one of my favorite FF extensions) to easily enable/disable JavaScript on a site-by-site basis.

    Dee, I don’t like browsers being blocked, but I’d like to steer people towards Firefox (without blocking). I do this in several ways, like I’m planning on printing-up small “business cards” (cardstock+Photoshop+printer) with a little blurb explaining a little about Firefox and an URL for an article. I’ve already done a similar thing with RSS (explaining what it is), and I left the cards on bulletin boards, and other places. I also have plans for a WordPress plugin that’ll help steer people towards Firefox…without being annoying.

    rubytom, You mean you want them to pay you to surf the web? I think we’d all like that…

    Minerva66, Yeah, the user-agent switcher should work for both the codes. Disabling JavaScript will get around the JS one too.

    sean, you can block IE if you grab some code from I wouldn’t recommend it though, unless 95% of your readers use Firefox and you want to annoy the remaining 5%…plus a lot of future readers.

    Jim, I agree with you. Individuals have the right to block ads if they want, and webmasters have the right to run ads (preferably non-annoying ones). You can block my ads if you want, I’ll just make money off the people who aren’t blocking. We both win, see. I purposefully try to keep my ads from being too intrusive (no pop-ups, in-text “tool-tip ads”, etc). I don’t want to annoy people with them.

    Alex, I care about my users as well, but caring about your users doesn’t necessarily mean “no ads at all.” It just means be responsible about your ads (don’t use pop-ups or other #@#%$^).

  • GarryO

    What a joke, the site is now “509 – exceeded bandwidth allocation” :-)
    I use FF, I also use adblock I have also never in my 15+ years on the net ever clicked on an online ad, someone has to also remember that Countries like Australia (where I am) have pretty crappy broadband plans when compared to the rest of the world, most with relatively small download allocations and we dont want to waste what little we do get on pulling an ad down the pipe for a product that is
    A) not available or suitable for our conditions (be that legislative or infrastructure)
    B) won’t be shipped to Australia because some companies wont ship outside the continental USA.

    but go ahead, block FF, because your only hurting yourself in the long run as not ALL FF users run the ad-blocking extensions (so they will see the ads) and most of those that do are savvy enough to find the ways around it.

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  • Shifty

    Maybe the advertisers should pay for my internet. After they are stealing my bandwidth.

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  • Munkeh

    Sure, i use the adblock extension, but i only got it because of those ads that execute spyware onto your computer.

    If a website doesnt run those adds, I wouldn’t block them. I doubt im the only one who follows this model.

  • Marco

    hm…actually, as I think about it, the guy at isn’t a really good webmaster or so. I mean, he doesn’t use htaccess to block via useragent. Either he doesn’t know about it or he doesn’t know how to do it…

    @Matt: I wrote an article on my blog (see trackback in comment #31) and I hope the guy will discover it and reply to my article. Would be fun ;)

  • OkinKun

    Yeah, how can blocking ads be an excuse to block Firefox? IE7 can block ads, and other versions can block ads via toolbars…

    Neither IE, nor Firefox block ads by default… so he shouldn’t be so anal about blocking us… -_-

    I suspect he just hates Firefox and will do anything possible to create excuses for blocking it.

  • OkinKun

    I’ll also add, that ANY means with which he tries to block users, can be easily circumvented… Especially by users that use Firefox.

  • Chris Lodge

    If you block anyone from visiting your site, who loses?

    Perhaps he should also register to fully explain his position….

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  • Matt

    GarryO, they’re back now (unfortunately). We don’t get great broadband in some parts of the US either.

    Shifty, That’s a great idea. We pay $45/month for 768k connections, and it gets utilized by ad networks for free. Of course, their response would be “You’re the one visiting sites with our ads!”

    Marco, yeah that would be cool but I doubt it would happen. I’m guessing the guy who started all this is laughing his head off by now. You know, I think it’s kind of odd that there aren’t any ads on Isn’t that odd? In addition to supporting his point, he’d be making money off all the angry Firefox Fans blasting his site.

    OkinKun, that could be the case. Some Digg/Reddit users were discussing the possibility as well. “I’ll also add, that ANY means with which he tries to block users, can be easily circumvented… Especially by users that use Firefox.” Exactly. There are thousands of extension-writers who make it possible to do virtually anything with Firefox.

    Chris Lodge, I think everyone here knows the answer to that one. The guy at doesn’t though…

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  • Michael Curry

    Blocking based on user-agent is just lame.

    I think that people are giving way too much attention to the anti-firefox folks, though. Don’t feed this particular linkbaiter!

  • Mark

    The guy behind this website is a conservator who sees open source as communism.

  • huckle

    Oh Lord, look at the “myths” section.

    1) Firefox and Mozilla are the same thing. It only takes a single google to see that this is not true. I don’t see how this is a myth at all – just that some people have been ill-informed.

    2)Firefox Grammar. I believe that the gripes they have with firefox is that its community doesn’t spell it like the mozilla guys do. what are they meant to do? Fine you every time you cba to capitalise the Fs?

    3)Firefox is not a Religion. Damn straight that’s a myth. ALL HAIL THE MIGHTY FIREFOX.

    4)The requirement myths. How convenient that they have only compared FF against IE6… I wonder how this argument would stand up with IE7 as the example… (well it certainly ain’t runnin’ on windows 98, is it?) As for the memory thing, I can live with that – at least I’m not bogged down by spy/adware, viruses, tojans, generally shiteness….

    5)Firefox is Bug Free. Who isn’t these days? Are they trying to tell me IE7 is perfect? That’s like saying that my hands are clean when I wash them with ordinary soap – they are clean, but there’s always some bacteria lurking under my fingernails…

    6)Firefox is Stable. As stable as any Windows OS.

    7)Firefox is the Fastest Web Browser. Uhh I’ve know that it’s not for at least 2 years. Who still thinks it is?

    8) Firefox is Faster than Internet Explorer 7 – Internet Explorer 7 is clearly faster than Firefox 1.x and 2.x in 4 out of 7 measures of performance. Not on my machine.

    9)Firefox is Faster than Mozilla. I don’t actually give a toss.

    10)All of the Market Share Myths – TBQH I use FF, my friends use FF, hell even my mum uses FF. No-one who has seen the way of the fox turns back to the way of the E.

    11)uhhh… just compare with .

    12)I cba with the rest of them they are flawed in some way – IE is better in some ways but FF is a hell of a lot better at most other stuff.

  • LouCypher

    forget that site, it’s dead. I misremembered what his place is called.
    and turning off javascript will bypass his ad block checker, not the agent check.

    It’s and disabling JS will redirect you to
    Disabling meta redirect works

  • Unbelievable

    I have a 10,000 page usefull content website that took me seven years to build and hundreds of thousands of dollars. My very popular website is ADVERTISER SUPPORTED.

    Honestly, ask yourself if you would pay a subscription to every website you use instead of maybe catch a blimpse of an ad on the webpage somewhere?

    It is not free or cheap to run a usefull website.

  • Matt


    4) I compare it to IE7 (not 6) and IE still sucks.

    7 & 8) Opera is the fastest currently (I tested myself in addition to reading online reports). Firefox is second, and IE is dead last. Well, that’s out of the three major browsers.

    9) Firefox is faster than the Mozilla Suite. That was the point of Firefox. They wanted to remove all the excess stuff and make it faster, as well as provide options for expandability so you can add new features you want.

    10) IE is “better” because it does ActiveX. No wait, that’s a flaw… :D

  • Marco

    Ow…look what I just discovered: (I typed the url right, just have a look :))

    way to go! ;)

  • Matt

    No, you typed “” instead of “”.

  • Marco

    that’s what I mean, a different page, kinda fighting the…

  • Gaby

    If they’re blocking the ads, wouldnt that mean that they’re the type of people who wouldnt click or give any thought to ads displayed on the page anyways, other than “holy shit, thats really distracting/annoying”? So what are they losing?
    Absolutely nothing.
    It cant be theft if nothings being stolen.

  • Matt

    Marco: Oh, okay.

    Gaby: Good point, though don’t forget about CPM ads.

  • Matt

    Heads up, everyone:
    There’s discussion going on over at Mozilla’s Adblock Plus plugin page as well. Some of it’s probably worth reading.

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  • Heather

    The worst part is that this guy fancies himself some sort of web professional! I’d like to see him tell a potential client that their web site will be blocked from between 20 and 40% of the viewing audience because *he* personally doesn’t agree with their “cultlike” beliefs.

    As a web designer, it’s not about what *you* want, it’s about making your site meet the needs of the client’s customer base and audience. If you’re not prepared to get over your artistic and technical ego, you shouldn’t be in the profession.

    As for blocking ALL Firefox users because SOME use Adblock, if Firefox users are a cult aka a religion, then what he’s really advocating is racial profiling.

  • Martin

    We’ve periodically blocked Firefox users. We don’t really have problem with them, but our site is at the point where the server gets overloaded from time to time. We’ll upgrade the server eventually, but for now blocking Firefox gives us just enough headroom to get through the peaks. Firefox users don’t produce the income for us that other users do, so blocking them doesn’t impact our income. But I think this is more due to the demographics of Firefox users versus the market our site is aimed at, than to widespread ad blocking.

    For anyone contemplating doing this, some advice: Don’t make it into a crusade. Just throw up a bogus page that makes it look like the server is undergoing maintenance or something. Otherwise you risk a jihad from Firefox users, most of whom are fine people, but there are a few rabid and slightly immature people mixed in who will try to bring you down with a DoS attack.

  • Favorite Browser

    Then they should block Internet Explorer, Opera any all otehr browsers too, they can block ads as well as Firefox extension (Opera doesn’t require one).

  • paul

    If the site is free and compares to paid sites they should get something back from the ads.

    to boycot firefox is ridiculus.

    I run a free website that relies on ads..

    I found this page in my search of some code that can check if ad block is installed.

    if it is a message would pop up saying you must unblock ads to use this free site.

    I believe ads can be unblocked on a site by site basis.

    this sounds like the sensible solutions

    have some code to check the block and simply say look this site does not accept visitors blocking the ads. please make an exception for our site it is how we pay are operation costs.

    Paul Free Online Dating Site

  • Used Car Guy

    It’s my web site so I do as I see fit. If you do not want to view it go some place else. Simple.

  • Colin Temple

    I don’t agree with blocking Firefox. I use Firefox and I do not disable ads.

    However, I think content owners have a right to advertise on their sites. And if that’s their main source of revenue, why should they give that content away to freeloaders? If you write web content for profit, and people are going to deny you of that profit, why not deny them of the content?

    To those saying it’s a bad business model — there IS tons of money to be made in advertising, but whether or not it’s a ‘good’ model or not, that’s the model they chose. That doesn’t change anything. If I decide to sell iPods in Canada, but only accept Chilean Pesos, then I’m being an idiot — that doesn’t mean you can steal an iPod from me. (Not that I agree that this is “stealing”, exactly, but you see how the analogy fits, I hope.)

    In response to the comments that “adblockers wouldn’t click”, some ads are CPM so the site owner gets paid whether they click or not. And some people say they don’t want ads, but respond to them anyways. Just like we’d watch TV without commercials if we could, but many of us are still influenced by them.

    What would be better is if you could specifically block people using ad-block software. That’s the choice of the site owner. I’m not saying I would do it — I don’t now and I will never. But the site owner has rights too.

    But yeah, blocking Firefox as a whole is dumb.

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  • Rob

    Brilliant, Brilliant.

    What a waste of time trying to block firefox, users would rather just switch websites than have to switch browsers, path of least resistance, and even if firefox was blocked they could just switch the user-agent to pretend it was IE for that site anyway, thereby bypassing the issue.

    There’s probably already an extension to switch user-agent according to a list of (ie firefox blocked sites, how stupid), and if not, shouldnt be too hard to make it.

  • Lalit nagrath

    how can u block something which most of geeks and regular users use??
    it s simply cutting u r trafic !
    other ways should be looked in by webmasters to tackle this!!

  • Mario Jose

    Advertisement Fascism: it’s pretty lame…

    There are many sites on the web providing quality content service AND making profit without the disgraceful need to splatter your browser with invasive ads.

    How bout if you were forced to look at every road-side ad as you drove down the highway, or to ogle every ad-infested page in your favorite magazines without option to look away/ignore… sounds pretty dumb. Why should it be any different on the web?

    My advice: get a college degree, or employment, or something else to make $$, cuz this wacko idea of spoonfed propaganda-splatter is not too far from eTerrorism, specially when people become commis about ad placement. For real.

  • Mario Jose


    I’m in favor of ad-supported web pages/portals, but I don’t think force-feeding advertisement is right. Think about it: forcing people to view your ads is just like charging a monthly fee. The point of not charging that monthly fee was to attract a greater audience…but now your saying that people shouldn’t view your site if they don’t like ads? Dude, that does not make any sense.

    Forceful propaganda-splatter is always annoying. Think it in terms of customer service: the customer’s always right. Keep your viewers happy, and they’ll come back from more talk positively about your site. Once you get more viewing volume you’ll be able to make a profit from just a few unobtrusive ad banners (heck some are even decorative as hell).

    But don’t think you’ll make your millions from a copious misuse of annoying advertisement. You won’t. Most likely, people will shun your site. Don’t want Firfox users to view your site? Be careful what you wish for. You might end up with no IE, Opera, and Safari users as well.

  • John

    I totally agree to his argument that blocking banner ads is an infringement. Adverts are there to raise income of free sites, not just there to be an annoyance.

    IE7 is definately the most secure browser I’ve ever used so there’s no way I’d risk having my credit card info stolen by a piece of insecure, open-source crap.

  • Matt

    I utilize ads on my sites, and they’re my main way of monetizing them. However, I still believe users have a right to block the ads if they choose. You can’t expect people to not block them. If ads aren’t making enough money for your liking, then look for other sources of income.

    Also, the web is not about making money. If you think it is, then go back to print publishing! The web is about information. If you go putting annoying ads on your site, then you obviously don’t care about your readers. A few AdSense blocks, Text-Link-Ads, or other unintrusive ads, it’s fine with me. But if you go around forcing pop-ups, Flash overlays, talking banners and the like, you’ve gone too far. I rarely use AdBlock, but I turn it on for individual sites that go totally nuts.

    John, you say “IE7 is definately the most secure browser I’ve ever used so there’s no way I’d risk having my credit card info stolen by a piece of insecure, open-source crap.” Obviously you are technologically ignorant. IE7 is in no way secure, and there’s no way a browser can steal your credit card number. Geeks, who know what they’re talking about, would have noticed that by now anyway.

  • John

    Sorry but have you ever used IE7 on Vista? It has a Protected Mode feature which basically stops any file changes. Backed with ZA Sec. Suite, I’ve had no crap in my computer for months.

    Firefox also screwed up the Trident layout engine and disabled ZA when I had XP. This forced me to do a complete reformat and reinstallation of XP.

  • wtfh

    Yeah, don’t forget that IE’s rendering engine is total #@$%@#! We shouldn’t have to spend hours doing workarounds so designs will work in freaking IE. Firefox is standards compliant, IE is no where close. Micro$soft, and their products sucks.

  • baps

    I’ll look at their revenue generating pages when they pay for my bandwidth. Having recently moved to an area with top DSL speed of 512k I installed AdBlock cos of Flash adverts, movie trailers etc.. that even on a decent connection caused lag. If the site owners pay me $20 a month I’ll stop blocking ads. Even if they made sure all advertising online was no more than 4-8% the size/traffic of actual content it would be more fair. sent me to a google search of “why you shouldn`t block adverts” which is why I found this.

    Also, I put AdBlock on even more computers after that big DoubleClick advert delivering virus scare things…

  • Matt

    You have an interesting point about that, but you’re straying into the whole network neutrality debate. The ISPs want websites to be paying for your bandwidth…in addition to you.

    I have some counter-arguments for you:

    1. If sites payed for your bandwidth, it would hurt the smaller sites (and probably kill them). Yahoo, Google, and EBay can pay massive amounts…but I can’t. The bigs sites would truly rule the web. There would be no blogs or smaller websites.

    2. Technically, it would be the ad networks that should do the paying, going by your argument. If an AdSense ad loads, it’s not coming from the site your visiting. It’s coming from If websites payed for loading ads, it wouldn’t be very fair would it?

    3. Sites are already paying for bandwidth. ISPs (and be extension, web hosts) charge for every gigabyte that goes through the tubes. So sites should be paying double?

    4. The sites aren’t using your bandwidth, you are. You’re choosing to visit websites, knowing that you are transferring data over the internet. So, obviously, Adblock is a useful, money-saving program.

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  • hi

    I swear, the dumbest people on the internet seem to be adblock users
    who can’t figure out why adblock is evil. Of course it’s evil. The only
    reason 99.999% of big/good websites exist is because the people who
    devote their lives to creating the content are able to get ad revenue
    in exchange. If ad revenue disappeared, so would 99.999% of good
    websites. Newspapers would no longer share their content. Bloggers who
    copy from newspapers wouldn’t have content anymore unless they were
    going to just go buy the paper and type the text in. Big blogs would
    shut down or get much smaller. wouldn’t exist anymore or would
    be much smaller. I swear, I’ve read a bunch of these sites where
    adblock users justify their use and I’ve never seen a bigger lack of
    logic. The only reason X exists is because Y funds it. If you remove Y,
    then X is screwed. Is that too complicated for you fucking morons?
    Also, if ads load but you don’t click them, the ad still has value to
    the advertiser just because even if most people don’t click them, a lot
    of people still sorta see them out of the corner of their eye. It still
    has value. But if the ads don’t even load then the ad has literally NO
    value to the advertiser, and the advertiser will just disappear. If
    everyone on the web blocked ads, 99.999% of the good big sites on the
    web would shut down. You fuckiing idiots.

  • Marco

    I love people like you. Really, I mean, you don’t use your real name (or nick name) and don’t provide a link to your homepage. Further you try to argue with arguments we countered already. And then you sum your comment up with offending everyone. Nice move.

    Now to my actual countering of your stupid comment:
    As said more than once in the comments above, the majority of adblocking software users are using it because the ads displayed on a website are:

    • annoying
    • increasing the page load time
    • messing with the browser (rare, but happens)
    • more advertisement than content
    • showing ads I don’t want to see at all (e.g. Adultfriendfinder…)

    If neither of the above mentioned appear on your website, then you can be sure that your ads will be at least viewed.

    Further, I’m blocking all ads on the computer I’m using to write this comment right now because I only have a limited amount of traffic available each day. Would I be at home, I would see ads, as I don’t block them all.

    Also, if you rely on advertisement only to earn money to run your website…well, maybe you should rethink your strategy.

  • Matt

    “Hi,” you should note that adblock can only automatically block ads from ad networks, not ones you sell directly to advertisers (like 125x125s), which are a much better deal for sites than the networks are.

    “The only reason 99.999% of big/good websites exist is because the people who
    devote their lives to creating the content are able to get ad revenue

    in exchange.”

    Not true. Surely you’ve heard of “Web 2.0″ sites. How many of those are supported by ads? Not many. Look at Ars Technica, a major tech blog. They have some ads, but they make a lot of their money by selling premium subscriptions which allow access to restricted areas (yet all of the normal news is available to everyone).

    “Newspapers would no longer share their content. Bloggers who
    copy from newspapers wouldn’t have content anymore unless they were

    going to just go buy the paper and type the text in. Big blogs would

    shut down or get much smaller.”

    Now you’re accusing bloggers of plagiarism, and that’s going too far. As a blogger, and aspiring fantasy author, I’m not going to let that slide past. Bloggers, especially those who write for the “big blogs” you speak of, do not steal content. They may quote small parts, and link to the rest, but they do not copy. Also, plenty of original content comes from blogs, rather than other publications. Look at They are a large collection of blogs, and a news source. They are a newspaper. Heck, traditional publications won’t be around much longer anyway. They are being replaced by online publications (ie. blogs).

  • Marco

    I knew why I ignored that part of his comment, Matt ;)

    About that plagiarism, I heard of quite a few occasions where a newspaper(!) stole content from a blog. Be it a whole article or an image, newspapers do abuse blogs for their articles.

    P.S.: Matt, keep an eye peeled on my blog, I’ll publish a fix for the line break bug of NicEdit very soon. I assume it will be helpful for you ;)

  • Joshua Issac

    Why are some going on about blocking IE? Doesn’t IE own 75% of the market? I have also tested the browsers; on my computer, IE is faster than FireFox in loading time, and, most importantly, in startup time (which is one of the reasons I didn’t stay with Firefox). I accept that FireFox is safer than IE6, but because all I care about (at the moment) is speed, I’m sticking with IE (with Adblock installed). With Microsoft all the way!

  • Microsoft Sucks

    That’s the POINT in blocking IE. It has 75% of the market, and you want to reduce it. And who cares how fast the browser starts? Leave it open all day like normal people! Down with Micro$oft!

  • Dan

    FireFox is over-rated. I don’t see why people think FireFox is so great. I really don’t. I use CrazyBrowser because I can have (and have had) a hundred sites or more all open at once! And it does just fine. Whereas FireFox chocks. Plus, if anything happens on my PC .. it seems as if anything at all .. FireFox changes its settings and I have to start all over!!! CrazyBrowser is much stabler. It’s based on the IE platform but for me its the best. Keep your FireFox. I think it’s mostly for techie wanna-bies.    :O/

  • W.H.G.

    @Dan keep your lols and triple-exclamation-marks to yourself. FYI, CrazyBrowser isn’t a browser, its basically just a skin for IE. And you FF claims are all fake. You can easily have a hundred tabs open in FF, and WTF is with your rubbish about it “changing its settings”?
    “techie wanna-bies”? That sounds more like you. You clearly have no clue what your talking about.

  • Mike Howey

    Hey everyone.  As a person who creates websites for a living, I can say Firefox
    really makes my life hard. Firefox would be fine with me if it would follow
    normal css properties. I use Firefox and IE everyday. Firefox is awful for
    browsing sites like Myspace. Most myspacers use freelayouts that are css based.
    Major issue viewing in firefox. If you only use firefox you probably do not
    realize how much site content your missing. I’ll would jump on the firefox boat
    when they catch  to ie. But for now I’m stuck with ie.

  • Mike, WTH?


    “Firefox really makes my life hard. Firefox would be fine with me if it would follow
    normal css properties. I use Firefox and IE everyday.”
    Listen, it’s INTERNET EXPLORER that’s not following “normal css properties,” not Firefox. Firefox is lightyears more standards-compliant than IE.

    “Firefox is awful forbrowsing sites like Myspace.”
    There’s your problem right there.

    “Most myspacers use freelayouts that are css based. Major issue viewing in firefox.”
    First of all, any website worth its salt has a CSS layout. Again, the problem is from clueless IE-using 12-year-olds pasting some code into their MySpace page, not Firefox.

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  • Reid Wicks

    I reckon that if people placed ads in places where they dont take up a whole page or looks ugly, has sound or video then no one would block ads because they wouldent get annoyed by these ads

  • FOxxy

    Well obviously if people are spening money having a website up and running and advertising is required for revenue then people bypassing it is frustrating. I see the point they are making and while I hate adds I agree in principle!

  • Deex

    You know, if only 8% of the people visiting thier site aren’t accessing the adds, then they shouldn’t block firefox users.

    secondly, if the site blocks your Browser, stop going to that site and find another using good old stumble upon or something.

    Choose to block all of them, the percentage of companies these days…and by companies i use that term loosely are tying in all kinds of virus’s and what not within these adds using scripts.

    Blah, the whole thing is shaddy. but 8%? That’s it? cry me a river! Get over it!

  • http://N/A Nobody

    Here’s the long and short of things as far as I’m concerned:
    I will *NEVER*, *EVER*, *UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES* do business with any entity that thinks putting an ad on a web-page is a legitimate marketing method.

    Which means that your ad, regardless of what it might be flogging, does exactly one thing when I see it: It “de-selects” you as a candidate for my business – *ANY* of my business. Exactly the opposite of what you’re hoping for.

    Y’see, given the choice between the heavily spammed “Joe’s Bargain Barn! We’ve got what you want, and it’s cheap!” and the never-advertised “Quiet Quinn’s Quality Quonset” at a few bucks higher, guess who’s going to get my business (assuming I’m in the market for what they’re peddling)? That’s right – Quinn is going to pocket my $$, not Joe. Why? Because the entire concept of advertising online pisses me off, and I’ll be damned if I’ll reward the scumbag who does it. Even if it means paying a bit more for the same product from another seller who doesn’t spam me, or just plain going without the product, whatever it happens to be.

    So, yes, I ad-block. Heavily. Both via plug-ins/add-ons, and via aliasing the sites that serve the ads to the bit-bucket using my hosts file.

  • Stef

    I just installed AdBlock Plus…

  • Azureia

    Something I have found about… the google ads are for firefox…Quite funny really!

  • alex

    when you view any web page, it is downloaded temporarily to your computer, so shouldn’t you have the choice of what you download? i don’t want to waste broadband and space on advertising. F*CK CORPORATIONS!

  • Gleich

    I agree with what everyone has said to this point. It’s pretty egregious what he’s saying, and that’s apparent by the fact that there is NO forum for discussion of any kind; he knows hes wrong.

    I tried going to , and besides being riddled with right wing propaganda, the damn thing won’t open with, you guessed it, firefox. Sends you right to yahoo instead.

  • danihel

    What’s next? Infringement of the rights of TV channels for going to the bathroom during ad breaks?

  • Erik

    Firefox will take over the world and leave idiots like that behind =D

    blocking firefox is like removing mute from tvs good luck doing that!

  • Tiago Sá

    What are you talking about dude? Firefox is used by 20% worldwide, and more that 50% in some countries… not 8%…

    • Matt

      @Tiago Sá At the time I wrote this post, it was eight percent. It’s more recently grown to 20%.

  • Andrew

    Uh, who in their right minds would block Firefox? If they block it, it’s their loss, and I mean it! Show me a webmaster who would WILLINGLY lose 50% of their visitors?

  • Simon

    “Shutting up is the only alternative” – wow, good argument there. Another rabid Firefox user who has no puts his love of Firefox above the opinion of others. Some people just want to make the money back on their server costs, for merely showing you a little image on the page. But hey, Firefox rules!

  • Matt

    @Simon, this post is a poor reflection of my opinion. (See the addendum at the bottom.) Also, if I had put this post together today, and not over a year ago, it would not have been as…unprofessional as this.

  • Ross

    What a load of rubbish, just because the adds are blocked from being displayed doesn’t mean the hits arn’t counted and dont generate money and personnaly I dont look at add’s so I already mentally block them anyway. Wounder what the up roar would be if i coded a site that couldn’t be read by IE, or worse put in a script that purposly crashed that POS program, it is after all very unstable. Personnaly i think fire fox users should boycot that web dweeb and we’ll see if he or she continues on this course once their revenue falls by around a third. Mate i have one word for you CAPATALISIM, it means taking advantage of opertunities for ones own profit. Fire Fox provides me with greater flexability and hence more opertunities than IE and the profit I get is saved time, sorry friend but it seems your flawed business model has just be squeazed out the market and you have no one to blame but your self, you should have moved with the times instead of relying on being a hawker to make your money.

  • thraxy

    Seen as the ads I would add to my website would be paying per click or commission, I don’t see how this makes any difference. People who use adblock aren’t interested in buying anything anyway, so they would be doing me a favor by not loading my banners and such, eating away bandwidth.

    Firefox is easier to code for, because it follows correct w3 standards, unlike IE where Microsoft makes up their own standards. I only code for Firefox, Opera and other proper working alternatives.

    Fuck IE. Adblock users welcome.

    btw I don’t have any ads on my website at the moment…

  • mike

    I think that EVERYONE has the right to do whatever they want.
    I spend countless hours working on my sites that offer free info for all that want to see it. No popups or intrusions. My websites feed my family and pay my bills. You have the right to block ads, I have the right to block you from my work.
    I really don’t care about the 8% that think they should not have to see my ads. Call CNN and complain about their commercials.
    They make millions.

  • Bilybob

    Adblock is one of the best plug-ins for Firefox that I’ve ever seen. It’s too bad that IE doesn’t have something as good. Now that I think about it, the only reason I ever use IE is to update Windows, since the web site doesn’t like Firefox (I haven’t tried it lately, but I have a button on my keyboard set up just for update to load in IE).

    Why would anyone even care if those totally obtrusive ads were blocked? The best thing of all is not getting all the porn crap. How many windows do you have to close when you mistakenly click on an ad for one of those places? YIKES!

  • Matt

    If you’re going to write persuasively, don’t use words like “think” or “believe.” Come up with some solid logic, otherwise you’re just conveying your emotions.

  • jOE bOXER

    anyone know the html I can use to block firefox? nothing to do with ads, but I make websites using expression and dont have the time to rewrite the site for firefox users. I do not follow w3c, I follow Microsoft standards and run IIS.

    • redwall_hp

      There's not much point in trying. If someone wants to get through, they only have to have FF report the UserAgent as Internet Explorer.

  • Andrew

    The best part of the whole site is that Google AdSense comes up with a whole bunch of ads that promise to sell ad blocking software. That rules.

  • carter

    I just downloaded ad block and am now going to go there and see if i can leave a comment.

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  • jake3988

    They're conveniently forgetting a couple things.
    A) Firefox is not responsible for the extension. A user is.
    B) IE has extentions that do the same thing.
    C) Opera has ad-blocking and it IS built-in.
    D) The internet is inherently free to access websites. If you don't want yours to be free, charge for it. But watch your viewership plummet wildly.

  • Ben Pettis

    You know, choosing to block advertisements online is just like not looking at the big billboard ads. You don see the makers of the billboards cracking down on people for "Not viewing the ad" Choosing what you want to see or not see is something that the user decides, not the webmaster.

  • redwall_hp

    I would equate just ignoring online ads to "just not looking at the big billboard ads." Blocking them is more like having someone driving ahead of you, taking the billboards down before you see them. Just my two cents.

  • Capt. Elsie Shite

    Who cares – useful sites wil lose traffic, only crap sites will block Firefox!

  • JAC

    When ads aren't annoying anymore, maybe I'll start using IE… Maybe…

  • George

    I say let em block FF.

    Any site with a webmaster stupid enough to block Firefox probably doesn't have any content I'd enjoy anyway…

  • Ikhtiar

    How about boycott the websites that block FireFox? That should teach them a good lesson.

    Can somebody put a list of websites that block FF?

  • http://WWW.PROWARE.IT Singularity

    You can easily change browser identity (aka User Agent)
    Please take a look here and share the knowledge

    row row fight the power.

  • SLA80

    Ha ha ha! Today, in 2009, website is CLOSED.

    BTW, Browser Statistics claims, that Firefox (at last!) IS THE MOST POPULAR BROWSER in the world! Firefox market share is bigger than IE6+IE7+IE8:

    • redwall_hp

      Don't celebrate yet. It's not the most popular browser by any stretch. W3School's readers are much more tech-savvy than your garden-variety computer user. And corporate networks largely still run IE. Sad, but true. IE still has at least 70% of the market.

  • Foxy

    FIREFOX IS KING I agree, what kind of moron would block Firefox?

  • yaya man

    i love adblock plus

    firefox and abp ftw !!!

  • Christopher Price

    “# “Blocking FireFox is the only alternative.” No, shutting up is a good alternative…”

    What a great way to undermine your own thesis. Bravo.

    Please, next time, take a class in logical fallacies, you’ll see how you destroyed your credibility with that one-liner.

    • Matt

      It may not have been a wise move in a serious argument, but it’s absolutely perfect when writing for the AdBlock/Digg crowd. Back when I wrote this post in 2007 I was swimming in traffic within hours, and it’s still one of my most-viewed pages here.

      On one hand, I got a lot of exposure. On the other, I’m not too proud of the post. My writing and rhetorical skills have improved greatly since, and I sometimes wonder if I could have done better.

  • Les Johns

    I am a mini-stroke oldie who recently discovered the web. Stumbled into these informative pages and found I have lots of disgruntled Firefox friends. Wanting to learn quickly, I soon realised opportunistic cretins were taking my money to let me know I was the dickhead. This is offensive on a couple of counts, so I go without until I solve a problem.
    I got the shits of Yahoo and friends taking over the system when I installed their oft not needed crap. Their vomit is the greatest virus, the worst bug; and to retain my sanity, I instinctively avoid them as I do a blatant cougher spewing vermin at every open blast. Allowing one innocent application to enter my computer is taken as carte blanche to pollute and destroy my set-up. Theirs’ is the worst virus. Was distracted by incessant password demands not only to get to my mail, but even Firefox stuff. When I set upon removing ‘IE’ pollutants, was sent to Coventry. The bastards severed all Firefox links and I was in the netherlands for almost three days until I circumvented their nastiness. That was when I learnt to use their own browser for mail and not a far more gentler opposition. In my tech. ignorance, I didn’t realise it was incumbent upon me to email under their banner or type my password on every mail visit. It’s us V them, brothers and sisters.

  • Les Johns

    Please excuse me readers, the wording on the second line of my condemnation of IE is slanted against Firefox when it should have been in praise. Should I prepare for everlasting burning?

  • mark

    i only block the advertisements that really annoy me. like the ones that pop up in the middle of the screen obstructing the view, or start playing a video with sound and doesn’t have a mute :/

  • Matt

    As an advertiser I think this is the stupidest idea anybody could EVER follow through with. Why would you EVER try to limit the traffic you get on your website?
    Secondly any advertiser that uses the shady practices of Pop-ups and Adware software should go ahead and ban. I myself refuse to buy from any website that uses pop-ups or go to it again just because I don’t like to close the window everytime I refresh.

    This who thing is an empty threat, we should be more worried about the ACLU laws that will make ISP providers police internet users activity.

  • Charles

    If people don’t care to watch your advertisements, they will resent it if you force them to watch anyway, and not buy. Users should get to choose what ads, if any, interest them.

  • Joe Biden

    One year latorz….


  • keith

    I built this PC with parts that were purchased out of my own pocket. I pay for the electricity to run the PC, I pay for the Internet connection, and I pay the mortgage of the house that the PC resides in.

    Why would I allow advertisers to use the resources that I pay for to push their useless crap in my face so that they can make money off of me.

    • Matt

      I pay for the server resources this website runs on. That’s a computer, electricity, space in a datacenter, and an internet connection. (Technically it’s a cloud VPS, so those costs are spread across several customers instead of being fronted by one.) And my needs are relatively modest when compared to larger sites.

      Ads make the Web go ’round. If you’re so set against them, I hope you’re prepared for paywalls to become the norm. Because that’s the direction things will head if ad blocking becomes too popular.

  • Dimpl

    I do not use adblock, as personally, I think it’s fair enough for websites to make revenue for /hosting fees etc. Additionally, if they do not intrude on the user experience (pop-ups/sound/obscures the page), I like them there, as I am (if only a little bit) contributing to the website.

    On that note, IE is a stupid browser, and blocking firefox would be a stupid way to deal with adblock.

  • Dimpl

    I shouldn’t say stupid… I am all about aesthetics and usability, and firefox themes make it far nicer than IE, and add-ons make it easier to use (I <3 mouse gestures, for one). Also, it syncs bookmarks (hopefully it'll do add-ons soon!) between computers, and finally, it doesn't contain gaping security holes.

  • Modernwarfare2forums.Net

    Ur article, “Dont Block Firefox!” was in fact definitely worth writing a comment on!
    Only desired to say you really did a terrific work.
    Many thanks ,Dolores

  • Joshua Issac

    “I believe that it is within people’s rights to block online advertisements should they choose to do so.”
    And it’s within the websmaster’s rights to block visitors, should they choose to.

    “I don’t think it’s stealing, and that’s a pretty flawed business model.” (on ad-reliant websites)
    Ad-supported websites are a great way to keep content free. Of course, relying on the goodwill of visitors to not use ad-blocking programs might be flawed, depending on the target market.

    “No, shutting up is a good alternative…”
    Shutting up does not pay the bills. Paywalls, on the other hand, do.

    “Or we could employ web forensics to track down your contact information…”
    And what? Engage in illegal harrassment and cyberbullying?

  • Özge başak

    Thanks for the great article. i really appreciate it. I have been making research on the internet for a very long time and now come up with something useful. it will be a great guide for my thesis here:

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