Weird Al posted a video today. At 5 Second Films. When I went to go see it, I was met with an error message. Of course, in the comments on the post on his Facebook page, I requested another copy of it. You know? Because I don’t respond to coercion and especially don’t disable ABP in response to it.
But, did I get another copy of it? No. I got a bunch of red herrings and ad hominem attacks about how I’m a hypocrite. And, why exactly did they call me a hypocrite? Well, aside from the fact the main reason was clearly that they didn’t want me to see the video, they cited some reasons.
Mainly they said having a Facebook page was advertising (which is not entirely true), and that I was advertising on my website (which is entirely true). Of course, in this coercive world we live in, it’s easy to overlook the coercion involved, but let’s fall back on the non-aggression principle for a minute.
If you’re trying to coerce me into viewing your advertisements, of course I’m going to respond with resistance. I’m not trying to coerce anyone to look at my adverts. Take a look at this exerpt from my FAQ’s page:
Why did a bunch of advertisements suddenly appear on your website?
The short answer is that you don’t have your AdBlock Plus up to date. The long answer is that I had to sign up for a Google AdSense account to accept my invitation into the YouTube Monetisation Programme. Since I now have an AdSense account, I’m putting it to good use. If they bother you that much, block them.
So, you see? That’s the big difference. And one might think it counter-intuitive to recommend one’s fans block one’s main source of income, but think about it. If someone is trying to force you to disable your ABP, how likely are you to do it? You’re going to be more resistant to it. You’re probably going to stay away from that site altogether. I know I’m not going back to 5 Second Films.
But, what do I do? I say you can go ahead and block the adverts if you want. And many of you do. That’s your prerogative. It’s your choice. I have a right to put them there and you have a right to not click on them, not look at them, or not even have your browser pull a request for them at all. The beauty of complete choice in the matter is that many of you choose to put an ABP exception for my site. I know you do this because I’m still making money from them.
So, is it hypocrisy to be against aggressive advertising, but not passive advertising? To be against Big Business advertising but not against the little guy that many people haven’t yet heard of advertising? Well, if it is, then we should all be hypocrites.