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Great news: our #adblocker was added to the @humanetech list!πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰

That's really motivating and encouraging, as well as our growing #community!

2 people reshared this

Does this have a GUI? Or is it terminal-based?
it doesn't have a GUI yet but we plan to develop one in the future

hecker reshared this.

Oh that'd be awesome! I would consider adding it to our linux TROMjaro distro by default if it had a GUI. :) Thank you for your work!
wow, well in that case we'll keep you notified :)
Please do! We already ship our distro with a tweaked Firefox to block ads, trackers, even sponsored content from youtube videos, and more. So a system-wide tool to block ads/trackers would suit better than just protecting the browser. One browser that is.
So I assume this is like a blocklist for blocking ad/tracker domains, right ?

I've once tried using the /etc/hosts file in linux to do this, you might be aware of this project -

But here's my question, where else would there be ads on your system except your browser ? If you're a Linux user then most of the programs you use would be FOSS and ad-free anyway. And we all know that ublock origin is better for blocking browser ads.

hecker reshared this.

well, that's a pertinent question. The point is that TBlock does indeed block ads, but not only. It can also block tracking inside software. For instance, even though uBlock Origin can block trackers *on web pages*, it can't block the telemetry that is built-in *in your browser* (such as Mozilla Telemetry or all this Google crap).

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I use librewolf so I'm not that worried about telemetry in my browser, but I do get your point. If I ever have to install anything that has telemetry or ads then having a blocklist can protect me from these, its nice that users have this option. I think @tio's point is relevant here, more and more FOSS programs are starting to use ads and trackers these days, audacity being a popular example.

TBlock reshared this.

And to answer your previous toot, yes, StevenBlack hosts are officially supported by TBlock: (warning: unfortunately this link requires JS)

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That's great, I'll check this out. I use with runit as my init system, it looks like TBlock doesn't support this currently. Will you be adding runit support soon ? If you tell me what the openrc init service does then I'll try to cook something up for runit that does the same thing.
I use Artix too :) Well, since writing a runit service doesn't seem too complicated, I can try to release a package that is compatible with runit before the end of the weekπŸ‘
Basically, the service simply executes /usr/bin/tblockd --daemon --config /etc/tblock.conf

I just opened an issue for that:
Well think about the fact that all browsers will be protected by this. Plus more and more foss apps may start to use trackers and ads. I've seen this already.

2 people reshared this

Appart from convenience what's the motivation behind blocking ads? Anything doing any kind of tracking should of course be blocked. But just plain ads? What revenue model is the alternative (under capitalism)?
On the first other motivations are e.g. more performance / speedier web and energy saved. Also your time.

The revenue is an eternal discussion. It's likely that without ads more services are paid, either as one-off or subscription.

That's nice if you have the money, less of if you are not that privileged. There are revenue models that take this into account e.g. "Pay what you want" and maybe with a minimum of $1 or something.

There's a range of other options to pick.
Though I dislike ads in general, there's also so-called Ethical Ads. The ones that don't track you. Like what @Mojeek is implementing in their search engine, that are based on your search query. Or I think it was Gitbook, based on what you are documenting.
And there's entirely different models, like #TradeFree where @tio is a passionate advocate.
Yes indeed, and we don't say our users "should" block ads. We believe that users are free to choose what to block. If they don't want to be bothered at all, then they can block everything. They can also add exception for "ethical ads".
However, what we oppose to is targeted advertising and surveillance-capitalism. We don't believe ads are evil. But we think tracking is. Ads should never compromise the privacy of people. That's what we fight against.
I also find marketing in general to be of concern. I notice that I still recall marketing jingles I heard when I was 6 years old and worry about what other stuff might be living rent-free in my subconscious, influencing me in ways I cannot detect. I would prefer a world with less everyday exposure to marketing, regardless of surveillance.
Apart from these theoretical questions I am very happy not to be bothered by ads. I would rather pay a kind of "entrance" fee to a service contribute to existing costs.
My opinion : Ads are basically a violation of our free will, it is not possible to fight against ads like it is not possible to really erase some memory from your brain. To be able to control your consumption, you have first to skip ads.
Tracking is a related issue since used to target adds mainly.
I bet some of you will have that one TV commercial from your childhood etched into your memory, lol πŸ˜‚

Rokosun reshared this.

If I ask people to name 10 brand names they'll be able to do it in a minute, but if I ask them to name some volunteering or humanitarian projects, then I won't find many answers. So we make sure people know about a hundred different useless brands, but not the projects that actually cares about people. Believe it or not, but one important reason for many projects not having enough volunteers is because people don't even know they exist.
When an ad comes on, I mute my device and look away for a minute... Ads just... don't have any value to me.
Try to block ads if you can:
well, my main job is a humanitarian project, so that's one at least - but I know what you mean. @artlog@tinderness@duncan_lithgow@tblock@humanetech
we support individuals with intellectual disabilities here. and in the past I've worked in low-income public schools and a workshop for the elderly 😺 @artlog@tinderness@duncan_lithgow@tblock@humanetech
If that's unusual, then it's kinda sad.
Because what you do is really generous, and it would be great if more people did it :)
I agree, volunteering should be the norm :)
Happy to hear that, people like you make the world a better place. And I know there are many good people in the world who're willing to volunteer if they get the opportunity, that's why its important to make it accessible. Like I said, currently people know more brand names than they know about such projects, in a sane world this should be the other way around.
I suspect that part of that is marketing? Like how a lot of kids know the name McDonald's because of the commercials @artlog@tinderness@duncan_lithgow@tblock@humanetech
Yes this whole thread was actually about advertisements :)
In a sane world charities would also form alliances and help promote each other. There would also be less of them so they could do more. Sadly many of them seem to be ego projects as much about virtue signalling ... sorry I'm so negative about this but I think so many good people spend time helping small and inefficient charities.
I'm kinda inspired by, there are so many good projects out there, online & offline. But I get your point, in a sane world these projects would be more organized. I believe FOSS could play a big role here, since we now use the internet for global collaboration.

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that's the thing. If more people were willing to do the hard work of coordinating and organizing the whole field would be more effective. But many people just want to do their own 'makes me feel good' projects. Nothing inherently wrong with that - it's just emotionally driven rather than driven by results. Check out
I'll have a look at the website you linked, anyway its good to know there are people trying to tackle this problem :)
so what I myself am doing is working in @osarch to bring together and coordinate #FOSS projects in #architecture #engineering & #construction. Sometimes boring, but the impact is starting to get there after the first two years.
That's good, I didn't know about @osarch, followed it now :)

It all ties back to my initial point about advertisement, I wish more people knew about projects like yours instead of these useless brand names and such. How can it be OK for us to show ads about commercial companies when there are lots of good projects out there that need our attention for good.
my take on ads is to ban them generally so that the only way to get advice on purchases is in consumer magazines. Wouldn't that be a different world to live in! Idea needs a lot of work, curious if anyone has thought this completely through.
The way I look at it is that consumerism itself is a problem and ads are just an extension of it, lol πŸ˜„

And I don't know if you need consumer magazines to get advice on purchases, if a product is good enough then people who use it will recommend others. And I believe there are some communities for this kinda stuff, like /r/buyitforlife on reddit.
I don't agree, new products and solutions need access to an audience. Going through consumer mags instead of huge marketing budgets seems to me like a good compromise. Good products do still break - just replacing them or asking a friend isn't always the smartest solution.
If you trust your consumer mags to do a good job of finding you good products then you can use them. I would personally trust a community like /r/buyitforlife or something similar compared to a commercial magazine.
who said commercial? I said consumer mag. buyitforlife is a fine example - if they can keep troll free.
OK so maybe I misunderstood what you meant by consumer mag, sorry.
suddenly i see a world full of consumer groups co-opted by industry saying nasty things about each other ... so many problems with this idea.
Ads means: buy this! And we live in a society where everything is going downhill. Just ask the UN. Biodiversity is lost at tremendous rates, people are exploited in masses, inequality is rising, waste is increasing by a lot, degradation of nature overall is increasing, climate change, and so on. And yet, ads are telling us we should keep on consuming endlessly. In 2019 humans spent double the amount of money on ads than they spent on renewable energies.

So I would argue the "tracking" is not the biggest issue with ads at all. It is the "ads" themselves, that are a result of our trade based society. A society that all it values is trading, this for that.

And yeah, on top of this all, ads encourage those who make them to hype anything, lie, deceive....

So, a lot of issues with a(i)ds.

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yeah, ads are clearly a product of our way to live in society. Users are often considered as a product, just as earth and its resources are. So, tracking is just a small part of the problem, you are right.
I agree with what you say. Though I'd like nuance (at least how I look at it) that we have the Ads model we so abhor. And then we have the innocuous verb 'to advertise', meaning: showing what you have.

The latter we can't do without. If you hadn't 'advertised' #TROM I wouldn't know about it.

If behind a door is a bakery but no indication it is there, then no one will get to their bread.

So I think not all advertising is bad. But the word itself we see as 'evil'.

TBlock reshared this.

I would say advertising that gets in the way (also sidewalk billboards) is bad. But agreed, advertising per se is not always bad, but then I'm actually against all paid advertising, maybe that's a whole different discussion.
This discussion is really interesting, maybe we should clarify our opinions about it on our website (or at least in a blog post)
Advertising, or more properly #Marketing as it relates to Edward Bernays and his "#Propaganda" (1928) is all about manipulation, hence its long strong bonds to Psychology.

/Business/ on the other hand, is about conversations, about community interdependencies, about being useful. I have no problem with businesses being useful, even if I don't care for that use-case.

I'm not, however, fond of marketing. I'd so hoped #structureddata would obsolesce it.
To advertise, promote, showcase something, is different from the "ads" that we see today, at least most of them. Of course I am referring to the ads-industry. Not UN for example "advertising" (promoting/showcasing) their pledge to feed poor people. At times our words are not sufficient to distinguish such things.

So the ads-market is what I am talking about of course. The ads that are about consumerism.

hecker reshared this.

Yes, consumerism is probably the most appropriate word for the problem we are talking about
In another subthread I was bemoaning how marketing is designed to infect our subconscious minds with information going against our best interest, and I think that is what you mean by one of your uses of "advertising" here, and so I would propose the word "marketing" to describe the goal of subconsciously influencing future behavior, as opposed to just informing.
"Marketing" has gotten a real negative connotation because of the many malpractices we've come to associate with it. There are other words too, we've come to see as 'dirty' or 'evil', such as PR.

But marketing is a broad field. If you'd say "Writing is propaganda", that's also a non-match. Squeezing something broad into something narrow. Same with marketing. If I reach out to fine folks for my FOSS projects, then I do marketing and PR.
agreed that the field of marketing includes other activities that aren't manipulative, such as performing research to learn what "the market" wants to buy. Fitting a product to market is a good and necessary activity; making the market fit around the product by manipulating people into behaving as the seller would like is the part I'm concerned by.
Marketing refers to activities a company undertakes to promote the buying or selling of a product or service. Marketing includes advertising, selling, and delivering products to consumers or other businesses. Some marketing is done by affiliates on behalf of a company.

I cannot see how marketing is a good thing overall. This is not a general term like "writing". It is specific to trading.
Back when ads were nothing more than a static panel with text on the side, I was mostly okay with them. Now they are unbelievably invasive animations that dynamically reflow pages and work very hard to be in the way of content. They make pages incredibly unpleasant to read and slow everything down.
Long live the ad and tracking blockers πŸŽ‰

Still greatly enjoying an ad-free web :D
Coupled with ublock I can apparently block 94% of ads/trackers (better than what I get which each one individually). That's a good score. The amount of identifying information leakage remains the same though (I'm using librewolf BTW).
out of curiosity, What are the blocking scores of them individually?
it probably depends on the blocklists you use with each of them, but it would be interesting to know, indeed
The lists used will indeed affect this score and I am using quite some lists... Anyway, the score for tblock only of 77% while ublock alone already scored 93%. Combining both tools affects the way that ads are blocked (i.e. placeholders visibility).