KDE / Qt Fiber Web Browser To Take The Reasonable Approach To Dealing With Ads
Written by Michael Larabel in KDE on 20 September 2015 at 08:57 AM EDT. 33 Comments
KDE --
Fiber, the new open-source web browser aligned with Qt/KDE and is generating a fair amount of interest, has laid out details regarding their planned ad policy.

Ken Vermette, the lead developer working on Fiber, wrote a blog post to clarify the browser's position following news of GNOME's Epiphany using AdBlock and Do-Not-Track by default.

Ken wrote in his latest blog post:
Ultimately I’m fine with ads, they’re a well-known method for site operators earning the sweat of their brow. Many websites don’t have the staff, time, or prominence to use alternative means of income such as sponsored articles or direct user funding.
It’s a tough situation because I think it’s the right of a website to display the content they want, but it’s the right of the user to decide who they give their information to. This is compounded by the fact that it’s near impossible to keep track of what ad providers you are dealing with, as some sites can use several advertisers in tandem. On a very personal level this has affected what extensions I use day-to-day, and I personally use NoScript now.
I want Fiber to one day become a ‘legitimate’ browser, the kind which respects the general spirit of the web as a content medium. Part of this is making Fiber a good citizen, and for that reason I have no intention of bundling an ad-blocker, as advertising is part of the web and essential for many sites to function. This does not mean there will not be an ad-blocking solution, but it does mean users will need to consciously install one and there will not be an ‘official’ Fiber ad-blocker.
Long story short I will not seek to have Fiber specifically block advertisers on a vanilla installation, and I think bundling those tools with a browser is offensive to legitimate advertisers and online businesses. If those advertisers choose to stalk and track users then I will work to ensure privacy is maintained, and at that point it’s the choice of websites to decide who they work with and whether they respect user privacy.
As a web publisher but also someone that doesn't use any ad blockers to respect other web publishers who but their blood, sweat, and tears into their work, great decision, Ken! Repeating my stance on ad blocking is like a broken record, so simply put, if you insist on using an ad-blocker while visiting Phoronix, please consider subscribing to Phoronix Premium to get ad-free viewing as well as seeing large articles all on a single page or at the least consider a PayPal. In regards to advertisers engaging in tracking and such, yes, it's a sad reality. But for those that say "get a different ad network" or "sell the ads yourself!", it's easier said than done, especially when focusing upon a niche like the "Linux enthusiast" topics covered on Phoronix where few companies with large ad budgets are specifically interested in ad buys compared to all the possibilities out there for Windows or Apple sites.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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