AdBlock: Software Replaces Online Ads With Anti-Censorship Messages AdBlock
Instead of showing online ads Saturday, Adblock said it would show messages from guests including Ai Weiwei, Edward Snowden and Pussy Riot in an attempt to raise awareness of cyber censorship.
Today is World Day Against Cyber Censorship! We’re celebrating those who fight for online information freedom. Amensty International and AdBlock are making the World Day against Cyber Censorship by offering AdBlock’s 50 million users the opportunity to see messages on their screen that government have tried to silence.
Most censorship occurs because of ignorance and our society being overly sensitive. However, AdBlock is speaking out against censorship, while censorship is its business. They block ads in your browser, whether they are harmful or not. While it is the user’s choice to block ads, they are blocking every ad, whether it is malicious or not. They do give the user the option of allowing some ads, but even for what they deem acceptable ads, they “recommend” the user block them. Even for them the deem anything acceptable or not is censorship. I do realize, the censorship issues they are bringing awareness to have nothing to do with revenue generating advertising, but censorship is censorship and my belief will always be that censorship of any material should only be done by the end user of the information, never an intermediary.
In china, for example, a new cyber security law requires internet service providers to disclose information about their users to the authorities. Foreign media will soon be unable to publish news online. Websites of NGOs like Amnesty International are already inaccessible.
It is up to all of us to resist these dystonia visions of an Internet not as a force for positive social change but a tool for censorship and mass surveillance. But tech companies will have a major part to play in deciding whether governments or people control the internet.
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