Ever since the first banner ad found its way online, there has been a virtual arms race between ad placement technology and ad blocking.
The latest chapter in this ongoing saga revolves around Adblock Plus, an extension that can be integrated into the Firefox browser that essentially blocks all ads. And in short, due to the fact that tools like this exist, several webmasters are now refusing to allow netizens to access their respective websites via a Firefox browser.
In the end, a few things are clear: Users of advertisement-skipping technology are essentially engaged in theft of resources.
There is nothing ethically or morally wrong with an ad-blocker. It is no different than using any other technology to filter language or explicit content. No one is being harmed nor has property been destroyed or stolen (the owner was not deprived of their property).
Plain and simple: if you do not want to pay for the bandwidth and hosting charges, don’t put material online. Just because you are trying to make a living does not mean anyone should partake in your business model. After all, should everyone that visits your site be required to click on one of the ads?
Furthermore, if you can’t survive off an ad-based revenue model, try something else – like subscriptions – or perhaps find a different day job.
Addendum: I think there is a little confusion about my original post. I was simply criticizing the notion that content theft was occurring and not criticizing the practice of blocking those with ad blockers; there is nothing wrong with anti-blocker blocking. Therefore it would be fallacious to think either group has the moral high-ground for their specific actions.