Speaking of the Verge, Nilay Patel wrote an article a little while back about content blockers, and it ruffled some feathers. I was preparing a response to it when mine was summarily made redundant by Samantha Bielefeld’s excellent retort. Her followup to some back-and-forth with Patel on Twitter is equally golden:
As long as The Verge survives, who cares right? Far be it for a larger publication to take a stand and help enact some change. Not only will small publishers be the ones to vanish, but it will be because their voices don’t carry as far as Vox Media. His article states that the web is dying, yet, he plays it off as nothing more than a war amongst leading tech companies. Apparently the issue has absolutely nothing to do with advertising networks who don’t respect the experience or privacy of the visitors to sites they display ads on.
A great deal of media outlets published, I think, very respectable replies and opinion pieces to ad blockers in iOS. Some were concerned over the future of their sites, others were more concerned about individual writers, and plenty thought it might do the web a favour despite — or perhaps because of — the collateral damage.
But Patel’s response was a semi-conspiratorial prediction of the end of the web, thanks to fighting between Facebook, Google, and Apple. It barely made any sense, unless you’re already hopelessly cynical about this sort of thing. Bielefeld did a great job deconstructing it.