Since it's a very hot topic at the moment, Mozilla decided to give us its opinion about ad-blockers. In a recent post published on its official blog, the company that develops Firefox proposed three main principles to be used as guidelines for ad-blocking software. While they aren't anything new or original, the three laws seem to be decent and well-thought. According to Mozilla, the three main criteria by which every ad-blocker should guide itself are Content Neutrality, Openness and Transparency & Control. I'll tell you what each of them means and then you can judge for yourselves how these principles sound and if they need more work.
- Content Neutrality means that ad-blockers should specifically target the webpage content that has a negative impact over the functionality, privacy or security of the website. This is a shift from the current trend, as most of the present-day ad-blocking applications stop all the advertisements, without distinguishing between the ones that put the users at risk or annoy them and those which are completely harmless.
- Openness is a principle which states that there should always be an open channel of communications between the companies that develop ad-blocking software and those that make money from posting ads on websites. This way, if something happens and an ad gets blocked for a valid reason, the advertiser can always fix matters and quickly get back into the good graces of the ad-blocker.
- Transparency & Control is an idea which states that ad-blocking applications should make it easy for the users to understand exactly what is being blocked and allow them to white-list anything they desire at any given time. This is already true for most of the ad-blockers on the market, so I don't think that it needs any additional explanations.
Although the company stated that this is just the first draft of the rules, Mozilla hopes that these criteria will be generally accepted and used by the entire Internet sooner rather than later.