Controversies In Geek Culture: Adblock

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Adblock has been a big topic of controversy as of late, especially in the Poketuber community. For those who don’t know, Adblock is an extension on your internet browser that will block ads and pop-ups from showing up on websites. On many instances, Adblock can be extremely helpful, especially when visiting a strange website that could possibly give you viruses. On the other hand, Adblock can also be very harmful to content creators and businesses that generate income almost purely through ads. Thankfully, Adblock has a feature that allows you to “whitelist” certain websites, which allows ads to come up on those websites. This allows the people who run the websites to keep generating profits from their page/ad views and continue to give you the content you wish to see. We at UzerFriendly also used ads, and they could easily be removed by Adblock. However, the ads are not in the way of our articles and help us generate profit so we can continue to write great articles, like this one, for you Uzers to read. So, that being said, why is there so much controversy surrounding Adblock?

The newest stream of controversy seemed to have started from a channel update video from the popular Poketuber ShadyPenguinn. Shady touched on a variety of things in his channel, including things like upcoming videos, his side channel, and other exciting news. However, all of these things were pushed to the side as soon as he brought up Adblock. Shady politely asked his subscribers who used Adblock to whitelist YouTube so ads were no longer blocked on his, and other’s, channels. He even mentioned that if people did not whitelist YouTube, he would still love for them to keep watching his videos. He quickly moved on from that point, but the comments section still blew up with controversy surrounding Shady’s requests. There were a lot of mean and hurtful comments from subscribers who used Adblock, claiming that ShadyPenguinn and other content creators were simply on YouTube for the money and don’t care about their fan base. They declared that not only would they not turn off Adblock, but they would stop watching his videos as well. There were many other subscribers who opposed this viewpoint. I personally believe that content creators on YouTube and other websites as well should be able to generate profit through their ads. While many people don’t realize this, having a YouTube channel is considered a job. While it may be in a smaller community, YouTube creators work in a very similar way to actors and actresses on TV. Even though the people you are watching are very real, you do have to understand that they are putting on a performance for you. It’s doubtful that Tobuscus, another popular YouTuber, goes around making up songs all the time (okay, he might, but you know what I mean). In real life he is probably much more reserved. When any YouTuber starts recording themselves, they are putting on a show. They are entertaining you, much like actors on a TV show would. Not only are they acting, but they also have to record, render, edit, upload, and promote their videos almost on a daily basis. These things take time and skill to do, and could often take up their entire day. While it may seem like a video you watch did not have much editing behind it, there is a lot more to it. Having their face be in the corner while they play the game takes time and skill. Making sure that they have the right music in the background takes skill. All of these things are part of their job, which they often do the entire day, much like you would for a standard 9 to 5 job.

Since YouTubers work in the same way that actors on television do, they also have ads like you would see when watching TV. While you may not enjoy advertisements on TV, I doubt anyone has tried to actively stop them from happening. This is because they understand that the ads generate money for the show and channel. So why is it that people will sit through an hour long show with 15 minutes worth of commercials and be fine, and then complain when they’re asked to sit through a 30 second ad, or even an ad that they can skip after five seconds? Many people say it is because the people who run the YouTube channels are real life people who are trying to “suck the money” out of their viewers. First off, the content creators aren’t taking money from you directly. They are earning money from YouTube based on their ad views. So you can keep all of your money. Secondly, what does them being real people have to do with anything? Some people seem to see them as real and therefore people that they shouldn’t have to pay because they are “just like them”, and yet they tune in to watch their videos every week.

TheKingNappy, another popular Poketuber and a friend of ShadyPenguinn, made a response video to Shady’s video in which he broke down Adblock and how it affects YouTubers. He mentioned how the revenue he receives from ads helps pay for his college tuition, his grocery bill, his dog, and his equipment for recording videos . He mentioned that even the government actually makes him pay taxes based off of the profit he receives from his videos, which means that they consider it a job. So if the government considers creating content on YouTube a job, why don’t so many other people?

In the end, it all comes down to patience and understanding. People need to understand that by blocking ads, you are preventing your favorite YouTubers from earning money and making more videos for you to enjoy. In that way, you are preventing yourself from being able to watch them as well as preventing them from earning a living and being able to support themselves, simply because you can’t sit through 30 seconds of advertisement. It’s not the YouTubers’ fault anymore. It’s yours.