Why Danny Carlton is Blocked
Danny Carlton is the infamous loony fruitcake who apparently has a problem with Ad Block Plus, the award-winning Firefox plug-in that blocks those intrusive adverts that nobody wants to see, on web sites like Danny Carlton's. This deeply essential anti-spam tool transforms Web browsing from the unbearable slog through (what has become) a cesspool of online advertising, into the Utopian haven of ad-free browsing that we can now enjoy, thus making the Interweb a safe and pleasant land, protecting Web surfers from notorious ad-revenue spammers like Danny Carlton.
Danny Carlton is a right-wing extremist, who apparently makes money from advertising-spam on his Web sites by day, and takes bible classes by night (was there ever a more improbable oxymoron? Presumably the bible classes are free, but with right-wing extremists, one never knows). The problem is, of course, that people hate spam (not to mention right-wing extremists), and do everything in their power to avoid it, including using tools like Ad Block Plus (and occasionally large, blunt instruments). This then means that spammers like Danny Carlton make less money spamming people, which means his little spam operation is not lucrative enough to cover the daily cost of buying his hamburgers and soda; and ultimately might mean that the fat, lazy bastard actually has to go out and work for a living (for a change). This could conceivably cause him to die from a heart attack (fat bastards are especially susceptible), and that wouldn't be good for his spamming operation at all, would it? Although it would have the benefit of saving him a small fortune in taxes, which for the archetypal right-wing extremists who seem to favour greed over life itself, might actually be a genuine consideration.
Now you may think, dear reader, that this would be the end of the story, with our intrepid anti-hero skulking off into the misty darkness, cursing the day that Tim Berners Lee ever conceived of the Wibbly Wobbly Web. But no ... the aforementioned anti-hero has, in fact, decided to embark upon a fiery crusade against the forces of righteousness, by branding the good people as "thieves", denouncing the use of anti-spam tools as "theft", blocking these good people from accessing his spam-infested Web sites (no loss there then, eh?), and ranting furiously and monotonously against those who would dare to challenge his spam operation.
Danny Carlton is a delusional megalomaniac, who seems to think that the whole world has some kind of legal and moral obligation to view advertisements. This is indeed a bizarre misconception. If I leave the room or change channels whilst adverts are being shown on television, am I breaking the law? If I browse a Web site, and use my fingers to cover up an advert, so I can no longer see it, am I committing some mortal sin? If I pluck out my eyes, and perforate my eardrums, so that I never again have to be subjected to the horrors of advertising-spam, does that make me evil (or just loony-tunes like Danny Carlton)? So what's the difference between that, and using some software to conveniently and automatically block it for me? If I don't want to see adverts, then there is no law in the world that compels me to endure them, and (God forbid) if there is such a law, then that law needs to be abolished as a matter of extreme urgency. As one Digg commenter recently put it (paraphrased); "Advertising is an opportunity ... not a right." One advertises in the hope that people may see and respond to that advertisement ... not in the expectation that the law or some twisted sense of morality will compel people to do so.
Advertising is spam, it's intrusive, it's a distraction from the real content, it's annoying, it wastes the bandwidth that I pay for, and often it's destructive too (television programmes, for example, are often mercilessly hacked to pieces by the broadcasters, just to ensure they can accommodate the contractually agreed period of advertising space). I used to buy print magazines, but over the years they became so bogged down with adverts that it just wasn't worth either the cover price or the effort of reading them. Like many people, I turned to the sanctuary of the Web, and now enjoy user-generated content on social networking sites like Digg, and in personal Blogs. I've even substituted my television viewing time for time on YouTube and other video sites.
Print media, television, radio ... these things are dinosaurs; they're doomed to extinction. User-generated content is the future, but in order to enjoy such content, it has to be given freely, without restrictions, and without the disease of advertising. The benefit should be in the symbiosis ... you generate my content, and I generate yours ... not some greedy drive for money. Want to earn some money? Then get a job, you lazy git, and stop sponging off your site visitors by spamming them with adverts. There needs to be a distinction drawn between private Web sites (i.e. Blogs), and commercial Web sites that exist purely to generate revenue. Then people like Danny Carlton need to decide which type of Web site they want to operate, rather than luring people into what is ostensibly a private site, only to be inundated by online advertising-spam. At the very least, such site owners aught to warn potential visitors (porn site style) that the site these hapless Web-wanderers are about to enter contains advertising-spam, and then give those visitors the choice to proceed into the Web site, or be redirected back to the referring page. Meanwhile I, and nearly everybody else (i.e. normal people), will continue to block advertising and all other forms of spam, using any tools necessary to accomplish that goal.
Naturally, Danny Carlton doesn't like his spamming activity being thwarted by his prospective victims in this way, so he has "spat the dummy" and produced some blocking scripts and two supposedly official looking redirect pages; whyfirefoxisblocked.com, and (what I presume is) his latest effort whydiggisblocked.com, as a sort of deterrent against what he describes as "content thieves". Yes, I know ... I'm still laughing.
Danny Carlton, who posts under the pseudonym of "Jack Lewis", hypocritically proclaims on the front page of that Blog that "me and my blog, we will serve the LORD!" ... with advertising revenue, presumably. I wonder - does God accept cash or credit? For someone who purports to be so religiously devout, Danny Carlton seems to have developed a decidedly irreligious obsession with money, don't you think? Well, as it says in the bible; "Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth" - (Matthew 5:5). Danny Carlton, it seems, will inherit nothing ... except 30 pieces of silver. May he spend them wisely.
Apparently this Danny Carlton nutter has even petitioned the developers of Ad Block Plus, to modify their software to make it easy for him to identify, and therefore block users of that software from accessing his spam-infested Web site. We may safely assume that the Ad Block Plus developers politely declined his intriguing suggestion to effectively render their software useless.
Vexed by the Ad Block Plus developer's lack of enthusiasm for his cunning plan, Danny Carlton has taken to simply blocking Firefox instead, thus excluding up to 28% of the browser market in some regions. Fortunately, demographics also show that raving loonies like Danny Carlton are an extreme minority, so Web surfers needn't worry about being blocked from viewing actually useful content ... unlike the spam on Danny Carlton's Web site. What Danny "Einstein" Carlton also fails to appreciate, is that there is more than one way to skin a spammer's cat (to coin a phrase), and that there are numerous tools out there that can also achieve exactly the same effect as Ad Block Plus, such as Privoxy, for example. So his little crusade against just this single plug-in is quite futile; it's like trying to eat soup with a fork.
In response to Danny Carlton's attack on Firefox users, I have created my own little redirect pages, including the one you are reading now, and one called Kill Bill's Browser. The former doesn't actually redirect from anywhere, it merely serves as information about the spammer called Danny Carlton for those who may be interested. The latter does in fact serve as a redirect, for anyone who attempts to access the main Slated site using Internet Explorer. I know, I know ... "two blacks don't make a white", ad nauseam ... but if it's good enough for spammers like Danny Carlton to block Firefox, then it's good enough for me to block IE. Two can play at that game. As for the visitors I'll lose ... well unlike spammers like Danny Carlton, I'm not selling anything, therefore I don't have anything to lose, so I really don't give a damn. If Danny Carlton ever drops dead and takes his "block Firefox" crap with him to the grave, then I'll remove that IE redirect ... promise ;)
Meanwhile, anyone brave (or should that be stupid?) enough to actually want to view one of Danny Carlton's spam-infested Web sites, without having to endure the spam, and without being redirected to his ridiculous little anti-Firefox page, should download the User Agent Switcher plug-in, and follow the simple instructions at visualguides.org. The latter is only for if and when you should be unfortunate enough to be redirected to one of Danny Carlton's Web sites from referrers like Digg - or whatever site Danny Carlton has taken a disliking to on that particular day.
If you are offended by Danny Carlton, then please contact the Laureate Insane Asylum in Tulsa, and ask them to commit Danny Carlton for an indefinite period of psychiatric evaluation. You'll be doing the world a favour, trust me.
Other comments on Danny Carlton ...
"To counter the problem, [Danny Carlton has] thrown the baby out with the bathwater and kicked 13% or so of the Internet off his site ... Users are solid gold. Even the ones that block ads. They sometimes write comments, which is free content. They link to you from their own blog. And they tell friends about your site. All that leads to more readers and, ultimately, more revenue ... Carlton doesn't agree, apparently. Although I wonder why he continues to provide a full content feed, sans ads, at jacklewis.net/weblog/atom.xml (and it has been reposted here). Those users are “stealing” his content, too. What about them?" - techcrunch.com
"Unless he runs a site that requires people who view it to click on the ads via a contractual agreement, then not clicking on ads is a personal choice, not an illegal action.
I wonder if he believes that people who purchase goods from a cheap merchant as opposed to an overpriced merchant are "stealing" from the overpriced merchant." - visualguides.org
"This shit pisses me off to no end.
Just because I see an ad, that doesn't mean I'm going to click it. And my visiting a site is in no way a guarantee that I will; I made no promise nor signed any agreement that I would click on your ads because you "allowed" me to visit your site. You should be fucking happy I'm there, because if I'm there, I might tell others about your site, and someone else just might click an ad.
Saying that software blocking ads is an infringement on the website's rights is the most asinine bullshit i've ever heard. You don't have a right to profit or make money on ads - you have an opportunity. Saying that my vising your site and not clicking your ads means i've violated your rights is like telling someone that going to the mall to compare prices but not actually buy something is infringing upon the store's rights. It's complete horseshit." - Digg
"This is hilarious. Nowhere is it written that anyone has "the right to advertise". How utterly ridiculous. Nor is any human on the planet expected or forced to read advertising. This madness belongs in the same bin as people who want to make ad-skipping technology for TV and DVDs "illegal", or akin to theft.
When does this madness stop? What next - will be it "illegal" to scroll past advertising on websites soon? Will it be "illegal" to leave the room when ads appear on TV? Am I taking away the rights of publishers when I flick past advertising in magazines without even reading it? Perhaps the owner of the site would like to stand over my shoulder and make sure I read all and any advertising that enters my household, line by line? I wonder... do they do the same when they read print media?
Advertising is disgusting and intrusive. I applaud anyone who takes electronic measures to remove it from media. And if that cuts into the revenue of the media publishers, then tough. Instead of complaining about how the market is regulating itself and how people are taking control of the media they take in, go and get a real job. You live in a capitalist society by choice. Don't complain that it doesn't work when people take their eyes and money elsewhere. That's truly their right as consumers, and not your right as a media publisher or advertiser to stop them." - Digg