Salon has every right to hijack your laptop to mine cryptocurrency while you read it

jordan hoffner salon

Salon is mining cryptocurrency via the web browser of any reader who refuses to turn off their adblocker.
The liberal web magazine is being totally upfront about it, and readers have a choice: They can turn their adblockers off.
This is a cunning solution to the problem of people who think the web should be free.
The web isn’t free, duh.

Salon, the liberal, San Francisco-based web magazine, has a new adblocking policy: Either turn off your adblocker to read the site, or you can keep it and let Salon take the unused computing power on your machine to mine cryptocurrency.

The decision is, needless to say, controversial.

When I tweeted about it yesterday I was surprised by how many of my followers thought this was a good idea.

That got me thinking: This is a good idea.

If you use an adblocker, this is your fault

You see, Salon isn’t a charity. There is no ethical or legal requirement for Salon to provide you with free news and opinions. Websites are in no way “free.” Someone has to pay to publish them, to maintain them and keep them on the net. If you’ve ever tried running even the smallest web site you’ll know that the monthly costs of keeping one alive start to mount pretty quickly. Any company that publishes news that you can read for “free” is, in fact, paying thousands of dollars to keep it “free.”

And yet there is this weird belief, seemingly held by 90% of people on the internet, that there is a requirement for media companies to pay your internet server, and publishing costs, in order to provide you with information free of charge.

Most media companies, obviously, pay for these costs by hosting advertisements on their sites. But a few years ago, many people — again, it feels like 90% of people on the internet — decided that ads were ruining their “free” web experience, so they started using adblockers.

Adblockers are software add-ons that you can plug into your web browser. They prevent ads from being shown on any website you look at. Surfing the web while using Ghostery or Ad Block Plus is a wonderful experience. Pages load quicker, and there are fewer ads to look at.

The only problem with adblockers is that they will eventually bankrupt the websites you’re looking at, unless those web sites do something else to make money. That’s why so many websites refuse to show you any content until your turn your adblocker off. That is a war that was largely won by the publishing companies.

Recently, more companies have decided to start charging for their content. Business Insider has put a small amount of its content behind a paywall, called BI Prime. When we first started doing this, a lot of people got angry (probably a small minority of readers, but on Twitter it can feel like “everyone”). They were enraged that we were no longer going to give them everything free of charge.

‘Hey @Salon, this is a terrible idea’

Now Salon has taken …read more

Source:: Business Insider


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