Here’s the Thing With Trackers

I wouldn't need to block trackers if you're website wasn't drowning in them.

I don’t read Wired very often. It’s not that I have a problem with them or dislike their content (I actually find it quite good when I do visit their site), I’m just not drawn to check out their site on a regular basis unless a link is put directly in front of me. On those occasions I do check out Wired, after a short amount of time I’m greeted with the message above, and then I remember why I stopped clicking on Wired’s links. Of course I eventually forget, and the cycle continues.

I’m not writing this to rail on Wired for blocking people with ad blockers. Wired doesn’t run for free, and if you want quality content, someone needs to get paid for that. I have no problems with ads. If an ad is just an ad, it doesn’t bother me to much. Even those annoying pop ups these websites like to do to get you to subscribe to their mailing lists don’t bother me that much. A few seconds after I click the X, I’m over any disruption it may have caused. But you know what does bother me? Trackers.

I don’t use an ad blocker, I use a plugin that detects and blocks trackers. Ghostery is great at what it does, but if I was truly bothered by ads, there are better plugins than Ghostery to deal with them. While I’m not at tinfoil hat levels of paranoia regarding data privacy, I do like to take steps to protect my data, and not being tracked across the internet is one of those steps I like to take. There are a lot of people like me that wouldn’t mind ads if they didn’t come loaded with trackers. I disabled Ghostery temporarily to see how many trackers Wired is using. Results below:

That number went up by the way every time a new ad loaded. Not only do I want to deal with that many trackers, having many trackers like this slows down loading websites, and that’s another pet peeve of mine. All websites like Wired would need to do is get rid of the trackers, and I’d be more than happy to stop using my plugin that ends up blocking their ads. Actually, on websites that have ads without trackers I can see ads with no problem.

If someone from Wired actually ends up reading this, it’s something you should really consider since it’s really easy to circumvent your counter-measure. I read the entire article before disabling my blocker to take the screenshot above. The only people you’re really hurting are yourselves. Do everyone a favor and drop the trackers.