AdNauseam extension blocked

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Moonchild
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AdNauseam extension blocked

Unread postby Moonchild » Sat, 26 Aug 2017, 21:30

Since proponents of this extension will likely be unhappy or have questions as to why, and likely want to be vocal about this addition:

After investigating the AdNauseam extension's behavior and the results for web publishers, the extension has been added to the Pale Moon blocklist with a severity level of 2 (meaning you won't be able to enable it unless you increase the blocking level in about:config to 3). For those unfamiliar with this extension: it generates false ad "clicks" to ad servers in an attempt to generate "noise" for the ad networks in a protest against the advertising network system as a whole.
While the premise behind this is similar to poisoning trackers with false fingerprints (which we are proponents of, ourselves), and we normally let users decide for themselves what they want to do with their browser, we are strictly against allowing extensions that cause direct damage (including damage to third parties). There is a subtle but important difference between blocking content and generating fake user interaction.

As such, this decision to block was made because of the following reasons:
  • Generating fake clicks on ads will flag publisher accounts with "invalid traffic". If this kind of traffic persists, it causes damage for the website owners who run ads:
    • One facet of damage caused is direct devaluation of ad locations on any and all websites visited by people who have this extension active. This lowers the direct revenue website owners receive for legitimate clicks.
    • Another facet of damage caused is direct punishment of publishers who generate more than a minimal amount of invalid traffic - ad networks will in response cull anything that can't be strictly verified as legitimate clicks (often in their sole discretion).
    • In extreme cases, publisher accounts may even be shut down entirely.
  • Generating this kind of traffic does not achieve its intended goal (providing protest against ad networks or causing advertising to fail for ad networks) since the ones punished are the publishers (those who rely on this revenue) and not the ad networks.
  • While it is not considered "click fraud" (because the publisher isn't benefiting from users generating false clicks with AdNauseum -- the opposite, in fact), it is causing problems for the overall health of the Internet economy, especially those who need this kind of revenue to keep their sites and services free to the public.

Because this extension causes direct and indirect economic damage to website owners, it is classified as malware, and as such blocked.
This won't be reconsidered unless and until such time as the "ad click generation" feature has been removed from the extension.
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Re: AdNauseam extension blocked

Unread postby ironsmash » Sat, 26 Aug 2017, 22:09

Dear moonchild,

It is hard for me not to use strong verbal language here.
I am a long time PaleMoon user, and i read the motto like "your browser, your way".
Sadly, it isn't anymore. as i need to fuck about in about:config to enable this addon.

I never used this addon until i saw that it was blocked just yet. If you seriously decide to
block this addon for being "malware" while it isn't malware, that is really bad.
First of all, users should have the ability to run any addon they want, on the click of a button.
Secondly, Adnauseam only does this for tracking ads out of the box.
Thirdly, If Palemoon decides to block an addon out of Ideological reasons, as we all know this practically means the end of palemoon.

If palemoon really is "Your browser, Your way", it should allow users to run and/or use any addon they personally wish.
not considering this addon's contents or uses at all.
Don't follow the google route. there is a reason why we don't all use FireFox.
The Malware filter should exist to protect the users, but i shouldn't be used for shit like this.

When i saw that palemoon blocks this addon with my ow eyes, something inside me broke.
It made me realise that there are now, at this current time, 0 bowsers left that are worth my time.

Don't block anything out of your own ideological view. That means that I, and many others will stop using Palemoon as there daily browser. for more views of other people, view the thread over on /g/.

Greetings, a concerned palemoon user who is now deciding wether to keep using this browser.

Only if it is free as in freedom.

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Re: AdNauseam extension blocked

Unread postby ayylmao » Sat, 26 Aug 2017, 23:10

Better hardcode that block into the browser, buddy.

I can just choose to not use your blocklist and merrily "infect" my browser with a alledged "malware" of a extension.

kek.

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Re: AdNauseam extension blocked

Unread postby Defiant » Sun, 27 Aug 2017, 00:38

Stuff like this is what drove people from Firefox to Palemoon in the first place. People are sick and tired of this. We don't care if you disagree with the reasoning behind the addon. It's not your role as a browser developer to tell us what we can't and can't do. It has absolutely nothing to do with you whatsoever.

I'm really disappointed because switching to Palemoon was a big deal for me and now it looks like I'm going to have to explore other options. Congratulations, that's what happens when you elect yourself internet sheriff.

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Re: AdNauseam extension blocked

Unread postby aquachan » Sun, 27 Aug 2017, 00:57

With the upcoming Firefox 57 (massive) downgrade, I've been looking and evaluating various alternatives and Pale Moon was on top of my list. But after this post, I've decided against Pale Moon. It seems that Pale Moon's creators are pushing their ideology, values and beliefs onto everyone who uses their software. This is completely incompatible with freedom and I simply cannot accept this.

Hope you come to your senses are realize how evil it what you're doing.

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Re: AdNauseam extension blocked

Unread postby Moonchild » Sun, 27 Aug 2017, 00:57

Yup. you can all calm down and take some time to educate yourself about the damage this can and will cause to small-website owners (including just about all FOSS projects out there that aren't sustaining themselves on pure charity) and understand that this is not done arbitrarily or lightly.

This has nothing to do with dislike or ideology. It has everything to do with the real damage caused to website owners. You don't like Google? Then don't play into their cards by allowing them to punish publishers for "invalid traffic" by having an extension generating it, and throttle back your rage.

If you want to leave over what is considered a blocking of malware, then be my guest -- but at least inform yourself properly about the impact of this extension before you draw your hasty conclusions, TYVM.
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Re: AdNauseam extension blocked

Unread postby aquachan » Sun, 27 Aug 2017, 01:08

Moonchild wrote:Yup. you can all calm down and take some time to educate yourself about the damage this can and will cause to small-website owners (including just about all FOSS projects out there that aren't sustaining themselves on pure charity) and understand that this is not done arbitrarily or lightly.

This has nothing to do with dislike or ideology. It has everything to do with the real damage caused to website owners. You don't like Google? Then don't play into their cards by allowing them to punish publishers for "invalid traffic" by having an extension generating it, and throttle back your rage.

If you want to leave over what is considered a blocking of malware, then be my guest -- but at least inform yourself properly about the impact of this extension before you draw your hasty conclusions, TYVM.


It is not up to browser or device vendors to decide what's acceptable and what's not acceptable use with their products. Are you also going to ban porn sites because that's unacceptable to many? Where does this thinking end?

You've just taken a page from 1984 or some fascist book and are pushing your beliefs onto others.

It's also quite telling that you've taken the side of adtech companies that are the literal sewer of the Internet.

Palezzz

Re: AdNauseam extension blocked

Unread postby Palezzz » Sun, 27 Aug 2017, 01:13

If you believe adblockers are a detriment to small site owners, then why do you proudly promote "Adblock Latitude" in your list of Pale Moon extensions?

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Re: AdNauseam extension blocked

Unread postby half-moon » Sun, 27 Aug 2017, 01:26

Palezzz wrote:If you believe adblockers are a detriment to small site owners, then why do you proudly promote "Adblock Latitude" in your list of Pale Moon extensions?


I think in the original post he made a clear distinction that this extension doesn't really block ads.

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Re: AdNauseam extension blocked

Unread postby half-moon » Sun, 27 Aug 2017, 01:29

Moonchild, I usually take your side on many things but this is one of those times where I have to say this decision isn't right. Maybe your heart is in the right place, but this really solves nothing.

EDIT: sorry for double post.

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Re: AdNauseam extension blocked

Unread postby Moonchild » Sun, 27 Aug 2017, 01:34

I repeat, it has nothing to do with ideologies, and there is an important difference between blocking content and generating fake user interaction.

Would you consider a botnet malware? I would.

You should understand that installing this extension makes your browser into a "click bot" that directly damages the income of website owners. Sure, it may not directly impact you as a browser user whether you generate this "noise" to supposedly mitigate "ad surveillance", but it most certainly impacts the websites you visit, and the lives of the people operating such sites. Advertisers and ad networks will happily dock pay for anything that remotely looks like a bot (often generalized in broad strokes, which may include blacklisting all Pale Moon traffic as "invalid"; in which case it's also protecting ourselves by preventing this known-bad behavior).

If the impact wasn't major and very real, I would not have leveraged the blocklist for this and simply posted an advisory.

I went out of my way to write the original post in this thread because it is an extreme exception to the normal use of the blocklist, and wanted to provide as much transparency about this as possible. The moment the extension stops displaying damaging behavior, it will be unblocked. There are other ways to generate "ad noise" that do not negatively impact people's livelihood.

I'm more than happy to open a dialogue with the developers of the extension about this. Calling me names or judging the project based on a malware block isn't going to help.
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Re: AdNauseam extension blocked

Unread postby qrestlove » Sun, 27 Aug 2017, 01:47

Moonchild is right, this is clearly an instance of malware when you consider that real people actually Pay Real Money To Google for these fake clicks.

And the response in this thread is way overblown: you have to make one about:config change to enable the extension. Wow, real censorship going on here. OMG make me have to change a config flag, REEEEEE... Grow up, guys.

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Re: AdNauseam extension blocked

Unread postby derram » Sun, 27 Aug 2017, 02:06

The day you decide what I get to do with my computer is the day I stop using your browser.

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Re: AdNauseam extension blocked

Unread postby hajike afficionado » Sun, 27 Aug 2017, 02:07

ads do not belong to on the internet, they consume user bandwidth to create an easy entrance point for malware of all kinds, not to mention that using ads is a digital version of being a dirty hobo asking me for booze money.

qrestlove wrote:Moonchild is right, this is clearly an instance of malware when you consider that real people actually Pay Real Money To Google for these fake clicks.

And the response in this thread is way overblown: you have to make one about:config change to enable the extension. Wow, real censorship going on here. OMG make me have to change a config flag, REEEEEE... Grow up, guys.


every instance of fuckery starts with tiny instances of people thinking they know better. i can leave out the long and glorious history of this happening in real life and simply just use examples of web browsers getting too big for their britches and id still have plenty of evidence to counter your post.

also, hi eddit!

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Re: AdNauseam extension blocked

Unread postby cfalcon » Sun, 27 Aug 2017, 05:13

While I don't use this (I use ublock origin, because my goal is to block ads, not participate in some economic-political campaign), this is an absolutely wretched call.

This isn't a botnet. This isn't malware. This is a form of political and economic speech.

This is from https://adnauseam.io/

As online advertising becomes ever more ubiquitous and unsanctioned, AdNauseam works to complete the cycle by automating Ad clicks universally and blindly on behalf of its users. Built atop uBlock Origin, AdNauseam quietly clicks on every blocked ad, registering a visit on ad networks' databases. As the collected data gathered shows an omnivorous click-stream, user tracking, targeting and surveillance become futile.


Unlike a botnet, or malware, the click spamming nature isn't hidden- it's literally in the name, and in the mission statement. You may disagree with the political and economic goals of those who design, develop, and use this extension, but it is absolutely their right to do so- and by putting a technical barrier in its way, you are saying that Pale Moon isn't a tool the user owns and operates on their machine, you are saying that Pale Moon is a tool that YOU own and operate on the machines of the users. Philosophically, you are behaving as a botnet operator, not the users who willingly educate themselves on what advertising networks are, make a political decision about what to do with their machines and time, and install software meant to malign both the value of surveillance and the economic worth of a click, an act meant to damage advertising networks (which, if everyone did it, it absolutely would do) and possibly also publishers. This is a cry against what they perceive to be a corrupt or evil system, and by saying you will do what you can to stop the informed and fully consenting actions of your users, you are saying (a) that the actions of Pale Moon users are something you are in control of, and to some degree, responsible for and (b) that the actions of Pale Moon users are something you consider under your purview.

I know some of this sounds hyperbolic, but this action is absolutely on the spectrum of both controlling the user's machines for them, and also being responsible for what they do, and do not, do with Pale Moon.


Please revert this decision.

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Re: AdNauseam extension blocked

Unread postby aquachan » Sun, 27 Aug 2017, 05:46

Moonchild wrote:I repeat, it has nothing to do with ideologies, and there is an important difference between blocking content and generating fake user interaction.

You keep repeating that but that doesn't make it true. Fact is that you deem something immoral and you've started enforcing YOUR vies and YOUR ideologies on the rest of the users of Pale Moon.

If you cannot separate your own biases and morality from the software, you should quit working on it.


Would you consider a botnet malware? I would.

AdNauseam isn't a botnet. It's a form of policial speech. Adtech has destrtoyed DoNotTrack standard and have been accumulating tons of data on everyone. They are also selling and abusing that data. I don't want to live in a fascist society so I support every

You should understand that installing this extension makes your browser into a "click bot" that directly damages the income of website owners.




Sure, it may not directly impact you as a browser user whether you generate this "noise" to supposedly mitigate "ad surveillance", but it most certainly impacts the websites you visit, and the lives of the people operating such sites. Advertisers and ad networks will happily dock pay for anything that remotely looks like a bot (often generalized in broad strokes, which may include blacklisting all Pale Moon traffic as "invalid"; in which case it's also protecting ourselves by preventing this known-bad behavior).

If the impact wasn't major and very real, I would not have leveraged the blocklist for this and simply posted an advisory.

I went out of my way to write the original post in this thread because it is an extreme exception to the normal use of the blocklist, and wanted to provide as much transparency about this as possible. The moment the extension stops displaying damaging behavior, it will be unblocked. There are other ways to generate "ad noise" that do not negatively impact people's livelihood.

I'm more than happy to open a dialogue with the developers of the extension about this. Calling me names or judging the project based on a malware block isn't going to help.



Why should you be the arbiter of that? Why should you destroy the credibility of a browser by supporting evil adtech companies?

And I truly believe these companies to be evil since they're exploiting people's psychological weaknesses and are working overtime to find ways to separate us from our money. These website owners are profiting from that. Maybe they shouldn't use evil adtech companies' ads?

Anyway, Pale Moon cannot be trusted with you leading it. You should really step down for the good of the project.

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Re: AdNauseam extension blocked

Unread postby adisib » Sun, 27 Aug 2017, 06:07

cfalcon wrote:Unlike a botnet, or malware, the click spamming nature isn't hidden


Being hidden has nothing to do with malware or botnets. As an example, ransomware is a form of malware that makes itself obvious. Sure it can be a form of free speech, but it is in the same vein as vandalism and suicide bombings, i.e. it is destructive and not the way to go about it.

cfalcon wrote:you are saying that Pale Moon is a tool that YOU own and operate on the machines of the users.


Having the program designed to operate in a specific way means the developer is operating it? Wouldn't that mean that all software then is always being operated by its developer because it acts how it is programmed? So you are saying that Pale Moon is software which is obvious? And of course Moonchild Productions owns Pale Moon. It isn't released under public domain. Have you not heard of end-user-license-agreements? Developers own the software they make and license it to users. That is how ALL software works. It isn't your property unless it is public domain, but it is being offered to be freely used by you.

cfalcon wrote:this action is absolutely on the spectrum of both controlling the user's machines for them, and also being responsible for what they do


Controlling people's machines for them? This is in browser scope, it is only doing browser things. A browser does browser things and if you don't like how it does them then there is nothing stopping you from switching to a different browser that doesn't let you do other things. Also, Pale Moon's license declares Limitation of Liability so you are responsible for what you do with Pale Moon, not Moonchild Productions. But is it really unreasonable to think that someone who cares about security of users also cares about the health of internet as a whole? If he didn't care about what his software was doing, that would be worrying.

People are being insane here. Pale Moon isn't declaring a war again free speech or whatever other nonsense is in people's heads. There is no question that the addon is a botnet and can be destructive, so there is no point in defending it. The browser isn't taking control of your computer. The only question is whether Pale Moon should restrict what addons it allows.

So should Pale Moon allow that addon to be installed? I think so. Should people use that addon? Absolutely not. So is everyone making a way bigger deal than they should? 100%. Pale Moon isn't forcing an ideology upon you. You are forcing your ideology upon it. With how ridiculous people are being here, it is probably a clear sign that I am wrong to think that Pale Moon should allow installation of the addon...

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Re: AdNauseam extension blocked

Unread postby cfalcon » Sun, 27 Aug 2017, 07:26

adisib wrote:Being hidden has nothing to do with malware or botnets.


It absolutely does. In your ransomware example, the functionality of the ransomware is hidden- you don't choose to run it, it runs as a hijack or exploit or something else. You don't go to a website that says "this will encrypt all your crap, delete all backups it can find, and demand bitcoin in exchange for a key". It either social engineers you into downloading it "this bunny has a pancake on its head!" or gets in via javascript exploit #248583738. By contrast, ad nauseam is installed by consenting machine owners, for the advertised purpose.

Having the program designed to operate in a specific way means the developer is operating it?


Having the program designed to override user choice is not the generic case of "a specific way". It's specifically a way not chosen by the machine operator.

Developers own the software they make and license it to users.


The legality of those are determined on a case by case basis. As this applies to open source software... it is even more odd.


there is nothing stopping you from switching to a different browser that doesn't let you do other things


Uh... yea. Or you could like, fork it. If the answer to a bad decision is "go sod off and make your own browser or use a different browser", that's an entirely different and silly class of conversation.


Also, Pale Moon's license declares Limitation of Liability so you are responsible for what you do with Pale Moon, not Moonchild Productions.


I was arguing from a moral standpoint, but technically there would be legal risk too. Remember you can argue all manner of things in court, and win, that are opposite what is in a click through agreement- or even a signed contract. Why does the browser allow you to go to website X, where only bad people go to website X? Shouldn't it log those cases? What if it can detect you are doing something to hurt the health of the internet, but isn't doing that check right now? Etc.

The only question is whether Pale Moon should restrict what addons it allows.


No, the question is whether this restriction should be rolled out against free speech instead of against software that acts by tricking the user in some fashion, or is a huge security risk to the user, which this one does not.

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Re: AdNauseam extension blocked

Unread postby superA » Sun, 27 Aug 2017, 07:40

I don't use this blocker and I won't touch it in the future, but I installed today and visit again, palemoon.org.

Moonchild,
did you actually bother to try it by yourself, because I am sure you did not.

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Re: AdNauseam extension blocked

Unread postby fillerup » Sun, 27 Aug 2017, 07:48

i've read that many companies, even smaller ones, are being issued refunds from google because of fake traffic, presumably generated by this addon. so if anyone is being hurt financially it seems to be google and not website owners.

while i personally don't use the addon (happy with ublock origin), i must implore you to reevaluate your stance on this matter


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