Why Can They Put Ads On My Computer?

Lockon wants to know why you have to put with ads at all on the Internet:  “Ads are generally a nuisance, with the exception of Amazon which seem to keep everything within acceptable limits. Others, who annoy me, I do not and will not purchase from. They get in my way of reading things I want to research, andI boot them off or just give up. The people need to retake control of theirown computer. It belongs to us, not them. They can’t put ads in my yard or on my car, why on my computer?”

There’s one problem with your reasoning.  The ads aren’t on your computer, they’re on a website that belongs to someone else. And they can choose to put whatever they like on their website. It’s much the same as with broadcast TV and radio. You may be hearing or seeing the ad over your radio or TV, but the broadcasters didn’t come paint the ad on your actual device, they included them in the content that they provided you without charge. That ad content funds your programming.


When you open up your browser, you’re using it to access content provided by other people on their websites. These people spend anywhere from hundreds to thousands to millions of dollars a year to maintain those websites and provide content. (In the case of something like Gmail, billions of dollars.)

To run a website you must pay for electricity, bandwidth, IT support, servers, people to create and post content, computers to use to create and post the content, and much more. The vast majority of websites are strictly ad-supported.


You’re under no obligation to access any of these websites. If you don’t like ads, you certainly don’t have to go to any of these sites. Much the same as with TV and radio, if you don’t want to put up with commercials, you can subscribe to Premium channels or pay for subscriptions to satellite or streaming radio. There are ad-free subscription websites, but they do have monthly fees.

The money that you pay for your Internet service does not go to the people that run the websites. Much like your electricity powers your appliances, but doesn’t give you TV service, music or phone service – your Internet provider gets you to the Internet, but none of that money goes to the people creating and maintaining websites.

It’s a much different model than cable or satellite, where a portion of your fees goes towards the content providers. If that were to happen with the Internet, you could expect to see a stiff hike in Internet service provider prices.

It actually benefits advertisers and websites to have ads that aren’t intrusive to the point of annoying users. They want you to stay on their page and to buy the products. The more appealing the ads are, the more likely you are to hang around and actually purchase the products.

What are your thoughts? If you don’t like advertiser supported websites, how should they be supported? Additional Internet fees? Subscriptions for each website?  Let us know in the comments.

~ Cynthia


7 thoughts on “Why Can They Put Ads On My Computer?

  1. Hey Cynthia,
    My pet peeve, of course is ‘streaming websites’ that include streaming ads that ‘totally’ destroy the listening experiance; as if anyone actually watches a music streaming website. Non-ad streaming websites are getting harder to find but some do exist and they get my full support!

  2. Advertising is one thing. Browbeating is another. The excesses in amount and presentation by advertisers infuriates me. Rudeness! It is one reason I dropped television. I listen to commercial radio and if I ever encounter anyone who works for GEICO, I will strangle him.

  3. I understand the need to pay expenses, ergo, ads. My objection is the obnoxious scene where the ad pops up in the middle of what I’m trying to read. I’d be much more likely to notice/look into a site if it had an attractive, quiet ad…no flashing lights or jouncy movements. Another point to consider is that those flashing ads can cause seizures in people who are prone to them.

  4. My beef is with websites that have too many “videos” playing. I can’t tell you how many times it overloads my flash player and I can’t do a thing until I close the browser. It’s bad enough when you have ads coming in at the left and right which require that I click the “X” to close them, but when there are streaming videos (one site had 4), it’s too much. There are lot of websites that I don’t go to any more due to this issue. It’s just not worth the hassle or, worse, closing my browser down in the middle of everything.

  5. My question is.. I see the reason etc behind the ads. But do they have to make them so prolific that you can not read their articles. If they are working so hard to inform you why would they want so many that their product can not be reached or read. So many cover at least 2/3 of the page and if you hit the x you lose the page altogether. If you try reopening it. The pop ups multiply. Some are really offensive the way they keep flipping around. Then there are those that no matter what you can not get rid of them without closing your browser. Those usually are ones that try to tell you that you have won something.. usually with a spinner. I know there is no winner of anything except more ads. It would not be so aggravating if you could just x them out and continue with the article.

  6. Life is too short to get so worked up over this issue. I much prefer getting the ads and not paying for the content which I am being provided free.

    Yes, there are some websites that are annoying (and frustrating); but I personally am willing to put up with these for the tremendous amount of free information provided.

    Some search engines do a better job of filtering the websites with the information requested without sending you to websites full of ads. You may want to consider checking which search engine provides you with the best results web pages that have minimal ads.

    I know that sometimes I have to switch search engines to get to the “real” results which I want.

    Merry Christmas!

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