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.

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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.

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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