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How Mozilla is hurting webmasters

| Luke Harris

If you've known me for a while, you'll know that I really don't like Firefox that much. Sure, I've used it as my primary browser on several occasions, and I keep it installed to keep track of what's new, but I still think it's got a long ways to go before it could make me switch from Chrome. Things I hate about it include an awful sync service, poor performance, slow startup, and other stuff on a clean install with no addons, but recently I've found something else to hate about Mozilla and the Firefox team.

Some well-meaning Firefox help volunteer on Twitter mentioned me today, after I tweeted about the lag between clicking a tab in Firefox and the tab actually activating (this doesn't happen in Chrome unless you're running something resource intensive like Minecraft, for example) and he linked me to a help article with a list of ways to make Firefox faster. This included the usual junk about disabling addons and crap, but I noticed something:

Hiding bothering content

Many web pages have content you don't need such as ads and that uses CPU to display (see the plugin section below). Some extensions allow you to hide bothering content:

  • Adblock Plus allows you to hide ads on websites.
  • Flashblock allows you to selectively enable and disable Flash content on websites.
  • NoScript allows you to selectively enable and disable all scripts running on websites.

Look at this. Mozilla is basically saying that you don't need ads, and recommends you install an extension that in fact increases CPU usage, because it runs each and every element on a webpage through a list with thousands of entries.

Mozilla is recommending that you stop supporting webmasters by blocking the ads displayed on webpages.

Mozilla is recommending that you take away from poor webmasters one of the main (and sometimes only) means of income, which most of them use to keep their site online.

Mozilla is recommending that you cause those sites you love, enjoy, and visit every day to have to shut down, because they have no way of supporting themselves, because Mozilla is recommending that you block their ads.

Mozilla is one sick, twisted organization. It doesn't matter to them. They've got it all set, Google's paying them so they don't have to display ads on their network of sites, plus all the donations. They don't care that webmasters like myself are struggling to pay the bills because some ***s are installing Adblock, and recommended to do so by Mozilla and many ***ic tech bloggers who think Adblock actually decreases CPU, when it doesn't.

And their browser continues to die. Chrome is the top dog now, it's only got IE to conquer. Mozilla decided to copy Google's release cycle and not really improve the browser much at all, since Firefox 5. And they do a crappy job.

Now, I understand that there is a reason some people block ads, other than to be total ***s. Ads can be annoying. There's those stupid pop-up and pop-over ads, the annoying moving ones, the auto-playing video ads, the Flash ads, and the ads with NSFW and/or disturbing content.

But you can block the Flash ads by installing Flashblock, or using Chrome's built-in options. You can stop the pop-overs and the disturbing ads by not visiting those sites that have them at all, because they shouldn't have them, and maybe you shouldn't be on those sites in the first place. And, you can also send the *** webmasters with those ads an email and tell them how you feel. If they don't listen to you, then their site isn't worth visiting.

But please don't install Adblock and make the good webmasters suffer.

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