Are advertisements good or evil?

Edit: This has been moved from another topic. I therefore added some explanation. Added text in italics

I found some great tips on how to block ads in this topic on improving security. This is relevant because the WebView component displaying ads is vunerable to some attacks and will not be fixed by Google for the Fairphone Version of Android (4.2).

Regarding “Fairness”, i would to remind suggest you consider buying pro versions if you block the ads in ad-supported free versions. I understand your reason and i enjoyed reading these tips but if have to note that developing an app costs a lot of resources and effort.

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I can see your point - however, in this case becoming ad-free was a bonus and not intentional. In fact, I was practically ad-free as it was since I normally switch off data connection when having a game of solitaire. And I’m not sure fairness has anithing to do with it. If, as in this case, a commercial software enterprise choose to launch a ‘free’ (ad-financed) app, it’s their choice. They are fully aware of the fact that people can block ads (there’s even an in-built option to close down ads temporarily during a game).
It’s another thing when an individual enthusiast develops a really useful app, free and ad-free (FP1-EPO, AFWall+, and asks for a contribution.

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If I may butt in here: usually apps that have adds are proprietary and profit driven, whereas floss apps usually don’t have adds and depend on donations. So thats one reason not to support add-infested apps. Also, imo, in a perfect, utopian world one-sided advertisement would be abolished all together.
Advertising & Marketing, Insurance and Weapons are Industries that the world would be a better place without.

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Generally speaking, yes… but how would we ever have found the FP if there hadn’t been any marketing activities?

In moments of despair I can even wonder whether the world had been a better place without the internet. Or printing presses.

when i talk about abolishing advertisement i only mean advertisement funded and authorized by those who profit from the products sale. that doesn’t mean that differentiated information on products by independent media (maybe funded by taxes on the products) should be forbidden.
So instead of seeing an add about the new iphone saying that its the best and people go run and buy it, people who need a new phone would go on the internet and do a quick research on wich phone best meets their needs wishes and views.
Around the time the FP1 was first sold I was actually researching for sustainable phones, computers and other technology and unfortunately I didn’t find the fairphone. I eventually heard about it from my aunt, but I never saw an advertisement about the fairphone. did you?

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No - if I remember correctly I saw it mentioned in a newspaper two years ago, could have been the Guardian. But that doesn’t mean that the FP team hasn’t carefully developed a marketing strategy. Less cynical and less profit-oriented than most other examples, but still…
And it’s a sad fact that the reason that cynical advertisement exists is that it works. As Petronius Arbiter said some 2,000 years ago: ‘Mundus vult decipi, ergo decipiatur’.
Also, while I support (to a degree) laws and regulations limiting or prohibiting certain marketing activities (e.g. aimed towards children), a market economy has its advantages and it’s hard to devise a better alternative. Not even ‘profit’ is an inherently bad thing, it depends on how you use it. I do hope that production and sale of the FP generates a ‘profit’ which in turn is re-invested in the project.

that’s true, but nazi propaganda also worked and still it’s illegal nowadays. so maybe in the future at least advertisements that openly state lies will be illegal too.

yes, a free market isn’t a bad thing at all. but the freedoms should be the customers and not the companies. „The right to swing my fist ends where the other man’s nose begins.“

not all “non profits” don’t make profit. but they don’t use it to make their investors and bosses rich - they use it for their cause. but i don’t think that advertisement is a good cause to fuel with profits.

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I would also make a difference between “normal” advertising and “oriented” advertising, in which the latter is driven by collecting (legally or not) user data without expressed user knowledge, and using it as an invasive (but hidden) form or market research (who said Facebook? :stuck_out_tongue: )
Well this form of advertising is the one I tend to fight in every way I can (Adblockers, browsing redirect blockers, firewalls and so on), while the former, as @paulakreuzer correctly points, can be useful and can really help customers in doing choices.

This was going quite off-topic, so I moved post from that topic. Happy discussing here! :slight_smile:

It is already… at least in the European Unfair Commercial Practices Directive and in national legislation in many countries. Here in Sweden, on the other hand, it’s perfectly legal to advocate national socialism or any other political idea as long as you don’t ‘publicly make statements that threaten or express disrespect for an ethnic group’.

But mustn’t both parties enjoy the same degree of freedom if the market is to be regarded as free?

Yeah I didn’t express myself very well. Of course customers shouldn’t have all the rights and Companies should be their slaves, but unltimately an Industry should exist to deliver goods to customers and not to make rich people richer. The way - I think - it is now Companies have all the freedoms and the customer has the freedom to be misleaded, currupted and ripped off. And even if one tries to buy sustainable, fair-trade or organic stuff he will usually end up buying a product of a big brand that only meeds the minimum requirements to call one of their products fair-trade or organic to lure in more customers. And they’ll use their profits from theese products to further exploit people and environment.

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Yes, a lot of companies abuse the freedom they’re granted. And even if the customers, taken as a collective, become a strong and resourceful actor, the individual customer is always the weaker party. Which is why awareness-raising project such as the Fairphone (not just words, but a real gadget that actually works) is so important.


I do think of these apps as infested. I know ads are annoying. But this how I see it: Developers choose adds as a way to generate revenue. Apps cost real money. Developers need to make a living. Some websites or app-devlopers have other sources of income like being backed by a large cooperation or non-profit or whatever. Some are provided as free software because developers *have other sources of income (like services around that software), do this on the spare time or due to idealistic motivation – some might even get enough money from donation. But I think it should be every developers choice if she/he whats to release a free, paid or ad-supported application.


I pretty sure the answer is no! Printing press as well as internet have improved living condition, literacy, access to information and much more. They are an important tool for democracy as well as education. And yes, for commercial activities as well. I do not see that as a bad thing.

Oh No! Did you really do this? :scream: This is the first verification of Godwin’s Law in the Fairphone community I am aware of! Please don’t do that. :stuck_out_tongue:


duh! :smiley:

That’s just basic mathematics…

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