Reddit’s technology subreddit is considering banning links to publishers that ban ad blockers

Moderators of Reddit’s popular technology subreddit, which boasts more than 5 million subscribers, are considering banning links from publishers, specifically Wired and Forbes, that force users to disable ad-blocking tools to access their sites.

In a message posted yesterday, r/technology moderator “cerq” signaled out Forbes for reportedly serving users malware when ad-blockers are turned off resulting in a “security risk” to the community. The moderator said that the ban could be expanded to websites with paywalls, like the Wall Street Journal.

The ban is being put up for a vote with currently polling overwhelmingly in favor (89 percent) of the ban.

Reddit’s audience trends young, male and tech savvy, making them more likely than the general population to use ad blockers. A chorus of comments echo this sentiment, slamming publishers’ advertising tactics:

“Ads are a necessary ‘evil,’ (come on nothing is free) however, they have proved to be far more evil than need be,” a commenter wrote, adding that publishers “make plenty off some other shady practices such as ‘sponsored’ content which are also just ads. They can get by without the slime ads that most are trying to block.”

Another person added: “Media sites need to accept that they can’t expect viewers to respect their rights to monetize while they continue to pollute search results to boost their ranking.”

It is becoming increasingly common for publishers to block readers using ad blockers: GQ, the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, The New York Times and Wired have all begun in varying ways asking people to disable ad blockers or pay up.

According to Forbes, the publisher’s anti-ad blocking measures haven’t had an impact on traffic to sections where using ad blockers are most likely more comment, like technology and gaming. But some readers say that Forbes is delivering malware when they turn off ad blockers making them not want to even access Forbes.

Forbes didn’t immediately responded to a request for comment. A Wired spokesperson said it’s rolling out a secure HTTPS connection to ensure a “safe and secure” experience for readers and pointed us toward to its ad-free paid subscription for people who don’t want to see ads.

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