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In this chapter, the author examines three deontological objections to adblocking: the objection from property (according to which adblocking involves accessing another’s property without satisfying the conditions placed on such access by the owner); the objection from complicity (according to which, by blocking ads, consumers become complicit in the wrongdoing of adblocking software providers); and the objection from free-riding (according to which adblocking consumers free-ride on other consumers who allow ads to be served). The chapter argues that, though these objections plausibly establish the moral impermissibility of some instances of adblocking, they do not, even collectively, establish a blanket moral prohibition on adblocking, as it is currently done.

Original publication





Book title

The Oxford Handbook of Digital Ethics


Oxford University Press

Publication Date