Irony Alert: NYTimes Covers Reactions to Ad-Blocking, Breaks Webpage With Advert

8283313605_ffb9bd4be2_hProponents of ad-blocking defend the practice with the argument that adverts can ruin the browsing experience, and nowhere is that more obvious than on the NYTimes website.

Earlier this week the NYTimes became the poster child for bad ad practices with a pop up advert that could not be closed, and they’re back again today with another advert causing problems.

Writing over at his personal blog, Khoi Vinh points us to an advert that the NYTimes is using to cripple an article on reactions to ad-blocking:

In maybe the sweetest bit of irony that ad blocking advocates could ever hope for, the article itself, as it was served to me, was so beset by a crippling ad position across the top of the page that I could not scroll it. You’ll see in the video that as I try to move down the page, the Salesforce banner consistently and infuriatingly forces it back to the top, over and over again. At about twenty seconds in I try to minimize the ad, hoping that would help. Nope.

This advertisement literally makes it impossible for me to read about blocking advertisements. Perfect.

You can find the article here, and if you’d like to see the advert:

Vinh describes the juxtaposition of an advert blocking access to an article about ad-blocking as irony, and even though that term is often misused and overused, Vinh is correct.

This fits one of the definitions of irony. This is indeed an “incongruity between the actual result of a sequence of events and the normal or expected result; an event or result marked by such incongruity”.

It’s also deeply amusing and damned sad. The NYTimes generated over a billion dollars in revenue last year, and this was the best they can do?

What chances do the rest of us have?

image by dno1967b

Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder of The Digital Reader. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills weekly. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.


  1. Kevin20 September, 2015

    I had the same problem reading on ipad ios8′ although the culprit wasn’t an ad but a banner-like photo of Grace Jones at the top of an interview with her. I clised the browser and started over and the problem went away. So maybe it’s not ad-specific but instead a problem with images and/or adds in general.

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