Ad Mechaning Software: Ethical And Kantian Deontological Ethics

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The use of ad blocking software is ethical. Ad blocking software is software used on computers and smart phones to prevent the user from seeing any advertisements. To support this argument, I will discuss: The means by which online advertising better targets the user and the use of ad blocking software through Kantian deontological ethics and why ad blockers are used. In addition, I will also discuss a possible method by which the controversy surrounding ad blockers can be resolved.

Many users are familiar with advertisements appearing on a page for an item they were interested in purchasing on another website. For example, you search for “iPhone charger” on Amazon, and all of the sudden every ad on Facebook is for iPhone chargers. This is
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A short definition of Kantian deontology is “Act so that you treat humanity, whether in your own person or in that of another, always as an end and never as a means only (Kant, 1920)”, which is akin to the saying “treat others as you want to be treated”.
Because the user is never informed that they are being watched, these trackers are deception, a form of lying. According to Kant, using a person “as means” goes against deontology (Ermann & Shauf, 2003). These advertisers are lying to people, using them as means of income without any regard to their right to privacy. Users of ad blocking software are simply defending themselves from unethical
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Advertisers use tracking software that is unethical by the same ethical theory, and defending oneself from being used to a means is acceptable. However, the issue of websites needing money to operate and not getting it due to ad blocking software remains. This can be resolved, or at least helped, by better advertisements. This includes advertisements that are not intrusive, that do not take away from the content a user is trying to view, or distracting from the content. One form of advertising that adheres to these “better ads” criteria is sponsored content. Another method of advertising is exchanging ad viewing for periods of ad-free content, or in exchange for a service that would otherwise cost

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