I accidentally destroyed my Firefox profile with its extensions, including noscript. Before restoring it from backup, I decided to experience the web uncensored. I started Firefox with a blank profile and went to a couple of sites. So many blinks and winks, one has to focus hard to read content on the pages! Total cacophonous over-stimulation. Ugly, boring, distracting. Highly uninviting. But with all the billions of dollars thrown at it, the advertising model must work? There are probably slightly less than two billion people using the web nowadays; and marketer will have spent roughly eight billions on Internet marketing in 2009. That’s 4$ per user, assuming it is all for ads. I’d pay 4$ per year to have an ad-free web. And you? In the meantime I’m back with noscript, filtering away the injected marketing nuisances.
A few hours after I posted this article Thilo Pfenning made me aware of serious and important ethical considerations. A little googling revealed a whole controversy and a trip down to the hell of worst behavior. I’m still collecting my thoughts and reading thoroughly Wladimir Palant exposure, Giorgio Maone’s apology, and Mozilla’s response. The situation reminds me of the fiduciary duties that we Chartered Financial Analysts have to our customers and to the public at large. We also have our code of ethics and are certified against it. Maybe it is time for an IT code of ethics and certification?