ArsTechnica explains why they ran an experiment Friday that hid their content for people running ad blocking software. It’s a very grown up and pragmatic explanation, and it’s almost too obvious to even quote. The point I found interesting was the discussion of the advertising death spiral — when advertising impressions go down, sites have to take on ads that pay more per impression — those are the ads that take over the whole page, hide the links you want to click on, and so forth. Those ads are awful for users and many publications are running them on the front page. If I ran an advertising-funded site, and I could increase (or maintain) revenue by either shutting down ad blockers or presenting more obnoxious ads to the people who aren’t running ad blockers, the decision would be a no-brainer. I’d prefer to inconvenience the people who think they should get my content for free every time.