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Reddit mulls ban on publishers that prohibit ad blockers and sit behind paywalls

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By Rebecca Stewart | Trends Editor

May 9, 2016 | 3 min read

One of Reddit's most popular sections, r/technology, could soon ban links from publishers like Forbes and the Wall Street Journal for forcing readers to switch off ad blocking software.

A moderator announcement on the site posted today (9 May) read: "It has come to our attention that many websites such as Forbes and Wired are now requiring users to disable ad blockers to view content.

"Because Forbes requires users to do this and has then served malware to them we see this as a security risk to you our community. There are also sites such as Wall Street Journal that have implemented pay-walls which we were are also considering banning," it added, asking viewers to share their views on the matter.

reddit publisher ad block ban

The post has been upvoted by 90 per cent of those viewing the discussion, which could be taken as an indication that users either support the motion or simply want to propel the debate to the front pages of the platform.

Redditlist currently places the Technology Subreddit as the 49th most popular thread in terms of subscibers on the site, meaning a ban on media owners enforcing strict ad block rules could cause significant disruption to their plans for future distribution on the platform.

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Reddit boasts 231 million users globally, 53 per cent of which are male. According to GlobalWebIndex, men are more likely to use ad blockers online than women –with 31 per cent of males using the software compared to 23 per cent of women.

Publishers are increasingly attempting to stop readers with ad blockers viewing their sites, with companies like Wired, Forbes and the Guardian experimenting with paid-for ad free models and content blocking.

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