How does advertising work on the Safe network?

The current internet has become practically unusable without ad-blockers. I do use them, but I have no idea how they work, or what they are blocking in a technical sense. Please enlighten me. What are your thoughts on advertising on the Safe network - not from an ethical, but rather a technical perspective.

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Most ad blocking is blocking access to a blacklist of domains/IP addresses that serve the ads. There may well be more to this that I don’t know about though.


So ad blocking is just blocking lists of unwanted content. Such blacklists will be very important on SAFE. Possibly as important as a good search function. I don’t want to ever see e.g. child porn and other acts of extreme violence. Luckily, since I’m neither a police officer nor a journalist, I don’t have to. Some poor sod will have to make those lists, though.


Whole cottage industry built around this:

No more ads, tracking and other virtual garbage

This repository provides a host and domainname based blocklist specifically designed for use with dnsmasq. Most entries are gathered from multiple, actively maintained sources and automatically updated, cleaned, optimized and moderated on a daily basis. The blocklists support both ipv4 and ipv6.

But how about adding a “blocking”-block to @happybeing’s block diagram?


I think Ads are a Chinese room test for privacy on SAFE network. Remember if privacy fails, that means freedom fails and in turn security. In my opinion if an ad industry can survive on SAFE network that means SAFE has failed. Presumably if any conceivable version of the ad business model works on SAFE that means its privacy component has failed which compromises the rest of it. To really achieve its goals SAFE can’t just provide a raw mechanism it has to provided a mechanism that will work as intended for the target audience which is the general public. Its not really a fully conceived or finished product unless it takes human and cultural components into account. By analogy imagine an aeronautics firm releasing a plane that was meant be flown by humans but could only be flown safely under ideal circumstances. SAFE from first release just as with SAFE coin should to the extent feasible take jinto account mass aggregate behavior.

If the ad business model works on SAFE it means the privacy component or dimension has failed and by implication you get the clear net with a captured top down supply side network that is increasingly useless and a platform for spying and propaganda and manipulation. And we can see its taken a while with the erosion of net neutrality (unbelievable that there are still people who don’t get that you can’t have paid discrimination of traffic and not have a censorship based system that becomes a means of oppression.)

With ads even on a system designed to preclude push from the start, it will always be kind of an arms race, but on SAFE network it should be one that the supply side the push side should never be able to win. Google itself showed its possible to radically disrupt the ad industry, hopefully SAFE along with better SAFE search finish it off.

So under SAFE there will always be a cull or a filter and it should always be almost impossible to actually verify or track your eyes on a screen to a spot, no one is going to be able to verify that a filter didn’t block the graffiti from showing up on the other side. We don’t want a captured top down supply side network that exists for the benefit of oligarchs that becomes about controlling people. Look what happened with cell phones, horrible compromises were made on cell phones by psychopaths in the US for apparently criminal reasons and even then they’ve had to have dominant browsers do things that screw end users over to get where the want to go along with weakened neutrality. We are seeing more and more modal garbage on youtube and on phones. Funny this week Google after weakening ad blockers by having its browser tell sites that people are using ad blockers (truly idiotic) is now encrypting the DNS and the corrupt admin is whining about this blocking other entities from being able to steal people’s data- no concern for privacy but only bribe based concern for continuing in the theft model.

So SAFE should reset that model completely it shouldn’t be possible on SAFE to make money off pushing ads or coercing the attention of the end user. If there is any facility in SAFE that allows for this, the design is broken.

But here are some things I listed in the other thread on Search as SAFE’s Killer App
that can presumably help stop advertising on SAFE:

  1. More intelligent search- it leads to more informed choices which cuts the pay off for advertising

  2. Making sure ad companies can’t get verifiable data. One way interface design all control over end user interface staying with the end user, with secure defaults, opt in default culture (no falling for the support us with ads bs)

  3. Not allowing modal practices and processes, no modal ads, rejecting this in search, no site control over volume or the scroll bars, black listing, white listing lists as filters for sites (like call control does spam calls on phones) to block bad or unethical site ad hygiene.

  4. Good system will tell the end user if spyware adware analytic crap is running and flag it.


I don’t think advertising would be impossible. If you are watching a video about coconuts then maybe you are interested in buying coconut oil. What will be stopped is being able to track that I was watching a video about coconuts in the past and never stop bothering me about it. Ads will have to just ask what type of person will view this content right now. It won’t be able to create a profile that knows your personality better then you do yourself.


If I correctly understand what “modal” ads or windows are, I indeed dislike those very much, but I’m not sure whether it’s feasible to technically restrict their use on SAFE. “Frames” in web pages were a curse of the 90’s. Apparently they are not part of the HTML5 standard, but again, I’m not sure they can be disallowed on SAFE. Anyway, I’m really looking for technical considerations, not ethical or political ones.


The incentives will also be different in a way that should make ads less common. A content-maker will already get an income for having popular content without having to resort to serving ads to make a significant amount of money, as is the case on the clearnet.


ya I guess a lot of the time the equation will be like ok I can put ads and gain 10% more profit per view but then I will lose 25% of my viewers so lets go ad free even for high quality content.

Only way I see ads being desirable is if they are highly relevant to the content. Like say its a “Let’s Play” video game playing video. I watch those to see if I want to buy this game or not. So if there was an ad to go buy the game I would not be mad at all and actually think that was a helpful link.

Yes, I agree with this. We must remember how little advertisements make for the host site: About $2.80 per 1000 impressions recently.

The issue with the clear net is the difficulty in implementing an alternative fee model. Content providers can’t create content for free and content consumers are unwilling or unable to make regular small payments to providers.

If a consumer is prepared to pay a few cents a month to their favourite sites, they don’t need to advertise to that consumer. If they can do so without revealing their identity and without fees swamping the price of the contribution, then it starts to become feasible.

Perhaps a tipping culture will emerge, much like the ‘like’ culture on this forum and elsewhere. The price is so low, that throwing good content creators some coins should not be a big deal.

SAFECoin should facilitate easy, anonymous, fast, fee free, tipping. It should also allow you to bind a virtual identity to a site for those who need more than just tips.

We must remember that adverts grew out of a difficulty to pay for content. This is still true today, with our current payment solutions being unfit for purpose. When good alternatives are in place, both content providers and consumers will have the option to use them.

P.s. I have dodged the debate about the SAFENetwork rewards. That is a whole extra debate and not needed to circumvent advert use, imo. I don’t really want to open that can of worms on this thread though! :slight_smile:


I’ll give a solution. The technical measure is to give advertisers/advertisements an easy/lazy centralized conduit to operate within a priori. Devs need to make it so easy for them that no one would ever think of cluttering up a safe site with advertisements. The effect is that advertising is completely stripped from the pweb and advertisements are decoupled from the content data that people actually visit a site for. Devil’s in the details, but here’s a few random obvious concepts we can toss around…


"Pay the Client" (PtC) rewards integrated with the SAFE browser via a high quality plugin. I’m convinced that if this is done well, it can significantly reduce nuisance click-bait advertising and keep things somewhat under control. The hypothetical plugin provides a simple toggle button that engages a frame where advertisements are shown. The client then begins to earn SAFE coin for as long as the frame is activated, as random adverts tailored to the user’s likes/settings are provided. This coin comes from payments provided by the advertisers indirectly via SAFE. Settings/options specified by the user under the plugin settings tell SAFE which type of products/services they are interested in, and this voluntarily provided data is the only thing advertisers get access to. Arguably, the more data you provide, the more rewards you might receive. From the advertiser’s perspective, they can tag their data chunks as an “advertisement”, and then they would need to pay each time SAFE makes a GET request for the chunk. The PtC reward rate could be dynamic just like farming (PtF) or dev rewards (PtD).

A hypothetical step by step for the advertiser :

  1. Upload the data chunks for an advertisement and tag them with an appropriate “advertisement” data sub-type.
  2. Bind a SAFE account address to those chunks that will fund GET requests made on the data.
  3. Include appropriate metadata to allow for indexing of SEO type actions by SAFE.
  4. Keep the account balance positive or else no adverts will be displayed to the target audience.
  5. Pay for some mutable data chunks that will store the metadata about target audience viewing the chunks.

A hypothetical step by step for the client :

  1. Install the PtC reward plugin.
  2. Enter as much or little demographic/generic information about product and service interests they are comfortable with.
  3. Bind a SAFE account that will receive any generated PtC rewards.
  4. Toggle/activate the advertisement window/frame.
  5. Resize the frame, reward rates could increase/decrease based on pixel count. Presumably the plugin is smart enough to know that the advertisement is visible to an active user.
  6. Surf the Safeness.

A hypothetical behind the scenes look at SAFE operations :

  1. SAFE plugin performs a distributed search or directory/index lookup for advertising content based on the generic/demographic/personal information about project/service interests provided by the client.
  2. SAFE plugin randomly selects one out of the returned search/index results and makes sure it is a valid “advertising” sub-type data chunk that can be rendered in the browser frame.
  3. If the GET request to the advertisement chunk is valid, then the advertiser’s account is charged. For now let’s call what the advertiser pays the generic “Pay the Network” rate (PtN). The PtN rate will likely be a weighted composite of other rates and is only loosely coupled to the PtC rate in the same way the basic PUT and GET costs are only indirectly linked.
  4. When the chunk is successfully displayed in the client’s browser window, SAFE delivers a PtC reward to the client’s SAFE account.
  5. Optional: To flatten the playing field, a portion of the advertiser payment is also given to the safe site that was being visited by the client when they saw the advertisement in the browser frame. This way popular site owners will get implicit advertising rewards without needing to put ads on their sites.

So what does this do for the SAFE Network?

  1. It positions SAFE directly in the middle of the 500+ Billion global digital advertising market.

  2. It implicitly strips advertisements from SAFE site content. Essentially it’s a “carrot” based ad-blocker, rather than a “stick” based ad-blocker. Those who don’t want to see adverts, would just not install the plugin.

  3. It promotes network use, since individuals can earn SAFE coin just be reading/surfing for content and they don’t need to worry about managing a vault.

Are PtC rewards enough of an incentive to completely make SAFE advertisement free? Will it stop specific individuals from embedding specific adverts in their sites?

  1. Probably not. As mentioned earlier, this is the “carrot” approach. However, if the vast majority of advertising can be conducted through the PtC interface, it may make other technological means for blocking non PtC based advertisements more effective.

There could just be a tip button on the browser, which makes a small payment to the owner of the site (defined by its URL). Simple, easy, understood by all.

I am sure elaborate solutions can come later, but there is really no need at the beginning, imho.


Yes, and ineffective at stripping advertising content from safe sites. The $500B annual corporate expenditure needs a place to go where it can be managed. SAFE can either show it where to go from the very start or let it vomit all over the pweb forever more just like it does now. Physics analogy : one can’t insulate an object from a magnetic field by resistive means. Rather, you need to bend the field around it via a highly (magnetically) conductive medium. Another analogy is building a trench around your property/house to divert rainwater and keep your cellar dry. You can’t stop the flow directly… and a flood will destroy any wall you build. The only solution is to guide, channel and divert the flow so it causes no harm.

Advertisers need a conduit to pour their money down. If it’s a good conduit, the advertisers will be happy to spend big $$$ using it because it helps them increase sales and achieve their goals, while supporting a means to keep the pweb safe for Everyone to surf ad free if and when they want, or get paid for their trouble.


I don’t understand personally why anyone would want to try and block things on the safe network.
Sure advertising can be a pita but some folks love it.
You can’t support freedom of speech , with the caveat of no ads.
It will be opt in imho.
If sites serve ads and you don’t want to use those sites then don’t.
If you give an app permission to track your interaction with the network, which I’m sure some will do, so be it.


Tivo was able to do it for the most modal of mediums. Its method injected a delay and sites are a bit more dynamic than that.

That money needs to be channeled into better products and services and better search will filter it out anyway. Some of it is the supply side’s attempt to get at demand creation (like impulse but corn syrup) but a lot more of it is about supply side capture, enclosure and control of speech systems and speech. Push is about enabling rent seeking and ever increasing gain accruing to non contributing net negative rent seeking and rent seekers and is the big picture core problem in the world.

Its right/necessary in my opinion to let the end user strictly determine when and if there is access to their attention and how much it costs and what the terms are- that’s fine where payment is required to the end user for their attention, but I like the default being free content with an easy instant end user settable tipping mechanism where we are really only paying to the prime the pump and where totally optional tipping occurs after the fact which shifts all of the risk back onto the supply side where it belongs. The model @Traktion is putting forward for ptp seems optimal and there was an app on the pirate bay people developed to do that for the clear net, and I’ve been asking for it in these forums for years.

For ptc you can calculate the generic cost of a second of voluntary attention by annual ggp / annual population seconds maybe with un up adjuster for region but the involuntary or coerced stuff even by subtle means has to be price prohibited to keep from getting backward supply side markets and totalitarian politics.

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I think ads should totally blocked! The ones who offer to pay us directly then we can choose to ones we want to let be shown on our screen!

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