News & Opinion

Unblock the Blocklists - Because Journalism Matters

Newsworks to compile list of innocent words and phrases appearing on blocklists. 

Blocklists made the headlines this week showing how UK publishers missed out on £170million pounds of revenue last year due to ad blocking. 

The Guardian, Mediatel, DigiDay, Campaign and the IAB’s first Digital Trust Forum all covered the issue revealing how the unintended consequences of blocklists are harming regulated, professionally crafted journalism.

While blocklists certainly have their place, the lists are not updated frequently enough meaning words aren’t taken down when they should be. 

And, they’re also ruling out the right sort of content for advertisers where innocent phrases and words are getting impacted by the black and white approach of blocklists.

Safe content is being redefined as not safe. Because the context of these words and phrases has been lost.

Isn’t it time the industry all challenged the impact blunt tools are having on quality journalism and stop this slippery slide into some sort of advertising-induced censorship of the free press?  

Starting today – as you can see below – we are going to compile a list of the innocent and safe words we see or read about that are making their way onto blocklists.   

Unblock the Block - innocent words and phrases harming journalism  

Peppa Pig
Sperm Whale
Star Wars 



by Rupert Smith 23/01/20

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