Home > All, General Rants, Security Issues > WordPress Pulse360 advertising: block them with NoScript and TACO with Abine on Firefox

WordPress Pulse360 advertising: block them with NoScript and TACO with Abine on Firefox

September 3, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

Well, this is embarrassing – as Firefox says when it fails to restore previous tabs. I know that WordPress has started dropping Pulse 360 adverts on my, and many other, blogs. I know that I’m not happy. Two reasons:

  • they are hardly the discreet adverts that WP warns it might include occasionally to defray its costs
  • their positioning is downright offensive. They are added at the bottom of my text, giving the implication that I either have something to do with them, or are happy with them, or even endorse them.

But my embarrassment comes from not immediately knowing why they don’t show up on my main machine: an iMac running Firefox. I know Adblock can stop them; but I’m not using Adblock.

No, the culprit – or I should say silent friendly partner – appears to be a much-admired Firefox add-on I have installed and frequently forget: TACO with Abine 4.3. It sits quietly in the background and does the work for me. Check the screenshot below: TACO has stopped more than 4000 tracking attempts on WordPress alone since I installed it.

TACO working

TACO working on the WordPress page

And now check the settings (click for full-size):

TACO settings

What TACO does for me...

TACO opts me out of no less than 123 Ad Networks and is blocking more than 630 web trackers (I’ve seen it as high as 1500). Near the top of the Ad Networks section, flagged as ‘NEW’, is Pulse360.

So I switched off TACO. But, still no adverts – maybe it wasn’t TACO defending me after all… How about NoScript? I switched off NoScript. Low and behold, I have adverts! So NoScript stops the Pulse 360 adverts.

I switched off NoScript, and switched on TACO. No adverts again. So TACO also stops Pulse 360.

So here’s my recommendation, a very, very firm recommendation: just to be sure, use both. They’re both free add-ons with the best free browser: Firefox. And if we all block Pulse 360, maybe companies like WordPress will stop using them.

PS If you allow the ads to show, and just keep pressing Reload, WordPress logs show each reload as a separate visit, even when you’re the owner. Cheat. I’ve just had my best ever day on the blog – 10,000 visits in one day, and counting…


  1. Thrawn
    October 13, 2011 at 7:37 am

    I can understand the desire to fund a website using ads. And on some websites, I’d like to support it. But it’s just too dangerous to run active content from third parties, which can be compromised (indeed, they *have* been before), and which I don’t trust to have my best interests at heart even if they’re not compromised.

    I just don’t have that level of trust in advertising companies.


  2. Silly complainers with too much time
    September 15, 2011 at 10:00 pm

    So you in your wisdom dont like ads because they have a picture instead of just text. Well then lets get the board of all major content producers together to make sure they reject any ads with pictures cause those make you angry.


  3. September 15, 2011 at 7:53 pm

    You miss the point. I’m not objecting to advertising per se, only to having adverts foisted upon me against the publicised policy of the ‘owner’, viz WordPress.com (the support pages say, maybe you’ll get discreet advertising such as Adsense), and without reference to me. WordPress has the right to include advertising, I have the right to object to Pulse360 advertising, which is hardly discreet. For the moment, WordPress has ‘paused’ Pulse360, and I am happy. WordPress may restart them, at which point I shall object again. If it comes to a battle of wills, I shall then have to decide whether to move my blog elsewhere. But for the moment I am very happy with WordPress. And I am certainly not against advertising, only this form of advertising.


  4. Economy needs all our help
    September 15, 2011 at 4:19 pm

    Maybe if every blocks ads, all the people that create content wont be able to monetize it and they wont have jobs. Ads served on websites are on their so they can pay their staff, serving costs, taxes, vendors etc. When you take the ads off, you are cheating them!


  5. September 6, 2011 at 8:20 pm

    Thanks for the compliments! So glad you like TACO.


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