Brendan Eich’s Brave browser fights ads with ads

JC Torres - Jan 21, 2016
Brendan Eich’s Brave browser fights ads with ads

Brendan Eich is a man that is familiar with the Web as well as controversy. After all, his is both credited and at times cursed for having created Javascript, one of the most widely used and, at the same time, reviled programming languages. He also co-founded Mozilla, from which he was practically forced to leave two years ago. Now Eich is back at doing what he does best: creating browsers and stirring up the pot. Brave, as it is called, is a speedy browser that blocks ads by default. And then it replaces them with other ads.

That might not make sense, but what Brave’s team is fighting against aren’t ads wholesale but the way ads are used today, which is equated with intrusions of privacy and slow loading web pages. Brave wants to “disinfect” the Web advertising business, not destroy it. And it’s doing so with a whole new browser.

Brave is built from Chromium, the open source web engine on which Google’s Chrome browser is built. It’s a rather ironic turn of events considering how Chromium and Mozilla’s Gecko, which is used in Firefox, are deep-seated rivals. Then again, being based on Chromium might be the only way for Brave to even be available on iOS, which has pretty stringent rules about web engines.

The way Brave will work with ads is rather novel and bound to be controversial. Brave wil block ads by default, which, Eich points out, makes web pages load substantially faster. This is one of two core features of Brave. Once that’s done, however, it then plugs in its own “clean” ads to fill up the holes. What’s interesting is that in the revenue sharing scheme that Eich has drawn up, even users will get a percentage of ad revenue. This, in turn, can be used to “support” websites, after which their ads no longer show up in the browser. In other words, it’s a way to pay for ads to go away.

One of the biggest criticisms about the way Internet ads work is the tracking of users and their habits. Here, Brave will actually be no different except in one factor. Ads will be based on tags generated from the user’s browsing history, but those tags won’t be shared to advertisers.

It remains to be seen if Brave will even cause a ripple in the Web. Suffice it to say, Eich is back in the news and at least provoking people to think long held beliefs and convictions. This time on ads rather than politics.

VIA: Business Insider

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