Do Internet users hate pop-up ads?

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Ethan Zuckerman, inventor of the pop-up ad, publicly apologized in 2014 for creating the widely disliked advertising tool while working for Tripod in the late 1990s. He wrote an article for The Atlantic expressing regret for his creation. The internet has come a long way since then, with over 47 billion websites and 300 hours of video uploaded to YouTube every minute.

History is filled with public apologies, but few may have been as universally appreciated as Ethan Zuckerman’s apology in 2014. Zuckerman, who identifies himself as the inventor of the Internet pop-up ad, wrote an article for The Atlantic in which he acknowledged his regret for creating the now ubiquitous gimmick. In the late 1990s, Zuckerman worked for the Tripod website, now a web page publishing company, and tried to find ways to earn money for the company. Advertising seemed to be the answer, he wrote, but he was wary of placing ads on the same page as other content, lest the reader associate the two. Thus was born “one of the most hated tools in the advertiser’s toolkit: the pop-up ad,” wrote Zuckerman. It allowed ads to appear separately from other content. Zuckerman said he had no idea what he would end up doing in his Internet business. “I wrote the code to launch the window and run an ad in it,” he wrote. “I am sorry. Our intentions were good.”

We’ve come a long way with .com:

The first website was activated in 1991; today they are about 47 billion.
Easily accessible websites like Amazon and Netflix make up just 4% of the entire Internet; the rest are not accessible with standard search engines.
In 2005, Me at the zoo became the first video uploaded to YouTube. Today, 300 hours of video are uploaded to the site every minute.

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