The site is offering a unique choice to readers who surf it using an ad blocker: Turn off your ad blocker or keep it on, but allow us to use your computing power to mine monero, a virtual currency. In a FAQ on the options, Salon states:
Back in the 1990s, as now, Salon offered the common relationship of serving ads to its users in exchange for keeping most of our content free. The principle behind this is that your readership has value both to us and to our advertisers. Recently, with the increasing popularity of ad-blocking technology, there is even more of a disintegration of this already-tenuous relationship; like most media sites, ad blockers cut deeply into our revenue and create a more one-sided relationship between reader and publisher.
We realize that specific technological developments now mean that it is not merely the reader’s eyeballs that have value to our site–it’s also your computer’s ability to make calculations, too. Indeed, your computer itself can help support our ability to pay our editors and journalists.
The publication goes on to explain that it will only use a reader’s computer’s processing power for mining cryptocurrency when the reader is actually on Salon’s site. It won’t hijack your computer in the background to mine when you are doing other things. Salon’s solution to the ad-blocking problem publishers face is a unique one, and it will be interesting to see if other publishers adopt similar methods in the future.
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