Fixing these webs

July 18, 2018

Today I added 4 analytics/ad/tracking <script> tags to a page and the number of requests went from ~13 to 38. If there was one problem I wish all webfolk could gather together to demand a fix for, it’s this. The other is more high-level accessible controls.

Sadly, I think the one company with a browser that has marketshare dominance and could exert the kind of pressure required to stop ad tracking and surveillance capitalism is not incentivized to do so.

So the problem is approached from the other end. Blame is piled on authors for slow first-party code. We’re told to use certain mobile publishing frameworks that syndicate to proprietary CDNs to appease the gods of luck and fortune.

It is told that using the Website Jesus Framework is the only way to save ourselves from ourselves.

Increasing the page speed of the first-party code allows the third-party code to load more efficiently, leads to more impressions, and creates more monetizable raw product for the parent company. Everybody but the user’s data and privacy wins.

And look. I’m a fan of fast websites. Your website needs to be fast. Our collective excuses, hand-wringing, and inability to come to terms with the problem-set (There is too much script) and solutions (Use less script) of modern web development is getting tired. This is not a free pass.

But yeah… If there was one problem I wish all webfolk could gather together to demand a fix for, it’s this. The other is more high-level accessible controls.