The truth is: we don’t care if our users use ad blockers on Stack Overflow. More accurately: we hope that they won’t, but we understand that some people just don’t like ads. Our belief is that if someone doesn’t like them, and they won’t click on them, any impressions served to them will only annoy them-- plus, serving ads to people who won’t click on them harms campaign performance. That focus on relevance and performance arrives early in the QA process. Whether it’s our sales people explaining that ads must have borders, or our campaign managers checking landing pages to ensure they adequately inform, we are thorough.
An important part of the QA process is ensuring that not just the creative, but the advertiser is relevant to our audience. Every single ad to appear on any of our sites is vetted by the operations team.* We check copy and content on the ads as well as the landing pages. What we repeatedly ask ourselves in this QA process is quite simple: is this relevant to users? ‘Kiss your hosting problems goodbye’ with a provocative image is not something we want on our sites, and I’m sure our users don’t either. The purpose of this heavy QA is to ensure that our users get the most out of their experience on Stack Overflow. The content is helpful-- why can’t the ads be the same?
I wish that more webites would curate their ads. Then no one wouldn't have to worry about malware or "Have you won, click here" to get hijacked.