Can you use an ad blocker selectively?

I use a MacBook Air, much prefer Safari but use Firefox when Safari causes weirdness, and my current OS is Mojave 10.14.6.

I don’t currently use an ad blocker because for the most part I don’t mind the ads I get - sometimes they are hilarious, and I find it really interesting (if sometimes creepy) to see which particular adverts I get served up.

However, my local newspaper is practically unreadable on line because of the 5 million ads on every page. It causes my computer to overheat almost instantly (which I gather from a cursory Google search is kind of a Mac problem, but only this one site gives me grief).

I contacted the newspaper and asked if I could subscribe, paying to have an on-line, ad-free version, but NoooOOOoo. If you subscribe, they send you a dead tree version, which I am ethically opposed to. There is no subscription option that doesn’t involve paper. That sucks and I wish they would change, but I still need to read the local news.

So … if I install an ad-blocker, would it be possible to choose which sites it applies to? If SDMB gives me ads, that’s cool. But I can barely read the local paper on line because of the ads, and would like to use an ad blocker there.

Practically every adblocker has the ability to have different settings for different sites. So you can certainly allow ads on some sites but not others. Commonly used adblockers like Adblock Plus are available for Safari.

It’s definitely doable, as said above. However, by default, most adblockers will assume you want to block ads on all sites, so you’d have to remember to allow ads on other sites as you go to them.

That said, I do think it’s probably better that way: ads are disabled on new sites you don’t know or maybe don’t want to support, but you can enable them on sites you trust and do support.

The problem with selectively allowing some ads and not others is that the ads today are often not from the primary site, but from someone else the site, in this case your local newspaper, has outsourced this service for a fee or a cut. They in turn rely on someone else, like Google Analitics, who then feed the ads through another service (like cloudfare, adsense, and millions others). When you block Google Analitics, or cloudfare, or adsense, you block it for all sites, when you allow it, you allow it on all sites.
In my opinion you should install an ad blocker (Adblock plus has been suggested, uBlock Origin is also good) an allow the ads in some pages one after the other until you feel that the ads are getting too much again. You can play with the settings, it is not difficult. But you may be surprised to see how many different services use the ressources of your computer when you do not block them. I am talking scores upon scores in some webpages. Others, like this site, are more parsimonious.
You can always de-install the ad blocker if you don’t like the experience, but I think you will.

I have been playing some games on for years, and suddenly a few weeks ago the games stopped running. When I sent an email to try to resolve this I was told that the probable cause was that I was using an adblocker, and I needed to whitelist in order for the game to play. Ignoring the fact that it would have been nice if I had been told this while I was on the website like every other website that objected to my using an adblocker does, I don’t understand why this is suddenly an issue after all this time.

I tried whitelisting and was bombarded with ads. I had to watch a 30-second ad before I could play my game, and x-out two banner ads which were covering part of the play area (one of the for an adblocker extension). When I told shockwave about the latter, I was told that ads should be blocking the game, I was told that this shouldn’t be happening, and that I should try “zooming out” of the game.

I’m probably going to just stop using the website. Not worth the hassle.

Every time I have disabled my ad blocker to support a site the results have been pretty bad and I re-enable the ad-blocker.

Maybe there are some sites which do ads in a reasonable way but I have yet to find one (to be fair, I have pretty much given up on trying at this point).

And on the other hand, many sites detect that you have an active adblocker and will refuse to serve up any useful content until you disable it (or sign up, which may or may not be free). They will often throw up a pop-up nag screen that you cannot dismiss until you sign up or disable the blocker.

Any site that does that I just do not visit anymore. I cannot think of a time where I wanted to see their content so much that I folded to their strong-arm tactics. The only thing they achieved doing that is pissing me off and making sure I never come back.

This, more or less. When I get that (most often from some news sites linked to by posters right on this board), I may take the time to read what the nag screen says. SOME of them are firm, but SOME of them are just “suggestions” and will let you dismiss the nag screen and get on with your reading.

As I’ve mentioned many times, there are many advantages to running your browser with JavaScript disabled. One of them is that a great many such sites will work just fine for you with JS turned off. To be sure, there are different opinions among users here regarding the ethics of doing that.

Get Adblock has an allow ads mode, and you have to add the domains manually for exceptions.

I think there’s similar for others: you have to whitelist everything by default in the custom filters, and then selectively choose those sites to block. For example,

Adblock has the option to disable blocking temporarily on the site you are looking at.