Urban Dictionary defines the phrase "catblock" as "the inability to perform a task because doing so would involve moving a contented cat." (Used in a sentence: We were trying to use the laptop, but Mr. McMittens was catblocking.)
But Mr. McMittens isn't the only feline devoted to the art of catblocking, especially since the name Catblock also refers to an extension that replaces ads with—you got it—pictures of adorable kitties.
The project started out as an April Fool's joke back in 2012. AdBlock had rolled out the now-famous CatBlock to fill users screens with that standard of early-10's digital humor: LOLcats. On April 1st, a marmalade LOLCat addressed users—Ohai AdBlock yoozurs—and everyone was smitten.
CatBlock was supposed to disappear by April 4th, relegated to the dustbin of digital history. But people clamored for more cats, and CatBlock became available to users willing to pay a fee for a standalone version.
Or, as the marmalade LOLCat put it, I can haz money nao?
Later, in 2014, with the misspelled musings of LOLCats no longer the peak of lols, CatBlock became open-source.
So: how do ad blocking users feel about pets?
They love them. In fact, 75% of ad blocking users share their home with at least one furry, feathery, or scaly family member.
The data suggests that they might be primed for DogBlock, since 36.4% of ad blocking users are firmly dog people.
But the cat people—all those users horrified by the idea of CatBlock disappearing after April Fool's Day—have a strong representation. 29% report having a kittie at home.
10.4% of ad blocking users have branched out beyond the cat/dog binary, perhaps preferring to install an extension called BunnyBlock, GoldfishBlock, ParrotBlock, IguanaBlock, or maybe even TarantulaBlock.
Less than a quarter of users have opted not to adopt a pet. Or maybe this 24.2% represents the percentage of users stuck in pet-free rental contacts, spending weekends volunteering at the animal shelter or saving up pennies for a bit of farmland where the name "HorseBlock" refers to fences.
To say that the team at AAX is interested in ad blocking users is an understatement. We're fascinated.
So we decided to consult the mass trove of data that GlobalWebIndex (GWI) keeps about internet behavior in order to tease out some of the particularities of the group. We took our findings and compiled "10 Things You Didn't Know About Ad Blocking Users," a study that peers into everything from pet preference (which is what you just read about) to content purchasing preferences and where they stand on the great city vs. country debate.
The study will be published on January 16, 2020.