Leaving the ads visible just to support Mint is, imo, a weak argument. If you want to support Mint, there are other avenues - you can donate or sponsor (see here http://www.linuxmint.com/donors.php
Of course, if the ads do not bother you, you can leave them in place. Personally, I do not like ads I did not ask for. I also run Ghostery and other track-blocking add-ons. I like my privacy.
I have been a member of this forum since early 2009 and a moderator since 2010, although recently, due to poor health I have not been very active. For most of that time, I have been a Mint sponsor, and before that, I donated regularly so I have never felt any reluctance to block all ads on the forum or any other Mint page.