New user here, created an account to reply to this thread. Just chiming in that this is wrong, wrong, wrong, wrongity wrong, and it instills absolutely no faith in this distro. I'm not trying to spread FUD here, but when an OS serves you ads something is seriously very very wrong. Today OpenDNS gave me a page full of ads when I tried to access imgur.com. I didn't mistype the URL, I clicked a link on reddit. My router is a VM running pfsense, and I have it set to use google's DNS servers. I spent all day building a new VM, unplugging access points, making sure none of my roommates put a rogue DHCP server on my network.
It wasn't until hours into this that I guessed it could be mint causing this. So I did a google search, found this thread, but when I clicked it, what did I get but my good friend OpenDNS telling me forums.linuxmint.com is not a valid domain, here's a rainbows page full of advertisements instead. I'm not an expert really, I have no idea why a "fallback" would be the first choice in resolving these DNS entries, but I assure you I have at least four real, valid DNS servers, I was trying to access valid domain names, which totally do resolve to real IPs, but I got this spam instead.
So, considering no other OS, no other distro uses this fallback, why is it so vital? Are people without DNS really THAT common? Why aren't the ubuntu forums, the debian forums, the apple forums, the microsoft forums, all filled with people complaining that they can't resolve domain names?
Again, I'm not trying to spread FUD here, but I was personally afraid, uncertain, and doubtful this morning, because of this "feature". This may have been done with the best of intentions, but as an end-user it scares me the rainbows away from using or recommending this distro.