Google Cracks Down on Adblock

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Google Cracks Down on Adblock

YouTube Promo Image

Google appears to be cracking down on Adblock for its Chrome browser, forcing users to watch full, unskippable, YouTube ads.

The "Adblock" ethical debate is one that has divided people on the internet for a long time (NB: pretty please white-list The Escapist from your Adblock!) and it now looks like Google is taking some forceful steps to block the blocker, at least within its own Chrome browser. Reports are coming in that users watching YouTube videos on Chrome with the extension installed are being forced to watch full, 3+ minute commercials, without the option to skip them after ~10 seconds like non-Adblock users can.

The workaround seems to be affecting not just the original Adblock, but other similar extensions such as uBlock. Essentially, the workaround tricks the extension into seeing the "Skip Ad" button as an advertisement itself, meaning the only way you can restore your ability to skip ads is to either uninstall the extension, or whitelist YouTube.

You can bet that this is a result of YouTube's dismal profits, that hasn't really been making Google any money since it bought the service back in 2006.

I'm certain it won't be long before Adblock updates itself to get around the workaround, but for now users have discovered that uninstalling the YouTube App from Chrome seems to stop the Adblock bypass.

Source: Neowin

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Well it makes sense. Store fronting adblock on Chromes app store is like leaving your keys in the front door on your way to work.

What happened to the premium service youtube was preparing? I would probably pay for that.

Just to be clear, this is only for the YouTube App, right?
just I can't imagine this helping anything if they are going to put in ads longer then the actual video...

So less people will use google chrome and more people will use firefox.
Good job, google.

Well, it was bound to happen eventually.

And the AdBlock devs will no doubt circumvent this by the end of the week.

Gotta wonder if this is a one-off for Google or if theyre going to continue breaking AdBlock on Youtube.

Regardless of your opinion on adblock I don't get what google is trying to accomplish, all they have done here is create a bunch of firefox users...

For the record, my thoughts on adblock can be summed up with Jim Sterlings "The Adblock Episode" pretty sure you can dig it up somewhere if you haven't seen it

Diablo1099:
Just to be clear, this is only for the YouTube App, right?
just I can't imagine this helping anything if they are going to put in ads longer then the actual video...

I don't think so? According to the article users have just figured out that uninstalling the app "fixes" it, so I doubt that google intended them to be able to workaround it, but yeah, google is really shooting themselves in the foot if they actually think they can pull this off...

Double post apologies

I use Firefox because Chrome is a Ram guzzler, and stuff like this doesn't make me thing twice about my decision.

If adverts weren't annoying as hell and three times as loud as the actual videos then this might not be as big an issue.

white-list the escapist after Jim and Bob left.

If google is really doing this, I'll be switching to a different browser.

Soooo...just don't use Google Chrome? Firefox forever! Yes, I whitelist the Escapist. It would be good if you could whitelist specific Youtube channels as well.

Let me tell you a quick story about a lovely little site.

Fakku is one of the most well-known and legit hentai sites in the west. One day, they role out a new form of advertisement. This ad causes a small screen to load up in front of a hentai on the first page, you just hit exit and be on your merry way. Ad block users ran into an issue where the ad would not load and the hentai would be unable to easily change pages and the first page you selected would be blank. I noticed that someone in their forums placed a thread asking what was happening with this, he even straight up said "I think my ad-blocker is causing this". Jacob Grady, owner and founder of the website responds with "Yes, we aware that the new ad type causes issues solely for ad-block users. We have our tech team working on it ASAP. Sorry for the inconvenience."

The owner of a website, which is most likely how he makes most of his money, is having his tech team fix something that is only effecting ad-block users and even apologized for it. You may be asking "Elfgore, what's the point with all this?" The point is that ad-block is something that website owners need to realize they can not stop. Trying to stop it just hurts yourself, as I'm sure most people would just travel to another site rather than deal with your annoyances. Several websites acknowledge this, Fakku, The Mod Nexus, and I'm sure many others. They understand ads are annoying, but they have to use them to keep the site afloat. Google, this is a terrible idea. People will just jump over to the next available browser rather than deal with your shit. You should just include a constant link to download Firefox throughout that whole 3 minute, un-skipable ad. Saves people some time at least.

I'm not condoning the use either. I just think that a large portion of the internet uses ad-block as an objective fact. Birds fly, fish swim, and people use ad-block a bunch.

The choice whether to block ads or not to block ads has always boggled me. I never buy something from a commercial. NEVER. Not one ad I've ever seen has tempted me to buy something. So why should I have to tolerate them? They're not getting money out of me, so you're wasting both our time trying to get me to..

Zykon TheLich:
Soooo...just don't use Google Chrome? Firefox forever! Yes, I whitelist the Escapist. It would be good if you could whitelist specific Youtube channels as well.

You can with Adblock. when you're on a video from the channel you want to whitelist you just click the adblock button and choose "whitelist channel"

Steven Bogos:
You can bet that this is a result of YouTube's dismal profits, that hasn't really been making Google any money since it bought the service back in 2006.

All while Google themselves blow tonnes of money on developing driverless cars, drone delivery, quantum annealing computers, air balloons with Wi-Fi, preventing illnesses affected by old-age and god-knows what else, none of which are likely to see major commercial results soon and at least three of which already have established competitors researching in the same area: Uber on driverless cars, Amazon on drone delivery and D-Wave on quantum annealing.

A lot of Google's products don't make money.

EDIT: Oh hey, look, Facebook is challenging Google on delivering Wi-Fi in poorer countries too: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RQxXf6MYpzw

Is that why I've been watching 3+ minute long videos of Neil Degrasse Tyson lately? How annoying. What gets me is that I didn't even know it was my adblock. I just assumed youtube was high on something. Welp, Firefox it is then. Google has been pissing me off lately, and youtube hasn't helped.

There's a reason I refuse to touch Hulu.

Sight Unseen:

Zykon TheLich:
Soooo...just don't use Google Chrome? Firefox forever! Yes, I whitelist the Escapist. It would be good if you could whitelist specific Youtube channels as well.

You can with Adblock. when you're on a video from the channel you want to whitelist you just click the adblock button and choose "whitelist channel"

I don't get that option, all I get is:

Zykon TheLich:

Sight Unseen:

Zykon TheLich:
Soooo...just don't use Google Chrome? Firefox forever! Yes, I whitelist the Escapist. It would be good if you could whitelist specific Youtube channels as well.

You can with Adblock. when you're on a video from the channel you want to whitelist you just click the adblock button and choose "whitelist channel"

I don't get that option, all I get is:

Go into the options and check the box that says "Allow whitelisting of specific youtube channels"

Makabriel:
The choice whether to block ads or not to block ads has always boggled me. I never buy something from a commercial. NEVER. Not one ad I've ever seen has tempted me to buy something. So why should I have to tolerate them? They're not getting money out of me, so you're wasting both our time trying to get me to..

The point is, the owner of the website gets revenue just from the ads loading.

So by reading webcomics with adblock on, you're essentially burgling the webcomic artist.

News flash, people won't watch your ads anyway, they'll go make a sandwich or something. The old models that are used to gain profits really don't work today, that said I don't know how you'd get a better new one. But the old one, thoughly broken.

wizzy555:
What happened to the premium service youtube was preparing? I would probably pay for that.

They tried it, and as predicted by everyone (because apparently Google is the ONLY place in the world where these days without internet savvy people) it failed miserably to the point where it's another one of Google's experiments which have been made into un-history.

Elfgore:
Le Snip

I think Fakku has one advantage YouTube doesn't: it makes money through more then just ads. They sell physical and digital copies of hentai with all the censorship removed, they sell games and shirts both on their site and at conventions (I remember last year at Otakuthon they even sold out of some of said shirts, though unfortunately they didn't show up for this year's one). YouTube, on the other hand, makes money though ads and 5$-per-movie streaming that they get a cut of that no one uses. Remove ads and the site basically has no revenue.

Though this is a problem Google needs to fix in a practical way that will actually work, since there are ways to make it work as other streaming services have shown.

Makabriel:
The choice whether to block ads or not to block ads has always boggled me. I never buy something from a commercial. NEVER. Not one ad I've ever seen has tempted me to buy something. So why should I have to tolerate them? They're not getting money out of me, so you're wasting both our time trying to get me to..

I saw an advert for a chicken burger at burger king once and ended up wanting (and getting) a kfc. So it kinda works on me think.

On topic, i do all my youtubing on my phone so doesn't effect me in the slightest, although i see ppl just switching browsers.

I hate to say this, cause I feel like I'm not the only one, but attempting to block ad-block the way they are, is one of those things that instead of encouraging people to not use adblock, it's going to encourage them not to use Youtube. I know for me it's going to be a big deterrent for google chrome, and that's not because I'm some big fan of ad-block or anything. I don't even run it, but the truth is like many of these music services, if you start making your product less accessible because you want to punish people, I don't feel like you're gonna generate the right kind of attention... I stopped using Itunes where I live because intensifying region restrictions were making my life miserable.

Incidentally I don't use youtube nearly as much as I used to because they prevent me from caching videos on my phone. The more they clamp down the less I feel like using it... and it's not a vital service... it's very easy to live without...

Meh bye chrome. Youtube has also become kind of a cesspool. I wouldn't mind seeing it go too. It wouldn't be so bad if they didn't push youtube "content creators" so hard. When Im browsing youtube for things I actually want the amount of "people react to" videos that are spammed are enough to make me just say "fuck it" and go find what I want somewhere else.

I can understand Google's frustration, but this hardly seems to be the best way to deal with the issue. The fact is that very few people like ads. They're loud, repetitive, and always act as a gatekeeper between people and the things they actually want to see. That's not even getting into the stigma they have of trying to sell you things you don't need. This, as everyone has already said, just drives people away from Chrome and creates bad blood. Though if mandatory Google+ integration was any indication, Google doesn't care.

What I find most amusing is that many Youtubers already figured out that the system doesn't work (and hasn't for some time) and found sponsorship deals. So if the people Google depends on for content have already wised up to the deficiencies in the system, why hasn't Google? If they really wants to fix the problem then they should develop a system/program that creates subtle, semi-random advertisements that don't interfere with peoples' access to the content. Much like piracy, if they want people to play by the rules, then the rules have to offer a better experience than the alternative.

Huh, I had this for a while a few months back, I can't tell you how many times I've had to sit through some guy telling me how to make pulled pork. It went away after too long, maybe they were just testing it or adblock went around it then? Either way I've moved back onto firefox now.

shirkbot:
So if the people Google depends on for content have already wised up to the deficiencies in the system, why hasn't Google?

Simple, because despite the image they try and present of themselves Google is run by genre-blind suits who know nothing about the internet, or how their own company, works. The competent people running the place where replaced long before the company purchased YouTube.

I find it weird that a computer can be held basically hostage by flash ads that slow it down unless people pay $10 a month to every website they go to. Then Ad Block comes along & basically stop this hostage situation. Then the people running the websites play victim because they relied on the flash ads that were holding people's PCs hostage.

From what I can tell the whole point of people using Ad Block is its way cheaper than paying various websites monthly or hoping that another PC upgrade will help for more than a year.

In some cases I've even seen Ads scroll to them selves over & over again when I'm trying to read a website. Or in the case of watching a video player having another video player all the sudden play sound for a commercial which is distracting. Even without that other video player sound I've had issues where it would freeze my PC.

I don't use Add Block. Some of the websites I like going to actually know what I'm interested when it comes to them. But they're usually Furry Websites advertising for Furry Websites. However I would have no problem installing an Ad Block as long as it only blocked Flash Ads.

....

Also Adchoices is Evil.

Only Chrome, huh? Good to know not trusting more crap from Google was at least right this time. Though, how long until they figure out how to do this on Firefox and other browsers. Hopefully, it's just a test to see how people would react (and hopefully, people will react with the kind of hate that would make Kefka jealous).

It also doesn't help that YT's Content ID system (and the profit sharing in general for some channels that have a lot of effort put into their content) is so fucked up that Patreon is a better way to support any content creators that use it properly. Because of the great (heavy sarcasm there) tools Google gives the super huge corporate IP holders, even artists that legally own the content they post and critics who are well within their rights for fare use are getting their videos claimed or striked by both automated systems and nefarious individuals trying to silence them. Google needs to work on that and how they deliver ads before they start crusading against browser add-ons that make a surfer's experience tolerable.

Zontar:
Simple, because despite the image they try and present of themselves Google is run by genre-blind suits who know nothing about the internet, or how their own company, works. The competent people running the place where replaced long before the company purchased YouTube.

They certainly know how search algorithms work, but that's about it. Competent people cost money, so naturally they needed to go. How else could they justify their ContentID system?

RatGouf:
However I would have no problem installing an Ad Block as long as it only blocked Flash Ads.

If all you want to do is block Flash stuff there are usually plug-ins that will just block Flash as opposed to all ads. Or you can just use Firefox, which has recently disabled the Flash plug-in by default because it's a security hazard and doesn't force you to watch 3-minuute Youtube ads apparently.

Yet another reason I use Firefox. As Google slowly takes over the Internet, and therefore, the world, I'll cling to Firefox for as long as I can!

Captcha: Banana Stand

Google needs to realize there is always money... in the Banana Stand.

loa:
So less people will use google chrome and more people will use firefox.
Good job, google.

That's what I expect the result to be until the addon-that-shall-not-be-named finds a way around whatever script magic google has woven.

I can appreciate how frustrating it must be for google and others who make it their business to advertise, be it advertising sorts themselves or those who just sell the advertising slots.
Trying to find ways to reach an audience that can quite easily set up a default option to ignore you before you get out your first words must lead to a lot of stress.
Doing something like this is most certainly not the answer, no matter how within their rights they may be.

Users will ask why they can't skip adverts.
The reasons will leak.
As soon as there is a work around, be it swapping browser or new in chrome methods, it will spread swiftly.
Relying on user laziness or some kind of inertia to defend them from user migration is folly.

For some reason I keep thinking of this old quote.

"The more you tighten your grip, Tarkin, the more star systems will slip through your fingers."

Uh.
Well.
I think it fits.

There have to be better ways to get adverts to your userbase.
Politely asking is one part.
Ensuring your advertisements aren't eyeball rakingly awful or annoying is another component.
Keeping things short couldn't hurt too.

shirkbot:

RatGouf:
However I would have no problem installing an Ad Block as long as it only blocked Flash Ads.

If all you want to do is block Flash stuff there are usually plug-ins that will just block Flash as opposed to all ads. Or you can just use Firefox, which has recently disabled the Flash plug-in by default because it's a security hazard and doesn't force you to watch 3-minuute Youtube ads apparently.

I still use Flash, but Flash Ads at times screw up my PC.

I whitelisted this site a while ago but I originally installed Adblock simply because of how obtrusive I found Youtube's ads, Nowadays I support people like SorcererDave, EnterElysium and other youtubers by Patreons or subbing to them on Twitch. I just point blank refuse to have anything to do with Youtube ads because of their nature and so I stick on Firefox for now, though if some of the rumblings about Firefox's future come to pass I'm going to start using the Palemoon fork of the browser that isn't run by Mozilla.

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