Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Paying to Get Around Adblock Plus

Russell Brandom (via John Gruber):

Some of the web’s biggest companies have been paying to get around Adblock Plus, according to a new report from Financial Times. Microsoft’s Bing search ads and Taboola’s “recommended links” box are among the ads that are currently slipping through Adblock Plus’s filter, and FT confirms that it’s the intentional result of a paid deal between the makers of Adblock and the owners of the ads. According to FT sources, the companies have paid Eyeo (the maker of Adblock Plus) to be added to an official whitelist, which allows them to bypass the plug-in. Google has a similar deal, as has been previously reported.

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The Security Now podcast (I think, it was one of Laporte's podcasts) talked about this a year ago or so. At the time, the Adblock people said that companies allowed to circumvent their blocker had to adhere to specific rules, such as no having animated ads, iirc. Not sure how much better that makes the whole thing, but it's something to consider.

I had also read somewhere that supposedly, the "little guys" can get on the whitelist based on the good behavior of their ads, and they just make the "big guys" pay, like Google and Microsoft. So they are really nice, just like Intellectual Ventures, not at all like Lodsys. All good.

But presumably only if you have "Allow non-intrusive advertising" checked in the preferences, right? According to the documentation, this means that they must be static still images. Sounds OK to me!

If you want to block all advertising, just uncheck that checkbox.

As for me, I block animated and annoying (i.e. intrusive) elements, most of which happen to be ads. If advertisers can be encouraged to start running more sensible ads, I won't have to block them.

"So they are really nice, just like Intellectual Ventures, not at all like Lodsys. All good."

I believe we have Today's Winner of the Internet.

Expect to receive your lucite plaque from CERN in 3 to 6 weeks.

"How is this different from an extortion racket?"

So is Grubes talking about the users or the advertisers being extorted? I have a hard-to-impossible time making the extortion case for either.

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