The Verge: Sen. Ron Wyden calls for an investigation of the ad-blocking industry. “On Tuesday, one of the Senate’s fiercest tech critics, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), called on regulators requesting that they investigate the ad-blocking industry for anti-competitive behavior. For years now, some of the largest tech firms have paid ad-blocking companies like Eyeo, which owns Adblock Plus, to avoid the software’s restrictions and have their ads displayed on devices. In 2015, a report from the Financial Times showed that companies like Microsoft, Amazon, and Google were paying out ad blockers so that they could be added to a whitelist to avoid the software’s filters.”
Boing Boing: Adblocking: How about nah?. “As the online world has grown more concentrated, with more and more power in fewer and fewer hands, it’s become increasingly difficult for Web publishers to resist advertisers’ insistence on obnoxious tracking ads. But Internet users have never been willing to accept take-it-or-leave-it as the last word in technological self-determination. Adblockers are the new pop-up blockers, a way for users to do what publishers can’t or won’t do: demand a better deal from advertisers.”
The Register: Just a little FYI: Filtering doodad in Adblock Plus opens door to third-party malware injection . “A feature introduced last year in Adblock Plus and a few other related content blocking browser extensions allows providers of filtering lists, under certain conditions, to execute arbitrary code on web pages.” Sure glad I use uBlock Origin instead of uBlock…
Make Tech Easier: The Ultimate Superuser’s Guide to uBlock Origin. “uBlock Origin is the most powerful and versatile ad blocker available. Unfortunately, the design is also a little obscure. This guide will explain the ins and outs of uBlock Origin’s advanced features, including adding custom lists, creating custom user filters, setting up dynamic blocking rules, and adjusting rules for uBlock Origin on specific domains with the advanced user interface.” CRAZY deep dive.
ZDNet: Google backtracks on Chrome modifications that would have crippled ad blockers. “A study analyzing the performance of Chrome ad blocker extensions published on Friday has proven wrong claims made by Google developers last month, when a controversy broke out surrounding their decision to modify the Chrome browser in such a way that would have eventually killed off ad blockers and many other extensions.”
BetaNews: Spotify explicitly bans ad blockers on pain of account termination. “The company employs various techniques for detecting the use of ad blockers, and now anyone found to be using such a tool runs the risk of having their account terminated. The new Terms of Agreement comes into force on March 1.” I think this is the strongest pushback against ad blockers I’ve seen thus far.
The Register: Wow, fancy that. Web ad giant Google to block ad-blockers in Chrome. For safety, apparently. “Google engineers have proposed changes to the open-source Chromium browser that will break content-blocking extensions, including various ad blockers. Adblock Plus will most likely not be affected, though similar third-party plugins will, for reasons we will explain. The drafted changes will also limit the capabilities available to extension developers, ostensibly for the sake of speed and safety. Chromium forms the central core of Google Chrome, and, soon, Microsoft Edge.”