BBC: Facebook’s hidden battle against ad-blockers

BBC: Facebook’s hidden battle against ad-blockers. “The methods Facebook uses to thwart ad-blocking technology have been criticised by web developers. The social network injects dozens of lines of code in every page to make it harder for ad blockers to detect and hide sponsored posts. But that makes the website less efficient and stops software such as screen readers used by visually impaired users from working properly.”

Boing Boing: Researchers claim to have permanently neutralized ad-blocking’s most promising weapons

Boing Boing: Researchers claim to have permanently neutralized ad-blocking’s most promising weapons. “Last year, Princeton researchers revealed a powerful new ad-blocking technique: perceptual ad-blocking uses a machine-learning model trained on images of pages with the ads identified to make predictions about which page elements are ads to block and which parts are not. However, a new paper from a group of Stanford and CISPA Helmholtz Center researchers reveals a powerful machine learning countermeasure that, they say, will permanently tilt the advantage toward advertisers and away from ad-blockers.”

Lifehacker: Block a Thousand Twitter Advertisers at Once

Lifehacker: Block a Thousand Twitter Advertisers at Once. “Furious at whatever asinine thing Twitter is doing now? Or just want to make Twitter ads less distracting? Because the main Twitter ad unit is an actual tweet, you can block a lot of Twitter ads by blocking actual accounts. On the site Block Together, which creates shareable block lists, user Shannon Coulter has shared a blocklist of 1197 corporate accounts, many of which advertise on Twitter, focusing on Fortune 500 companies.”

Neowin: Firefox will block some trackers by default in the future

Neowin: Firefox will block some trackers by default in the future. “Mozilla is getting ready to crack down on trackers found throughout the web. Trackers are typically used by websites to collect information about the user, allowing for more accurate, targeted advertisements, which comes at the cost of both performance, privacy, and even security. For that reason, in future versions of Firefox, Mozilla is targeting some of the more harmful forms of tracking to improve users’ experience on the web.”

The Next Web: Adblock Plus now blocks social media tracking for Chrome & Firefox

The Next Web: Adblock Plus now blocks social media tracking for Chrome & Firefox. “Adblock today announced it was joining the fight against social media tracking by allowing users to block what has become so ubiquitous on almost every site out there. Specifically, the tracking which Adblock Plus now aims to thwart is that which originates from social media buttons.”

TechCrunch: German Supreme Court dismisses Axel Springer lawsuit, says ad blocking is legal

TechCrunch: German Supreme Court dismisses Axel Springer lawsuit, says ad blocking is legal . “Germany’s Supreme Court dismissed a lawsuit yesterday from Axel Springer against Eyeo, the company behind AdBlock Plus. The European publishing giant (which acquired Business Insider in 2015) argued that ad blocking, as well as the business model where advertisers pay to be added to circumvent the white list, violated Germany’s competition law. Axel Springer won a partial victory in 2016, when a lower court ruled that it shouldn’t have to pay for white listing.”

Wired: Google’s New Ad Blocker Changed The Web Before It Even Switched On

Wired: Google’s New Ad Blocker Changed The Web Before It Even Switched On. “Despite the advance hype, the number of sites Chrome will actually block ads on turns out to be quite small. Of the 100,000 most popular sites in North America and Europe, fewer than one percent violate the guidelines Google uses to decide whether to filter ads on a site, a Google spokesperson tells WIRED. But even if Chrome never blocks ads on a page you visit, Google’s move has already affected the web. The company notified sites in advance that they would be subject to the filtering, and 42 percent made preemptive changes, the spokesperson says, including Forbes, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, and In Touch Weekly.”