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.”
CNET: Chrome will block annoying, spammy ads globally starting July 9. “Google’s Chrome browser this summer will start blocking those annoying ads around the globe. Chrome will protect users from intrusive ads in any country starting on July 9, according to Google’s Chromium blog. It’s an expansion to an ad-blocking feature launched in February last year that initially focused on sites in North America and Europe. “
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. “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. “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.”