Ad blockers have been around almost as long as ads themselves. There is no question that they are annoying. Just like most other websites, we use ads here and we’re not fans of them either. But there is also no question that ads help keep operations moving. For our part, we’d love to offer a subscription-based ad-free experience, but most users also don’t like that idea. So many websites are left with serving ads that no one enjoys, and some utilize ad blockers to bypass them.
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I think the problem is two-fold and companies like Google, YouTube, Facebook, X, and others bear the biggest responsibility. Ads probably would have never become a concern with many people, had they remained innocuous and unintrusive. But the nerds in the marketing department had to write in code that tracks users across the internet and bad actors write in malicious codes into some ads, hence, ad blockers.
Now, the YouTube war machine is focusing its firepower on ad blockers being used on its video platform. The company is actively searching, through code, any add-on, extension, browser, or tool that blocks its ads. A YouTube spokesperson confirmed and commented to Engadget on the matter:
“The use of ad blockers violates YouTube’s Terms of Service,” a spokesperson told us. “We’ve launched a global effort to urge viewers with ad blockers enabled to allow ads on YouTube or try YouTube Premium for an ad-free experience. Ads support a diverse ecosystem of creators globally and allow billions to access their favorite content on YouTube.”
The company started its war on ad blockers this year with a similar message as the one above. But that message had a timer and still allowed you to watch the content. Then they switched to a different tactic, allowing only three videos to play until ad blockers were removed. Now, they are completely blocking access to YouTube unless the extensions are disabled or you subscribe to YouTube Premium.
This is certainly causing a stir among many users and while YouTube may be right to do this, they should also note why it is that ads are truly despised. Perhaps, if the ads were not filled with trackers and invading user privacy, perhaps people wouldn’t hate them so much.
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