AdBlock Plus just took the fight back to Facebook

Unblockable ads get blocked.

Published Date
12 - Aug - 2016
| Last Updated
12 - Aug - 2016
 
AdBlock Plus just took the fight back to Facebook

Two days ago, Facebook announced that it would bypass Adblock filters so that users can see sponsored posts. Two days after, Adblock Plus, the leading ad blocking plugin, has already found a way to block those advertisements. You can do it manually, or by simply clicking a button. As Adblock Plus explains in its blog post, you need to go to the Settings tab on Google Chrome, navigate to the extensions tab, and click ‘Options’ below the Adblock Plus extension. Here, you’ll get the option to press ‘Update Now’ or add the new filter manually using this code.

facebook.com##DIV[id^="substream_"] ._5jmm[data-dedupekey][data-cursor][data-xt][data-xt-vimpr="1"][data-ftr="1"][data-fte="1"]

Just copy and paste it. You can find directions for other browsers, here.

AdBlock Plus does allow some ads to pass through its filters, but it charges for the same, and has guidelines that these ads must follow. Unlike Facebook, Google has actually adhered to these norms. Facebook, instead, allowed users “more control” over the kind of ads they see on the social network.

The war between web publishers and ad blockers has been brewing for a while now. While one side wants users to see ads, the other, of course wants an ad free Internet. Between them, Facebook and Google own about 64% of the advertising industry online, according to The Guardian. Publishers on the world wide web, including Indian giants, such as The Hindustan Times, Times of India and many others, have taken to blocking ad blockers on their website. They don’t allow users to view content unless their ad blockers are disabled.

Facebook, Google and other web publishers actually depend on advertising for the better part of their revenues. Hence, it isn’t surprising that Facebook is trying to bypass their filters and “passing the control” to its users. This way, the social network still earns from ads, and users see only those adverts that are relevant to them. Tools like AdBlock Plus, on the other hand, allow users to block almost all forms of advertising online.

The contest is similar to the anti-piracy war that has suddenly become more intense over the past few years. Facebook’s concerns over ad blocking are similar to Netflix’s concerns against torrent hosting websites. As the Internet becomes the chief form of content distribution, ranging from news to movies, the so called freedom of the net will be curbed.

Prasid BanerjeePrasid Banerjee

Trying to explain technology to my parents. Failing miserably.