Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Does YouTube load very slowly? Ad blockers are to blame, says Google

It is not your browser. Youtube is intentionally delaying loading times in sessions for users who are still using ad blockers. Some people were reporting a delay of approximately five seconds when playing videos on the platform. Now, Google has confirmed that this is a measure to “support” its ecosystem of creators.

“We have activated an effort to urge viewers with ad blockers enabled to allow ads on YouTube or try YouTube Premium for an ad-free experience,” a company spokesperson told Android Authority. «Users who have ad blockers installed “They may experience suboptimal viewing, regardless of which browser they are using.”

Several users reported on Reddit that the delay occurred in browsers such as Mozilla Firefox and Microsoft Edge. The rumor was that YouTube was testing the restriction in browsers other than Chrome. But the video portal’s clarification dismissed this issue. In fact, the most recent testimonies indicate that the delay would also be occurring in Google software.

YouTube confirmed in late October that it was expanding its measures to limit the use of ad blockers globally. Since mid-year, it began testing various options, such as deploying warnings about this type of extensions in some countries. But since October, the technology company expanded the strategy to more territories and defined a system with four detection stages that ends with the player blocking.

YouTube users’ resistance to abandoning ad blockers

YouTube has insisted that the use of ad blockers violates its terms and conditions of use. And viewing advertising or subscribing to YouTube Premium is what ultimately sustains the work of its creators.

But the public has not liked the strategy at all. Reddit is full of posts rejecting the measure implemented by YouTube. Some even call to boycott the platform and subscribe to alternative services.

Alexander Hanff, an advocate for the right to privacy on the Internet, has already filed a complaint with the Irish Data Protection Commission (DPC). If YouTube argues that it is about complying with its terms of use, the activist alleges that the company is violating European law by using spyware to determine whether people have a blocker active.

Hanff believes that Google follows the same pattern as BlockAdBlock, by not requesting explicit consent to run that check. Sites like YouTube can detect ad blockers by downloading a code snippet which checks if something on the page has changed, or if the elements necessary to load an ad are blocked. According to the activist, the terms of use of the video portal do not explicitly reject extensions to block advertising, as the company says.

As YouTube expands its crackdown on ad blockers, extensions continue to be updated to try to address them. On the uBlock Origin subreddit, for example, several new tutorials on how to bypass the restriction have been posted. However, These are not always effective.since Google changes the scripts that detect extensions to browse without ads.

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