Monday, December 11, 2023

YouTube reinforces its fight against ad blockers

Youtube reinforced its strategy to prevent users from using ad blockers while browsing the platform. After carrying out several experiments in the middle of the year, the company started displaying more warnings to those who access with uBlock Origin or any other extension that avoids advertising. The same is true in browsers like Brave, which include blockers built into the software.

As reported Android AuthorityYoutube the video player froze until the user disables the ad blocker. The reactions have not been long in coming and a significant number of users have spoken out against the measure. The YouTube subreddit is full of complaints and warnings that they will not pay for the subscription premium.

Given this, YouTube communications manager Christopher Lawton confirmed to The Verge that the platform launched a massive effort to combat ad blockers. According to Lawton, the idea is to invite users to allow advertising or try YouTube Premium. The manager stated that These blockers violate the Terms of Service and added that advertising allows billions of people to access their favorite content.

While YouTube made it clear that it would launch a crusade against ad blockers, the first few months were meant for experimentation. The platform deployed warnings in some countries and applied a three-strikes policy before blocking the player. At the beginning of October, the technology expanded the strategy to more countries and defined a system with four detection stages.

This is how YouTube reacts if you use an ad blocker

An entry posted on the uBlock Origin subreddit details the procedure YouTube follows when you use an ad blocker. He detection system is divided into four stages in which the user is shown a warning and invited to allow ads. Depending on the level, the actions you can perform will be

  • Stage 1 is just a popup that you can dismiss by clicking outside of it.
  • Stage 2 is the same, but the close button is activated after a few seconds.
  • Stage 3 is more aggressive and only allows you to open three videos before locking the player (three strikes).
  • Stage 4 replaces the video with a warning stating that ad blockers are prohibited. The player will be unlocked once you disable the extension, add YouTube to your allowlist, or subscribe to YouTube Premium.
Image: uBlock Origin

It is important to mention that These phases vary by country. In Mexico, YouTube activated stage 2 two weeks ago and maintained it for several days. In the United States, many users are already in stage 4 and cannot access the videos if they do not deactivate the ad blocker.

According to uBlock Origin, YouTube changes its detection scripts twice a day and there is no way around it. The only solution is to manually update the filters every 12 hours and disable any other extensions that block ads. The process can be complicated for those who do not have experience and does not work if you want to remain logged in to the platform.

The good news is that extensions are constantly updated and the community is creating guides to avoid ads. If you don’t want to pay for YouTube Premium, the solution is to keep an eye on uBlock Origin’s progress on its subreddit.

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