Do you use an adblocker or tracking protection?

Please vote and discuss.

You may also discuss whether this future change (early 2018) in Chromium will affect what you are using.


Like yourself, I use EFF’s Privacy Badger and HTTPS Everywhere. I couldn’t imagine using a browser without these extensions. Being a Chromium user in Ubuntu, I look forward to these changes (if done properly). However, from what I understand don’t Google dev’s develop both Chromium and Chrome. Will third party “privacy” extensions still be available? Now that Firefox has multi process support, I may even switch from Chromium to Firefox. What is your view on this?


Google seems following a new path which is very similar to acceptable ad program of ABP.
I am using Adguard + HTTPS Everywhere on my Chrome and Opera browsers.

Even the ads are good (I mean not evil)… they slow down the page loads and eating my data

Ads eat more than half of the page loading time

Good read guarantee above :-TU

I was wondering when this will happen from the first time I read about “acceptable ads” concept. Building standards is a great thing but maybe they’re just trying to further monopolize the territory.

Thanks for the replies. I’m feeling lonely, being the only one not using an adblocker.

I used to use an adblocker, and I used to be allergic to adverts on the web. Now that has changed, and I now support the concept of “acceptable” adverts. But what is that, and who shall define what is acceptable? Advertisers and advertising networks? A single software vendor, like Eyeo GmbH, the company behind AdBlock Plus, which introduced the concept in 2011? No. While they are welcome to participate in the definition of acceptable adverts, someone has to represent users. Someone has to make privacy part of the definition.

I don’t expect advertisers to give up tracking (used for targeted adverts) by default. That is why we have the Do Not Track (DNT) header, through which users can tell sites that they do not want to be tracked. In my opinion DNT must be part of the definition of “acceptable” adverts. However, DNT is quite useless unless companies honour it, and very few companies do.

Who can force companies to honour DNT? Probably only users. Just like people who install an adblocker force adverts to behave better (the future change in Chromium), tracking protecting tools that also send a DNT-request and unblock sites that honour DNT, can force companies to honour DNT. Such tools are Disconnect, Privacy Badger and AdBlock.

I welcome the blocking of bad adverts in Chromium, but it is not enough. Privacy tools like Privacy Badger and Disconnect seem (to me) to be the perfect complement.

I think Google would face big problems if they blocked privacy tools in Chrome for PCs (mobile Chrome does not support any extensions). Chrome would be seen as an advertising tool, not least since the announcement does not say anything about tracking. I am not worried that I will not be able to keep using Privacy Badger.

Personally I use uBlock and Privacy Badger and that’s about it, in the past I had like five different tools active at the same time since some would catch something the other wouldn’t, but that quickly became annoying when trying to whitelist something that had been accidentally blocked, and I’d assume it also took more resources than it saved…

Anyway, I’m going to continue using uBlock even after Google introduces this project. I simply don’t like ads, I feel vulnerable whenever I see ads, partially because of the tracking but also because of malicious ads. I haven’t looked into this that much, but it seems to be reactive rather than pro-active, right? In that case malicious ads can still be present for some time before the ads are blocked. Any “acceptable ads” program needs curation BEFORE the ads go live, if a single malicious ad passes this then the whole system is useless IMO.

I could probably accept “acceptable ads” IF it was done correctly and could guarantee with 100% that no malicious ads nor tracking ads would be delivered to my computer. It if fails this then it has no use whatsoever. Personally I’d also like to see another criteria in “acceptable ads”, color scheme of the ad in relation to the color scheme of the website. One of the worst things I know is when I visit a website that’s mostly black or dark grey, and they show bright white ads, unless this is also dealt with then I’ll continue using uBlock with as many filters as it will allow me.

Sometimes, I had to use my friends computer. I opened Chrome and visit some sites then ads are poping up! I feel very bad because I used to use adblockers, I cannot stand any ads on the page. I asks for adblocker extension for my friend and he/she accepts. After adblocking, they feel very happy while surfing. I am sure, they won’t accept to uninstall their adblockers to see ‘acceptable ads’…

I am using adblockers for other reasons. There are too many things on pages nowadays… Subscribe popups, share buttons, Join us Facebook popups, “Do you have an account?” popups, automatically playing videos, cookie notices… pages are full of useless things whihc annoy me.

Nowadays, adblockers are content blockers (not only ads)
They block such things to make website more clear.
And for Google, I am sure they want to show ads as possible as they can. Because they are the biggest advertisement company in the world to show you “related” ads…HOW? They have to track you to learn your thoughts ands favorite things. Un-targeted ads are useless so there will be no clicks (if there is no tracking mechanism)… I cannot believe our era’s best coders working for an ad company!

I am staying with my adblocker and I totally agreed @Sanya IV Litvyak about malicious ads.

I’m not more worried about malicious code disguised as adverts than malicious code not disguised adverts. It’s the same thing, malicious code, and the best answer (client-side) to that is a secure browser (and a secure OS). Of course advertising networks must do all they can to make sure that the adverts – “acceptable” or not – they distribute are secure.

What do you mean? What is reactive?

I too prefer to not see any adverts, but I realise that they are there for a purpose. The advertisers want to advertise their products, and the publishers (site owners) want a couple of € for publishing the adverts on their sites, to be able to run the site, perhaps develop some freeware or open-source software etc.

If you are used to getting everything on the web for free, you will be reluctant to pay for anything, even if you “pay” only by accepting an “acceptable” advert to be displayed on your screen.

How do we move on? Who pays for the “free” lunch?

Let’s say, I disabled my adblocker and start to see ads… I will never click any of them, Does the website can make money?
If I am not wrong, people have to click on those ads. Without any click your adverts are still useless, so whats the point to see them everywhere?
People who are not aware of adblockers also never click on those ads, this is why website owners uses tricks.
They hide ads under “Close (X)” buttons, and unvisibe advertisements on the page. The ads are open itselfs on the new tab.

Yes, but less than if you click on the advert(s).

I mostly visit sites that I trust, I doubt they would introduce malicious code themselves, it’d be if their website was hacked or if the ads, which are often delivered by a third-party, starts serving malicious ads. Therefore I believe ads are the highest risk of infection from websites you trust since the site itself can’t really do anything about it. I don’t know if that makes sense and I haven’t seen any data that supports my thoughts, I just think that ads are an unnecessary risk and they’d need to do a lot more and be a lot more transparent for me to start trusting them.

Of course a secure browser and OS is preferred, my fear is with exploits in these products that malicious adverts may make use of. No I don’t know of any current ones but what stops there from being ones that malicious ads can exploit? I use an adblocker partially to reduce this risk, however small it may be.

Sorry, I realise I wasn’t clear about what I was speaking. I meant the Google initiative, they’d start blocking ads on a website IF that website started distributing ads that aren’t “acceptable” right? Meaning it’s a reactive action, they’re not stopping those ads from being placed there in the first place? My point is, even if a website is doing the acceptable ads thing, it seems like malicious ads can still be added to the site and then after that ads are blocked.

I understand that as well but at the same time it’s their own actions that has lead to this situation where more and more people are blocking ads. I can get behind the idea of acceptable ads, but it truly needs to be acceptable and it needs to be so in a pro-active manner where bad adverts are BLOCKED from ever appearing rather than being REMOVED once present. If they can achieve this along with other “acceptable” standards then I’d consider allowing ads.

Many people also have different definitions of which ads are “acceptable”, for example I include the color scheme in what I think are “acceptable ads”. Perhaps a common-ground could be that these “acceptable ads” initiatives also give the users the power to decide what they think are “acceptable” so that I can block sports ads while my neighbor can block tech ads. Perhaps not the best example, but I think you can see what I mean? Besides a standard “acceptable”, it should allow us to also define what WE think is acceptable.
Advertisers could then see how many people think X and Y is acceptable and make their ads “acceptable” to those standards or not and have them blocked for those users.
Using youtube as an example, I personally don’t think the pre-roll ads that are unskippable are acceptable, but I think the pre-roll ads that are longer but skippable after 5 seconds are acceptable. Perhaps this isn’t feasible though, and perhaps it wouldn’t really solve the issue since the mere sight of an ad is an annoyance and people would still define everything as unacceptable?

Of course the above is perhaps irrelevant since there would always be other advertisers that don’t conform to this and just do their own advertising, so you’d still need to block these on a reactive basis

I don’t think you can ever make the people that despise ads allow them, it’s the other people that would allow ads, but don’t because of X and Y that you need to compromise for. I don’t know how large these different groups are though, and if the group that simply will never accept ads is too large, then perhaps we simply need to find another form of financing, otherwise the cat and mouse game will just continue.

Honestly I don’t know, after reading what I’ve just written I’m not sure I agree with it. <_< Personally I don’t think it’s an issue with any easy answer, I do however think that the initiative that Google is taking probably won’t be enough for the majority of people who block ads to allow ads again, but it’s a good start I guess. It just needs more.

I guess my point is that advertisers need to start compromising A LOT if they want certain people to stop blocking ads, and they need to provide alternatives that can assure people that their blocking of non-acceptable ads is equal or better than current adblockers and also guarantee that the ads they deliver aren’t tracking and aren’t malicious, if they fail this then they lose all trust and people would abandon them and go back to normal ad-blockers.

I guess my “official” stance on this is that I currently see no way you can make ads acceptable to all or enough people since so many people have different ideas about what is acceptable. In my case a lot of compromises from their side and a lot of guarantees would be needed for me to disable my adblock, first moment they mess up it goes right back on again.

I want ice cream. :frowning:

From the blog post: “we plan to have Chrome stop showing ads (including those owned or served by Google) on websites that are not compliant with the Better Ads Standards”, so it’s Chrome blocking the “bad” adverts. What you would call a reactive action. However, advertiser don’t want their adverts blocked, of course, which means that they will make sure that their adverts are compliant with the Better Ads Standards. That makes it proactive.

Adverts being malicious is a separate question. Anyone involved must work proactively against that.

It might stop some people from ever installing an adblocker. Or any kind of tracking protection. Or even enable DNT and block third-party cookies in the browser. Most people are probably not aware of the tracking (which is of course not limited to adverts).

What say ye about Brave’s approach, to replace adverts? (Remember PrivDog and AdSanitizer?)

It is a controversial approach, with “murky ethical issues (and possibly legal issues) in replacing advertisements from a content provider for the financial benefit of an unrelated party without the consent of the publisher, even if some of the money is given back to the said publisher”¹, and one critical issue is how publishers get revenue from the replaced adverts.

When contributions for a publisher exceed $100.00 USD, an email is sent to both the webmaster of the site and the registered domain owner from your WHOIS information. The email explains how to verify the ownership of your website with Brave Software.

1 The Brave web browser []

Another good read tells “Why I am using adblocker?”

And security companies started to create adblocking softwares (Avira & AdGuard partnership)

There is no escape from adblockers, the content creators wanted this! They are greedy in the past (Advertisement revenue >:-D)
But advertisment is killing the internet and your secure enviroment.

I use uBlock Origin and uBlock Origin Extra for Chrome. Well, I think us adblock users have already stated basically all the reasons to use an adblocker. Just gonna add my opinion on websites which tries to beg the user to disable adblock on their website: I don’t even bother with those sites as there are plenty of other good sites which don’t go that far. Not gonna sacrifice my experience and privacy in exchange for giving them revenue.

And what happens when even more of the revenue is “blocked”? Will that not kill the internet?

So far it works to block adverts, and let those who do not block them pay for the content you consume. But that is not a long-term solution, if it can be called a solution at all.

We need a long-term solution, not a never-ending war between advertisers and adblockers.

I am now using uBO with uBO Protector as described here:

It is working like a charm. Many websites which used to detect the adblocker no longer does.
In the future if adblockers are “defeated” (to the point where it will take way too much effort to block, not worth the time) then I will focus only on the tracking (if possible), I may go down the route of Privacy Badger. For now since the battle seems to be evenly matched IMO, I will continue to block them aggressively.

I’ve been following the discussion about this a bit and so far I’ve only seen it talked about in terms of pirate sites and no one seems to think about it in a larger picture, everyone seems to be hung up on just pirate sites and how it in this instance was done a bit shifty. I am honestly quite surprised about the response from a lot of people where the majority seem to be outraged about the potential of a website using their CPU, I however do not understand that argument, why is it so outrageous that a website is using your hardware when your hardware is designed to be used?

Anyway, let’s take this away from piracy and talk about it as a potential replacement for ads in general. Would it be feasible? If it works then I think it could be a very good replacement for ads. Basically I block ads because 1. I don’t like ads and 2. I don’t trust ads. But I wouldn’t have anything against letting my PC be used for mining as long as I’m visiting a site and as long as it stops when I go away from the site. I do however think that there needs to be more customer control, for example max CPU% usage per site and for all tabs (so even if you open 100 tabs it won’t use more than X% resources)

What do you think? Personally I don’t see much to be against assuming it’s safe.

EFF writes about various blocking extensions.

How to Debug Your Content Blocker for Privacy Protection

There is also a new version of Panopticlick to test your tracking protection.

Panopticlick 3.0

Starting on February 15, in line with the Coalition’s guidelines, Chrome will remove all ads from sites that have a “failing” status in the Ad Experience Report for more than 30 days.
[url=]An update on Better Ads[/url]

That means Chrome 64, which will be released as stable 23 January. Chrome 64 also has a stronger pop-up blocker.