Adblock Plus and (a little) more

Trampling on users’ free will is not sustainable -- even if you're Facebook · 2016-08-12 18:32 by Ben Williams

When Facebook initially began forcing users with ad blockers to see the ads on their site, it took the open source community behind ABP and other ad blockers about two days to find a solution. That was yesterday.

Later yesterday, Facebook apparently found a new way to circumvent, and later still another workaround for the ad-blocking side was found. Then early today Facebook again circumvented. As of right now, yet another workaround has been discovered (update your filters and it should work).

So that’s how things stand, but I digress …

The important thing is that at its heart this is a contest between consumers and Facebook … we called it a cat-and-mouse game, but it doesn’t mean we like it. Anger or blame toward ad blockers is misdirected; we merely enforce “the will of the people” (via the open-sourced filter lists). Should Facebook circumvent again, I’m sure another solution will arise from that open source community. And so on … What is the solution? We invite publishers and websites to work with Adblock Plus and our whitelisting process, rather than circumventing consumers’ expressed concerns.

We clearly feel like giving users control of their internet experience is better than taking it away, and it’s disheartening that a company like Facebook would abuse everyone’s experience of their site by forcing that experience into a one-size-fits-all, see-the-ads-or-else tube. The internet just doesn’t work that way. At least it shouldn’t.

In the meantime we’ll do what we can to keep users in control in the apparently endless loop.

Comment [52]

  1. Frank Starling · 2016-08-12 19:46 · #

    “We clearly feel like giving users control of their internet experience is better than taking it away, and it’s disheartening that a company like Facebook would abuse everyone’s experience of their site by forcing that experience into a one-size-fits-all, see-the-ads-or-else tube. The internet just doesn’t work that way. At least it shouldn’t.”

    How nasty Spotify and Netflix are to me. It’s my computer, they should let me listen and watch to what I want instead of abusing me by forcing me to pay money for that stuff. The internet just doesn’t work that way!

    “The important thing is that at its heart this is a contest between consumers and Facebook … we called it a cat-and-mouse game, but it doesn’t mean we like it. Anger or blame toward ad blockers is misdirected; we merely enforce ‘the will of the people’…”

    Not all people. A lot of people want all their stuff free and will come up with ways to justify it. Like Napster for free music or the Pirate Bay for free movies. But a lot of people are willing to pay for their stuff – like Spotify for music or Netflix for movies. Or watching ads for ad-supported websites.

    Reply from Ben Williams:

    You’re partly right, but there’s a lot of wrong woven into your argument as well. Spotify and Netflix aren’t really comparable to FB or a news site, and yes, some people indeed want to see zero ads … but the point of Acceptable Ads is really just to find out what ads even ad blockers would be willing to see. The opt-out rate hovers between 8-10 percent for Acceptable Ads — so it’s not perfect, but it’s getting somewhere.

  2. Frank Starling · 2016-08-12 19:52 · #

    … And before you tell me that ABP puts the choice and lets the users decide if they want to watch ads to support a site, let me ask you – why can’t I have a product that lets me pay Netflix and Spotify when I like? Shouldn’t the choice be in the users’ hands there as well?

  3. Frank Starling · 2016-08-12 19:57 · #

    Last comment from me on this post…

    I am not arguing that ad blocking is ethically wrong or should be illegal.

    I am simply making the point that Facebook isn’t doing anything wrong here by trying to make their ads unblockable. They are just trying to get paid for what they are providing.

    I think the bottom line here is that Facebook is the first huge company to refuse to pay ABP their 30% and instead is trying to go another route. It’s wrong to try and villify them.

  4. Andy · 2016-08-12 20:00 · #

    Frank. adverts themselves are not so bad. its when some websites abuse their ability to show ads by misleading the user into what they are clicking into. one example is those clickbait slideshow websites that pretend to be news but show the user 10 or so images that could easily fit on one page. instead they spread those images over 10 pages so when the user clicks through those images they have viewed 10x adverts since the ads re-load on every page click.

    Those kind of sites lose all credibility when they complain that adblockers are taking away their revenue when their actions are the very reason people use blockers in the 1st place. The only reason they would do such a thing is to make more profit.

    I often see those kind of sites linked to from facebook.

  5. Frank Starling · 2016-08-12 20:07 · #

    I hear you, Andy. Things need to improve, and it will take work and compromise. But Ben is laying it on really thick with this good and evil stuff.

    Reply from Ben Williams:

    “But Ben is laying it on really thick with this good and evil stuff.”

    Maybe you’re right :) Didn’t mean to vilify FB — yer right, they’re just trying to make that money — but when ads are not differentiable from non-ads, which is basically what they’re doing now, there are unfortunate consequences. One of those consequences is that screen readers that, say, a blind person might use, cannot see the difference between what is paid and what is not.

    So, okay, maybe I got carried away — but let me just say I’m pleased to be on the side of this we’re on, because that side gives people increased control.

  6. routehero · 2016-08-12 20:59 · #

    It’s simple. Adblock Plus is corrupted.

    uBlock Origin doesn’t have a pay-to-play program like Acceptable Ads. The plugin is more zealous and dogmatic, but it is outperforms ABP.

    When the author of Easylist writes the rule that blocks the Ads of a publisher, and then receives payment to whitelist it in Acceptable Ads, we see the core of the problem.

    If anyone should regulate internet advertisement, it should be elected officials with clear transparency. Ben Williams asked, what could go wrong with that?

    What’s going right with Acceptable Ads?

    Reply from Ben Williams:

    So you never answered my question: which ad company do you work for?

    In answer to yours — “What’s going right with Acceptable Ads?” — well, in short, everything. The opt-out rate is very low, we’re turning it over to an independent committee come year’s end and we’re making it easier from a tech side for publishers to sign up.

    And again, you can just turn it off ;)

  7. Sam · 2016-08-12 22:00 · #

    As others have said, you lost the moral high ground when you started taking money to whitelist ads.

    As far as whether adblocker blocking is sustainable, my guess is that it is, at least given the current state of adblocker tech. What you’ll need to do in the long term is use ML and analyze the rendered page rather than relying on the simplistic techniques that have worked until now.

    Reply from Ben Williams:

    “As others have said, you lost the moral high ground when you started taking money to whitelist ads.”

    Why? So we shouldn’t get paid for the work we put into whitelisting the biggest entities on our list? That keeps it free for the other 90 percent, and it means we don’t have to charge people for the extension. It also allows us to develop more things (like all the browsers we’re working on + Flattr Plus, fight lawsuits (we’ve had six(!) in Germany already) and pay our employees.

    If you could pay to play, you’d be 100 percent correct, but the criteria are exactly the same for the biggest site to the smallest blog.

    Also — and this is perhaps more important — not really trying to take the moral high ground here; apologies if the post came off a little like that. As I said in another comment, we’re just pleased to be on the side that gives users more options, not less.

  8. Alex · 2016-08-12 22:18 · #

    To all those who equate ad-blocking with piracy and preach that blocking ads means doom for free websites.

    ABP was born out of necessity. Ben is right, it is a cat-and-mouse game. A little history. Way back at the dawn of internet era Yahoo was THE site you went to after your modem stopped making the screeching sounds and you were connected to the magic of the worldwide network. Yahoo showed a simple static banner ad across each page, and everyone was happy. Then they added a bottom banner. then sides. Ever since their IPO the pressure was building to increase revenue. At first users understood, but grumbled. Then the balance of understanding vs grumbling started shifting. Rather then listening carefully to the grumbling and adjusting their strategy to keep their user base happy, they decided “We’re Yahoo! Nobody else is! Where else are users going to go? Msn and AOL? Good luck, l-users! We’ll make up lost revenue by adding animation, sound and other eye- (and ear-) sores and charging advertisers premium”. Well, 2 guys with a pair of old 486 computers and a “don’t be evil” motto pretty much “took” the vast majority of yahoo’s user base by simply by committing to a simple advertisement formula: 2 or 3 lines of text ONLY. No graphics. No blinking. Single-color (to make it easier for users to tell, which links are ads). That’s it. Revenue re-appropriated. Big time. Just in case you haven’t figured it out yet, I am talking about Google. It seems kind of weird today, simply because since then Google had an IPO, dropped the “don’t be evil” motto and mostly crossed over to the dark side. But i digress.
    This mouse vs mousetrap (sorry, Ben. I think this is a more accurate parallel) battle has been going on for a very long time. It even predates internet and webads. “Extra Extra Read all about it” vs Earmuffs. Telemarketers and Robocalls vs CallerID. Spam vs SpamAssassin. ABP is the latest weapon in the battle with complete lack of respect exhibited by the advertisers towards their “targets”. Strangely enough, ABP is actually helping advertisers. By keeping their behavior controlled, it keeps them in business. If I visit a site with a colorful diarrhea of ads blinking screeching and screaming at me (and for some reason i’m not using ABP, hehe), guess what happens? – the first click becomes the last one and i never visit that site again. with ABP i still see the whitelisted non-intrusive ads, and i can browse around and perhaps come back.
    To be honest, i don’t really find Facebook’s ads on-site too intrusive, but i do have video and flash in a “click-to-start” mode. In fact I actually have FB’s main site whitelisted in ABP. I do however block their webbugs on ALL other sites. By visiting FB’s site i agree to be subjected to their data collection, but i’m deeply disturbed by how much they knew about me long before i visited for the first time.

    And a message for facebook itself. Mr Zuckerberg, tread lightly. Right now there’s just about the maximum amount of ads on fb’s pages that users will tolerate. Any additional straw might become the one will break this camel’s back. Some might turn on ABP. If you somehow figure out how to antiadblock (not very likely – your programmers haven’t had an original idea EVER, but i will allow for a possibility anyway) – we’ll leave. There’s always The Next Big Thing.
    And then Facebook will become the latest addition to the water swirl that already contains Yahoo, AOL, MySpace and countless others who forgot that it’s their users who control the flush lever.

  9. routehero · 2016-08-12 23:56 · #

    Look at this gem.

    Adblock Plus wants to start harvesting data from its millions of users.

    They sell ads published ads on other sites.
    Now they’ll collect your private data.

    https://codereview.adblockplus.org/29347210/

    Solid plan.

    Reply from Ben Williams:

    This is of course an opt-in feature. Check out the developers’ comments: https://codereview.adblockplus.org/29347210/

  10. annoyed · 2016-08-13 00:10 · #

    How can we volunteer to pitch in on a ML solution to the problem? I would like to participate.

    Also, wow, look at all the shills.

    Reply from Ben Williams:

    Wow, thanks! If you’d like to contribute to ABP, just check out this page: https://adblockplus.org/contribute

  11. JPV · 2016-08-13 02:43 · #

    Even with ad blocking, Facebook generated 17 billion in revenues in 2015.

    Somehow, these poor billionaires will find a way to survive. I suppose that they’ll just have to make do with owning 5 yachts… instead of 6.

  12. Anton · 2016-08-13 05:00 · #

    I hope you prevail. We all want to see David winning over Goliath. Stick it to them. And I don’t even use Facebook. If there is donate link I’ll gladly contribute to your cause nothing is more appalling the Facebook.

    Reply from Ben Williams:

    Thanks for the support!

  13. H · 2016-08-13 09:46 · #

    It seems that FB’s strategy will eventually defeat current filters. The solution is probably going to be to support filters that can look at what html elements contain. Is this something ABP is working to support?

    Reply from Ben Williams:

    We’re working on a solution. Hold tight for now.

  14. businessmodels · 2016-08-13 17:17 · #

    Ben: it seems like FB’s ads already fit within ABP’s “acceptable ads” guidelines. Is that true?
    Can you tell us how much FB would have to pay ABP to participate in the program?

    Reply from Ben Williams:

    Some of them could fit, some almost certainly wouldn’t (like auto-play video). There is no way to “automatically” whitelist ads; we have to go through a process to make sure each ad fits the criteria, then after that we figure out if the site in question has to pay (about 10 percent) or does not (about 90 percent). No idea how much that would be till we go through that process.

  15. businessmodels · 2016-08-13 18:46 · #

    Oops, I didn’t realize that Facebook ads violate the guidelines including the first guideline listed about placement, as well as additional guidelines such as size. I didn’t actually read the guidelines in my troll attempt.

    Sorry I was wrong. Next time I’ll actually try to read the guidelines before trolling.

    Reply from Ben Williams:

    No worries, we’re here to answer your questions.

  16. jabby · 2016-08-14 03:11 · #

    Going against who’s will? You visit a site and if they wan’t you to view adverts it’s their choice if you don’t like it don’t visit the site. You can not argue that especially if that’s how the sites run. In the end facebook will win then others will follow then as we know it ad blockers will be dead.

  17. n · 2016-08-14 04:10 · #

    Jabby it goes both ways. If I visit a site with adblock it is my right to not have it circumvented. If they don’t like that I’m using adblock they should block me from the site, it’s that simple.

    I don’t always check where every link I click leads to – if it’s a place with ads like facebook or any other place, I’d rather the site block me rather than have it circumvent my ad blocker. At that point I can choose to turn it off and visit the site with ads, or just leave the site.

    This is the appropriate course for facebook and any other site to take, but because this will cost them money and lost users they would rather circumvent my security measures and expose me to potential malware or psychologically assault me with things meant to change my purchasing behavior – which I explicitly do not want to see and is the reason I use adblock.

  18. n · 2016-08-14 04:12 · #

    And I should add, I never circumvent adblock blockers like forbes and wired – I just close the site. So I do respect their choice to require their users to see ads – they should respect my choice to not circumvent my security meaaures and just block me entirely.

  19. nancy · 2016-08-14 04:23 · #

    @jabby, facebook can’t win this unless they make it so regular users can’t distinguish between what is an ad and what is a post – which will piss off a lot of regular, non adblocking users. All of the webpage rendering is client-side so while they can make it difficult, as long as a user can tell that something is an ad, so will clientside applications like adblock.

    Because no one really tried to fight adblock before, no one built the required tools needed to block facebook’s current method of getting around adblock, but all they would have to do is have an adblock app that supports jQuery selectors like contains() to find elements that include ad information.

    At the very worst case, a machine-learning-based filter to pick out ‘spam’ from ‘good content’ similar to email filters may be developed if facebook pushes this far enough.

  20. Michael · 2016-08-14 08:43 · #

    Adblock Plus is preventing Facebook, websites transforming this beautiful internet into a surreptitious data collection “Orwellian Ad dystopia network”. Adblock Plus is giving users a voice, “No more!”.

  21. Michael · 2016-08-14 09:47 · #

    Adblock Plus is a imperative tool for the modern Internet. Without it, Internet users are subjected to malvertising, tracking, bandwidth abuse, mental pop-up torture.

    Facebook isn’t going to win this War. A war against collective open source community. Once again, history will repeat itself. Force feeding users ads, has never succeeded. Hence, 100 million Adblock Plus users.

    Websites echoing the pedantic cries, “Don’t visit the website”. Internet users do not possess clairvoyant abilities to detect nasty bloated ad, malvertising sites. Adblock Plus filters out the nonsense for us.

    Reply from Ben Williams:

    Thanks!

  22. routehero · 2016-08-14 13:03 · #

    @Michael: Adblock Plus is about to change their browser plugin to surreptitiously collect your browsing data, via “filter hit statistics”.

    Imagine the user profiling they could create when they can say that a user from [Country] hits [Site] and the filters [1,2,3] are hit [30-50] times per [time of day].

    Wonder who they will sell this data to. Back to the advertisers maybe?

    Maybe it’s their value add — they can provide analytics on who the ads are hitting, so they can make Acceptable Ads more appealing to publishers.

    It’s fine if you want to block ads, but ABP is doing this for their own profit. If you want something less corrupt, look at uBlock Origin.

    Reply from Ben Williams:

    As said elsewhere, also to you, actually, this is an opt-in feature: https://codereview.adblockplus.org/29347210/

  23. Alon Eitan · 2016-08-14 13:48 · #

    A simple solution until adblock fix this issue:

    1. Remove ALL your interest under the “Ads based on my preferences” section in your profile settings page
    2. HIDE ALL ADS on timeline, and in the reason of hiding popup, always choose that the ad is “Explicit Sexual Content” OR “Violent” OR “Spam” (This is just to send false flags to FB, in addition to hiding the ads).
    3. Troll businesses with ads you hate – Leave a rude/insulting comment. Then hide their ads

    The above steps made my FB feed clear of ads. I think that the community should FIGHT BACK by transforming FB into a hostile place for advertisers. You want to push those ads down our throat? NO PROBLEM!

    We should all fight back. Facebook must pay the price of being a greedy SOBs!

  24. Steven H. · 2016-08-14 19:37 · #

    @Alon, it appears they removed the popup. Anyways, I guess we can still hide them (please confirm). I think your idea is brilliant, may we send a clear message to Zuckerberg we don’t want his ads.

  25. Johnny · 2016-08-14 20:06 · #

    Rather than hiding ads, I go to the company page and send them a message that I have blocked their page on facebook because their ad circumvents my security measures and I view it as a serious security threat. I advise them to contact facebook for further assistance to remedy the situation. I also inform them that I have blocked their website from my home network, which means that no one in my household will be able to visit their page.

    Then I block the page and associated website immediately.

  26. Steven H. · 2016-08-14 21:46 · #

    That’s an interesting alternative, I should definitly try this out as well. How do you procede to block their domains?

  27. Johnny · 2016-08-14 21:53 · #

    I build a list of their domains during the day as ads appear in my feed then block them all in my router settings. Unless it’s an ad from google or amazon (which I can’t live without) I just entirely chop off my entire home’s ability to connect to the advertising business’ page.

  28. Ed · 2016-08-15 01:17 · #

    i already updated the lists many times and still not working :( GOD DAMN ADS!!!!!!!!!!!!!! sponsored posts and suggested posts. god damn it.

    Reply from Ben Williams:

    They circumvented again I’m afraid, but I’m sure a fix is right around the corner.

  29. n · 2016-08-15 01:25 · #

    @Ed, With the current state of the popular adblocking software it’s no longer possible to filter out ads by updating the filter list. New filtering methods based on content need to be coded so this will probably take a while.

    You can block sponsored pages – if you do this a bunch early on, then FB won’t be able to find as many to match you with and show in your feed so you’ll get less ads, but this will require work on your part.

  30. businessmodels · 2016-08-15 03:24 · #

    Ben/businessmodels: Not trolling, how do Facebook ads violate the placement guidelines for “acceptable ads”? Here is the quote from the guidelines about placement:
    “In-feed ads… Ads are permitted in between entries and feeds.”
    FB also has ads in the sidebar, which is permitted.
    I’m still curious how much FB would need to pay to get ABP to approve their ads. Seems like it must be $millions, given their size?

    Reply from Ben Williams:

    No worries, I know you’re questions are legit. Happy to clarify (if I can).

    Trouble is there is no way to send out a “bot” that can scour the internet for ads that meet the Acceptable Ads criteria and those that don’t. Each one has to go through a process with us, then exception filters are written and over time, maintained by us. Until we go through that process it’s impossible to say how much anyone would pay exactly — but the general rule is that we are compensated 30 percent of the uptake in ads revenue that the site gets as a result of whitelisting. Not 30 percent of total revenue, just of the revenue accrued from the (now) whitelisted ads. More here: https://adblockplus.org/en/about#monetization

  31. businessmodels · 2016-08-15 03:48 · #

    Even if FB paid Eyeo for a whitelist, it wouldn’t work in all Adblock plugins.

    FB shouldn’t pay extortion money. If you don’t like the ads, don’t go to the site.

  32. nancy · 2016-08-15 03:58 · #

    @businessmodels I haven’t read the acceptable ads policy but I guess it doesn’t matter since users can trivially opt out of any whitelisting by adblock plus. In addition, the app i use (Adblock, rather than Adblock Plus) has whitelisted ads as opt-in rather than opt-out. I know you’re attempting to somehow smear adblock plus for trying to make money but there is no issue in making money as long as users have the ultimate final decision in their experience. If adblock plus starts forcing people to view whitelisted ads that would be a different story.

    Rather than circumventing adblocking applications, or even paying money to be whitelisted, they should have a stricter ad policy. Otherwise even if adblock plus whitelists them other users will continue to block them.

    You should understand that advertisers exploit human psychology to get them to do things that they shouldn’t do. They tell people they are too fat, too wrinkled, too hairy, too thin, not fashionable, etc. They create artificial demand for their products. They do this using psychological weaknesses that were identified by scientific research to exploit users. Clickbaiting is one big such example – but many others as well. Until advertisers clean up their act (yeah, right) you can expect people to resist ads.

    My personal guidelines for whitelisting pages ads are these:

    1. No clickbait ads – ads must not exploit curiosity by witholding key information.
    2. No active content – Only images or text, and no links
    3. Amount of ads – less than 10% of the content should be ads.

    No advertisers I have seen currently meet my criteria.

  33. nancy · 2016-08-15 04:02 · #

    @businessmodels: Websites should not circumvent adblockers. If they don’t like users using them, THEY should just block the users.

    Your comment “If you don’t like ads don’t go to the site” is in reverse. If content owners don’t want me to use an adblocker it is far easier for them to block me than it is for me to know who does or doesn’t want adblockers, and where each link I click on on the web leads.

    Why do you think facebook won’t do this? Because they know many people would choose to leave rather than whitelist facebook. So they circumvent our security measures and expose us to things we specifically said we do not want to be exposed to.

    This conversation would be entirely different if facebook just blocked people using ad blockers. But instead they again exploit a psychological weakness in people to sneak ads through.

  34. nancy · 2016-08-15 04:12 · #

    Thinking about it, I wish the adblock applications would add a warning for sites circumventing ad blockers.

    E.g. A message when you visit facebook that says ‘You MUST whitelist facebook.com in order to proceed to the site’

    Make users aware of what is going on and put the decision to continue using facebook in their hands rather than circumvent their ad blockers.

  35. the original 'businessmodels' commenter · 2016-08-15 05:04 · #

    Just to clarify, there are two people posting as “businessmodels” above. Each day the first post is me (asking how FB ads violate the acceptable ads terms and what would it cost them to get in), and the immediately-following posts are someone else (first accusing me of trolling, and second saying “if you don’t like ads don’t go to the site”).
    That’ll teach me not to post anonymously I guess.

  36. nancy · 2016-08-15 10:12 · #

    Until adblock applications add more powerful filtering tools, you can block facebook ads by going to this post in the EasyList forum and installing either tampermonkey (chrome) or greasemonkey (firefox) and getting the script linked in the post. https://forums.lanik.us/viewtopic.php?f=62&t=31995&start=30

    Warning! Note that these extensions are for advanced users and if you install malicious scripts with them, bad things can happen to you. But the script linked in the topic is safe and will remove your ads.

  37. mooshoe · 2016-08-15 10:49 · #

    Omg the salt from that #1 comment… @#1: Ad Blockers don’t have anything to do with Spotify or Netflix. And the will of the people means the will of those who make their voices heard by going out of their way to install ad Blockers like this in large enough numbers to make Facebook tear up. Apparently they made you tear up too, I can try to email you a tissue for your issue. Personally, any website that I have no objections to gets white listed. Amy website that employs and anti ad blocker strategy I don’t visit again, and for the average BuzzFeed type click bait I make sure that I have my ad blocker on. Keep in mind users like me browse the web on their cell phone a lot, and it really bothers me that I literally have to pay to view the websites in both ad content and the data consumption of their flash ads or multiple redirect ads or other trash. Just please anyone reading these comments, realize that ad Blockers are serving a free market purpose. Since ad blocking software is the only way for us to make an economical impact on the businesses we visit, to encourage the content to ad ratio to simply be respectful.

  38. Thomas Huynh · 2016-08-15 17:40 · #

    @Alex, your post has nostalgia written all over it for me. Thank you. Very incisive write-up and background on how we got here and where we are heading. FB and Google are forgetting about behemoths like AOL MySpace, and Yahoo in their day. The barrier to switch is low, the cycle of success applied well before they were here and well after they are gone.

  39. Michael · 2016-08-15 20:32 · #

    Routehero: If Adblock Plus didn’t include an op-in, Ublock Origin would be number one. Ghostery ad on version 6 is more intrusive than Adblock Plus’s statistics collection.

    Adblock Plus gives you choice, ad networks don’t.

  40. Benjamin Smith · 2016-08-16 06:33 · #

    Facebook needs to realize the whole picture of the “customer” base that uses their service. When I use facebook I need to learn not just the news of the day but the interpretations of the news of the day. And for myself there is A LOT of stuff to sift through and when I’m spending LITERALLY HALF MY TIME looking at advertisements… this is unacceptable.
    I’m not even against ads on facebook, normally I can just ignore them if I want to (most of the time i do). But they are consuming valuable space on my News Feed and instead of showing me news or opinions they are now showing me what’s up with Kim Kardashian (or insert any meme). For some, I’m guessing, this is relevant. For me it couldn’t be further from relevant. This irritatingly irrelevant and annoying advertising IS THE WHOLE REASON we started these public-source anti-ad software. I’m not even against SEO. In fact it seems to me that it’s the largest companies that have the worst business practices.
    As of right now, I cannot get the “Suggested Posts” off of facebook even with the updates (11:31pm central time).

  41. Amanda · 2016-08-16 10:10 · #

    Anyone else getting daily messages “Log in to Facebook to see what your friends are sharing…”? I am getting them on my phone even though I am logged out everywhere. They’re behaving like drug pushers!

  42. James Edward Lewis II · 2016-08-16 19:44 · #

    routehero (#6), you said this:

    “When the author of Easylist writes the rule that blocks the Ads of a publisher, and then receives payment to whitelist it in Acceptable Ads”

    The maintainers of EasyList and the Acceptable Ads whitelist are different people, even though the two lists are served from the same servers.

  43. routehero · 2016-08-16 21:30 · #

    #42: James Edward Lewis II

    No, they’re not.

    #1: https://hg.adblockplus.org/exceptionrules

    Notice that MonztA is making the lion’s share of commits to Acceptable Ads (exceptionrules repository).

    #2: https://github.com/easylist/easylist/commits/master?author=monzta

    Notice all of the blacklisting that MonztA is doing in easylist, the same list most plugins use.

    #3: https://adblockplus.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=21766

    MonztA has a title on the official ABP Forums as “ABP IT Officer”

    Screenshot: http://imgur.com/a/H8qMS

  44. londonlady · 2016-08-16 23:05 · #

    If only they would just keep the ads out of my newsfeed. Like…you want to put them to the left and right sides? Fine. But I don’t want to scroll through my feed, see my best friend’s wedding and baby shower pictures and then see an ad about buying life insurance right under it. Ugh, Facebook, really? It feels like I have to pay a tax in order to connect and keep in touch with my friends online :/

  45. Karel · 2016-08-17 11:05 · #

    Exactly, londonlady. I use Facebook to keep up with what my family and friends around the world are doing, and it’s such an ugly feeling to be scrolling through their photos and messages and then suddenly without warning have a post appear about some anti-snoring device, a ‘revolutionary’ new wallet, or even something about how to meet up with ripe old ladies! It’s ridiculous that Facebook confronts us with such nonsense, and even worse that they have the audacity to force it on people who obviously are not interested in any of that and have opted out by installing adblocking software. I will never click on any of those ads, I will never buy anything they offer. Even if it was for something that interests me (and that hasn’t happened so far) I would refuse out of principle. Facebook is gaining nothing from this from me, they’re only succeeding in royally pissing me off, and I think I’m not the only one who feels this way.

    Hope ABP can find a way around this soon, FB shouldn’t be allowed to get away with this.

  46. Fire and Ice · 2016-08-17 16:49 · #

    Well, one thing about Facebook is their Ad Team seems to work a lot faster than the people that are combating them.

  47. nancy · 2016-08-17 21:41 · #

    Facebook ads are already being blocked with the tampermonkey userscript I linked above, so that’s not true Fire and Ice.

    Adblock Plus will eventually catch up too.

  48. osmoz · 2016-08-17 22:18 · #

    @routehero #9 shame on you to say something like that without any knowledge (go read https://issues.adblockplus.org/ticket/495).

  49. Alex · 2016-08-17 22:26 · #

    “If they don’t like users using them, THEY should just block the users.”

    They can’t. They simply cannot afford to. Facebook’s whole rise to prominence was due to a simple fact that people went to the site that had more people on it. e.g. If you were on mySpace, had, say, 50 friends and 30 of them stopped showing up regularly – you probably stopped showing up there eventually too and instead logged on wherever all 50 were. Facebook that is. There’s always some other site people can switch to. So many social sites look like ghost towns – “millions of users and nobody logged on”. If FB’s users start routinely noticing that their friends hang out elsewhere, they will go wherever their friends went. The domino effect kicks in and people leave faster then they used to sign up. Oh, yes, surely some will linger, and log in weekly, then maybe monthly, twice a year… Then the sentiment “oh, nothing worth my attention happens there anyway” – and the final nail is driven in. This process happens even faster if the company is publicly traded. “- Oh no, ad revenues are down, what will shareholders say?!? We need improve numbers! Lets show more bigger ads that grab users’ attention and don’t show anything useful until user clicks a few extra pages with extra ads. Sure some users might get irritated, but what can they do? Go elsewhere, tee-hee?”. Yeap. Go elsewhere we will. Toodles!
    ABP and other adblockers are absolutely necessary. Their mere existence is the Femida’s Sword that keeps the rampant greed at bay. Without them NOBODY in the ad world would ever stop and ask themselves “Uh… Is this too much?”
    Ben and Company, keep fighting the good fight. The way i see it you’re saving facebook from itself and in doing so perhaps saving the rest of us from another economic bubble bursting.

    On a separate note, WTF, people? Yeah, there’s a whitelist and yes, some companies pay to get on it. SO WHAT? Don’t like it – turn it off. ABP allows you to do that before any ads ever violate your innocent eyes. It reminds you to do that during install. You’d be crying over poor Goliath only generating $17B and loosing some unknown revenue to adblockers, but the aggressor David does something to not starve to death (just maintaining those easylists must cost some seriously obscene sum), and the Morals Police swoops in. Would you prefer Eyeo to say “Ah, screw this. we’re tired of making people happy and getting lectured on morals.”? Or perhaps “Hmm. We could be charging for the software AND for the subscriptions, like Symantec, Barracuda and IronPort etc do.”? Would that be better? No? Then get off the high horse, take a timeout, go stand in the corner and think about your behavior. Then thank them. Good. Much better.
    Sheesh…

  50. Frank Nostro · 2016-08-18 00:43 · #

    Ben Williams et al.

    I wrote a chrome extension ( https://github.com/fnostro/FFBAds ).

    It works for me on Chrome 52.
    Feel free to use the code as needed.

  51. CazzT · 2016-08-28 09:39 · #

    Unfortunately, ABP is not blocking ads on Facebook entirely. I am seeing tons of ads in my feed even though I’ve updated all my lists.

    The reason I use ABP is so I don’t see ads. At all. And here I am seeing ads.

    Reply from Ben Williams:

    Yes, that’s correct. Please see this more recent blog post: https://adblockplus.org/blog/ping-pong-with-facebook

    … we’re working with the global online community to get a solution ASAP!

  52. Frank Nostro · 2016-08-29 00:55 · #

    Here is a temp solution I created until they figure it out…
    https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/faceblock/elfjdommhjddccnkaddkmbkmndmgennl

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