What's all this about filter lists? Adblock Plus 3.7 Release · 2019-10-23 10:46 by Matthew Garcia
3.7 of Adblock Plus is out now with added features and performance tweaks, like dedicated fonts for Arabic and Thai, which gives more people easy ad blocking in their respective language, several User Interface improvements, and an improved ‘refresh’ option, which helps ease whitelisting and make it easier, as users have to refresh after white listing a site. But maybe most interesting are our updates to our filter lists. The new 3.7 version of Adblock plus has added ‘recommended filter lists’. Now, when a user clicks “Add a new filter list”, they will see a list of recommended filter lists including language filter lists, malware protection filter lists, anti-circumvention filter lists, privacy filter lists, and more.
But what exactly are filter lists? And why recommend them?
Filter lists are an interesting element to the online game that some people may not know a great deal about. This is unfortunate, as they can help users have the internet experience they really want to have. The internet, as we at Adblock Plus see it, is about control. That’s why each version of Adblock Plus that we put out on the market has, apart from the best ad-blocking around, a focus on giving the user more control, more capabilities to create the internet experience they want.
Filters function in just that way. They are sets of what things your computer should block and hide on web pages you visit. Some of these filter lists are built in, ie. automatic, and work simply by using the Adblock Plus app or any browser with Adblock Plus activated. These are Acceptable Ads, the anti-circumvention list, and the default language filter list including EasyList.
Other filters, however, had to originally be found. Easy enough for very tech savvy people, but less obvious to others. The great thing about recommended filter lists is that the app goes through and offers you many easy tweaks that you might not have considered and which will greatly improve your online experience. All you have to do is go to the Advanced section on your ABP drop-down tab at the top of your browser page.
Most of these recommended filters are instigated by flipping them on, ie. activating them. If you look at ‘Filter Lists’ on Advanced, you can see some toggle switches that need to be turned on or off manually, these are things like fanboy social blocking, cookie notifications, and privacy tracking. Each one when turned on (or left off) gives a different facet to surfing. Maybe you like receiving ‘the cookie notification’ on each site you visit, though it’s also possible you don’t.
There are also adjustments possible like allowing various language filters, for people who surf in more than one language, a very common occurrence today. You can ‘set’ your language filters in the same way you ‘switch on’ things like blocking tracking, except here you would go through a list and manually click on the relevant languages, adding what applies.
All of these improvements together help give a more personalized online experience to users.