YouTube now shows "An error has occurred" while ads running

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Re: YouTube now shows "An error has occurred" while ads running

Postby blocker666 » Sat Mar 12, 2016 3:33 am

Looks like only 90's kids won't get the error (if they switch). That or use chrome in "incognito mode"
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Re: YouTube now shows "An error has occurred" while ads running

Postby lewisje » Sat Mar 12, 2016 4:04 am

I think I just merged my Google and YouTube accounts after the companies merged, and I'm a very heavy adblock user and I have not seen this problem; maybe I've been blocking the methods used by YouTube to detect adblock users or something.

(I guess this because, while turning some of my shields down to test a new system-wide adblocker , I saw on Encyclopedia Dramatica that without an ad-blocker, I see ads, but with just Blockade, I see some ads but trigger the anti-adblock message, and with my usual setup, with or without adding Blockade, I block the anti-adblock message too; maybe something like that is happening on YouTube, but I don't want to risk getting my account flagged while I test this hypothesis.)
There's a buzzin' in my brain I really can't explain; I think about it before they make me go to bed.
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Re: YouTube now shows "An error has occurred" while ads running

Postby womp » Sat Mar 12, 2016 7:01 am

Just to be clear.
This is YouTube actually flagging accounts so specific accounts experience this.
So, mapx, you won't be able to reproduce this, unless you're logged into an account that has been flagged.

No idea if they did this on purpose to people who used adblockers or it's some sort of error.

:shock:
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Re: YouTube now shows "An error has occurred" while ads running

Postby zilby » Sat Mar 12, 2016 7:48 am

Having the same issue as well. It seems as though the best solution is for the developers to create a workaround for those who now have flagged accounts within the extension so that they can keep blocking ads unobstructed. Otherwise, the whole extension loses a lot of its use, as I'm sure many others aside from myself primarily use it to skip ads such as those on youtube.
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Re: YouTube now shows "An error has occurred" while ads running

Postby Zeak » Sat Mar 12, 2016 8:06 am

As per HackerNews https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=11270618

The solution seems to be to turn off "Ads based on your interests" here: https://www.google.com/settings/u/0/ads ... ated?hl=en
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Re: YouTube now shows "An error has occurred" while ads running

Postby Clappie » Sat Mar 12, 2016 4:17 pm

Hello!

Apparently Crschmidt (Quality of Experience at Youtube) has made a few interresting posts on Reddit, which I will copy over here.

https://www.reddit.com/r/youtube/commen ... ain_later/

"Hi. I work for YouTube. I specifically work on Quality of Experience for our video delivery team; specifically, I wrote and maintain our error-reporting pipeline for detection of problems.
This behavior is consistent with the impact of running AdBlock after a change YouTube made 2 days ago.
If you are having this problem without running AdBlock -- specifically, the video staying at an error screen for exactly 16 seconds -- please feel free to let me know."

And answering this question~ "Why is it I can use adblock on my alternative Youtube account without issue. But when I use main one there is issue, or if i sign out of YT there is no issue. I think there more to this"

With this~ "Because different accounts have different configurations and likely use different portions of the player or watch page Javascript, would be my guess. (There's about a half dozen different account configurations, all of them different.)"

He also had this comment to make, which I quite like.

"Honestly, no one at YouTUbe even knows what we did that broke this. Most likely, it was a run of the mill change to our player code, which renamed an automatically compiled variable from ".fh" to ".Yz" or something like that, which AdBlock was depending on not changing.
The reality is that breaking AdBlock in this way is bad for everybody:
You're pissed off
we're still not showing ads
Even if we were showing ads, we probably wouldn't be getting paid for them.
If you have AdBlock installed, pissing you off doesn't make us more money, it just pisses you off. In this case especially: it doesn't prevent your video from playing, it just means you have to sit through the time the ad would have run anyway. If we were going to break AdBlock intentionally, this would be the worst way to convince you.
I'll say this: If we were to ever intentionally -- as opposed to unintentionally -- break AdBlock, the way it would happen would likely include us changing the error screen to show something, the same way that Hulu does. ("You have an adblocker! This is why you're sitting and staring at a blank screen instead of an ad!") Instead, this is an unintentional change; I'm not particularly happy about it, but I've also come to realize it is impossible for us to make YouTube work consistently with every third party piece of Javascript: it just isn't practical for us to do that testing.
I'm sure AdBlock will figure out some way to make this work, and I know you won't believe me, which is fine. But this would be the stupidest possible way to stop AdBlock from working."

from: https://www.reddit.com/r/youtube/commen ... ery_video/

And then, I have tried getting help on the Youtube Help Forums, while at the same time compiling all the different information I have been able to get on this subject:
https://productforums.google.com/forum/ ... Hfd112IwAJ

Hope this might help the people at AdBlock Plus or anyone else.
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Re: YouTube now shows "An error has occurred" while ads running

Postby Clappie » Sat Mar 12, 2016 4:24 pm

Zeak wrote:As per HackerNews https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=11270618

The solution seems to be to turn off "Ads based on your interests" here: https://www.google.com/settings/u/0/ads ... ated?hl=en


Sadly this doesn't quite work for me. I DOES seem however, that I get the error less frequiently, but that might just be luck, or the videos I have been watching since doing it.

Still errors though.
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Re: YouTube now shows "An error has occurred" while ads running

Postby mapx » Sat Mar 12, 2016 4:32 pm

Someone posted here (but then deleted it)
"I just went to my account's settings and changed my setting from having the video on hd from the start to something like "never play videos in high quality" (idk how the english wording for that stuff is; It's on the second last tab when you go to youtube /account_playback.)
I also unchecked all the other boxes there."
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Re: YouTube now shows "An error has occurred" while ads running

Postby stephenmoore009 » Sat Mar 12, 2016 6:46 pm

I'm not using chrome but I'm having the same problem, ive tried everything listed above. even disabling higher quality vids. its very aggravating.....!!!
windows 10
version 10.0.10586
newest version of ie
newest version of abp
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Re: YouTube now shows "An error has occurred" while ads running

Postby mapx » Sat Mar 12, 2016 8:57 pm

If it's not only chrome but also IE, firefox, it seems to be a filter issue (if we trust what YT guy said on reddit)
Ideally someone could try in firefox whitelisting various blocked elements to get that one which is breaking YT.

This can be done also in chrome (it's easier in ABP for firefox) using the new feature:
viewtopic.php?f=10&t=43791
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Re: YouTube now shows "An error has occurred" while ads running

Postby stephenmoore009 » Sat Mar 12, 2016 10:00 pm

I don't use firefox either, so I cant help with that.
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Re: YouTube now shows "An error has occurred" while ads running

Postby stephenmoore009 » Sat Mar 12, 2016 10:43 pm

so I went to google ad settings and opted out of everything I could find. even online and offline searches, and also installed there double click opt out software and as of right now everything is working..! if it goes back to the same situation ill update here as soon as it does.
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Re: YouTube now shows "An error has occurred" while ads running

Postby Clappie » Sat Mar 12, 2016 11:58 pm

stephenmoore009 wrote:so I went to google ad settings and opted out of everything I could find. even online and offline searches, and also installed there double click opt out software and as of right now everything is working..! if it goes back to the same situation ill update here as soon as it does.


Doesn't work here. Still getting the error here and there.
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Re: YouTube now shows "An error has occurred" while ads running

Postby Clappie » Sun Mar 13, 2016 1:21 am

Heya, going to copy paste something from Reddit again. Guy seems to know some stuff, but it's not my area of expertise.

Also, warning. Huge block of text!

"I strongly believe that this is related to the new ad delivery system YouTube started rolling out by the end of last year.
If the video has ads but it fails to load the ads then it tries to play an empty pre-roll ad, completely ignoring the autoplay state. This behavior has been persistent across multiple tests with videos containing ads of different types, no matter what ad type it had it will always play the video normally and the progress bar will show a yellow dot at the start.
https://github.com/ParticleCore/Particl ... -143920166
My extension was causing YouTube playback conflicts for users that had an adblocker running at the same time and during the debugging I found out YouTube started using VAST and VMAP delivery methods.
What these new methods do differently than the previous ones is that (from what I could tell) they are scheduled presentations and it is important to notice the "scheduled" part. What this means is that the VAST/VMAP package runs when YouTube tries to play an ad, adblockers do not block this because it is not an ad itself, however the package does load ads and only after they (the ads) have been delivered then it sends an "ok" to the YouTube player so that it can resume playback.
In very short terms: YouTube player asks VAST/VMAP to load an ad, VAST/VMAP loads the ad, after the ad has been loaded and/or seen it tells the YouTube player it can resume playback, YouTube player receives the message and resumes playback.
What is probably happening due to the adblockers: VAST/VMAP tries to load an ad and fails, the YouTube player never receives a message to resume playback until the "estimated ad viewing time" is up.
This appears to be strongly linked to video ads, which is why most of the users are reporting the player being able to resume playback after a few seconds (it was probably trying to play a 20s ad).
Why is this happening now? Probably because before it was being tested through the A|B method, which YouTube does very often, and now the range of users receiving these ads has been increased.
Why when it happens, it keeps happening forever? As you may know, YouTube does control the number of times ads are displayed to users to avoid exhaustion which push users to install adblockers. When the ad cannot be displayed because of the problem at hand, YouTube never "gets it", it still thinks you haven't received that ad once, so it tries to display it the next time you play a video, over and over again, all because it cannot tell that you received the ad despite it not having played.
Why does it happen when users are logged in but not logged out? Probably because these new ads are only being targeted for logged in users since that way Google can actually take advantaged of its targeted ads profiling, and generic normal ads for non-logged in users.
Please do keep in mind this can be something completely different, but from the reports and descriptions that I read it looks like this is related to what I described.
To improve the possibility of this being the result of the new ad system you can do 2 things:
1 - Since this depends on an adblocker to "break" the ad system, stay logged in but try to watch videos with your adblocker disabled. If the problems still persist then it is something different.
2 - In a YouTube video page where/when the issue occurs, open your browser console (usually Ctrl + Shift + J) and enter:
ytplayer.config.args.vmap
or
ytplayer.config.args.vast
If either of them returns data then you are being served the new ad system, which strengthens the possibility of the scenario I described before.
I really doubt YouTube would ever deny access for Adblock users, it would be a terrible move and they would lose more than what they could earn.
EDIT: Please take into consideration I might be interpreting this wrong, this is all derived from my personal investigations and limited knowledge."

This is from here https://www.reddit.com/r/youtube/commen ... s_denying/

I tried Scenario 2 with ytplayer.config.args.vmap and got a huuuuge string of data back. All nice and red.

I tried again with yt.player.config.args.vast and got nothing at all.

Not sure if it's anything as he says, but thought I might share it.
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Re: YouTube now shows "An error has occurred" while ads running

Postby zilby » Sun Mar 13, 2016 2:53 am

That seems to be a very good explanation of the cause of this issue, but it doesn't do a whole lot in terms of helping those that are experiencing it :P
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