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Why can't ad blockers block Bing ads in Edge?

PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2016 8:35 am
by BaronHK
I'm wondering why no ad blocker seems to block Bing ads no matter how you configure it.

Did Microsoft hardcode an exemption for themselves into Edge?

Re: Why can't ad blockers block Bing ads in Edge?

PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2016 8:38 am
by mapx
example ? which site, what to do to see those ads ?
upload also a screenshot (use imgur.com for uploading then post the link here)

Re: Why can't ad blockers block Bing ads in Edge?

PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2016 3:04 pm
by lewisje
I think he meant ads on Bing itself, not ads from some "Bing ads network" that may show up on other sites, analogously to Google AdSense.

With that said, I tried it for myself and found that the filter ##.b_ad in EasyList does hide the ad in Chrome (I tested in uBlock Origin, but ABP should be similar), but it doesn't hide the ad in Edge...at least not when using the ordinary search box from the bing.com homepage, which in my region has the locale en-us: https://www.bing.com/search?q=lol&mkt=e ... lang=match

It did hide the ad in both Chrome and Edge when using this page from a custom search URL that set my locale to en-ww: https://www.bing.com/search?q=lol&mkt=e ... lang=match

Anyway, a similar filter worked, even in the local-locale version of the Bing search for lol: bing.com##li[class="b_ad"]

All elements of this filter need to be there (maybe something about specificity, or the different treatment of generic vs. specific hiding rules): the domain specifier, the element selector, and the attribute selector as opposed to the special class-selector syntax.

This probably points to a bug in ABP for Edge, or a limitation of Edge, because the special class-selector syntax should be more effective than an attribute selector, because it has higher specificity.

Re: Why can't ad blockers block Bing ads in Edge?

PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2016 3:16 pm
by mapx
well, if you can reproduce it, just file an issue on the bug tracker

Re: Why can't ad blockers block Bing ads in Edge?

PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2016 11:04 pm
by BaronHK
Yeah, like say you search Bing for "Chicago Attractions" in Firefox and then in Bing, both with ABP and Easylist, and in Edge, you get a page of ads and in Firefox it goes straight to your actual search results.

What makes it more aggravating is that I can't click on the ads even if I want to because my hosts file blocks the server that leads to the target page. :P

I tried adding both of your filters and neither one worked.

The amount of ads on Bing is really excessive and can make the engine unusable, especially on small screens.

Re: Why can't ad blockers block Bing ads in Edge?

PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2016 11:08 pm
by BaronHK
mapx wrote:well, if you can reproduce it, just file an issue on the bug tracker


Since I get the same issue in Betafish Adblock as in Adblock Plus in Edge, I'm leaning towards some sort of bug or intentional limitation in Edge itself.

I wouldn't put it past MSFT to intentionally disable ad blocking for their own sites, but that would be speculation at this point. If you think about it though, it *does* block ads on other search engines, so it could be some kind of scheme to take ad revenue away from Google while protecting their own. Of course, this would encourage people to use Google, but if people are blocking ads anyway, this would be a further drag on Google. Send them all the traffic that isn't generating revenue and make them pay for that too. Brilliant.

Re: Why can't ad blockers block Bing ads in Edge?

PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2016 11:15 pm
by BaronHK
I'm discussing the issue with a MS Edge developer on Twitter but he is accusing me of having my tinfoil hat on and claiming it's because of Acceptable Ads, which I have DISABLED on every web browser on my computer.

Of course, it's possible that he has no idea what he's talking about, but I really wish he'd look into it.

Re: Why can't ad blockers block Bing ads in Edge?

PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2016 11:27 pm
by BaronHK
I went ahead and opened a ticket on the bug tracker for this issue even though it appears to be Edge's fault that the problem occurs.

Maybe someone who understands ABP for Edge can come up with a workaround that results in the desired behavior even if MS is trying to evade ad blockers.

https://issues.adblockplus.org/ticket/4425

Re: Why can't ad blockers block Bing ads in Edge?

PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2016 11:35 pm
by BaronHK
mapx wrote:example ? which site, what to do to see those ads ?
upload also a screenshot (use imgur.com for uploading then post the link here)


http://imgur.com/a/tHMPq

There's an example.

I should probably mention here to avoid another post... Not blocking Bing ads has security implications. Ads on Bing are not always just a nuisance. Microsoft will happily sell ads to malware writers pretending to be VLC media player, phishing scammers, etc.