Facebook and Adblock Plus embroiled in 'blocking wars'

15/08/2016

Last week, Facebook announced it was bypassing ad blocking filters on its desktop site, leading to an escalating war with the world's biggest ad blocking firm, with each side updating their software to block the other.

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Adblock Plus has already found a way to strip ads from Facebook, even when they're served up in Facebook's new ad blocker-proof format.

Anyone with a fully updated version of Adblock Plus should once again be able to avoid ads in Facebook's sidebar and News Feed.

However, Facebook has since updated its own site to once again circumvent the Adblock Plus block. The move was expected, since Facebook said earlier that day it would be moving to counter the Adblock Plus update, and warned the plugin would hide legit posts.

"We're disappointed that ad blocking companies are punishing people on Facebook, as these new attempts don't just block ads but also posts from friends and Pages," Facebook said in a statement. "Ad blockers are a blunt instrument, which is why we've instead focused on building tools like ad preferences to put control in people's hands."

However, by Friday morning, Adblock Plus had already updated its scripts to re-block the Facebook ads.

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Adblock Plus has made it clear that it is ready for battle with the largest social network.

In a blog post, Adblock Plus' Ben Williams, wrote: "This sort of back-and-forth battle between the open-source ad-blocking community and circumventers has been going on since ad blocking was invented; so it’s very possible that Facebook will write some code that will render the filter useless — at any time. If that happens, the ad-blocking community will likely find another workaround, then Facebook might circumvent again, etc."

Read the Adblock plus blog here


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