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Google plans ad-blocking feature in Chrome browser (wsj.com)
824 points by kristianc 10 days ago | hide | past | web | 486 comments | favorite





At first it sounds insane that Google would do such a thing since while ad blocking is growing, enabling the feature natively especially by default would incredibly increase the number of ads blocked.

My guess is, that where other blockers by default can easily block all google ads, Chrome blocker would not block Google Ads because it would classify them as acceptable. And Google would then hope that people would use their built in blocker rather than downloading a third party extension which would highly likely block there ads. And if people have a built in blocker that blocks the mostly bad ads, the people would start to hate ads less and be okay with 'good ads'. Also since people wouldn't use third party blockers as much those companies would go out business more likely.

It's a very risky move on Google's part, so would be a bit surprised if it happens. But doing nothing, is equally if not more risky in the long run for there business model.


It's far more likely that Chrome's ad-blocking feature will be similar to the implementation of content blockers in Safari (introduced at a WWDC 2015 session)[1][2].

The new model for content blockers in Safari is faster and a lot more memory efficient because they're compiled into byte code. Content blockers are also more secure and better for privacy because they have no knowledge of the browsing that users are doing. The content-blocking rules are only provided by third parties.

Google is probably doing this because it makes their browser faster—not because of some wild conspiracy to show more advertisements.

[1]: https://developer.apple.com/library/content/documentation/Ge...

[2]: https://developer.apple.com/videos/wwdc/2015/?id=511


It's pretty clear that Google's strategy is that making the web better for everyone and everything is what will grow their ad business long term, rather than violently shoving as many ads as possible into their users faces as fast as possible. It's also pretty clear that they are capable of pursuing a long term strategy over chasing short-term cash.

> It's pretty clear that Google's strategy is that making the web better for Google

FIFY.

I have no idea why the belief that "what's good for Google is good for the internet" persists - those days are long past. Google is best understood as a huge surveillance operation with bait services attached.

The obvious reason for them to push their own ad blocker seems most likely; it is to suck the oxygen out of the space by exploiting their privileged position as a browser maker to destroy 3rd parties that can block their ads. The ad blocker-makers are tiny, fragmented and unfortunately muddled with some crappy products that sell whitelist entries; this is a good time for Google to try to knife them, before a market leader emerges.


I didn't say "what's good for Google is good for the internet", I said, in effect, "what's good for the internet is good for Google".

And please do refrain from fixing my posts for me, I am perfectly capable of expressing my opinions without your assistance.


> what's good for the internet is good for Google

This presumes complete congruence between these two sets, which is precisely what is being criticized above.

How exactly is:

" The obvious reason for them to push their own ad blocker seems most likely; it is to suck the oxygen out of the space by exploiting their privileged position as a browser maker to destroy 3rd parties that can block their ads. "

If true, good for 'the internet' in general, rather than being good for Google primarily with some related good and harm for 'the internet' ?


Or that 'what is good for the internet' is a subset of 'what is good for Google'. Language is murky but that's a more reasonable interpretation.

It's the only interpretation after the initial clarification.

It also doesn't hurt that Google will be able to control what is considered an "ad" and what isn't.

Are Google product listings ads? Google flight results? Featured destinations?


If you request it, it's not an ad. I think that's a pretty reasonable line to draw.

I didn't request the ad, I requested the page.

If you put ads on page e.g. Amazon product that relates to your content with affiliate link, that's fair and acceptable and appreciated.

If you put an ad that your audience may be interested in, unrelated to your content e.g. content creator reviewing restaurants also advertises for gyms in my area. It is fair and tolerated.

If you outsource what ad gets shown to me, leaving me at mercy of brokers and exchanges who target me with ads based on my entire profile, ads not just related to content that I requested, but ads created based on what the ad broker/exchange know about me personally. Seeing ads for athletes foot remedy that I searched for last week, when I am looking at camera reviews is not acceptable and makes me feel totally ethical when I use ad-blockers. You, the content host, is basically luring me in with promise of content and pulling bait and switch by bombarding ads on me, things like splitting content into bite size pieces across 20 pages to convert single request into 20 impressions is waste of my time, I don't have to deal with it and will use ad-blockers without any guilt on such sites.

People have trained their eyes to not register the ads, e.g. mobile ads that scroll over the page. This is similar to browsing a print magazine and not registering ads at all consciously.

The advertisers declared war on people, looking at them as crop to be harvested. Well, the people have an opinion about this and I am totally fine with the battle raging on.


By "request it", you mean typing something into the search box and hitting enter? That would mean everything on the current search results is not an ad, right?

That's like saying if you didn't ask for it, food is not food. You appear to be defining the nature of a thing by your internal mental state, and that only works with a relatively small number of certain things.

What makes an ad an ad has nothing to do with potential-viewer intent. Lack of viewer intent is what makes it an _unwanted_ ad.

I happen to have a certain ad framed and on my wall at home. I spent money on the ad, and more money to frame it. Pretty sure that meets the definition of 'request'.

Guess what? It is still an ad.


That definition would make sense only if there was a way to explicitly tell that you request ads or promoted content of some sort, most of the time you don't, you type a search query in Google's text box or click on a link to some web page, that's all. The extra content gets bundled and is loaded without asking.

Interesting Question.

My Take: Redefine what ad means for web browsing, e.g. any information coming from a third party like iframes. All other types of information, paid or not paid, is part of the web page and not worth blocking.


It's not an easy problem, as the war being waged for many years now I think demonstrates. A too simple definition will have too many exceptions: a newspaper that includes an article from another reputable news site, ad? A paid piece extolling the virtues of product X, posing as a fake article, not an ad?

Bit like how Bezos said if something is going to canniblize your business, you may as well be the one doing it

Pretty sure that line predates anyone paying attention to Bezos. It is a natural implication of the disruption model of product design, and was discussed heavily in terms of changes in the computer industry before the web existed, let alone Amazon.

None of that changes the usefulness or correctness of the idea.

If a new tech comes along that destroys your business, you should invest in that tech or you risk becoming blockbuster while Netflix rises. If Blockbuster had taken its opportunity to buy netflix or build a competitor it would still be in business today.

Same thing with all those oil companies becoming energy companies. Solar and wind are displacing coal and oil, and all the big energy companies are in on it. They don't look at risk of going under soon.


I think it is more about destroying the competition and also that they believe that there will be no antitrust enforcement whatseoever in the Trump Administration.

Yeah, because Google only does business in the US, and there's no political capital to be reaped anywhere in the world from standing up to rich American firms, especially when such standing up can at the same time be construed as standing up to the Trump administration. Also, Google has specifically and most certainly never been slapped around by the European Union for anticompetitive practices, so there's nothing to worry about there.

> they are capable of pursuing a long term strategy

Except when it comes to chat/text communication. In that case they run around like chickens with their heads cut off.


You're being downvoted, but I'd actually agree. My guess is this idea originated from the Chrome team in an effort to improve the browsing experience.

Google rarely makes unilateral decisions from the top down to product teams. They mostly operate independently.


Google rarely makes unilateral decisions from the top down to product teams.

Apart from shutting them down.


To be fair, relying on product teams to shut themselves down, in case they've hit a dead-end, probably wouldn't work.

Actually, why not? It's not like the employees get fired. You generally know when you're working on a crappy product.

Google Reader was a fantastically useful product for me. Not "crappy" at all.

That's the point parent is making: the Reader team probably wouldn't have opted for shutting down, and they would have been right.

The reader team didn't exist (and hadn't for years) at the time the decision was made to shut it down.

That's true, but every Googler knows how much of their pay check and RSUs come from ad revenue.

It's not really a conspiracy, it's their whole business model. But, I have no opinion on whether the implementation will resemble Safari's or not.

I'm pretty certain they can do both. Ads on Google.com are generally text based, so fast. Ads on the AMP platform are generally static, also fast.

On mobile Chrome does not support extensions while Firefox does. Recently on acquiring a new phone I used Chrome for a few days -- I had entirely forgotten how terrible the user-experience is without UBlock!

I always suspected the reason we never got extensions in mobile Chrome is that they didn't want the ad blockers. I wasn't aware that Firefox mobile started supporting them. Going to give it a try.

Just want to point out that's there is a really old issue for this: https://bugs.chromium.org/p/chromium/issues/detail?id=113111

It's been assigned to some unknown person since 2015.

Though I'm not so sure the reason for it's delay in coming to Android isn't technical rather than organizational.

Brave for Android is based off of Chromium and it didn't have extensions either.

It sounds like the way extension APIs were initially implemented didn't lend itself to a Android port.

"We never had the Android version compiling with extension support in the first place - in our early development internally, we hacked/commented/disabled random parts of extension code just to get the binary to compile, and we later tidied this up to disable extensions in a neater way to save binary size. So, you are basically talking about actually implementing extension support for android from scratch, including adding every thing that extensions require but aren't currently implemented for Android. This isn't likely to be especially easy. " - https://groups.google.com/a/chromium.org/forum/m/#!topic/chr...

Though I don't understand why since Firefox mobile extensions are based off a similarly designed system (Jetpack) to Chromes.

It seems that if nothing else they could create a new API for extensions on Android.


> Though I don't understand why since Firefox mobile extensions are based off a similarly designed system (Jetpack) to Chromes.

Moreover, Mozilla is currently actually switching to an extended version of Chrome's extension API (which Mozilla calls "WebExtensions"). They had no problem implementing that on Android Firefox. Obviously, yes, there are APIs that just don't make sense on a mobile browser, but you have a well-defined API, so just blacklist extensions that require these APIs.


Firefox for Android is really good. Most passive browsing extensions work just as well on mobile as they do on desktop.

Opera mobile also has an integrated ad blocker but I also use a hosts file to filter just about everything.

Firefox is my preferred mobile browser for numerous reasons. I hope it's a good experience for you.

I thought it was because most app stores didn't allow apps to download code to be executed.

Nah, that's just Apple's. Google Play has always been much less restrictive.

What app store does that other than Apple's? And a rule like that doesn't allow full web browsers so it's unrelated to the question of whether full web browsers have extensions.

Go with Brave on mobile (https://www.brave.com/). They've got an ad-blocker built in.

The top 5 mobile browsers all allow ad blockers except Chrome. Samsung Internet which is based on the same chromium engine as chrome has had a similar ad block model as Safari for over 1 year now (and is the default browser on Samsung Galaxy devices - https://medium.com/samsung-internet-dev/think-you-know-the-t... )

Yes, the Samsung Internet application is recently (early 2017) available on Nexus devices as well. It's actually a great browser—Chromium under the hood, but supports content blockers, and is much smoother than Chrome itself. I've really enjoyed using it.

Also, disable javascript by default. It's really easy to turn it on per-site using the brave button in the toolbar.

The single best improvement I've made to my mobile browsing experience in years wasn't getting a new faster phone, it was installing Brave and disabling javascript.


For Firefox on Android I've been using JavaScript Toggle Enabled [1] for a while. Does what it says on the tin.

[1] https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/android/addon/toggle-javasc...


And if someone's too lazy to install an add-on or on an unfamiliar computer, disabling Javascript is a simple as going to about:config, typing in "java", and double-clicking "javascript.enabled" to set it to false.

I personally find Firefox way too janky to use on my mobile device. It's getting better but still needs some time in the oven.

Brave is a Chrome fork so for those of us who prefer Chrome it's a better option (for now anyway).


use firefox with the noScript (cross fingers to have uMatrix on mobile soon!)

then use your 10 top websites with whitelisted javascript access on firefox mobile, and full javascript on chrome and came back to say which one was faster.


Oh yes, my biggest pain is that Firefox can't replace the webview browser, so I still get tracked and shown ads if I use the Google app or any other app with the in-app webview browser.

If you have a Samsung phone, the stock browser also supports adblockers (you can get many from the play store).

or do adblocking on the router level

true i took a proxy level on a desktop called privoxy. on a phone i use vpn it works with apps and everything else mostly well(i know im an ass).

I would love to hear/read the dialogue that occurred when the first person pitched this idea at Google.

> Also since people wouldn't use third party blockers as much those companies would go out business more likely.

I'm sure a few might, and it'll likely discourage others from entering the market as well. But I do think that open source alternatives would live on and continue to be used if your guess is correct.

And your guess does seem very plausible.


Ublock Origin is extremely popular and it's open source model keeps it from playing favorites with some "acceptable" ads.

I do not consider dropping Ublock any time soon.

That's ok. If this plan works, a few years down the road Ublock will get dropped/disabled for you under some pretense when Google can claim they've got you covered for "ad blocking".

You're thinking far too 1984 when the answer is much more Brave New World - if the ad blocker in Chrome is good enough, people will just stop supporting UBlock.

Naw, Google has precedent for this sort of behavior, going so far as removing plugins from their web store and quietly uninstalling them from Chrome with no notification when the plugin interfered with their business model. They actively uninstalled video download plugins without notification to the user a couple years back. Nefarious.

* Download Ublock zip

* Enable Developer Options

* Add Ublock package zip

* Enable in Incognito as well

TL;DR: Them removing it would be a dick move, but not end of the world. We can still install any packages we want.


I think you are severely misunderstanding the situation. Google can do whatever they want. They've already demonstrated that they have no problem installing things on your computer that you never would have otherwise agreed to. That, and they don't take no for an answer with updates.

Do they? I just downgraded Chrome for Android to 56, because the latest one would crash when playing live video streams. Granted, Play Store didn't have that option, so I had to download the APK from a third-party site and disable automatic updates for it, but nothing prevented me from doing either thing.

Yes, you still can on Android. But Google has shown that they don't see anything morally wrong with using misleading updating tactics. And the range of what you have control over is shrinking.

I commented about it about a month ago[1]

[1] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=13950975


You can also use other web browsers.

Like Chromium if you happen to like Chrome. Or Iridium browser which is a privacy enhanced Chromium.

These privacy forks generally lag behind upstream by at least a few weeks, thereby providing enormous attack surface in unfixed bugs. They're terrible for security. Chromium is just too large and fast-moving for a small team to maintain a changeset. I'd love if it was different, but the reality is that these forks do more harm than good for most users.

Or Brave[1], which already includes a lot of ad blocking and anti-tracking features by default.

[1] https://www.brave.com


I can say from experience that there are plugins which Chrome actively removes even if installed this way.

I think if it is an unpacked one, it does as it assumes you don't want it all the time. Not sure why it does that if dev mode is on.

Have you tried Packing them? I have yet to experience this.


No one supports uBlock. Browsers would have to specifically block the extension if they wanted to keep people from using it.

> Browsers would have to specifically block the extension if they wanted to keep people from using it.

Which Google have done to other extensions many times.


Yes, it's possible—I would say probable—that after introducing their "impartial" ad blocker, whose rules for acceptable ads just so happen to allow all of their ads through, and after enabling it by default on their browser, they will actively block all other ad blockers, on "privacy and security" grounds.

If, by any chance, someone decide that its browser is already covered as far as adblockering goes, we will simply move to a different browser/adblocker/adblocking solution.

As long as there is tech savy people there will be plenty of solutions around.


AdBlock Plus is also open-source. Same license as uBlock Origin and everything.

They just haven't pissed off anyone enough to get a big fork going. Or their code just wasn't good enough, as obviously uBlock Origin is currently doing the same and was written from scratch.


I'm not sure why everyone in this thread is just assuming this is true. The only source the article provides is "according to people familiar with the company’s plans". And it's from the WSJ... the same people that went behind Google's back and went to their advertisers trying to ruin their reputation. I don't know, I feel like this is another attempt by them to stir shit.

Surely Google will next come out with a "Fake News" filter for browsers that will just block wsj.com for all Chrome users.

The Wall Street Journal employs highly reputable journalists with excellent sources. Basic journalism standards for this would require confirmation from three separate sources before publishing. And it's the WSJ -- they don't publish it on a whim, they publish it because it's news they believe to be true.

– I just learned that there are people using our Web browser who don't see our ads. And even worse, they might be seeing our competitors' ads!

– Maybe we could act as gatekeepers so our competitors have to go through us to advertise on our browser? We could wrap it as "only letting in the nice ads" or whatever…

– Brilliant!


I have no share in Google but I have been waiting for such an ad blocker for years :

I don't want to block all ads

I want an ad blocker that protects me from popunder (is there any point to those ?) popups, autoplay videos, ad walls and other shitty ads that make my experience awful.

I don't want an adblocker that blocks everything by default and where I have to manually white list all the sites I consult regularly.

I already spent a while on some really good blogs before realizing that adblock was killing all their ads for no reason.


> popunder (is there any point to those ?)

I recall reading that the original intention of popunder ads was to provide a degree of separation between the site content and the ad, as you see the ad. isolated rather than directly next to the site content. By doing so, the ad. provider has to worry less about their brand appearing next to content they may find objectionable.


You can do this with any of the popular adblockers (including uBlock Origin) that work with filter lists. They come with a default set of lists, but you can disable those and only subscribe to lists that block annoyances, malware, or whatever else you want.

Google are the one who made me install AdBlocker. I was tired of getting the same obnoxious and annoying unskippable 30 seconds ad for a long series of 45 seconds videos on youtube.

Pay for YT Red?

Red is only available to a minuscule fraction of the world population, namely United States, Australia, Mexico, New Zealand and South Korea.

I would guess that's where the majority of youtube's users are. Kinda deceptive to use "world population" when that includes places like China where youtube isn't available

Yeah, who cares about Europe

or asia

How? Not available in my country. I'd even pay double the price, but it's just not possible.

I can't imagine this wouldn't lead to one hell of an antitrust lawsuit...

I honestly doubt Google has thought of this.

Their modus operandi appears to be (1) launch edgy experimental stuff, (2) forget it exists, (3) be reminded it exists, (4) ruin it by killing it or rewriting it.


I can't shake the feeling that virtually every product decision at Google is made by an engineer.

Is that bad? Or is it just different that what we are used to?

It's potentially idiotic in a context where there are non-engineering concerns at play, such as compliance, law, marketing, PR, etc. It exposes them to massive potential liability.

This. Corner the ad market and then work to eliminate all your competitors? The lawsuit practically writes itself.

What if consumers want it, though? Opt-in?

They don't have anything near a browser monopoly.

Their market share in display advertising would be the entry point. Or phones...The EU is already persuing antitrust action around Android.

Is it antitrust if you leverage your 50% market share in one area to help your monopoly market share in a different area? Because I wouldn't have thought so, and I don't see any way their ad market share helps them push an ad blocker.

The display advertising market share would allow them to weather the storm of an ad blocker, especially if the ad blocker were designed to be friendlier to their ads versus others. Roll it out with aggressive blocking, wait for competitors to die, then relax the rules.

Or they could use the Android entry point. The EU seems to think they have a monopoly there, which would imply a "mobile browser" monopoly.


I like how you see positive in this move, but all I can think of is this. Google will enable ads from google and block everything else. This is their way of killing the competition. I think it is unfair and risky. I don't want google or anybody else deciding what is acceptable ad for me. Even if it is not distracting or passes google's standard of 'good' ad, it should still be my choice that determines if I see it or not.

This is why I'm not going back to Chrome and not going to stop using ad blocker extensions and the network wide ad-blocker at home.


Exactly. Not wanting to bash Google, but it's not in their best interest to block Google Ads is it? What'll happen is that Google Ads will be served using some super-sophisticated cloaking setup making AdBlockers ineffective on all but Google Ads. Like https, this will put alternative ad networks out of business.

It's not even difficult to do so, by eg. serving pages from a Google-controlled CloudFlare-like proxy service and/or a high-profile Google-style HTML-to-JavaScript encoder. Google's AMP project shows they're willing to throw the decentralized web under the bus.

The real question is: are you ok with ad-financed web sites in general, but have a problem with tracking (like me)? If so, we should really come up with a community-driven criteria for Acceptable Ads, or should disable un-vetted/not-whitelisted JavaScript alltogether.


> The real question is: are you ok with ad-financed web sites in general, but have a problem with tracking (like me)?

Turns out, that (currently) involves ad blockers. For a while, I tried to use only uMatrix (i.e. blocking third-party requests), without an ad blocker. Sites broke because they assumed they could load Google Analytics. Workaround: Install uBlock Origin, because it (like NoScript) knows how to fake out specific scripts enough that a stubbed-out version of GA is used and the rest of the page runs correctly.


> we should really come up with a community-driven criteria for Acceptable Ads

Isn't that what ABP / Eyeo is doing? You may criticize them for the fee they ask of the Ad companies to include / review their ads, but it's not like the fees are unfair or they aren't doing work that needs to be paid somehow. They even set up a non profit to deal with this matter.

> or should disable un-vetted/not-whitelisted JavaScript alltogether.

This is already being developed by the FSF as a Firefox extension. It makes the modern web completely unusable (of course) but it's the principle that counts, right?

> Like https, this will put alternative ad networks out of business.

How did https do anything like that?


What Eyeo is doing amounts to theft or blackmail: Pay us or have your revenue reduced.

They are a venture-funded company, so they are in it for more than the community, and can find other ways to monetize their service.


Hey, official eyeo (we're written with a lower letter now because it's fancy) representative here. Just clearing things up.

As you pointed out, we're a company. That means making money to defend against lawsuits, paying employees, etc.

It's not blackmail though, because as it was also pointed out, most websites join for free. No strings attached. Well, the strings are that the ads they want to display need to meet all of the Acceptable Ads criterias, which we found most users don't mind.

That allows us to find a middle ground between "we're drinking all the beer and pay nothing" that other, more scorched-earth-like adblockers go for, and the "oh gods my eyes"-design some ad-bloated websites go for, which no one really wants.

From a publisher perspective, we're not the evil guys either. We're not reducing anyone's revenue, we're allowing publishers to recuperate some of the losses caused by the user's choice of opting out of really annoying ads.

Hope this made sense!


Regarding fees, only large entities (those with more than 10 million additional ad impressions per month due to participation in the Acceptable Ads initiative) have to pay. For these entities, our licensing fee normally represents 30 percent of the additional revenue created by whitelisting its acceptable ads.

You are right. That fee is anything but fair. I was under the impression that they were operating their program under a non-profit, but it doesn't seem so.


re: https I meant that men-in-the-middle advertising such as by WLAN providers and ISPs is prevented, and rightly so. OTOH, this leads us into monopolism or duopolism which at this point might be even worse. The argument in this context is that whatever action Google does isn't bad per se and absolutely defensible from a security and even privacy PoV, but at the same time is something that helps Google first and foremost. In the same way, Google can present ad-blocking support in Chrome as a pro-consumer measure, when in reality its purpose is to go after the remaining alternative ad network revenue to achieve increasingly difficult growth.

FSF's LibreJS initiative is laudible, and something I'm willing to support with what I'm offering on the web. I found that sites that have content worth reading typically aren't script-heavy and entirely usable without script, or by using either F/OSS JavaScript (including jquery) and "trivial scripts" according to FSFs definition. The notorious exceptions are Google Analytics, ReCaptcha, and maybe Disqus, for which solutions must be found. Google Analytics, and the necessity to make use of it might be a case where Google as a major sponsor of web standards are acting in conflict with a solution based on web standards.

Wrt. ABP my initial gut reaction to paid ABP acceptable ads was extremely negative, but maybe I might reconsider.


I would love a blocker that just stopped pop-up and display adds. They make a lot of sites literally unusable.

I don't mind ordinary display adds, I even like them in the sense that I like a web model that's sustainable.


Yep, we all have to eat, so i make a conscientious effort not to block ads, unless they are abusive (in particular autoplay and popups).

To make most commercial websites usable, I simply disabled Autoplay in FF which silenced the most abusive screaming video ads and made surfing the web pleasant again.

(about:config and set media.autoplay.enabled;false)


> Yep, we all have to eat, so i make a conscientious effort not to block ads, unless they are abusive

I find this a really weird attitude that I just can't get behind.

"Here, let me give you some money by watching something that will try to convince me to buy something that I wouldn't have otherwise bought. Just doing my civic duty here!"

That's what it sounds like to me. You want to help someone else, so you agree to be allowed to be told to buy something you didn't need or know about until you saw the ad. It's... weird. It's a very strange method to power the economy. Allowing your mind to be molded in the shape the big guy wants it for the sake of the little guy.

I myself just flat out refuse to have my mind manipulated like this. There's gotta be a better way for the little guy to make money.


Banksy:

"You owe the companies nothing. You especially don't owe them any courtesy. They have re-arranged the world to put themselves in front of you. They never asked for your permission, don't even start asking for theirs."

"...any advertisement in public space that gives you no choice whether you see it or not is yours, it belongs to you... its yours to take, rearrange and re use. Asking for permission is like asking to keep a rock someone just threw at your head."

Banksy is to "attentional integrity" what Stallman is to software freedom: radical-sounding, heretical to big business, and very very right.


Rats have to eat too. That doesn't mean I should feed them and keep them around the house.

No, but if you keep them as pets you should feed them?

Not saying ad blockers are bad -I use them- just that your analogy breaks down quickly.


Pets make you more likely to buy poor quality products that you don't need or want?

No but GP likens (websites carrying ads) to (rats).

I point out that GP is in a mostly voluntarily relationship with those websites.


Oh yes, a lot of good it will do you, blocking ads after they infect you with malware. Let many starve; I'm not willing to risk it for the hunger of people that cannot find a sustainable business model other than advertisement garbage.

The article clearly says it's about blocking "bad" ads, as deemed so by the ad industry.

> The ad-blocking feature, which could be switched on by default within Chrome, would filter out certain online ad types deemed to provide bad experiences for users as they move around the web.

> Unacceptable ad types would be those recently defined by the Coalition for Better Ads, an industry group that released a list of ad standards in March. According to those standards, ad formats such as pop-ups, auto-playing video ads with sound and “prestitial” ads with countdown timers are deemed to be “beneath a threshold of consumer acceptability.”


"Nice ad you've got there... be a shame if something were to happen to it..."

Implication: Want your ads shown to people? Don't risk another provider, serve them through Google.


I don't think it's quite as nefarious as that.

Essentially, I believe Google and a subset of their industry competitors (other ad networks) have two goals here:

1. to stem the losses imposed by 100% ad/tracking blockers, by providing a default blocker that deals with very obnoxious ads that might prompt average users to install one of the existing ad blockers.

2. to reduce their need to pay protection money to AdBlock plus etc.

So, if you happen to be using ads that are overly obnoxious (popups, autoplaying videos, etc) then yeah, your message is basically what they're saying, but not because it's non-google, just because it's making the other ad networks look bad.

I don't know how they'll implement it technically, but the fact that they are not talking about the WebKit-style content blocking using compiled pattern lists means they probably have little interest in benefitting end-users (webkit content blockers give better privacy, performance, battery life etc, compared to traditional "run this code every time a website loads" blockers)


I suspect this will lead to ads not being served via the site's code own code, but rather by Chrome overlaying the ads into the site using placeholders defined by the site.

By controlling the ad experience at this level (and this possibly being the only way to avoid being blocked), Google can enforce an ad-experience that is akin to in-feed facebook ads.

It also provides a far greater level of security around the ad unit and a far better level of accurate targeting (cookies don't get used, your login does). These two things together provide a new way to interact / monetise those ad units.


My guess is, that where other blockers by default can easily block all google ads, Chrome blocker would not block Google Ads because it would classify them as acceptable.

I think that guess is wrong. I think Google will block their own ads. There are a few reasons why;

1. They're not stupid. The amount of trust lost in a move like that would be immense. It wouldn't be worthwhile.

2. They don't need to. They just need to make it switched off by default and 90% of users won't ever see it or use it. Only people who are interested will seek it out, and those people are already seeking ad-blocking extensions.

3. Other browsers are implementing it. Google need to include it to stop users who are interested in that feature switching browser.

4. Google need data. They get value from tracking people even if they're not seeing adverts. By blocking the ads specifically, even their own adverts, they still get to track users and derive value from that data. Other ad blocking technology will also block Google's tracking mechanisms, and they really don't want that to happen.

5. Given the fact they have a effective monopoly on adverts on the main web the lost revenue from blocked ads will have a bigger impact on their competitors than them. Google can afford to lose far more ad impressions than the next, much smaller network. They can block their own ads and still drive their competitors out of business. That said, I don't think Google are evil enough to do that. I'm just saying they don't need to let their own ads through if the plan is to kill off the competition.


The karma on this comment is going up and down like a thing that goes up and down a lot, so I think I should clarify what I meant by "I think Google will block their own ads."

The ad-blocking they're talking about implementing won't block every ad; they said as much. It'll only block the malicious or annoying ads. Google could block those on it's own network already (maybe they already do!). They'll start block them in the Chrome ad-blocking code. That means they'll block their own ads if adSense is serving something that fails their test. They might even use the same "is this ad bad for the user?" heuristics that they use on their servers, effectively meaning Chrome users can benefit from the work they've done in detecting bad adverts even on sites where the site owner has chosen a different ad network. I think that's a good thing.

Whether we'll ever actually see the result of when it comes to an adSense advert is a separate question - it's in Google's interest to block a bad ad at the origin and send a different one instead so they still get paid. That would mean Chrome never actually blocks an adSense advert because they know exactly what won't be displayed and never send anything that would be blocked. I still see that as Google blocking ads on their own network though, just farther up the chain.


> Other ad blocking technology will also block Google's tracking mechanisms, and they really don't want that to happen.

Good point. After using uBlock Origin for a while now, "ads" have become synonymous with "tracking scripts" to me. I'd bet Google's adblocker wouldn't block Google Analytics from running, like uBlock does.


You can get a plugin to block Google Analytics right from Google: https://tools.google.com/dlpage/gaoptout

Definitely they won't. I'm sticking with uBlock.

IMO it could be a dangerous move for them, especially if they mostly block their competitor's ads and land themselves in an antitrust lawsuit or something similar.

Google will probably do it in a very open way like they do when they try to enforce other web standards.

They will probably clearly post criteria for what makes an ad acceptable or not and state that Chrome will block it if it doesn't meet them. Or maybe Chrome will show them but somehow punish the webmaster like they do to sites that don't use HTTPS or have mobile friendly pages.


I suspect adtech companies may partner to make better ads for consumers.

Sounds risky to me. It specifically says mobile, an area where current ad blocking is cumbersome and clunky.

So if it's any good at blocking Google ads, it costs them money.

If it blocks ads other than Google ones well, and allows Google ones to display, then they run the risk of lawsuits or antitrust action.


As long as it blocks the YouTube video ads, people won't install another one. Which would be an interesting move - block the most annoying ads, because otherwise people would block all your ads, but leave them there for the people who don't block ads at all.

YouTube is owned by Google so Google isn't going to block their own ads.

If only you have read the article, it is said thay will block popups, video and other annoying ads. These things are the main incentives to install a blocker. It is a smart move, and maybe a late move.

"Chrome blocker would not block Google Ads because it would classify them as acceptable. And Google would then hope that people would use their built in blocker rather than downloading a third party extension which would highly likely block there ads."

Probably a good call. I've actually suggested they do this before. I doubt it made it to them given it was on a private forum. It's amusing to see it happening, though. It's an extension of monopolistic practices where one blocks out all competition to give their own self an advantage.


> Chrome blocker would not block Google Ads because it would classify them as acceptable.

this is exactly how it would go. This is anything but benevolent, this is another one of googles blatant anti-trust maneuvers to force you deeper into their walled-garden.


Didn't they first done something like this in the early 2000s ? Remember the google toolbar with a built-in pop-up blocker ? Sure, they did not have the same share in the advertising business as today, but I don't think it will be very damaging.

I wonder if the European Commission would deem this illegal.

> It's a very risky move on Google's part

What? By know, people are accustomed to Google flip flopping on key decisions; this will be just another instance.


Adds built-in ad blocker, removes competition from Chrome extensions store/site or even blocks installing them altogether though the browser.

This is a very smart but also very slow move.

Yeah, that's what the article speculates is the plan as well.

The "ad blocker" companies will go out of business? ARE YOU INSANE?!

Google is a frigging AD MONOPOLY ... its their major business for crying out loud. And the same company that controls a HUGE portion of all the Internet Ad business is creating an "Ad Blocker".

And this doesn't ring any bells anywhere?

No friend, they are not trying to put "ad blocker" companies out of business. They are trying to put "competing internet ad companies" out of business.


I don't think it's about putting "ad blockers" out of business. Hell, they're not businesses, uBlock is OSS. I think the idea is, people get so annoyed by poor ads that is in your face that they get pushed beyond their "threshold" and get an ad blocker. If ads are used with moderation, most people won't get annoyed enough to go out of their way and install a traditional ad blocker.

Bad ads ruin it for Google. They teach users to mentally block ALL ads. It's like people abusing antibiotics and building a resistance.


Yeah I'm generally pro billboard like advertisement - websites need to earn some money off visits and that's acceptable.

Ads that drive me on a different page, cover the full page unless closed or otherwise hamper navigation unless I interact with them first can die in a firey hell.

I've uBlock but youtube and other content creators sites that so far hasn't annoyed me with ads are free to go. I.e. Looking For Group started serving to mobile page redirecting ads, so they went in the blacklist, but until then they were free to serve whatever.


Or another example of how I see ads on the internet:

You walking down the street having a guy handing out leaflets, trying to force his leaflet on you... You're most likely to get annoyed by them.

There is a little stand at the corner having leaflets, without anyone yelling in your face or handing it out, you're more likely to go grab one if the product fits you.

Walking to work every morning I have created my real life AdBlock, where I just ignore people handing stuff. (Not their fault... just businesses not understanding how to change ways)


Well here comes Google, shoving leaflets up your ass because they think their leaflets are special and more acceptable!

Google-owned YouTube is the main reason I use uBlock, though. I don't care how "good" the ad is really. 15 seconds is an eternity in this age...

> Bad ads ruin it for Google.

That might be why someone proposed it. But your parent comment mentions why management approved of the risky move:

> They are trying to put "competing internet ad companies" out of business.


If there is even just a whiff of that, Google will be in very big trouble with competition authorities.

So if - and that is a big if - Google goes ahead with this plan, they will have to make absolutely sure that any blocking is based on objective and simple to understand quality criteria.


It doesn't need to be spoken out loud, it's kinda obvious. I too would make it sound like this is totally not the reason.

And for the record, I don't think everyone at Google is evil, but I imagine a few managers are in it for the money and not merely the altruistic idea of making ads better.


>It doesn't need to be spoken out loud, it's kinda obvious.

On the contrary, it is completely obvious that Google has very little to gain from shaving a few percentage points off competitors and incur the risk of regulatory action.

The greatest danger they face is ad blockers and a general decline of the Web. If Google is in it for the money they must save the Web from death by advertising.


They can probably avoid the competition issues by creating the ad-blocker but not lining it to an ad list, then providing a "choose an ad-block list" option? The same way MS created the browser-choice screen!?

> They are not trying to put "ad blocker" companies out of business. They are trying to put "competing internet ad companies" out of business.

This.

Internet is creating massive monopolies that are gathering an immense power that allow them to kill any other company that tries to compete with them. It's starting to be scary...


On one hand, I doubt Google would be so bold, considering the amount of attention they are currently getting from the European Commissioner of Competition.

If Marine le Pen wins on the other hand...


The political pendulum swings both ways.

I look forward to seeing what happens to any businesses that get too greedy and disregard what happens when the pendulum swings left again.

I wonder what would be happening now if we had a wave of left-wing populists taking office instead.


I am referring to the potential collapse of the EU after a Le Pen French exit; the pendulum will need to swing very hard to left to reconstitute the EU if it ever crumbles.

This might be so, but I don't see it primarily as a problem with Google. I see it as a problem with the European Union, which is too much about French policies and politics and way of political operation.

Perhaps electing Le Pen might actually do some good to it by forcing others to change?


I think parent meant if LePen is elected, there won't be a EU to cause trouble in the long run?

EU is an extremely weak political construction if the change of president in one member country, via democratic election and staying in democratic system, nullifies the whole union.

A democratic political union must be based on stronger foundations than just having a couple of sister parties sharing the power in turns.


You are correct - that is what I meant.

Your tone would be ridiculous even if you were right.

Google already has what, 90% marketshare? They don't need to put their competitors out of business and would gain very little from doing so (their real competition is probably Facebook and they're fundamentally much harder to apply an adblocker to, since they control both the content and the advertising). Google do need to stop the existential threat to the whole industry that adblockers represent.


Grinding on 10% marketshare by just adding a new feature to one of their product ? Most company would dream of that.

Yep, but the market itself would increase in size if people start adopting a first party solution (which would certainly be the case since people are lazy), and looking at adblockers usage rates it seems like a market share too big to pass on.

In the end, it is probably true that the competition is not really an issue, but Google need not "stop the existential threat to the whole industry that adblockers represent", because if it lets too many ads pass people will simply get back to the old third party adblockers.


Google's an ad company, and ad companies are doing bad things, enough so that there's a backlash. So it makes sense for Google to deploy bad-stuff-blocking in Chrome and then reconfigure its own ad business to not be affected. Those who don't adapt are killed by the backlash, but that's hardly Google's fault.

A concrete example: Chrome is in a position to block those who use canvas/webgl fingerprinting for user tracking, and Google's ad business can avoid being blocked by not doing that.


And indeed: "ad formats such as pop-ups, auto-playing video ads with sound and “prestitial” ads with countdown timers are deemed to be “beneath a threshold of consumer acceptability.”"

Stopping fingerprinting is virtually impossible.

They can't be trying to do that, because it would be blatantly anti-competitive, as their lawyers would tell them. They might let google ads through, but if so they will let through other ad companies as well. The EU would have some choice words for them if they didn't.

> The EU would have some choice words for them if they didn't.

Which will take years and the fine will be a pitance of the profit. Microsoft got away with anti-competitive behavior several times in the past and they came out better than before. Google can use the time to try to kill of any competition before anyone will stop it, get a slap on the wrist and it will be back to business as usual.


I agree it sounds like it /ought/ to be anti-competitive - but for years they've got away with Gmail's inscrutable spam-blocking system giving reduced deliverability to non-gmail senders.

on by default but can be turned off. most things that have been argued have been locked that way in one way or another.

Sure they can. Do first, answer questions later.

A good reason to use a browser not built by an ad company - Firefox or Safari - where there are no conflicts of interest.

Safari.

Firefox is overwhelmingly dependent on Yahoo for income, and Yahoo is an ad company.


Firefox have done major browser-chrome changes (unremovable buttons) in order to court financial incentives too. FF is my main browser out of habit but with their recent history I don't trust them not to try and sell out their users [again].

Can you be specific?

Overall I feel that Firefox is sufficiently customisable, that it's probably the easiest browser to protect your privacy in and control content. I like Safari, but customisation is harder to do.


If those competing internet ad companies are the ones that take over the entire page and redirect me to other pages.. Good riddance.

Don't let the door hit you on the way out, scummy ad companies.


Project wonderful ads are a competitor to Google ads, and are, imo, vastly superior to some sorta of ads which I believe (?) are Google ads.

I think the problem Project Wonderful has is that they suffer from poor quality ads (no big company uses them) and poor quality publishers (no big numbers see them)

In my mind they're the "I can't afford Adsense" ad company, their website interface feeds into that too.


Really? To me they read as ads that are more concerned with keeping the interests of the users of the website in mind.

Also, the pricing system seems quite nice, a continuous second-price auction.

It all seems very "fair".


More like duopoly: It's Google and Facebook. Facebook has probably less than 1/3 of Google's ad revenue.

Does facebook serve ads outside of facebook?

This sounds like conspiracy. They can not block certain companies keep their ads unblocked. They will/should block certain type of ads, popups redirects malwares etc.

Also it is easier to block google ads with 3rd party. Since ridiculous ads will be blocked natively, performance will be better I think.


> They can not block certain companies keep their ads unblocked.

Any technical reason why they couldn't?


Ironically, this is what Microsoft should've done if it wanted to "hurt Google" years ago when it pushed for the useless Do Not Track feature by default (which advertisers were under no obligation to respect).

*their

>where other blockers by default can easily block all Google ads

Adblock Plus, the most popular adblocker, does not block Google ads by default, because they are considered non-intrusive.


As noted in the article, Google pays Adblock Plus an undisclosed amount of money to be considered non-intrusive. Adblock Plus is clearly not a neutral evaluator here.

Adblock Plus is pretty open about it. You can disable the option easily. And Google ads are, in fact, relatively non intrusive. I don't see the problem.

I'm not opposed to an exception for acceptable ads; I think it's a good idea. My only problem is that it seems to be a serious conflict of interest to accept money from ad providers for this.

As long as the accepted ads are really non-intrusive, there's no conflict. There would be a conflict if you could pay Adblock Plus to accept browser-hijacking popups.

Reviewing ads takes time. Time is money. It's perfectly reasonable to charge for the review process.

"In one possible application Google is considering, it may choose to block all advertising that appears on sites with offending ads, instead of the individual offending ads themselves. In other words, site owners may be required to ensure all of their ads meet the standards, or could see all advertising across their sites blocked in Chrome."

I like this approach. It punishes site owners for running malicious or badly-behaved ads. I think this is a step forward. I hate blocking ads across the board - I just want to stop the intrusive and dangerous variety. I can tolerate the rest.


It may be laudable to try and lead an "industry-wide" effort to clean up ads but it stinks of hypocrisy when Google repeatedly allows all shades of garbage to permeate its' own Adsense network.

We talked about this only a week ago: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=14094083


Ad blocking strikes so deeply at the heart of Google's success, it's simply not credible to believe there is no more to the strategy than the simple defense mentioned in the article.

To speculate on just one possible strategy:

- First order of business, crush Ad Block plus' pay to play business. Possibly just by entering the market with resources, IP, and channel that would overwhelm them.

- Continue on this path until Google is the leader and standard setter, beating everyone on price

- Start to innovate around adding higher value pay to play features, prioritization, options, etc, until it becomes a business with a decent margin.

- Decide whether to wage all out ware with blockers that don't participate in a revenue share program. The war would be multi-pronged with technical, political, and PR fronts. A large team would work 24/7 to instantly defeat blocker updates in an effort to wear them down. Lobbyists would press hard to legislate and control ad-blocking to "protect" content creators. PR would enlist high profile loved content creators, show how much we love their work, and that now, they are forced to live in a cardboard box due to your ad-blocking.

If 60 Billion in revenue is threatened, how does it play out any nicer than this?


While this is a possibility, the wrench in the works is the Firefox browser. How is Google going to get them to play along and prevent 3rd-party blockers like UBlock Origin from working? I don't see it happening.

They can certainly put ABP out of business, which honestly is fine with me. But UO isn't a business AFAIK, it's a Free open-source project. That's like trying to put vim out of business; you just can't, because there's no business there. Google can certainly change Chrome to prevent UO from working, but they can't do the same for Firefox, nor can they really for Chromium (though their actions can make it difficult, but that could also mean that many other non-blocker extensions won't work if they're too restrictive).

Finally, these aren't the only browsers out there. Apple's Safari might also refuse to go along, and even go directly against Google somehow (including their own Google-ad-blocker, or helping UO work on their browser). Apple doesn't live on ads like Google does.

Finally, as for legislation, that doesn't make much sense either. First, I have a hard time seeing any Federal US laws actually succeed that force users to view ads, and even if such a law passed, there's no way to enforce it. How would they? Are websites going to sue users whose browsers don't actually download all their ads? That'll be great for PR. Or are they going to block users who don't download the ads (they're already doing this on some sites). If it gets that bad, it wouldn't be hard for ad-blockers to switch to simply downloading all the ads, and then sending them to /dev/null instead of displaying them.


You "kill" vim by preinstalling a friendly text editor by default, like TextEdit or Notepad. Many of my technical friends (myself included) use vim, but vim will never be used by everybody, everywhere. When most people first get a new computer and want to edit text, they use TextEdit instead of vim.

The end game of ad blocking is that everybody installs one. That would be devastating to Google. Instead, they would rather preinstall theirs. If theirs is the default adblocker even on just Chrome, they'll have substantial market share. Most people won't bother installing a browser extension if it the default is good enough, just like how most people don't use vim if TextEdit is good enough.

Most of my nontechnical friends don't use adblockers. In 10 years most people might. Google is preventing that from destroying them by shipping their own as a default instead.


>You "kill" vim by preinstalling a friendly text editor by default, like TextEdit or Notepad. Many of my technical friends (myself included) use vim, but vim will never be used by everybody, everywhere. When most people first get a new computer and want to edit text, they use TextEdit instead of vim.

This is just plain wrong. You're not understanding the meaning of "kill": that means that it's dead, gone, unable to be used.

Many, many people (millions?) use vim every day. I do, and others I know do too. People who use vim don't care about what editors other people use; it's just as irrelevant as what cars other people drive. I can go buy a Honda, a Tesla, or some 50-year-old antique, and drive it if I want, legally. Other people buying Fords has no effect on that. No one cares about everyone, everywhere using vim, only that it's available and it works. That's not changing, and there's no indication it will ever change.

>The end game of ad blocking is that everybody installs one.

No, because there are technical ways of getting around them. Look at all the sites that have anti-ad-blockers installed, and force you to turn off your ad-blocker to see the site. Of course, the ad-blockers have been working on ways of defeating those, so it's an arms race.

>If theirs is the default adblocker even on just Chrome, they'll have substantial market share. Most people won't bother installing a browser extension if it the default is good enough, just like how most people don't use vim if TextEdit is good enough.

Who cares about "most people"? I don't. My whole assertion is: how will they prevent other blockers, like UBlock Origin, from being used? If they're not going to bother, then great, but that's not what the OP claimed: he claimed they'd find ways of actively preventing 3rd-party blockers from being used, either technically or legislatively.

>Google is preventing that from destroying them by shipping their own as a default instead.

Wrong. Google isn't preventing anything, as long as they don't actively prevent you from installing a 3rd-party blocker. The message I replied to alleged that this would happen.


Some operating systems (macOS, most linux) do install vim by default. The problem is that vim has a very high learning curve, and most people don't want to spend time learning to edit text. Microsoft has tried doing what you described, by installing ie/edge by default, and making it good enough for most people. Admittedly it's working to some degree, but there are still plenty of people who choose firefox/chrome over edge.

> While this is a possibility, the wrench in the works is the Firefox browser. How is Google going to get them to play along and prevent 3rd-party blockers like UBlock Origin from working? I don't see it happening.

As power and money become more centralized in fewer hands, the ability to abuse DRM and standards, and to coerce partners and content providers into falling in line, becomes cheaper. Google declares legal and technical war on ad blockers while offering a "better" solution laden with incentives; Firefox gets bought off or coerced to be compliant. The barrier to disruption becomes not only a high technical bar, but a legal one as well.

I don't think there's a clear path to this that I can see right now, but we're a LONG way from Microsoft's defeat in the browser wars (both in terms of time and political environment) and a lot of shit I didn't think I'd see over the last two decades has happened after all. The broader interpretation of Gilmore's notable quote ("The internet interprets censorship as damage and routes around it") is less applicable today than it's ever been--in part because to a large degree, "censorship" has been replaced by "loss of profit".


If Firefox joined in in preventing 3rd-party ad-blockers, they'd lose what few users they still have left. The whole point of using Firefox is that it isn't corporate-controlled, and is the FOSS alternative that gives you more freedom. Take away the freedom, and you take away the primary reason to even use the browser; might as well just use Chrome at that point.

Legislation has to make sense?

1) It's illegal to sell cars from Telsa in many states because...I can't even stand to repeat it.

2) It's illegal to give your child pot, even when it's a pharmaceutical grade product shown to be the only cure for her epileptic seizures, and even if done with 100% physician oversight. I would so enjoy a morality debate with a congressman in a state choosing to stand by and do nothing while a small child shakes violently on the ground.


What you're missing is that those laws are entirely feasible to enforce without having the government snooping on your computer.

You'd only have to request the ads not actually download them. Then the sites in question can check the DOM for ads and black out if it doesn't find them. It's an endless arms race.

I'd like to agree with you, but Firefox has already buckled under to support DRM, so I don't know how much you can count on them to be a bulwark against industry pressure.

They likely buckled under largely because the users wanted to be able to watch Netflix, and there was no way that Mozilla was going to convince Netflix to adopt a different solution. So they had a choice of either being the 1 browser that doesn't work with Netflix (and other streaming services like that), or joining the crowd. Most users don't care about DRM for things like Netflix; if you don't like it, you don't have to use it. No one's forcing you to subscribe to Netflix, and it's not representative of the rest of the web. (It is totally unlike, for instance, sites like this, or news sites with articles, or blogs, etc.) It was a pragmatic choice: either work with popular sites that people like, or become irrelevant because of some extremists. Those chose to remain relevant.

Ad-blocking is not the same. Ad-blocking doesn't prevent you from seeing most sites (and for those that it does, you can selectively turn off the ad-blocker; you don't have to ditch your browser). What incentive would Firefox have to prevent people from installing an ad-blocker? If they did that, they'd lose whatever relevance they still had, because people would just switch to Chrome.


> it's simply not credible to believe there is no more to the strategy than the simple defense mentioned in the article

It would be more fair if Google implemented a micropayments system that would be distributed to the websites a user is using most / where the user wants to tip. Google already has payments integrated through the app store. If they created a new kind of "micropayments sponsored" content category, it would help content producers to earn an income. The monthly amount to be tipped should be capped in total, say, $1/person, not much. Google can still make money by taking a small fee from the micropayments.

"Disable ads and support websites for $1/month". Something like that. It's like getting access to music from a subscription service, but the upside is that surfers get to support their favorite sources.


Google is trialing this already, through the 'contributor' program.

Currently the program isn't accepting new users, but it is set to relaunch this year [0].

[0]: https://contributor.google.com


I work tangentially to adtech, started with publishing when a xacto knife and bromides might be a handy skill still...

I still cannot wrap my head around publishers apparently disinterested in manually clearing ad copy for press approval.

Can anyone delineate a non obvious history to this complete laissez faire?


the ny times maybe has the staff to do that (or used to). Joe's blog does not.

back in print media each ad had to be placed by hand. it also had the aquired though manual labor. those things seriously limited the number of people publishing since the majority of your time was spent not making content for your zine but instead chasing down ads.

the internet changed that. here's a spot on my page . fill it with ads please. make those ads geographically specific and or user specific . write me a check for $$$.

it seems pretty obvious that history. if I decided the put ads on my sites I certainly would not have the time to find relevant ads for the world or even just my country. that's not something I want to deal with.

that said, if there was a good ad company that currated their ads well, did not share info with 3rd parties and track users I'd certainly consider signing up to that over others


Hi greggman,

I started ad sales using numerical techniques on the turn of the nineties. Our first hurdle was to bat off vexatious law suits brought by agencies, for copyright materials theft every time a major sent us the separations. All digital imposition - the layout of pages in final form to the n-up web offset affines that creates the cut pages in sequence from a running roller fold, indeed could require no manual intervention. (copy dot scanners captured and re digitized the pre stochastic screens of adverts)

But I think you mean addressing the spots, or paginating what goes where.

This is still actually manual for a ad network, if you mean deciding advert a never runs nearer than n pages to advert b, or ad y never runs in section k. Just the scale is inverted. And with it, pricing power, which is almost entirely buy side.

I could easily flip a galley proof of the magazine pages laid out as they will run, in under a minute for all but the bulk ad titles like PCWorld..

That was the scrutiny I meant.

Are there no tools to assist pre screening ad network proposed flows? I imagine, also, offensive adverts rarely have budget for impressions. I bet cutting the bottom 20% would solve most problems...


> I imagine, also, offensive adverts rarely have budget for impressions. I bet cutting the bottom 20% would solve most problems...

I think that's backwards? The offensive ads are generally paying more, no?


If Joe doesn't have time or staff to make sure his only means of generating income is not offensive or hostile to his customers, he doesn't have time or staff to run a business.

Imagine if a store said they didn't have enough staff to QA the products they sell, so they shouldn't be blamed for injuries related to their crappy products. It's 2017, you can't say you didn't known lawn darts were dangerous and you really shouldn't admit you didn't know your store was even selling lawn darts.


I hope this comes as an extension that can be turned off. E.g having flash pre-installed in chrome but having ability to turn it off. I expect reasonable defaults but some knobs to control the ads I want.

If chrome team who thinks about the world and ads team who thinks about $$$ are total separate entities who don't influence each other for special interests then I applaud the effort.

I hope this is done in the open in chromium source code. Basically the current way extensions work is by injecting massive amounts of CSS and js in the page. This makes a lot of optimizations in chrome useless for fast page renders. Doing an optimized ad block engine would make chrome feel faster


Chrome doesn't even allow you to control if a single click in the URL bar highlights the entire URL or just drops a cursor even though the behavior in the same application is inconsistent between different platforms. I have my doubts they'd allow you to fiddle with knobs about advertising preferences.

Regarding Google setting policy, it reminds me of a story about a floating advertisement of ours that accompanied the customer as they scrolled down the page reading an article.

An AdSense robot flagged us two times for violating policies regarding "calling attention" to advertising because of this "sticky" ad unit. I appealed, didn't work, and had to roll back AdSense lest our company get banned.

In a later conversation, a Google rep reached out to wonder why we weren't showing Google ads. I explained the policy violations and that we were more interested in our floating ad unit then AdSense. A few emails later and poof! I was assured there would be no more policy violations issued over this ad unit, and we were able to roll back onto AdSense inventory.

Would Google partners get blocked at the same rates as non-Google partners? Perhaps not.

With such seemingly capricious decisions by Google, and so little customer service resources outside of robot policy automation and appeals, I worry about the company playing this role.


This is a pretty well known fact. The rules are there for all sites except those that make Google a lot of money. The tipping point coincides with the time when Google sees it fitting to assign your site a rep.

The "3 ads max" rule goes out the window as well.

I don't have a problem with this approach. I see it as a given that they would strike different deals with the breadwinners.

I used to have a rep as well, and he also made some problems I had magically disappear.


I like it too, but isn't Google in a conflict of interest here?

It is interesting. It seems to me that it could be considered to be monopoly abuse and it also seems to be pro-consumer. A strange combination.

How is it pro-consumer? Ad blocking is mainstream so Google wants people to consider this new built in "ad blocker" to be good enough, then they won't install one that blocks Google ads.

> It seems to me that it could be considered to be monopoly abuse and it also seems to be pro-consumer.

The move only is pro-consumer where it benefits Google's bottom line: Blocking competitors ads, using a standard that Google easily meets. It's similar to when countries block agricultural imports that don't meet a standard that is unique to their domestic industry, in the name of "safety".

For example, I don't expect Google to block ads that violate users' privacy by tracking them. But I hope they surprise me!


> The move only is pro-consumer where it benefits Google's bottom line: Blocking competitors ads, using a standard that Google easily meets. It's similar to when countries block agricultural imports that don't meet a standard that is unique to their domestic industry, in the name of "safety".

I never thought of this implementation but I imagine this is one of the few ways Google can bundle in ad blocking in Chrome. As long as third party blockers (specifically uBlock Origin https://github.com/gorhill/uBlock/wiki/Blocking-mode for me) I don't mind. I go back and forth to using Mozilla Firefox mostly because I use it on Android but I appreciate all that Google has done to move the web forward.


Not such a strange combination in my view. As i see it, Google's customers are (for a large part) advertisers, and their product is the ability to get ads in front of people (and to get people to click on them). In the economical sense you could even argue that Google users are 'suppliers' (of eyeballs and clicks)

Monopoly abuse can of course impact both suppliers as well as customers, but in this case it's probably more likely to only impact advertisers.

- As individuals we can switch to other search engines and browsers, so it's difficult to abuse a monopoly that way.

- However, as long as we keep using Google, advertisers might have no other option to get a reach this valuable. So Google could possibly exploit its position towards advertisers. (e.g. Favor its own ads over other ad networks).

Still looks like a net win for end users.


I think you are missing the point. In my opinion it's a valid concern that this policy could be perceived as Google effectively pushing advertisers onto AdWords over other competing platforms

Forgive me another probably dumb question, but I don't mean to be obtuse or sarcastic at all, this is straight up:

Even working on projects where we wanted to see online adverts, all ad networks were null routed at our border. We saw too much variety of risks in letting adverts traverse the lan.

I'm (very) out of touch, but is it expected to view pages complete with advertising - unadulterated - in modern corporate setting?

If so, is there good reason for this? Or am I missing relevant firewall tech?


The opposite, I would say. Google has strict guidelines for ad creative content and polices its ads as well; they're almost certainly above their own bar. So this is essentially threatening to block everyone else, or at least those behaving poorly.

That is the conflict of interest. It's hard to see how this isn't going to strengthen their position in the ad serving market. Google being able to define where the bar for "badly behaving" is set means that only their competitors will be hurt by this.

Google isn't defining anything unilaterally - the Coalition for Better Ads is.

https://www.betterads.org/standards/


Yes, but there are probably other standards that Google's ads don't meet, and Google isn't using those.

Like tracking of user data.

Is this sarcastic?

That's an industry body from big advertisers, like Google. I'm pretty sure "Don't store user data" isn't included in that "standard"

What we need is a Sarbanes-Oxley for the Internet. If you track users and store their data, you have to be Internet-SOX compliant to prove you're handling it in a responsible way. Especially with the anti-fraud protections on credit cards these days, storing PII and browsing history is a lot more dangerous than a credit card breach.

Or tech companies could put themselves under EU data protection law.

I wonder if the motivation isn't a bit more subtle than that. My guess would be they're hoping to improve ads across the web so that people turn off ad blockers in general.

This is very likely the reason this has suddenly appeared in Chrome. Google's revenue relies on ads. Too many internet users blocking too many ads directly threatens Google's revenue stream. The recent sudden upsurge in ad-blocking would, from a Google perspective, look like an existential threat to their very existence.

And what would be one reasonable response that a company reliant on ads for income who also happens to produce a browser used by a huge number of users look like when they realize this existential threat exists? Well, one reasonable response would be exactly this, a "kill the misbehaving ones" addition to that browser in hopes of heading off the threat before it becomes a true, company killing, result.

Only time will tell if this change in mindset on their part actually results in heading off the eventual outcome.


Perhaps it is, but if there were the case why wouldn't they start by cleaning up their own platforms?

There are several angles to be wary of. Locking out competitors, replacing competitor ads with their own, forcing sites to migrate to, or back to, Google ad networks, etc.


Working with Google ads for over seven years as a publisher, they have one of the cleanest ad networks in the game. On top of that, you can preview every single ad that is shown with your account and block accordingly.

I agree, they need to thread carefully, but things need to change, and that change needs to come from two angles: publishers whoring out their users and ad networks not taking responsibility for what they let on their networks.


> you can preview every single ad that is shown with your account and block accordingly.

Really? I've never used Google ads, so for all I know you're right, but why would none of the ~600 comments in the previous discussion [1] mention that?

[1] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=14094083


https://support.google.com/adxseller/answer/4587864?hl=en

I'm on the Adx platform, which was invite only a few years back. It has some differences to Adsense, but I believe ad review and transparency with what creatives are displayed is part of both cores.

If I were to guess, there were 600 people in the thread who were not actually publishers using Google ads.


And if they can gimp their competitors at the same time, bonus!

Google's AdMob routinely shows me "virus scan now!" and "extend battery!" with full flashing yellow and red.

They've also hosted fake download ads for e.g. Skype.


You probably missed this: http://www.groundup.org.za/article/why-were-dropping-google-...

Adsense has its more than fair share of low quality ads. Of course, you can't compare it to popups/sound-ads etc. but compared to the past, it's certainly way lower. (Keep in mind the experience varies wildly based on your profile. Geo etc.)


Fairly well. As someone who uses AdSense and has had site users report bestiality ads, you can't automate quality ad content.

> So this is essentially threatening to block everyone else

I think this is what he meant by conflict of interest


Hm yeah, a moment after I hit submit I realized this. So I guess I made the parents point.

As a publisher with a significant number of ad requests monthly this would be a godsend. I just spent the last week tracking down ads that were maliciously redirecting my mobile traffic off my site.

Turns out it was coming from a network called Sovrn, which is ironically a member of betterads.org and apparently "recently added an extra layer of protection from malware and redirects, all of [their] creatives are pre-scanned before they are served."


No because all of their ads will meet standards. I wouldn't be surprised if a competing lower-quality ad agency sues Google over this.

Why are you saying no, then proceeding to make the parent's point for them?

Google is an ad network, not an ad agency. All ads should meet the Initial Better Ads Standards at the very least, we're not talking about creative quality here, we're talking about reducing user pain that things like fullscreen ads, autoplays, popups... create.

It's a good start, but consumers deserve a better ad experience for approved formats too.


> their ads will meet standards

If something else on the page doesn't, presumably Chrome will block Google's ads too.


Their ads meet the standards?

YouTube doesn’t have auto-playing video ads with sound?

YouTube doesn’t have countdown based ads blocking the content?

Google.com always has less than 3 ads?


It will meet their "standards", which in the past have not prevented Google ads from being used for a lot of different types of nasty, malicious activity.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malvertising


Except it's your device, you can choose to block ads.

And what about the grandmother of the guy next door? What about the other 99.999% of internet users who are not you?

or some kind of anti-trust eventuates

How so? If the ad does not abide by the Coalition for Better Ads standards then it's not displayed. And if your ad doesn't meet those standards then you probably shouldn't be advertising with Google.

As long as they don't disallow other ad blockers I'm okay with it.

> It punishes site owners for running malicious or badly-behaved ads.

There's no way that Google can effectively be police, judge, jury, and executioner all at the same time, given their own massive conflicts of interest.


They already serve in those same roles, though, when "SEO spam" sites get blocked from Google Search results.

I like this approach as well. But sadly it will be fought by many who believe all ads to be "offending", and will declare Google as even more "evil" because of it.

But I think this is a great step to stop the "race to the bottom".

Right now there is no incentive for an ad network to make "well behaved" ads. Most of the "ad blocking crowd" will block them regardless of how nice they are, and advertisers will pay less for them, and site owners don't care because the money gets better the scummier the ads are.

By auto-blocking sites with the worst offenders at the browser level they can start to push all sides toward wanting "better" ads. It gives networks, advertisers, and site owners all incentive to make sure their ads are unobtrusive and safe.


Or it will be seen as another power grab by google. I'm not saying it's a move that hurts consumers, I'm saying I see it as a power grab and yet more control over the web being handed over. I'm unconvinced that relying on a coalition to set standards is enough of a gap.

That's a fair thing to be worried about, and I think if this were to move forward I'd really like to see at least one other browser implement it to the same standard, or perhaps some agreement on what constitutes "bad" ads from a few other networks.

But I don't think that's a good reason to fight it from the start.


>I just want to stop the intrusive and dangerous variety

One of the problem is the definition of "intrusive and dangerous" varies wildly from person to person. Ad blockers have generally handled this by blocking everything while giving the ability to whitelist exceptions. I imagine it would be much more difficult to get good user satisfaction by attacking this from the opposite approach.


> I imagine it would be much more difficult to get good user satisfaction by attacking this from the opposite approach.

Except if you're Google and have near-infinite ML resources at your disposal and 50% of the browser market. An algo could be trained by a thumbs up / thumbs down to spot good and bad ads / vendors within six months.


This is not a problem you can just throw resources at to solve. The problem is that some people will only categorized ads as "intrusive" if they play sound or take over control of the whole page. Others will categorize every ad as intrusive. Some people will categorize only ads that inject malware as "dangerous". Other will categorize all ads that have any form of tracking as "dangerous". The most straightforward way to serve both of these audiences is to block all ads. Few people are really going to complain that they see too few ads. Google is unlikely to do that for obvious reasons. So how do you satisfy people all both extremes of those definitions?

Now google is going to control what documents i am able to load? Why would you like that?

Will this become a moving target? As ads become progressively "better" will the standards move up in terms of what is considered objectionable? Also this could be a huge antitrust issue. Google could start blacklisting sites or ad networks based off of their arbitrary standards and force publishers into using Google products with the guarantee they will never be blocked.

Exactly. I don't mind ads that are just ads. They have taken them way too far. Requiring clicks, music, or popups. BLEH.

Wait doesn't google adsense occasionally server malicious ads? Especially if we extend the definition of 'malicious' to mean misleading spyware?

Yes, but doesn't the 'occasionally' arise because Google does not want them, tries to avoid them, and removes them if it agrees with user reports?

The biggest ad company blocking all of its competitors for 50% of internet users, and you like this?

What do you consider to be a "dangerous" ad? (serious question)

There are ads that serve malware, for example. It has happened on reputable websites, like Forbes and New York Times.

https://www.extremetech.com/internet/220696-forbes-forces-re...


>I like this approach. It punishes site owners for running malicious or badly-behaved ads.

Someone forgets that for a few days YouTube was serving malware in their ads.


My cynical side can't help but think they will do this first, then later disable uBlock / other ad blockers (or the APIs they rely on) and claim that "we can do it better." I can't imagine that this isn't a violation of some kind of law (RICO, antitrust, or otherwise), but I don't imagine this would ever be prosecuted.

My cynical side agrees with your cynical side, while my optimistic side thinks that a move like this would significantly boost market share for alternative browsers, myself included.

Why would end users opt for alternative browsers in this case? For end users this situation is a win: no more 'intrusive' ads. It only ends up being a loss for competing advertising platforms and possibly advertisers.

I would like sites to remain free to use. Ads help support free to use sites or portions of sites.

Or you could directly support the sites you like with the money you now waste on sub-optimal purchases caused by ads.

The EU prosecuted Microsoft for bundling Internet Explorer with Windows, with seems much more benign than Google using their market leading browser to block out competitor's ads.

Apparently Google does not allow Chrome extensions that let you download YouTube videos, seems like a nice precedence.

Looking at popularvideo downloaders gets you things like Video Downloader professional: "Caution: The download of YouTube videos to hard drive is locked because of restrictions of the Chrome Store."


Fortunately, we have `youtube-dl` and keepvid.com to combat this crap.

Also, for the time being we have browsers that aren't Chrome...

I think they realize the issues that could cause. But by including an adblocker out of the box many users may less inclined to install a third party plugin when one is already provided, especially less advanced users.

If they try they'll see a lot of people move to Firefox. Like I'm game with Google's ideas here honestly and I'd be willing to try it but I would drop it like it's hot if it disables other blockers.

There's really no way to disable all ad-blocking in a browser, even if the browser-vendor wanted desperately to do so, because—whether ad-stripping browser extensions exist or not—ad-stripping HTTP proxies (e.g. Privoxy) will always exist.

And if you think users couldn't handle using one of those, there's nothing stopping someone from making an e.g. "Privoxy configurator + blocklist updater" browser extension that just serves as a client GUI to your ad-stripping proxy's control channel. (Or giving the daemon a system-tray icon that launches an Electron GUI or something.)

The development of ad-blockers outside of the browser kind of stalled ~5 years ago, but only because everyone has been pretty satisfied with the browser extension solution to the problem. Take it away, and other solutions will just come back into play, with all the modern lessons learned from building the browser-extensions brought in.


The only issue with that is HTTPS, which Privoxy currently can't handle ( https://www.privoxy.org/faq/misc.html ) and will become even more of a problem with the current "encrypt everything" trend. Certificate pinning and all the other stuff aimed at making TLS harder to MITM also gets in the way of effective adblocking proxies. The only one I know of which can MITM SSL on Windows is Proxomitron, and you still have to patch the browser(s).

HTTPS proxying is perfectly possible, though. IMHO it's one of those bizarre cases where the code to implement it isn't even that hard necessarily. The challenge is all in the fact that A: more people think they understand the HTTPS security model than actually understand the HTTPS security model and B: it's really easy to write code that "works" in the sense that it allows you to proxy pages, but allows you to proxy too many pages too easily. Programmers generally acquire a deep and generally-mostly-justified belief that getting code to do the thing they want it to do is the hard part, so code that appears to work is likely more correct than broken, but this is one case where it's quite shockingly easy to write code that works far too "well" and all the challenge is actually in writing all the test cases for when it is supposed to fail to proxy the page.

That's a lot of headwinds on a bit of code, but they are possible to overcome, if the motivation, and perhaps even more importantly, the humility is there.


It'd be nice to lift out Chromium's own network stack into a library (as a continuously-rebased-from-upstream derivative fork), and then build a proxy that made requests using said network stack. Then you'd get all the HSTS/cert-pinning logic, the CORS and only-N-requests-per-host-at-a-time policies, and a very good LRU cache implementation, "for free", for your proxy daemon.

Heck, if you don't mind an extra 100MB of memory consumption, you could probably throw a "correct" proxy-daemon together in Javascript by relying on the browser network stack of a [headless] Electron instance.


Lucky for us (in this case) certificate pinning is considered to risky to actually deploy in production, it is to easy to make the page completely unacceptable with single mistake.

Also it looks like Chrome actually ignores pinning for proxies as a feature: http://www.chromium.org/Home/chromium-security/security-faq#...


Of course there is. They can make it so annoying that the ads doesn't look that bad. They own the browser. They can make it so bad that even flash ads will look like a good alternative to all the work required.

All what work required? Proxying is an OS-level concern, not a browser-level concern. You set it up in your OS's control panel. The browser doesn't get to be a part of that workflow, so it can't make it annoying.

You are ignoring having a proxy in the first place.

Compare adblocking today: step 1, search for extension. Step 2, install extension. Step 3, there is no step 3.

Now convince your parents to install a proxy, then proceed to explain they can have it on each machine (don't forget phones and tablets!) or centrally on the network (now don't forget to explain about local network while at home versus 4g when they are away)... yada yada yada.


You're trying to make it sound more complicated by bringing up complex setups that novice users wouldn't need anyway.

The simple workflow:

Step 1. search for "ad-blocker" on your OS's app store/package manager;

Step 2. choose one [that happens to be a proxy daemon]; hit install.

Step 3. Enter your password when the app asks for admin permission to finish installing (i.e. to install the proxy daemon as a background service, and autoconfigure your OS proxy settings. But you don't need to be aware of that.)


My cynical side can't help but think that accusing Google of RICO violations is pretty silly if you don't have reason to believe that they will commit one of the specific set of crimes (which are illegal in their own right) you need to to even have a snowball's chance in hell of a RICO charge/civil suit. I'm confident that Google wouldn't need to murder or assault anyone, or commit wire fraud, or steal cars, or forge a passport, or pretty much anything on that list to use this to get rid of uBlock.

https://www.popehat.com/2016/06/14/lawsplainer-its-not-rico-...


I pretty much use Firefox for everything anyway, except for Google Apps.

I actually love Firefox on mobile. It allows me to use ublock. Given I'm constantly on my mobile browser (why download an app if I can access it via the web), the ad block feature is awesome.

Edit: This actually pushed me back to Firefox after using chromium for years.


Exactly my thoughts.

Another reason to do so is to make sure users will not be forced to install ad-block manually therefore make sure more users see google ads. Because obviously "Google AdBlocker" will show ads from Google and partners.


And then they can just block all ads except those provided by Google...

They are trying to be both the player and the judge at the same time.


the second they do this, I switch back to Firefox and never look back.

    if (isAdsense) { return false; } // Whatever we do is totally cool of course
    runAdblockDetect();

Ads are a subset of a larger issue: the out of control data mining and tracking[1]. Focusing only on whether an ad is visually pleasant or not does not address the larger issue -- which larger issue is the foremost reason people should install a content blocker, to get back in the control seat of their user agent.

[1] https://twitter.com/gorhill/status/849263615634964484 => https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C8ka33oUMAAGMBm.jpg:large

https://twitter.com/gorhill/status/803998582227533825 => https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CyhfYyWWEAAH8zq.jpg:large

https://twitter.com/gorhill/status/649256227277537280 (visually, a page with no ads) => https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CQKfGQBWoAAhNc7.png:large


For you it's 'out of control'. For me it's 'the price I'm happy to pay to get what I want'.

I'm glad you understand what that price is and are happy to pay it. I personally have a hard time evaluating the price because the _whats_ and _hows_ of a site's tracking seldom are disclosed in a clear and concise manner that I can review ad understand before the tracking occurs. And even if it was, that would be a lot of friction to do for every site I might visit.

I find it much easier to control by deciding on a policy up front and letting my browser help me enforce it.


The problem with that approach is that you are going against the wishes of the person who produced the website. To my mind if someone creates something of value, the creator should have a say over how that something is consumed. To use something without the permission of the owner feels a bit dirty. If I don't agree to the terms of use for a website I simply won't use it.

>the creator should have a say over how that something is consumed.

The creator can have input, they have no say in a public environment.

>To use something without the permission of the owner feels a bit dirty.

The permission has already been granted. If it's on the web I can download it and use it for whatever dirty personal uses I can imagine.


> To my mind if someone creates something of value, the creator should have a say over how that something is consumed. To use something without the permission of the owner feels a bit dirty.

I agree. That's why I want a say in how my data is consumed.


Person A: "I created a web page. I'll let you view it if you also look at this advertisement"

Person B: "No, I don't agree to your condition. I'll just view the page without the advertisement"

-------------------

Person A: "I've built this car. I'll let you drive it if you keep the speed under 60 miles per hour"

Person B: "No, I don't agree to your condition. I'll just drive your car and go at whatever speed I like"

-------------------

Person A: "I baked a cake. I'll let you eat it if you give me $5"

Person B: "No, I don't agree to your condition. I'll just eat the cake and give you nothing"


Privacy really isn't transactional, it's a ecological issue. There's no way for you to make that decision without (as a group) impacting others. A choice to not use Google or Facebook can now be crippling for some people, and fairly bothersome for most.

Some web users think they have a "right" to say how websites work.

Big sites take countless man hours to produce and maintain.

For the site I've worked on for almost a decade 95 of 100 user comments are totally off base and they don't understand the basics of how things work.


BTW, this person is the creator of Ublock Origin.

To Grandparent Poster: (gorhill)

Thank you for creating Ublock Origin! :)


If we stop out of control tracking and the ads model, how do we stop all content from going behind a paywall? Asking because at least Eyeo makes an attempt at keeping the web free but uBlock Origin seems to go for a scorched earth approach that doesn't seem sustainable.

The problem is that so many sites have absolutely no shame about how many or what kind of ads they will jam into a page. LA Times is a great example - https://nelsonslog.wordpress.com/2017/03/25/la-times-and-ads...

If a site is willing to treat their consumers that badly then fuck them. I have no respect and will not feel bad about using an ad blocker there.

On the flip side, a number of sites have started asking to turn off ad blockers (e.g. Wired), and if it's a site I visit frequently I'm willing to give it a try. If the page is filled with video ads or blinky shit, the ad blocker gets turned on again.


> at least Eyeo makes an attempt at keeping the web free

All blockers allow you to whitelist whatever site you want -- if allowing a site to fund itself through advertising is fine with you. I personally prefer the "user decides" approach than the "yet another 3rd-party decides" approach when it comes to whitelisting.


Fair enough. I just wish it were true that users were deciding. All my research and data shows that the majority of users don't know how to whitelist a site or even that they have adblock installed. A friend told them to install it or a family member etc. Which is why Google controlling what is acceptable without user input may not be that bad.

I suppose Google's own ad network will be unaffected, thereby "encouraging" sites to move to Google's network for a no-block guarantee?

Yup. I'm a big supporter of ad blockers, but this is a conflict of interest the size of Everest.

If Google is really interested in ensuring good user experiences, they should work with the EFF to set up a fund of some kind to support this work, and then have EFF manage it.


I'm not sure offering prime position to a relatively random tech foundation that Google donates to will play better than relying on an independent advertising industry group. Given. A choice between indiscriminate regulation by a foundation of my industry, and an independent organization of an industry choosing to self-regulate, companies should prefer the second.


2012 Google and 2017 Google are nearly two completely different companies, ethically.

The »Coalition for Better Ads« is just the same as »Acceptable Ads« - we will try not annoy you with flashing ads. Both entirely fail to address privacy issues. Just search for »tracking« [1][2] or »privacy« on those sites, there is nothing at all. Not acceptable for me.

[1] https://www.google.com/search?q=tracking+site:betterads.org

[2] https://www.google.com/search?q=tracking+site:acceptableads....


Hmm...

Step 1. Surprise the world with better ad blocking tech than what currently exists.

Step 2. When trust in tech is established, start blocking ads from other ad networks by calling them foul. Do this slowly so it's not obvious.

Step 3. Wait for customers of other ad networks to notice their ads are not effective.

Step 4. Steal customers...Profit.


Thats just mutually assured destruction - all IE/edge browsers would start blocking all google ads, firefox would block everyone, chrome would black all not google ads, and half the internet economy collapses

Microsoft doesn't have any serious advertising business. Firefox has none. So how exactly could it be mutually assured destruction?

More likely is an antitrust lawsuit.


My guess is any such collapse (if it could even happen, sans some pretty serious privacy-protecting regulation) would be very temporary. Free ad- and spying-supported services make all sorts of other business models very difficult or untenable (see, for example, private, local voice recognition—why offer that product when you'll surely fail because the spytastic Google/Amazon/Apple/Microsoft offerings are free?) and even weaken the motivation for community-driven and Free, open source competition. Those other things would fill the void left by the death (please oh please) of the spy/ad economy. Hell, traditional non-spying ads might even make a comeback.

Or better ad creators start behaving nicely. Remember zombie cookies in flash, or shitty animations that chew 100% battery, or IE toolbar spam, or ActiveX ad scripts that could read local files.

Blocking ads is not an easy job. Especially with things like native ads. Blocking shitty ads should be easier though.


You forgot the steps were all the other adblock businesses get disabled by default, then they get impossible to implement/update. Step 1 can already be profitable in itself if done "right".

My first instinct is that this feature will involve google contributor, where users can block ads and still send revenue to sites they frequent. https://contributor.google.com/

I went to check on the status of that program and got this message:

We’re launching a new and improved Contributor in early 2017!


It'd be a neat middle option: display safe ads in Chrome with Google providing assurances that impressions/clicks aren't bots without the crazy messes of JavaScript currently used for that, and put a “Pay this site directly and never see ads” button next to it so people who really don't like ads can opt-out.

That would place pressure on advertisers outside of Google's network to switch, yes.

Edit: though from the article it really does seem much more benign.

Disclosure: I am working on what is, ostensibly, a competing product.


Brave is already doing this http://brave.com

Honorable mention goes to Adnauseam (https://adnauseam.io/). It is an extension for Firefox and Chrome, which clicks on almost every ad. Hopefully, costing advertisers money. The interesting part is: Google removed Adnauseum from their Chrome Extensions. If you anyway install it, every Chrome restart requires that you re-enable the extension.

I like the extension... the advertisers are costing me money by consuming bandwidth, and slowing down everything... well I will try to hit them where it hurts.


Vivaldi (chrome, but it assumes you know what you're doing, and no Google integration) doesn't disable it after a restart.

There's a pretty significant difference there, though. They're costing you a small amount of bandwidth in order to provide the content that you apparently want to look at, while you're costing them money just to be malicious. If you don't want to look at the content, just don't. If you want to look at the content but don't want to see ads, use an ad blocker. Punishing them for trying to stay afloat while giving you something you want is just pathological behavior.

You can rationalize it however you want, but there's only two possibilities.

1. People like you, who say "but I can just ignore ads" are right, and ad companies are about to go out of the business.

2. People who are convinced that ads don't affect them are wrong.

It doesn't seem like ad companies are struggling to me? So the logical conclusion is that ignoring ads doesn't work.

Now on the retaliation. Anyone trying to expose me to ads is aggressively trying to compromise my decision making process. Since they started, I see nothing wrong with defending myself by increasing their costs.

>They're costing you a small amount of bandwidth in order to provide the content that you apparently want to look at

The real cost is that your decisions are compromised.


So, Google...largest ad company in the world is going to start blocking its competitors ads and white listing their own. How is this not going to end in an FTC law suit? Sounds super shady, I know Google is a darling, but ask yourself if Microsoft had as much advertising market share as Google and they did this...would you still be ok with it? If the answer is no, then you should see that Google is possibly not doing this out of the goodness of their hearts and has a long term strategy to snuff out all remaining competition while retaining their own market share and revenues...which ad blockers have greatly effected.

As someone who uses ublock origin and has been blocking ads for many years, I will consider turning it off if this is effective. My problem is not with ads themselves, it's with terrible ads.

I don't mind ads; I just don't want clickbait crap about shocking celebrity photos and "deep searches" for local singles.

<plug>

So I created a minimal blocklist for the worst clickbait (mostly Outbrain and Taboola). The list is compatible with uBlock Origin and Adblock Plus.

https://github.com/cpeterso/clickbait-blocklist/

</plug>


some terrible ads don't look terrible, but instead behave terribly. Violating your privacy, Consuming your bandwidth, ect. How would you recognize these except to audit them yourself? If you read the criteria from the coalition for better ads:

    ...the following types of ad experiences fell beneath the initial
    Better Ads Standard: pop-up ads, prestitial ads, ads with density 
    greater than 30%, flashing animated ads, auto-play video ads with 
    sound, poststitial ads with countdown, full-screen scrollover ads, and 
    large sticky ads.
In other words, privacy compromising is not considered bad behavior. Nor is exorbitant use of bandwidth, It seems their focus is merely on what the average consumer would consider toxic.

same source as the story: https://www.betterads.org/coalition-for-better-ads-releases-...


This is where it will fail (if indeed it is true).

Privacy is not a massive concern for people, but it is a concern. It's enough of a concern for people to mistrust the brand serving the adverts - google.

Considering how much google relies on its brand, trust is a big part of the reason why people entrust google with their often very private searches.

People don't like advertising for lot of reasons, that's why they use ad blockers and not ad filters.

This is why googles attempt to introduce a block on advertising is like a salesman attempting to stop people from cold calling.


You won't have the choice of turning ublock origin off when Google implements this feature. They'll remove it themselves under the guise of "replicating the functionality of the base product".

We don't care I will start to sell raspberry pi Ad blocker. 150$ block all your device in your network for life.

Google owns the largest ad network... I can't imagine this will be effective, because Google can already do this if they wanted.

Whoa. A company where 85%+ of its revenue comes from ads and over that owns a really popular browser is going to block ads? Could be a power play to give Google even more control over advertisers

This isn't about controlling advertiser spend at all. It's about controlling publisher supply.

Publishers have other choices for ad supply, Google is not the most lucrative, but it's the best for high volume so it's everywhere, because people need to get their fill rates.

If a major browser like Chrome starts punishing publishers for not policing their supply, it'll only benefit the big networks.

(I'm actually very skeptical of this article's claims...)


G and FB also control over 85% of new online advertising spend. If it starts to choke advertisers, they don't have many other options but to get in line.

Maybe time to stop using and recommending Chrome? I heard of this browser called "Firefox" which isn't developed by an advertising company.

As a web developer you can take my Chrom(e|ium) from my cold dead hands.

I tried out Firefox for a week this year and the experience didn't come anywhere close to that of using Chrome, not only for development but also as a user. Heck, even Electrolysis is still a mess with half the extensions still blocking it.


I like how Chrome still doesn't let you turn off the downloads bar showing up when you download something. After 10 years, "it's a feature" guys.

It's really beyond my understanding how a megacorp like Google has a product with worse UX than old Opera which was developed by what, a hundred people, maybe?


As a web developer who would prefer that the entire point of the web doesn't degenerate into being a portal for serving up ads, I'll stick to browsers not built by ad companies.

Aren't the developers tools part of webkit and available in any related browser?

Google has to do something about ads IMHO. On the desktop it isn't so bad as we have extensions such as uBlock Origin but Chrome on Android is a truly awful experience on some sites.

Just yesterday I tapped a news story from Google Now only to be greeted with a full screen and vibrating phone ad a few seconds after the story loaded. Totally unacceptable and from a story promoted by Google within Google Now!

The big issue for Google is clearly conflict of interest.

But like I and others have said something needs to be done to sort out the mess that is web advertising. We need industry standards on what is acceptable and anything that isn't gets blocked.


> On the desktop it isn't so bad as we have extensions such as uBlock Origin but Chrome on Android is a truly awful experience on some sites.

Yeah. If only Google allowed uBlock Origin to be installed on Chrome for mobile they wouldn't need to create their own adblocker. /s


Looking forward to ublock origin no longer working in chrome on whatever pretense, that's obviously the end game here.

Who is clicking on these ads, anyway? I've never understood how this adds up to profit (for the advertisers).

A small percentage of users click ads that I assume make up for the users who don't.

And for the record, I click ads sometimes. Mainly on Facebook, because they're impressively relevant. I've discovered quite a few apps and products that I like through ads.


Who responds to Advance-fee scam emails?

Most people don't. Enough do that make the practice profitable enough to fill our mailboxes with spam.

The same applies to scummy web ads.


Often things that don't make sense, don't make sense for a reason. There are some ads that influence people indirectly (e.g. the trailer of one movie coming before a review of a movie on youtube). But click-through ads at this point may be a total fake business for washing drug money or something.

Not even my parents or grand parents click ads. I wouldn't believe anybody who claims there might be an unknown group of people who really do click ads.


Most people don't even recognize the ads. They don't understand what "sponsored" means for example (and it's implications; what?! people are paying money?). This is not because they are sd. They work in totally different domains and just like we don't know the latest things in those domains, they don't know the latest in ours.

It should be telling that generally most advertising is paid per impression, not per click (even when the advertiser pays per click, their cost per click is generally calculated from CTR and thus really a cost per impression)

You might not click on the ads, but (if you're not blocking them) you're probably seeing them, and remembering some of them, and they influence you.


I do. Oh, not really me, but https://adnauseam.io/ does it for me.

With ~infinite inventory, there's ~infinite demand for ads, even crap ones that barely monetize.

Who is the Coalition for Better Ads? Their About page gives no names. Is Google a member? How influential is Google? Whose interests does the Coalition serve?

https://www.betterads.org/about/

"Leading international trade associations and companies involved in online media ..."



Thanks; I don't know how I missed that.

Google is a member, FWIW, among very many.


Wow that seems like playing with fire for Google. Maybe they figure that Trump's lax antitrust enforcement will give them free rein to screw with competitors for the next 4-8 years.

Out of curiosity, what antitrust enforcement were you expecting in the last 100 days that didn't happen?

What law does this violate?

Antitrust laws. What happens when Google allows its own ads while blocking Facebook's?

While the notion that Google is going to "do something about the ad problem" is completely laughable, it would turn out to be a great thing if they just blocked all ads from Facebook as a starting point. This would start some kind of tit for tat race which will spiral out of control for both companies until it ends up in MAD.

Once both companies destroy each other, we can pick up the pieces left over and start to build a nicer web free of these two privacy plagues.


Nice dream

My guess is that Google ads would be whitelisted?

They're following a standard: https://www.betterads.org/standards/

Seems like a safe bet they wouldn't serve ads that would get blocked.



Seems like you haven't read the better ad coalition standard, because it doesn't say anything about creative content – it's just about formats.

And, honestly, that site is basically a south african blog; as much as I love picking a fight when it's due, I don't think Google is to blame here, but the advertisers targeting their core demographics.


That's a silly website. They only research different forms of ads, but they have (conveniently?) forgotten about user tracking.

It's scary to watch how google manipulates the web to make it "google's web". At first they incentivized everyone to offer specific types of content, then they gradually made monetizing more difficult, and now they are actively going to try to remove the competition. They should be working on improving their ad delivery system instead.

It becomes "less" scary if you remember that many people already think that "web" means "Facebook+Instagram app on iPhone".

google is still the most visited site though, and you always end up on the web with it.

"Advertising company will block ads"?

or is it

"Advertising company will block ads (obviously except its own)"? "Content providers - use Google's ad network if you want to make sure you get ad revenue from Chrome!"

Will Google try to remain "fair"? Does the profit-maximizing moves align with "fairness"?


I am not sure profit-maximization is ever primarily concerned with fairness. Google is probably not the exception to this. However, like many things Google this is something that will improve user experience (no more shitty, malware infested ads, by default) and undercut their competitors. So, most of their users aren't really going to be up in arms.

This is a bad idea. Unless Google allows the ad-blocker to block Google's ads as well as others, it will be viewed as anti-competitive, antitrust.

So I'm guessing "stripping adds that provide a bad experience for users" is just code for "stripping adds not generating revenue for Google." A lot of other neutral add blockers block Google and hence Google needs to convince users to just let Google be their add filter.

It's a risky move by Google and one made likely more out of need for themselves than need for their users.

For all the wonders of Google it's still very much a one trick pony from a business standpoint. Anything that threatens their ad revenue is a very real threat to their business health. All the fun "side businesses" while very cool aren't exactly paying the bills.


Will the feature block paid placements in search results, too? I think most English speakers would consider these to be, erm, advertisements.

Yeah, The Ad Company of the twentyfirst century makes an adblocker. I think I'd just deactivate it on day one and use an adblock plugin instead.

This would be fantastic. I finally installed Adblock Plus and I feel bad about it, but I had had enough. I couldn't even see content on legitimate webpages anymore through all the pop up ads and auto start videos. I don't mind normal ads but it was getting ridiculous. The arms race had tipped too far to the ad providers. I just want to block the ridiculous, which is what this sounds like it would do.

Google have totally missed the point here. Ad blocking is a reaction to advertising, not good ads or bad ads. People install ad blockers, not ad filters.

Advertising is dead in its current state. The first banner ad had a success rate of 95%, compare that with today's metrics of less than 1% and you see the issue.

Google is trying to do something to please shareholders, but ultimately this strategy will fail.


How many prognosticators among us think that Google will end up buying one of the big ad-blocking companies out there? If acquired, this would be a coup for Wladimir Palant and folks like him. Currently, Adblock Plus allows us to uncheck the "Allow some non-intrusive advertising" option. If Google were to acquire said company (or similar offering), this ability to disallow non-intrusive advertising will be either hidden or removed entirely. If Google's properties are the only ones "allowed" through the filter, that's another case of monopoly power. Time will tell.

There is a silver lining for users here. If Google does go down this route, Firefox and Edge will eventually follow suit. This somewhat concerted action against intrusive ads will put a lot of pressure on ad agencies and content providers, which could be the impetus they need to rethink their ad delivery strategy to be more user-friendly.


This isn't a Google coming to Jesus moment and realizing ads are bad. No, this is getting out in front of the ad-blocking movement and proactively saving their business model.

Google has every incentive to make advertising on the web palatable for most everyone. If that means blocking some ads, then they need to do that.


How is it not a massive legal problem to have an ad company supplying the ad blocker, and deciding what gets blocked?

The whole "relying on an open standards organization" bit.

I call bullshit.

"How is it not" seems like a bad way to start a legal question, since everything is legal by default until someone passes a law prohibiting it. So there's usually no special reason at all for something to be legal.

Did you understand the question? Yes? Then what does it matter?

Google has to know this is going to invite a wave of antitrust investigations. I guess they think they can win?

While video ads with sound on and popups are pretty irritating, I think interstitial ads with a timer are more in the grey area. I mostly use the Epic Privacy Browser which already by default blocks all ads.

I wonder how this will impact their competitors (Facebook?). I assume these features will be opt-in instead of enabled-by-default. it could be pretty catastrophic if it is enabled by default. For an optin feature, it is not much different from today, where a user can install adblocker extension. Very few consumers opt to do so.

A while ago, Apple added ad blocking features to iOS 9, however users had to explicitly enable them by installing an adblocker apps. I have not seen significant impact by this move (G and FB are still growing).


Facebook runs the tightest ship when it comes to ad formats. They don't allow rich media ads at all either, so malvertising is almost non-existent on Facebook.

They wouldn't be impacted by this at all, in my opinion who this hurts most is publishers.


Then watch Google start blocking add-ons that block ads Google likes.

I can only hope they are also developing a micropayment system to allow easy payment for web content. This shouldn't be too hard - they have a billing system (Google Play) already

No, reading should be free. it's not a movie, if you want learn you need to do it freely. Brave will only work for some people.

Also what about my comment? If I publish something even on Facebook why I'm not paid too? Where is the limit? If there's "nothing free" principe why people help each others on forum? (it's start to become less and less) people don't want more to do free things, but this is bad, bad because it's was about helping, information, not about payment to read crap. or steal content from other (pinterest)


See Brave Browser (http://brave.com)

They have a system to allow easy payment for web content: Google ads.

So... Marry Google Ads and Google Play to allow consumers to pay directly for content without the ads?

What about the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB)?

According to wikipedia they have criticized Microsoft for enabling Do Not Track by default in Internet Explorer 10.

They also went against Mozilla for planning to turn on blocking of 3rd party HTTP cookies in Firefox.

They even blocked AdBlock to attend an event of theirs.

So I am sure they will just LOVE that Google is making all of its competitors dance to the IAB's tune. I wonder who is pulling the strings behind IAB when Google goes and does something like this.


Finally. The mobile web is literally broken without adblocker on Android. In the meantime the Adguard (Fake VPN, non root) filter + Chrome does a good job for now.

Sometimes just being able to do a thing, distorts the whole playing field. Actually, just having this red button, will make google adds-business untouchable for any serious competition. One nuke atop a rocket makes your country s borders safer then any tank army ever could. And this is what this is. A nuke, who even by just lying there in the ground, doing near nothing, fortifies the walls of this empire.

It's too late. After my 9-year-old son's start-page got taken over by a malicious ad, I set up uBlock. I was fighting long and hard to avoid adblocking because I really did think it was wrong to view the web without the ads that support it... but the industry has utterly failed to keep their houses clean.

Whatever "polite" implementation Google implements in Chrome won't be enough anymore.


I'm visiting my parents for Easter and was driven to installed uBlock Origin on my dad's laptop because of Google's own Adsense ads.

He was on this website: http://www.beverlybees.com/install-package-bees-langstroth-h... and the first ad said "Click here to download the video player extension" which got him to install a browser extension.

When I asked him why, he said "well, I'm trying to watch this tutorial video and it said I needed an extension". It was just an unrelated ad. Adsense must've picked up the "install" keyword on the page and started showing "download" ads.

I told him it was an ad and he went back to the page, falling for the 2nd mid-article ad further down which was a large play/download button. The ads made him think he was looking for a video even though there is no video in the blog post tutorial.

Watching my dad get fooled like this so helplessly really nauseated me, and it's Google's own ads. How many ad clicks are from people thinking it's part of the content?

I installed uBlock Origin immediately.


Click bait ads that are made to mimic UX / UI are as close to malware as you can get and often result in malware installs. Good on you for protecting your dad.

Chrome has already won the war of browsers however the new ones (Brave, Vivaldi, UC) are jostling their way with inbuilt ad blockers.

Now, it might seem that Google wants to maintain an edge over these with the new ad-blocking feature but one can tell that it will only block ads outside Google network.

The way I see it as a bigger bet on cannibalizing itself because if Google does not then somebody else will.


I wish google would give me the option to describe what ads not to show me and would only block those ads.

Then again, I wish Gmail could see that 60% of my email traffic is with one other person and stop showing me ads for dating sites. And I wish that Amazon ads would be for goods complimentary to the things I've bought rather than ads for the items I've already bought.


Before everybody gets excited, please read the fine print. They are working with the Coalition for Better Ads and industry trades to support the Better Ads Standards. If anyone is interested, here is the standard: https://www.betterads.org/standards/

When content blocking becomes first class citizen on all major browsers you can't go back. Offering a sub-par browsing experience which forces people to look at your ads is a surefire way to drive users to competitors.

Unless you have some lobbying ace up your sleeve to force 'acceptable ads' as a standard to implement.


Note that this is built-in in Opera, which is basically a skin over Chromium at this point. I definitely recommend it.

How is opera like chromium at this point? I've been using safari mostly, so I've not kept up with browsers and development.

I'm not the parent poster, but I believe the parent was referencing the fact that Opera now uses the same rendering engine as Chrome/Chromium.

I haven't used Opera since they changed rendering engines, so I can't comment beyond that.


This will be pretty interesting.

The web has been in a downward spiral for years: Fewer and fewer users browse the web without an adblocker. Which leads Publishers to bombard them with more and more ads. Which leads more users to use adblockers.

Blocking annoying ads for all users by default could break this vicious circle.


Judging by the comments before this one, very few actually read the article - soooo /.

My take: Ad wrangler attempts to quash competition by leveraging it's dominant browser share.

How on earth does an ad slinger take the moral high ground wrt ad intrusiveness or whatever is currently considered naughty by targets of ads?


Serious question: I see that they are (sort of) adhering to (some) standard of "ad acceptability."

Why are ads that consume a few too many CPU cycles more morally repugnant than ads that nearly invisibly manipulate a consumer's search results with undermining, misdirecting, or hortatory messaging?


Because they gave to be seen to do something. Google have never really cared how dirty or malicious it's ad inventory is.

This is interesting -- it leads to another eventuality where, instead of blocking ads, Google replaces "bad ads" with "good ads" and provides revenue to website owners that suffer from lost revenue as a result of ad-blocking.

If Google can block "bad ads", like malware and the ones that trigger alert/confirm in rapidly generated iframes, I imagine adblock uasage could decline growth. I'll always use ublock origin and privacy badger though.

If google does this then Firefox should ad block google ads. What's good for the goose.

Seems like a great move for Google. Block all ads except theirs (and, most people won't install another ad blocker if there is one built-in), so that publishers will be forced to use Google ads if they want to target customers.

I like this move. I don't mind ads to support webpages I enjoy but I do want to 've rid of the really annoying ads. I also don't get why advertisers do that. If I am annoyed by an ad, I'm not going to buy.

I've barely read/skimmed a few dozen of the comments here and its clear most people didn't even read the article.

The primary goal for this possible feature is to block "bad" ads, as deemed by the ad industry.


It will be interesting to see if they block ads that are served through Doubleclick for Publishers, a Google owned ad server.

Publishers that use DFP will be paying Google to serve ads that will ultimately be blocked by a Google owned browser.


Considering Google's main business is selling ads I'm guessing they are only going to block ads from competitors. Who will then have very solid ground for a lawsuit for anti-competitive behavior. This seems like a bad idea.

I'd be surprised if they block tracking which is the other half of what ad blockers do and arguably the half that I think is more important.

It would be neat if they checked your DNT setting and then blocked tracking based on that.


Offending ads = non-google ads.

We need less terrible ads. Let's go back to static picture-based banner ads. The picture-link tracks the ad-clicks, simply, reliable and non bloated third party JS needed.

So where are the ad networks that offer such ad-type?


"Alphabet Inc.'s Google is planning to introduce an ad-blocking feature in the mobile and desktop versions of its popular Chrome web browser, according to people's familiar with the company's plans."

Yeah like every journalist do not give your source, make false article, try to say what will be the future and fail to do it. This site have BIG annoying ad at start. F * this site. (Downvote me it's free) this is not a value added article, it only try to bias make view and try to pretend they know what will happen, like we all know, journalist don't know anything they are just follower and they need to start to give info that matter, that are true of today, not of the future, without any added value.


Embrace, Extend, Extinguish?

It makes sense to do this on the mobile browser, trying to get around the net can be horrific on a phone, not to mention the data useage. Ublock and so on already have the desktop sewn up.

Pretty interesting; I just today found it and added the extension to my Chrome and it works fine. Still have Adblock in Safari, Bing and Firefox.

But letting through their own ads because Google by pure coincidence judges Google's ads to be OK, I guess? I don't like Google's interests guiding their web platform (it's not just a web browser anymore), and this is icing on the cake to me. Thankfully there are community ran alternatives on par with the latest web standards and competing with these corporate web platforms, or else our web would risk being truly lost.

With that said, how in the heavens or hells will Google be able to defend this move from competing ad agencies while letting through their own ads? This cannot be the first we'll hear of this if it actually happens.


The concept of an ads company blocking "some" ads that _it_ decides aren't good for users sounds a bit like google blocking its competitors, doesn't it?

I really want to know if others do this. I don't click on ANY ads, except chumbox ads. Yes I'm admitting it - I want to know what those stars look like now!!!!!

If you go to a restaurant and order a salad, you're not obligated to eat the olives, and you have the right to take them off your plate.

Likewise, you have the right to bring an intermediary who looks at your salad and hides all the olives for you.

If your intermediary happens to work for Green Olive Co. and he hides the black olives but not the green ones, you have the right to switch to another intermediary. Or get another intermediary who checks the plate and hides the rest of the olives. Or do whatever you want, because you're not obligated to consume any part of the salad that you don't want to.


Sure, but in your example, you've paid for the salad. The whole reason (presumably) that advertising has gotten in the state it's in is that nobody wants to pay for things, but it costs money to keep the lights on.

Full disclaimer: I use things for free day in and day out. I try to pay for things that I find value in as my budget allows. I find many ads annoying.


Yeah, I see how my analogy fails now.

I still don't think there is a moral right or wrong with AdBlockers. Web sites are text--how you choose to render them is (or should be) up to you, in my opinion.


If you go to a restaurant and order a salad

Sure, if you're blocking ads on a platform where you paid a subscription I'd agree with you.


In your metaphor the salad is filled on your plate by you running back and forth to a salad bar to grab the ingredients one by one. Those of us with ad blockers don't bother fetching the olives at all.

There's no free salad. The restaurant owner is not obligated to give you a salad, with or without olives.

I wonder if this is the replacement for Google Contributor that they've alluding to for a while. I'm sure u/Filligree can't comment... :)

This will put them in a position to avoid or bypass hosts file blocking by being able to reroute ads through alternate hosts on the fly.

Hmm, maybe I should patent that idea.


I like the idea but only because FF will likey copy them without the conflict of interest.

Will this potentially be able to disable tracking cookies from the likes of Facebook and others who follow you around the internet?

ppl at google are scared of FB's resurgent growth. now they are leveraging on advantages they already have. if FB reacts with introducing plugins for blocking ads completely (on desktop and mobile), It would ensure total annihilation of ad industry. that is the a step fb can take now to force google to make truce and backoff their adblocking features.

So Google will be blocking competitor ads? Will they block their's too?

How does this bode for anti-trust protections?


My god, to get quality journalism it would be so strange if the death of online ads brought some semblance of Print back again.

In general I like Google but a transparent move like this makes me consider finally installing a third party ad-blocker instead.

> According to those standards, ad formats such as pop-ups, auto-playing video ads with sound and “prestitial” ads with countdown timers are deemed to be “beneath a threshold of consumer acceptability.”

Seems reasonable considering Chromium goal:

> Chromium is an open-source browser project that aims to build a safer, faster, and more stable way for all Internet users to experience the web.

https://www.chromium.org/Home


Is this an indication that Google isn't able to control 'bad' content ingested up stream in their ad network?

I just added to my extensions in Chrome and still have Adblocker in Safari, Bing and FireFox

I just added to my extensions in Chrome and still have Adblocker in Safari, Bing and FireFox

It's probably a way to counter more aggressive ad blocking, since it will allow some ads, and especially tracking.

That's practically one way to speed up browsing performance without changing the underlying technology itself.

This makes microsoft look like saints.

Some people dont like this. May i suggest firefox? Not fast enough for you? You could always contribute.

I guess it makes sense for them as they can block annoying ads but leave Google ads up there.

Yet another power grab from Google.

Well this is going to be a tool for Google to tame unscrupulous advertisers. Good and Bad.

Pull major ads from youtube Google: "Fine! no one can have ads!"

They basically going to track the websites you visit and sell the data to get revenue.

What about the pop-up blocker? Doesn't that block most of the pop-up ads?

I wonder if Google will use this feature to accidentally-on-purpose step on other adblocking extensions' toes, tech wise. Will running uBlock on top of it hurt performance like running two antiviruses?

All of a sudden, Mozilla's decision to move towards Chrome's extension model looks suspicious.


Opera already does this already and includes an unlimited VPN for free.

Is this visual ad-blocking only?

Or are they also going to block user-tracking?

Just wondering.


If you can't fight it, join it. Then lead it.

Anti-competitive / monopoly lawsuit in 3... 2... 1...

Есть небольшая разница между удалением рекламы и фильтрацией всей рекламы кроме своей. Теперь нужно будет ставить дополнительный ублок, поверх штатного. Как всё это будет работать - медленно и ломать вёрстку.

The sentence parse, but beyond that it makes no sense.

Vivaldi already has an integrated ad-blocker.

probably google trying to destroy the competition. maybe block other ad networks but not theirs.

Usability alert: Really faint text.

Good! I hope it blocks YouTube ads as well.

Imitation is zhe best form of flattery.

That sounds like an anti trust case in the making.

Trojan horse.

Google, meet The Sherman Act.

LOL

Paywall removed: http://outline.com/f35FY6

Why didn't WSJ block access to this article?



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