Facebook’s campaign against ad-blocking softwares has finally narrowed down to a battle between Facebook and Adblock Plus. Remember, Adblock Plus was quick to react to Facebook’s attempt to make sure ad-blockers don’t work on the web version of Facebook.
Adblock promised to find a way around the Facebook code that stopped their software from working. Apparently, yesterday, while all decent human beings like me were blissfully asleep, Adblock Plus rushed out to announce they found a work-around like they promised.
I had to admit the speed with which Adblock Plus found a solution to the problem took me by surprised. I guess it was there were lots of hi-fives at Adblock Plus headquarters.
The blog post announcing the work-around on Facebook came with how to enable the new feature on Adblock Plus to make sure ads are still blocked from appearing on your Facebook News feed.
I guess this is a big boost to Adblock Plus. If you had any doubt of installing that software, they just gave you enough reason to do it. They had taken on big bad Facebook and defeated them.
Two days ago we broke it to you that Facebook had taken “the dark path,” and decided to start forcing ad-blocking users to see ads on its desktop site. We promised that the open source community would have a solution very soon, and, frankly, they’ve beaten even our own expectations. A new filter was added to the main EasyList about 15 minutes ago. You’ll just need to update your filter lists
Facebook might “re-circumvent” at any time. As we wrote in the previous post, this sort of back-and-forth battle between the open source ad-blocking community and circumventers has been going on since ad blocking was invented; so it’s very possible that Facebook will write some code that will render the filter useless — at any time. If that happens, the ad-blocking community will likely find another workaround, then Facebook might circumvent again, etc.”
So obviously Adblock Plus know Facebook would not take time to respond to this. Calling it a cat and mouse game where Facebook is the big bully cat. Or a David vs Goliath where Facebook is the monstrous Goliath
Again, the speed of Facebook’s response came as a surprise to me. Because, while I was still thinking about Adblock Plus’ news, Facebook also came out with a statement to say they had found a way to block Adblock Plus again.
Sounding like a typical big bully wondering where the small guy got the courage to fight back, Facebook released this statement to Tech Chrunch earlier today:
“We’re disappointed that ad blocking companies are punishing people on Facebook as these new attempts don’t just block ads but also posts from friends and Pages. This isn’t a good experience for people and we plan to address the issue. Ad blockers are a blunt instrument, which is why we’ve instead focused on building tools like ad preferences to put control in people’s hands.”
Facebook’s contention is that Adblock Plus’ new code spoils the user experience for people using Facebook; which they called unfair. Apparently the new code from Adblock Plus blocked ads as well as normal updates that should be appearing on ones news feed.
If that is the case, then it should mean Facebook’s initial code was working very well. Look at it this way, if Adblock Plus blocked or stopped my news feed from showing updates from friend, I’d be forced to disable Adblock Plus right?
I guess Facebook’s plan is to make sure Adblock Plus won’t be able to block anything on Facebook. So that is why they had to respond to the new updated Adblock Plus. Or perhaps they were not telling us the truth; which is that the new updated adblocking software was very effective.
Anyway, Facebook did what they had to do. And like Adblock Plus predicted, they (Adblock Plus) came up with another code that circumvented the Facebook’s new tweak.
And Facebook just told the same Tech Crunch their engineers have blocked Adblock Plus for a second time. It is really a cat and mouse game.
The world is watching keenly who would blink first. And just give up.
image credit: techcrunch.com; venturebeat.com; businessisider.com; inverse.com;