Blocker users defiant: Workarounds thrive despite YouTube's clampdown

Back in May 2023, YouTube launched a new policy which was against users who were using ad blockers on YouTube. The reason for this policy was to ask users to either watch YouTube with ads or subscribe to ad-free YouTube by paying the subscription fee. The policy for anti-ad blockers was first applied to a few users but now YouTube has applied this to all the users worldwide. The users who were using ad blockers for trackers or privacy concerns are not happy with this policy.

An ad-blocking company, Adguard, said that YouTube and ad blockers never get along with each other. Users use ad blockers for YouTube ads because they don't want the ads to interrupt their streaming. On the other hand, YouTube earns a lot of revenue from these ads. A portion of this revenue is also obtained from users subscribing to get rid of ads.

YouTube isn't the only platform that has taken the step for ad blockers. But as YouTube is one of the biggest platforms with about 2.5 billion monthly users, its policy about anti-ad blockers is the only one that became viral. When the news about YouTube’s policy regarding anti-ad blockers spread, many users who were using ad blockers uninstalled them but some also used other measures to block YouTube’s software to stop ad blockers.

When YouTube started its anti-ad blockers policy in June and August, the usage of the Adguard Ad blocker extension for Chrome got 8% lower. But soon, the usage started increasing again after a month. Even with YouTube’s anti-ad block policy, users are still using ad blockers and several ad blockers are also working perfectly fine on YouTube. Despite this, users are having concerns about their privacy while using those ad blockers. Alexander Hanff, a privacy campaigner said that the script that YouTube is using for recognizing ad blockers is breaching users’ privacies. This is completely illegal and YouTube should stop using it.

Users unhappy with ads or privacy concerns still find ways to block ads.
Image: Adguard/Cybernews

Read next: Google Agrees To Settlement After Being Accused Of Wrongly Collecting User Data Through Chrome’s Incognito Mode

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