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YouTube punishing ad-blocker users – media — RT World News


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The Google subsidiary blamed users’ AdBlock extensions for compromising their laptops’ performance

YouTube users who try to dodge the video platform’s advertisements using the AdBlock browser extension say the video-sharing platform is exacting revenge by throttling their computer performance, PCGamer reported on Tuesday, citing multiple sources from Reddit’s Youtube forum. 

Users lamented their computers’ “laggy” performance when trying to watch videos with ad-blockers enabled, with one poster complaining the effort “messes up the resources on the computer as a whole” and “kills [Google browser] Chrome.”

Enabling AdBlock in an effort to avoid YouTube’s pre- and inter-video commercials caused CPU usage to increase 17%, PCGamer’s own reporter found, while acknowledging that “lower-end laptops mainly used for browsing could start having heat problems.” 

Even subscribers to YouTube’s ad-free Premium service who used AdBlock on other websites found their computer performance was suffering. Another PCGamer writer observed an increase of as much as 18% CPU usage despite paying for the privilege of ad-free viewing.

YouTube warns users that using ad-blockers violates its terms of service and has recently begun delivering pop-ups demanding that viewers disable the extension. However, AdBlock alone is used by 60 million people, and browser extensions with similar functions abound. 

YouTube’s communications manager Christopher Lawton contacted PCGamer after their article was published to explicitly deny that the video platform was responsible for the performance issue.

Loading delays experienced by AdBlock and AdBlock Plus users are not caused by our ad blocker detection efforts,” he told the site, which updated its article to shift the blame onto AdBlock itself.

YouTube has long struggled with its users’ efforts to avoid the ads it serves before, during, and after the videos they actually want to watch. Last year, the platform experimented with limiting ad-blocking users to three videos before they were ordered to whitelist the site, allowing its ads to play despite the blocker, or pay for YouTube Premium. Refusing both options would leave visitors unable to watch further content. 

The platform acknowledged it was running a “small experiment globally” on ad-blocking users in a statement to The Verge, framing its demands as reasonable because “other publishers regularly ask viewers to disable ad blockers.” 

In November, YouTube was found to be punishing users running ad-blocking browser extensions with a five-second loading delay on its videos, a tactic Lawton acknowledged in another statement to The Verge. Users could expect to “keep seeing issues like this as YouTube’s ad-blocker detection methods improve,” he told the outlet.

Previous “small experiments” acknowledged by the video behemoth have subjected users to as many as 10 unskippable ads during a single ‘commercial break,’ according to tech blog 9to5Google.

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