Anti-adblock is a lot more common than anyone thought, but it's not hard to defeat


#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2017/12/27/fuzz-buster-buster-buster.html


#2

The arms race will continue to escalate until at last both ads and adblockers become self-aware and turn upon their masters.


#3

I would not mind ads so much if they didn’t slow down the pages that I try to visit, obstruct what I am trying to read, play videos or sound, downright lie about prizes or viruses, move things around as I scroll, and sometimes even crash the page that I’m trying to read (mostly in my older iPad.)

Another thing that I really hate is when an ad is played before a video, and the two of them are not delivered at the same speed. I don’t like a slow-loading ad before my video, and I also don’t like a fast-loading ad before a slow-loading video.


#4

I find that anti-adblock either doesn’t understand valid reasons for blocking ads, or doesn’t care. Probably the latter. I work in cybersecurity, and we deal with adware that delivers malicious code all the time. I block ads to prevent malicious code from being downloaded (actually, block all javascript by default).

When I see an anti-adblock measure, I’ll reach out to the company and offer to whitelist IF they offer a guarantee that their ads won’t deliver malicious code, or malware of any kind. So far, no replies.


#5

A guarantee they can’t honestly make, which is why I’ll never trust them even if they do come out with a “safe” and unobtrusive ad platform.


#6

Clever approach using differential analysis, but not too difficult to detect and verify from the server end, thus ensuring the can-and-mouse will continue. At some point the computers will get into a vicious circle war and it will take forever for web pages to load… but we won’t be able to tell because waiting for pages with ads to load takes just as long.

In short, I can see all of this working out really well for the consumer, errm, the product!


#7

Well, if there’s no JavaScript, then it should be fairly safe.

However, my worry is that ad rates for the non-JavaScript ads are going to be so low, no site can survive on them. If they can’t monetize my eyeballs, and they can’t sell subscriptions in large enough numbers, are we to lose every site that isn’t just a store-front?

I’d be sad to see BoingBoing, Ars Technica, Slashdot and the NYT go. Will Facebook be the only non-store website left?


#8

For most sites that have an anti-adblock script I just disable javascript. Good luck detecting that, bozos.


#9

good idea


#10

The tipping point for me was ads on youtube that randomly played loud audio while videos were playing. They completely obscured the content.


#11

An app called Weblock will rescue you from ads on your old ipad. It blocks massive amounts of ads and tracking scripts, and it does not require a 64bit chip like 1blocker and the other content filters for safari do. You have to do some jiggery-pokey with wifi settings, but the app handholds you throuh thr process quite well.


#12

This x 1000. I don’t object to print ads, because they don’t go out of their fucking way to stop me reading the rest of the magazine.


#13

Sure they could. Serve their own ads and limit them to images only.

What really gets me is a site that keeps whining about my ad blocker–yet deals with the malware by blocking ads on a case by case basis. They claim they can’t do any better than that–but what that really means is they won’t cut ties with the scummy ad provider(s) that keep serving up the garbage.


#14

I will not whitelist any site that demands I do so before they let me read their article. Forbes, I’m looking at you. I will consider one like the Guardian, who puts an unobtrusive request for support at the end of their articles.


#15

I perceive this as a bygone solution that no modern enterprise will attempt because it doesn’t scale well. The proceeds vs the amount of manpower necessary to feed this now antiquated method doesn’t seem worth it. There’s a reason we have the current problem we have. Going backwards doesn’t seem practical unless someone finds a new way to innovate the old image-only ads.


#16

<head>
     <noscript>
          “We have detected that your browser does not have JavaScript enabled. Please enable JavaScript in your browser settings to allow the rest of the site to load”
     </noscript>
     <script src=“LoadEntireRestOfSite.js” />
</head>


#17

Are people who hate advertising good prospects to force-feed advertising to?


#18

Anyone who browses the web with a NoScript extension knows all about this sort of thing.


#19

It’s bad for the client, and bad additionally a terrible and inefficient way to code a website.

You don’t need javascript to load in your base HTML, and doing so bumps up your overhead by an order of magnitude.


#20

The really annoying ones are the ones that redirect you to a generic no javascript landing page. So even if you whitelist the site, you’ll need to hit the back button and if you don’t whitelist the site hitting the back button just gets you redirected to the damn landing page, forcing you to do the whole click and hold to get your list of previous sites.