Yahoo blocks some users from accessing email until they turn off ad-blocking

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Yahoo, what’s that?


“Off”, maybe?

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I pay $10/month just to keep my Earthlink account that I’ve had for 20 years. Hell, I just got IMAP for God’s sake!

Ain’t nobody gonna blackmail me into accepting ads!


If they are using this on bundled-with-ISP accounts; I hope that they have some very, very, very displeased customers on the line.

If they are using it on signed-up-through-Yahoo; I’d be interested to know if Yahoo has done any updating of the Terms and Conditions to mention this, or is just rolling out the experiment. I don’t doubt that the T&C is written to absolve them of anything short of homicide(unless it’s a Chinese dissident, classy one there, Yahoo); but legalese doesn’t make bait-and-switch feel any less annoying.

In principle, I can’t argue with Yahoo’s right to configure their servers to be unhelpful to people who configure their browsers to be unhelpful; but I would be surprised if this works out well for them. Even if they are legally in the clear, “willing to hold your data hostage” is a giant black mark on any service provider; and Yahoo isn’t exactly a premium-tier user experience on the email side.


The least relevant email service just became less relevant.


Why don’t Dinosaurs go extinct any more?


How’d you manage that? One day I got notification that my Earthlink account was going to disappear, no options to keep it going at all.

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Now you’re on “the list”…


No clue. I vaguely remember a special offer way back when. On the plus side I always have dial-up Internet service as a backup plan!


I still regularly receive email from addresses.


My parents email you?


For you, maybe. It’s still the world’s third largest by a quick/lazy google search:

I actually see a lot of these emails because I sometimes deal with ESL students.

And if it isn’t a thing that way, the worry is if Yahoo can get away with it, what makes you so certain the #1, #2, #4-1000 providers won’t be lining up to try the same tactic.

And because XKCD is always relevant:


Maybe this will encourage more people not to use Yahoo’s mail service.

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The fun part is $10 a month can buy you a small VPS somewhere with plenty of horsepower to run your own mail server. May not be able to keep the spooks from getting into my stuff, but I sure can prevent silicon valley from indexing it.

Something like that would have been a pipe dream 20 years ago.


I thought I had been fooled by paying $85 for a lifetime address through another provider 20 years ago.

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This is true but smaller mail servers often get the block from bigger ones. If Verizon or whoever decides your little server is “not trustworthy because it doesn’t know you/isn’t big enough/once got a spam message from that IP in 1997”, good luck getting that big company’s customers (ie. your friends who are on it) to take your mail.

I once had a smaller provider who provided excellent service and good pricing. However, having legitimate mails bounced back to me was a regular enough occurrence to make it no longer worthwhile.


They have mail, apparently.

It’s time for a new generation of stealth ad-blockers that download the ads as normal but just don’t display them, so that there’s no way the server can tell an ad-blocker is in use.


But if I do that, where will I dump all my social media notifications so that I don’t have to see them?