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Cover image for A subtle and clever way to prevent adblocks
Lucas Meine
Lucas Meine

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A subtle and clever way to prevent adblocks

Some websites are very direct about their adblocking policies. Who has never seen something like this before?


Some of them even write complete articles or help posts discribing how to disable an adblock software so users can resume their web surfing. ( while seeing a lot of ads of course. )

Wheter that is acceptable or not is up to discussion. Some people are completely against the usage of internet ads, like the guys at pihole. Some think there are acceptable ads, and some think that all kinds of ads are a good source of revenue. Personally, i think that internet ads are an outdated practice that should be extinct.

Well, on the last few days i have come across some websites that were completely broken and unusable. Inspecting the developer tools ( force of habit, trying to debug stuff even if it isn't my job, lol ), i have noticed that my adblocker was breaking the site. My first thought was something like:

Hey, maybe the guys were junior devs and didn't think about it, and the site owners didn't have enough money to pay for proper devs.

Then i just stopped my adblock software and kept browsing. But then some thoughts came into my mind.

What if it was done in purpose?

Then I realized that i'm not the first person to happily disable an adblocker because the website completely stopped working because of it. It was like my subconscient told me that it was my fault instead of the website's. Then i ask you guys:

Maybe it is more efficient to break your website in purpose if it detects an adblocker instead of just asking the user to disable it? And is it an ethical thing to do?

Top comments (2)

dmfay profile image
Dian Fay

It'd be more efficient and probably more effective, seeing as you yourself turned off adblock in spite of your reluctance; however, it puts the developer on equal ethical footing with malware distributors. Deceiving users so they run code they don't want or intend to is, after all, how good old-fashioned trojans work.

The good news is that anti-adblock code still executes on your computer, so it's possible to block anti-adblockers. It's all a bit

lukasmeine profile image
Lucas Meine

Didn't know about that extension, thank you Dian! And yeah, i thought so. Seems to be more effective at some point but isn't quite ethical.