Adblock Plus Slams “Anti-User” Facebook, Forgets They’re Just as Bad


People in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones, the pot calling the kettle black, judge not lest ye be judged, and other similar idioms: Adblock Plus seem to have forgotten what they’ve been up to lately before they slammed Facebook for its recent anti-adblocking move.

In case you missed the news, it’s recently been revealed that Facebook will soon start rolling our their new system that will ignore adblockers. The user can still set their preferences as to what kind of ads they want to see, so there’s less likelihood of you seeing adverts for female contraception if you’re a middle-aged eunuch from now on. It isn’t ideal, but it isn’t the worst idea they’ve ever had.

Enter Adblock Plus: the biggest adblocker in the online world. In a recent blog post, the company heavily criticised the move from Facebook, calling it “an unfortunate move, because it takes a dark path against user choice”.

The blog post by Ben Williams continues, saying: “wouldn’t it be better to address users (like all of you!) who have chosen to block traditional ads on their own terms? That is to say, don’t you want to be consulted here?”

Wrapping up on a weird, maturbatory note: “If nothing else, all this attention from Facebook shows that ad blocking has finally made the big time. We’re ready for our close up…”

As valid as their points may be, they seem to forget one pretty huge detail: they themselves have taken money from advertisers to be included on whitelists. This means that for a handsome fee of anywhere between $250,000 and $1 million, advertisers can circumvent the system to still show their ads to users. Although users may still disable these ads afterwards, Adblock Plus should really learn a thing or two about self-awareness.

Just so you know, this coverage isn’t yet another publisher rallying against adblockers. I use one myself and whitelist the websites I like to give them a few cents every year. Using an adblocker is almost a requirement of online life these days, what with the constant pop-up, speed-killing ads you see on most sites. But I don’t use Adblock Plus. Their business model doesn’t sit right with me and this latest example of public self-adoration confirms that they might not be the white knights of the internet they so desperately want to be.

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