AdBlock Plus made headlines today on the reveal of its new Acceptable Ads platform, wherein sites display ads that meet certain criteria for ad blocker users. As the leading voice of ad blockers, Eyeo making this move at this particular time seems like relention; the debate between ad publishers and ad blockers has reached a head this year, and, for better or worse, Eyeo’s been the go-to voice for our community in headlines and conferences. By stamping its name on an ad platform, it’s like they’re making a plea deal.
The real shocker here is the lack of user input. It doesn’t seem like anyone knew that this announcement was coming, and user reactions have reflected this. This isn’t a very popular move. Their stake in this platform has really made this surprise announcement garner as much vitriol (justifiably or not) as possible. When ad blocker users have still yet to have any cemented motives, the reactions to this move could be used to label them as unfair thieves. If there’s a mass migration away from Adblock Plus, what will the repercussions be?
Taken at face value, this is a company, at the expense of its user base, reversing its business plan to enter an industry with heavily established players (featuring the biggest company in the world) who are already looking to reform their advertisements. Tracker removal seems to be a major point for Eyeo, but as of now, they’ve made no statements about this network being able to stop malware intrusion. Malvertising has plagued both Google and Yahoo’s networks, and we’re skeptical to believe the Acceptable Ads program has the answers. The vetting process for these ads would need to be stringent on a level that would require significant resources to monitor were the platform to take off. This is irrelevant though, as advertisers would never sacrifice the clear advantages they have to join this network.
Of course, what this comes down to is the ramifications on a debate that’s still in its infancy. Is the change on the internet that we’re fighting for just about trackers and clickbait? Has it not evolved to villainy on the internet in general? Why are ad blockers now offering additional privacy and security services?
You can block ads, trackers, and more on your Android device by using AdClear, available for free from our website. We also recently released the AdClear Lite extension for Safari and Samsung Browser.