A few days ago, users on Hacker News and Reddit started complaining about video delays on YouTube on Mozilla’s Firefox for those who use ad blockers to get rid of inundated ads on the platform. YouTue has been vocal about the recent development stating that this isn’t a browser-side issue but rather YouTube’s attempt to thwart ad blocker users as ads are ‘lifeline for content creators’.
People started to see a five-second delay in watching YouTube videos on Firefox. However, it was later discovered that the delay has been introduced across Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge as well for users attempting to skip ads using ad blockers such as AdBlock or uBlock Origin. Christopher Lawton, YouTube Communications Manager, said in an email that disabling ad blockers from the browser will resolve the issue quickly, however, it might need the browser to be refreshed.
YouTube has been attempting to thwart adblockers from its system using various methods including prompting users to either subscribe to YouTube Premium at $13,99/mo or watch ads. For anyone willing to skip ads using countless ad blockers available, YouTube started testing out a prompt warning users to deactivate their ad blockers or they will be disabled from watching YouTube videos temporarily.
Although anti-ad blocking measures are limited to a subset of users at the moment, they will be rolled out across the platform to thwart ad blockers. Additionally, Lawton says that users will keep seeing these issues (delays in video playback or prompts warning to disable ad blocker) as YouTube’s ad blocker detection methods get better.
Google is undergoing drastic changes in terms and one of the major blows will be to popular ad-blocking extensions such as uBlock Origin.