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    Facebook Plays Cat and Mouse Games With Ad Blockers at Users’ Expense

    © AFP 2018 / KAREN BLEIER /FILES
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    Despite Facebook’s decision to start circumventing ad blockers on its website, a top ad blocking software manufacturer remains confident that it’s just a matter of time before a workaround will be developed.

    Facebook has recently announced that the company intends to start circumventing ad blocking software on its desktop website, claiming that the decision was motivated by the fact that ads are an integral part of the social network and the experience it provides.

    Ben Williams, a representative of Eyeo GmbH – the company that created one of the most popular ad blocking tools in existence, Adblock Plus – told Sputnik that even if Facebook manages to find a workaround that would allow ads to bypass ad blockers, a solution to this problem would be found pretty quickly.

    "The thing about ad blocking is that it is supported by a huge online community, and that community contributes to the code and functionality of ad blockers. So because of that we have a lot of people who, while they don’t work with us at Adblock Plus, work for the general cause of ad blocking – and I would say work for the general cause of user rights online. So even though we’re a very, very small company in Germany, we have a lot of people who are interested in finding a solution," Williams said.

    He also agreed that these attempts by Facebook to circumvent ad blockers is merely another iteration of a ‘cat and mouse game’ that’s being going on for quite a while between advertisers and ad blocking software manufacturers.

    "We've been in the ad blocking business for 10 years, and for 10 years we’ve faced people who have tried to circumvent ad blockers. When they circumvent ad blockers, then this big community I was just referring to, they find a workaround for the circumvention, and sometimes the circumvention side then tries to find another circumvention, and then another workaround, and so on, and so forth. The thing I can tell you about this cat and mouse game is that it’s just not good for users. There's no reason that users should put up with it, and there’s no reason why users shouldn’t be able to block ads if they want to," he said.

    Williams also said that due to the unique nature of Facebook, other websites are unlikely to follow its example, and that websites that tried to prevent ad blockers from filtering their content caused their readership to decline rapidly.

    "I hope, and I’m confident, that we'll be able to have a solution very soon. And once that’s up, I hope they decide to abandon this cat and mouse game and just let the users, you know, have their way," he concluded.

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    website, workaround, block, advertising, software, Facebook, Eyeo GmbH, Facebook
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