Ad blockers circumvent Facebook's unblockable ads

Well, that didn't take long.

Let the whack-a-mole game begin. A mere two days after Facebook blocked ad blocking software, the ad blockers have managed to block Facebook’s ad blocker-blocker.

Thursday morning, Adblock Plus announced that a new filter for banning Facebook’s ads has been added to the main EasyList filter list used by the extension. Here’s how to force Adblock Plus’s filter list to update if you want in on the adblocking action.

But you might not rush to do so. Adblock Plus’s blog post warns that the new filter hasn’t been heavily tested and may block additional content. An initial response sent out by Facebook suggests it may indeed be doing so.

“We’re disappointed that ad blocking companies are punishing people on Facebook as these new attempts don’t just block ads but also posts from friends and Pages,” a spokesperson told AdAge. “This isn’t a good experience for people and we plan to address the issue. Ad blockers are a blunt instrument, which is why we’ve instead focused on building tools like ad preferences to put control in people’s hands.”

“Punishing people” seems like a bit much, but that last line refers to enhanced ad preference tools Facebook rolled out alongside its adblocker-blocking technology.

If you see an ad in your Facebook News Feed, click the drop-down arrow on the top left of the ad, and then choose “Manage your ad preferences.” There, you’ll be able to see which topics Facebook thinks you’re into, and advertises against. Deleting them all should eliminate hyper-targeted ads—though not all ads, and Facebook will repopulate the list over time. Blocking ads via ad blockers isn’t possible in Facebook’s mobile apps, only in-browser.

facebook ads

Facebook ad examples.

If the new filter is indeed blocking normal posts and pages, the issue lies with Facebook, Adblock Plus communications manager Ben Williams told CNET. “If they are classifying ads as normal content it would appear they have an issue on their end.”

Adblock Plus isn’t the only adblocker software investigating Facebook’s new stance. When reached for comment, uBlock Origin founder Raymond Hill pointed out that an issue had already been opened about Facebook’s adblocker-blocking. Since then, uBlock Origin has also added a new filter that eliminates Facebook ads.

The story behind the story: Adblocking is a contentious issue. Some publishers liken it to stealing, while users activate adblockers for a number of reasons, ranging from privacy and security concerns to flat-out disliking ads. Ironically, most of those concerns don’t apply to Facebook, as pseudonymous Twitter account SwiftOnSecurity pointed out in an astute tweet:

Earlier this year, Facebook expanded its in-house ad network reach beyond Facebook and onto other websites. Even if you don’t have a Facebook account, the social giant will track you using cookies in order to serve you targeted ads as you traverse the World Wide Web—unless you use software (like uBlock Origin, Adblock Plus, or the EFF’s Privacy Badger) that hides your activity from advertisers.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Blog Posts

Using artificial intelligence to surprise your customers

​We have expected artificial intelligence (AI) will become part of our everyday lives for quite some time.

Katja Forbes

Founder and chief, sfyte

Is customer segmentation dead?

Ginni Rometty, the CEO of IBM, announced the death of customer segmentation five years ago saying, "The shift is to go from the segment to the individual. She might have been a bit premature for most marketers, but if customer segmentation isn't dead yet, it's definitely on life support.

Richard Taylor

Senior digital strategist, Spinach

How people buy brands

Andrew Ehrenberg was a giant in the field of marketing science. He believed scientific methods could reveal law-like patterns of how people buy. In this post, I summarise one of Ehrenberg’s most important discoveries and its implications on how people buy brands.

Kyle Ross

Strategist, TRP

What a great article. Thanks for sharing. Today Digital Marketing is the basic need for a business to survive. As online presence is very...

Ecomsolver Private Limited

Want to master digital transformation? Stop thinking about your own problems

Read more

Feeling grateful that customer led digital transformation could improve business and generate more business growth. Many companies are no...

Lilly Lawrence

How a customer-led digital transformation has helped this CMO generate $6m in incremental business

Read more

If a business games me happy than there is a higher chance I will go to them.

Martinez

The Iconic: becoming customer-focussed transformed our business

Read more

That’s a great example of surprising AR ad that went viral because it was first of its kind. Probably a similar effect to some scale can ...

Natasha Kvitka

Using artificial intelligence to surprise your customers

Read more

Hey there! it is a really meaningful post. I too have written a few similar articles about SEM, SEO, Social Media, Digital Marketing Tren...

Rohit

Digital advertising continues to dominate marketing budgets

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in