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
cmo-xs-promo

Latest Videos

More Videos

Undoubtedly, Robotic Process Automation enables marketing teams to accomplish repetitive tasks with fewer resources at a great accuracy.

Raj

What marketers need to know about robotic process automation

Read more

who wants to date me I am 9 years old and i am a boy

Jeremy Hawkins

Sink a sub gaming experience signals Subway's renewed brand push

Read more

Great read. I agree that it should be a perfect balance between interacting with your customers and knowing your brand. As a business, yo...

Caroline Scott

7 ways CMOs can improve their customer engagement game

Read more

Very true. Team development helps improve collaboration among the team members. I was able to improve my team's collaboration skills by t...

Quent Sinder

Why empowering others can help make you a great leader

Read more

CRM is a very good software that can help you succeed in your business. In my company, this system has allowed me to improve customer rel...

Anna Janicka

Sensis rebrands to Thryv and brings business software to Australian SMBs

Read more

Blog Posts

Unboxing 101 - How savvy influencer engagement can build a brand

The humble unboxing video is a powerful tool. Correctly executed, it harnesses consumer fandom, viral authenticity and brand design magic to deliver a high-impact message to a tightly targeted cohort of consumers.

Gali Arnon

Chief marketing officer, Fiverr

​Power to the people

Purpose is the ultimate statement of intent for many organisations. Why are we here? What are we trying to achieve?

Rich Curtis

CEO, FutureBrand A/NZ

The playbook to develop strategic brand moats

Warren Buffet is an unlikely ally for marketers. But his belief businesses need strategic moats that increase their value in the market while acting as barriers to competitors can offer marketers a new playbook for brand building and driving growth.

Fabian Di Marco

Founder and managing director, Tzu & Co

Sign in