back to article AdBlock replaced blocked ads with ads for Amnesty International

AdBlock has replaced blocked ads with ads it wants you to see. The advertising-blocking company on Saturday continued to block ads but replaced them with “banners linked to articles written for Amnesty International by prominent privacy and free speech advocates like Edward Snowden, Ai Wei Wei, and others, instead of the …

  1. PleebSmasher

    Adblock CEO!

    Adblock functionality is not difficult to replicate. Just grab some alternate version if you're disappointed with whitelists, politics, resource use, or permissions.

    1. TheVogon

      Re: Adblock CEO!

      "Adblock functionality is not difficult to replicate"

      It's native to Internet Explorer. Just install the Adblock "Tracking Protection List".

      1. Avatar of They

        Re: Adblock CEO!

        Erm, I see what you did there.

        In Internet Explorer you install "Tracking protection List." in Windows 10 isn't that an oxymoron, or were you being sarcastic?

        An OS designed tor tracking and reporting back to MS at the basic OS level - to have inbuilt options to cut out ads in an area called "tracking protection."?

        Or have I completely misread this post?

        1. TheVogon

          Re: Adblock CEO!

          " in Windows 10 isn't that an oxymoron, or were you being sarcastic?"

          Tracking Protection Lists (aka advert blocking) works just fine on IE in Windows 10, but not on the Edge browser, which is rather annoying as Edge is the one of the fastest Windows browser options.

          Allegedly this is going to be fixed very soon with the ability to use extensions in the Edge browser.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Adblock functionality is not difficult to replicate

      The program is also free to use, so it's kinda hard to complain that your free software isn't doing what you've not paid it to do.

      (too many double negatives??)

      1. d3vy

        Re: Adblock functionality is not difficult to replicate

        "The program is also free to use, so it's kinda hard to complain that your free software isn't doing what you've not paid it to do."

        Its funny - Ive had issues with linux in the past and thats been the attitude I have encountered when seeking help.. ;)

    3. John Sanders

      Re: Adblock CEO!


      Two words: "uBlock Origin"

  2. oldtaku

    Ditch it! Use a better alternative.

    I switched to uBlock Origin because ABP was getting too big and too shady (block ads then turn around and demand money from sites to show the ads anyhow). As a bonus, it's also much less of a pig.

    There's also uBlock (no Origin) and there's some fork drama there, but I don't really care, either is better than ABP now. I think uBO gets more and better updates though.

    1. AndrueC Silver badge

      Re: Ditch it! Use a better alternative.

      There's also uBlock (no Origin) and there's some fork drama there


      1. oneeye

        Re: Ditch it! Use a better alternative.

        No,NOT splitters! The developer of ublock origin is also the developer of the first ublock. But developed ublock in a partnership and left that project over a disagreement of moving forward. And so, developed ublock origin to keep it inline with the original intent. FREEWARE open source. He wrote about this on the GitHub page if it's still there.

    2. PleebSmasher

      Re: Ditch it! Use a better alternative.

      uMatrix is the best.

  3. Mark 85 Silver badge

    So we use Adblock and they decide serve us stuff that is dear to them. What's next? Political ads because they support the issue/candidate?????

    1. Fungus Bob

      Re: they decide serve us stuff that is dear to them

      Should oughta rename it AdSwap.

    2. TheVogon

      "What's next? Political ads because they support the issue/candidate?????"

      Surely Amnesty International is effectively a political advert? The Israelis at least dispute many of their claims, and conversely at least 2 Amnesty international annual reports name Israel as a terrorist state...

      1. Ian 55

        The Israelis at least dispute many of their claims

        Mandy Rice-Davies applies.

  4. gobaskof Silver badge

    Well in the strategy.

    1. Build add blocker

    2. Get add blocker onto computers to block ads

    3. ???

    4. Profit

    We finally learned what '???' is: Serve only ads that pay them or which they really like.

    1. JeffyPoooh

      "add blocker"

      You're being very negative.

  5. Captain DaFt

    Which AdBlock is this?

    Could be a little clearer... After all there's AdBlock, which nobody I know uses anymore, because shenanigans, and AdBlock+, with the opt out whitelist.

    The article says AdBlock, and a quick Duck shows that's the one swapping ads, not AdBlock+.

    But still, confusing.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Re: Which AdBlock is this?

      So they said it was Adblock and you did a search and showed it was Adblock and not Adblock+.

      So your complaining the article was correct?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Which AdBlock is this?

      Judean People's Front of Judea

      1. Bloakey1

        Re: Which AdBlock is this?

        "Judean People's Front of Judea"


    3. stu 4

      Re: Which AdBlock is this?

      "After all there's AdBlock, which nobody I know uses anymore, because shenanigans, and AdBlock+, with the opt out whitelist"

      really ? Are you sure you checked your facts ? imho it's adblock+ that were the bunch of c&nts.

      Adblock has stayed pretty true to its purpose, and unlike adblock+ been open about what it does (i.e. supports non intrusive advertising, but you can turn it off, etc).

      Adblock+ managed to get some advertorial nonsense published rubbishing Ablock, but it's just bullshit.

      And there's the ones doing the shady deals to push ads out to you whether you want them or not.

      Adblock+ are imho the 'mackeeper' of the adblocking world - I wouldn't touch them with a shitty stick.

  6. Phil Kingston

    Bait and switch

    1. Ole Juul

      Or just wait and bitch.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    They don't get the point, do they?

    It's about absolute user control of what they see. Not about what material is suitable or not. They have made a serious error here, regardless of the worthiness of the propaganda they've chosen.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Disable ALL ads.


    Peace and harmony is restored.

  9. Gray
    Thumb Down


    Read about them screwing charging advertisers awhile back; switched over to AdBlock Edge as blocker of choice in Firefox. That's worked just fine ... so far. Seems to be no shortage of choices. So far ... so far so good ... keeping fingers crossed ... just sayin' ... there's a lot of pent-up money out there ... one day maybe comes a tsunami ... sixty-foot wall of ads!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Edge

      Edge is dead baby, Edge is dead.

  10. Bc1609

    Gambling their business model on inertia

    The success of the whitelist/gatekeeper/extortion model is dependent on having a large number of users to dangle before an advertiser, but the mere appearance of ads will drive users away. AdBlock therefore seem to be relying on a fair amount of inertia in their userbase that will prevent them from switching. This works for UK energy companies, but I'm not sure how well it will work for AdBlock. I just timed how long it took me to switch from AdBlock to uBlock Origin: 28 seconds, including filling out the AdBlock exit survey.

  11. Known Hero

    Wehey!!! 2 feet 1 bullet !!!

    Not only are you campaingning against censorship (kinda your business model), You do so Via censorship !!

    My irony meter just sploded !!!

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Personally, I just add the servers of intrusive ads to my hosts file or block them in my router, if the advertisers don't want to play nice then neither will I.

    I define intrusive ads as those that do any of the following, pop up, pop under, play sounds without being clicked on, play video without being clicked on, block me from seeing the screen until I click on them, react in any way to a mouse over event, ads that follow the fucking mouse around the screen until you click on them and a close second in the hatred stakes those that move to stay on the screen when you scroll the page

    This is by no means a definitive list and may be added to as advertisers get more 'inventive' with the crap they spew onto my PC.

    Non intrusive ads are not a problem, I even click on a few of them, after all these people are playing nice and it pays for the site.

    But for anyone who shoves their ads in my face, I will take whatever steps I feel necessary to get your ads out of my face and ensure you never do it again.

  13. RPF

    Really enjoying Brave browser (Bravery: Block ads)......

  14. Patrician

    I switched from Adblock+ to uBlock Origin as soon as Adblock+ "sold out"; I allow ads on the sites I want to support and who's ads are not intrusive. All others get blocked by default; one of the worst sites I know of, and visit, is www, Twelve of the most intrusive type of ads run as soon as the page opens, needless to say, it's not "white listed".

  15. Spleen

    Amnesty International are a notorious employer of chuggers and those other bastards that manipulate pensioners and vulnerable people into setting up Direct Debits, then ring them up at all hours begging for more money. They may have had noble intentions once but they are now just another national charitycorp like Oxfam - solicit donations, use donations to produce publicity begging for more donations, repeat.

    I haven't seen any of these ads but if I do I'll be looking for another adblocker.

  16. Starace

    Uninstalled it ages ago

    All this would be interesting if I hadn't binned ABP in favour of uBlock Origins when the former basically stopped working reliably with custom filters. It went from hiding elements one day to ignoring the filters the next for no particular reason.

    uBlock on the other hand worked flawlessly. And better.

    All the other shenanigans just makes a previous necessity look like a brilliant prescient choice.

    ABP is now a dead product as far as I'm concerned.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I've learned this...

    1. Ads keep the internet running. Blocking ads is like force-feeding kittens to puppies to make foie gras. Peta will soon be running an anti-ad-blocking campaign with the usual array of naked celebrities using their nakedness to tell me how wrong I am about everything.

    2. If I see an ad I'm bound to buy something. Not letting me see ads is like a fundamental abuse of my human rights.

    3. There are experts out there who know what I want and need far better than I do. These experts all work in marketing and it is selfish of me to not listen to their reasoned words. If I'm daft enough to accidentally run an ad-blocker, I expect a remote expert to sort it out for me and unblock what I need to see.

    4. I do not own my computer or anything on it. I do however, wholly own the debt associated with it, and, when the next version of Windows makes my computer obsolete, I entirely own the guilt of contributing to the planet's demise through landfill. The Spanish put it best: mi data es su telemetry.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I've learned this...

      "Blocking ads is like force-feeding kittens to puppies to make foie gras."

      You are too late. No need to bring PETA into it.. The pet food industry is already feeding kittens and puppies to kittens and puppies.

      Sorry to break it to you.

  18. Florida1920

    Ad blocking is required

    After 5 years of Android 2, updated to a v5 phone. My service limits me to 2.5 GB of 3G/4G data per month; after that I guess it defaults to dial-up speed. As everyone else knows, I can view my current bandwidth; after turning off Auto Update, the ad-permitting Chrome browser was still running up the bandwidth.

    Switched to the AdBlock browser and bandwidth plummeted! FFS, I think the ads on some pages were using more b/w than the content. AdBlock browser may not be the best solution for my non-rooted phone (Moto G 3rd gen on Virgin Mobile USA) but it kept me way below the limit over the first month I was tracking it. Plus I don't have to scroll through screens-full of ads to continue reading an article.

    My schedule requires reading on the phone via 4G, and I sure wouldn't look at as many news sites (including this one) if I couldn't screen out those potentially expensive (to me) and annoying ads. I know, I'm preaching to the choir, but maybe this message will land on the desk of some uninformed manager planning another onslaught of Flash ads or whatever. Aggravating users is not a good marketing strategy.

  19. monty75

    And I replaced Adblock with uBlock Origin. As much as I might support the objectives of Amnesty International I don't appreciate having my web pages manipulated in ways I didn't ask for.

  20. Graham Marsden

    Opt-in Mr CEO?

    No? Then sod off!

  21. Jim-234

    I suspect that replacing ads with other ads will quickly lead to many lawyers topping up their kids' college savings accounts.

    Blocking out things people don't want to see at their request is one thing, but once you start replacing them with other things that someone else paid you for that neither the website owner, nor the person browsing the website asked for, all your claims get a bit murky...

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