back to article Mozilla says Firefox won't defang ad blockers – unlike a certain ad-giant browser

On Tuesday, Mozilla said it is not planning to change the ad-and-content blocking capabilities of Firefox to match what Google is doing in Chrome. Google's plan to revise its browser extension APIs, known as Manifest v3, follows from the web giant's recognition that many of its products and services can be abused by …

  1. Yes Me Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Don't be evil

    "Mozilla said it is not planning to change the ad-and-content blocking capabilities of Firefox"

    I should f***ing hope not.

    1. Antron Argaiv Silver badge

      Re: Don't be evil

      AdBlock Plus and NoScript are my friends. Hands off!

      1. HmYiss

        Re: Don't be evil

        ABP is not your friend and hasn't been for some time.

        1. deadlockvictim Silver badge

          ABP Evil?

          Since when?

          A short Internet search didn't reveal very much to back this up.

          Were you thinking of Ghostery perhaps?

          Would you post a link please? Thanks.

          1. Jamesit

            Re: ABP Evil?

            ABP lets people pay to bypass ad blocking.

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adblock_Plus#Controversy_over_ad_filtering_and_ad_whitelisting

            1. deadlockvictim Silver badge

              Re: ABP Evil?

              Thanks for this. It's such a pity. I've grown used to ABP.

              1. Paratrooping Parrot

                Re: ABP Evil?

                Use uBlock Origin instead.

            2. Tom 7 Silver badge

              Re: ABP Evil?

              Never seen an add using it though,

              1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

                Re: ABP Evil?

                It would take an unusually stupid advertiser, even by the standards of advertisers, to pay to have an advert forced on someone who's made clear they don't want adverts.

            3. T. F. M. Reader Silver badge

              Re: ABP Evil?

              @Jamesit ABP lets people pay to bypass ad blocking.

              You can disable the bypass - it is a simple checkbox. Look for "Allow Acceptable Ads" in settings.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                FAIL

                Re: ABP Evil?

                Its the principle of the thing.

                Would you rent a hotel room that had cameras in the room, bathroom and shower that sold videos to porn sites and similar, so long as you could check a box saying "disable cameras" when you make a reservation?

                1. eurotrash

                  Re: ABP Evil?

                  Except that when you surf the web, you are choosing to stay in a peep show, not a hotel. Selling naked videos of you is their business model. So it's nice of them to let you opt out.

                  That said, if you use uBlock Origin on Firefox and watch no TV, you can live ad-free. When I do see ads, they seem... extra peculiar.

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: ABP Evil?

                    Which is why I quit using uBlock Origin the moment I learned ABP was taking bribes to let some ads through. Having an off switch for detestable behavior doesn't make it right. What's the point of an ad blocker that doesn't block ads?

                    1. Updraft102

                      Re: ABP Evil?

                      Which is why I quit using uBlock Origin the moment I learned ABP was taking bribes to let some ads through.

                      I'm thinking you meant that you quit using ABP and switched to uBlock Origin at that moment, ja?

                      I switched at around that time too, many years ago (right after the checkbox appeared for the first time). When I found out that uBlock is also a lot easier on RAM and CPU than ABP, that just cemented the decision.

                    2. sabroni Silver badge

                      Re: What's the point of an ad blocker that doesn't block ads?

                      Its developers can afford to eat?

  2. Unicornpiss Silver badge
    Alert

    Ads

    I go to great pains to not be bothered by ads. I will spend 15 minutes figuring out how to permanently block a 5-second ad. On some of the more militant ad-delivering sites that cannot be blocked or worked around, I will find a different site. And I will intentionally not purchase anything aggressively and annoyingly marketed, even if it's something I had my eye on--I will go to a competitor.

    If everyone would refuse to be annoyed by ads, hopefully it would send a message to the bottom-feeding purveyors of annoying ads when the products being advertised experience an actual drop in sales as a result of aggressive marketing.

    1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Ads

      What is just as bad (if not worse) is that on the same page, you can see an advert for a UK service AND Also non blocable inline ads for things that are priced in US Dollars and that would only interest people in Trumpland.

      Doh!

    2. lglethal Silver badge
      Go

      Re: Ads

      It's a lovely idea, but it really wouldnt have any effect. There's a great quote attributed to John Wanamaker "Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don't know which half."

      When a product starts selling amazingly, marketing are the first to say its because of us, but they have no idea if thats actually true.

      If a product starts performing badly, the seller would have no idea why, and marketing would be the first to say its because they're not spending enough on advertising - "We need more ads!".

      The only way the info would get through is through talking to customers/people put off buying their products, but a) the people asking the question are in marketing, so are hardly going to admit that advertising is causing the loss of sales (it might reduce their budget!), and b) it would require people like you answering questions from the company or contacting them in some way to tell them this info, and frankly, if you're so annoyed you wont buy their product, I doubt you'll go to the effort of trying to help them understand your decision...

      1. T. F. M. Reader Silver badge

        Re: Ads

        @Iglethal: There's a great quote attributed to John Wanamaker "Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don't know which half."

        So by blocking ads you help advertisers - you are not interested in seeing their ads in the first place, and ad blockers ensure that you will not click on ads that you don't see, and advertisers pay for clickthroughs, right? Advertisers don't want to pay for the ads shown to you - that would be money wasted.

        So, advertisers should support ad blockers. It's those who host ads and ad brokers - the Googles and the Facebooks - who hate ad blockers because they reduce the probability they would get paid.

        1. lglethal Silver badge
          Go

          Re: Ads

          Umm I wasnt arguing against Adblockers, I'm a big fan of them myself. i was merely pointing out unicornpiss's actions of boycotting a company who's ads he finds annoying wont have any effect.

          And No, Advertisers WANT to show you Ads. They want their Product in front of your eyeballs. They may not like the Google/Facebook duopoly, but thats what they want, you seeing their Product, even for just 5 seconds. Why do you think companies pay a fortune for product placement in films? There's no specific ad in the film, but you see the Product, you become aware of it, and maybe then next time you think, oh I could use a new product, maybe i should get the Product that was in that film. Job done.

          So No, its not just google/facebook who want to serve you ads, the advertisers do. Google and facebook probably are not that worried if you look at the ads or not. Just so long as they get paid, but these days they have to show that a person actually looked at the ad to get paid. Hence why they fight ad blockers so much...

          1. Neoc

            Re: Ads

            Actually, not quite.

            The people who make the product would be quite happy not to have to display their adverts to people who want to block them. After all, this means less money spent on advertising to people who could not care less.

            The *advertisers* (i.e., the people who make money from showing you adverts), on the other hand, want to show the adverts to all and sundry so they can put out their hand and say "we've shown your product to X amount of people - pay up" (I'm looking at you Alphabet).

          2. SloppyJesse

            Re: Ads

            "There's no specific ad in the film, but you see the Product, you become aware of it, and maybe then next time you think, oh I could use a new product, maybe i should get the Product that was in that film. Job done."

            That's why I've never bought an Apple laptop - I'm not a spy, drug dealer, criminal mastermind...

    3. JohnFen Silver badge

      Re: Ads

      I'm not actually bothered by ads as such. I'm bothered by the spying that comes with them -- so I block that to the best of my ability. That doing so also blocks the ads themselves is a problem the ad companies brought on themselves. I have exactly zero sympathy for them.

    4. skalamanga

      Re: Ads

      Same here. My advice to all the vendors out there is, I may buy you products and/or services. I will seek them out if I am interested in them. If I see ads from you however, this will guarantee that I will not.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ad blocker

    I have an ad blocker on iOS. I recently reloaded it, and forgot add back the ad blocker. I quickly noticed the problem...the web was unusable. It was unbelievable how much garbage was trying to be loaded...

    Content creators are morons... they literally ruin their own websites.

    After reinstalling the ad blocker, I still see ads but the web is useable again.

    I don’t mind ad supported content, but it has to be reasonable...

    1. VikiAi
      Flame

      Re: Ad blocker

      The number of online stores that have lost my ongoing business because their web 'designers' have rendered their site completely unusable for its actual purpose (finding what I actually want to buy) has now overflowed a 32-bit register.

    2. dwodmots

      Re: Ad blocker

      I can't surf the web without an ad blocker anymore. The amount of thinking required to figure out which one of the seven "Download" buttons is the real one is just not worth it.

  4. James Ashton

    Google stops paying Mozilla in 3, 2, 1, ....

    It's going to be very tempting for Google to try to kill off Firefox. At some point they'll decide that the search referrals they're paying for from the <5% browsing share Firefox has is worth less than the advertising losses due to ad blockers. The interesting thing will be to see whether Google's API changes dent the usage of Chrome due to its ad blocking becoming less effective. Ad blocker usage is well over 10% according to some stats and I'm sure Mozilla would love to grab some of those people if they abandon Chrome.

    1. deadlockvictim Silver badge

      Re: Google stops paying Mozilla in 3, 2, 1, ....

      Mozilla may be a nuisance, but it is a minor one. Mozilla is far more useful when it comes to accusations of monopoly and abuse.

  5. AMBxx Silver badge
    Unhappy

    Firefox developers see wide open goal

    And miss (again)

    With MS in such a mess with browsers, Google doing their evil stuff and Safari being awful, why aren't Firefox at 90%?

    1. pavel.petrman

      Re: Firefox developers see wide open goal

      Because 30% of people are more or less dim witted, 50% can't be bothered, 10% are active Duning-Krugers and 5% are fans of Google no matter what.

      1. RegGuy1 Silver badge

        Because 30% of people are more or less dim witted

        It's 52% in the UK.

        (Although admittedly 1m of them are now dead.)

        1. Chris Parsons Bronze badge

          Re: Because 30% of people are more or less dim witted

          You deserve more votes.

    2. RyokuMas Silver badge
      Stop

      Re: Firefox developers see wide open goal

      Because Firefox can't slap a huge link over their search index/results pages saying "Hey, upgrade your browser!"

      So long as Google continue to hold dominance over web search, they can effectively push any other product they want. And since "Google it" has become common parlance for the action of searching the web in general, I don't see that changing any time soon...

    3. hypnos

      Re: Firefox developers see wide open goal

      Anyway, I don't think that all of the 5% of Firefox users is actively blocking ads. More of a nuisance for add pedlers who are losing penies from us fanatics than for Google.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Firefox developers see wide open goal

        "More of a nuisance for add pedlers who are losing penies from us fanatics than for Google."

        Google is the main ad-pedlar.

    4. Andytug

      Re: Firefox developers see wide open goal

      Same reason as why for years many users thought the "e" on their desktop was the Internet.....

  6. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  7. G R Goslin

    Ad Blocker?

    I thought that Firefox had dissallowed the Adblock plus addon? It was the reason that I moved my browser option to Waterfox, which still has the option.

    1. JohnFen Silver badge

      Re: Ad Blocker?

      Adblock Plus is available for the new Firefox, although I don't recommend using it. There are much better options.

  8. Neoc

    ...Google maintains, "We are not preventing the development of ad blockers or stopping users from blocking ads," ...

    Yup. In the same way that TV Networks who want to get rid of a show don't simply cancel it outright. They stick it in an unpopular timeslot (say, Thursday 10pm) then wait for the ratings to drop so they have an excuse to not renew it.

  9. Updraft102

    Mark the day on your calendar!

    Mozilla is announcing they are not going to follow suit and copy something Google did with Chrome?

    Wow. Let us hope this becomes a habit.

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