When Adblock blocks your entire blog…

If you’ve visited the BlockAdblock.com blog with an adblocker on recently, you’ve probably seen something that looks like the web circa 1989.
Here’s what it should look like on a normal day without Adblock Plus:  (If you’re not seeing any images… you’re using AdBlock Plus. See the problem?)

Our blog, without AdBlock Plus
Our blog, without AdBlock Plus

And here’s what Adblock Plus does to the BlockAdblock.com blog with it’s default installation:  (No images. No layout. Hideous.)
DId you really have to block everything, Adblock?
Did you really have to block everything, Adblock?

This is a perfect example of why sites need BlockAdblock.com. Adblock Plus can render a site nearly illegible — removing necessary images, charts and graphs along the way.
I’m sure someone will rush to the defense of Adblock and say that this is just the result of ‘domain-level blocking’.  And that’s true. That’s exactly what this is.  But why use domain blocking? That accomplishes absolutely nothing other than making the blog less readable.  Or was that the point?
One must note:

  • We don’t have any ads on this site.
  • Nor do we serve ads to other websites.
  • Nor do we even serve our anti-adblock script from this site to other sites.

In other words,  blocking absolutely everything on BlockAdblock.com’s blog accomplishes nothing other than just making it look like crap. 
An act of malice? You decide.

“But, Filter Lists…”

Now of course, some of you are have already told me that AdBlock Plus doesn’t actually decide which sites to block anyway.  It’s the “filter list operators” that make those decisions.  AdBlock Plus on it’s own is just a platform.  It’s the actual “third-party” lists of domains that do all the dirty work.  (I remember when Pirate Bay said something similar, but that’s another conversation).  In this particular case, the #1 list “EasyList” is the culprit. Ok, fine.
Screen Shot 2016-01-04 at 5.15.04 AM
But how separate are Adblock Plus and EasyList?
When you install Adblock Plus, the first thing AdBlock Plus does is recommend EasyList.
Screen Shot 2016-01-04 at 4.23.51 AM
And when it’s time to get EasyList, you’ll note it resides on (you guessed it) Adblock Plus servers.

Note the URL
Note the URL

…and when you get to the EasyList website, they note that Adblock Plus developer Wladimir Palant even helped make the EasyList website.
If someone is attempting to make the case that Adblock Plus and EasyList are wholly separate entities, they’re going to need to try a lot harder. As far as I can tell, they’re two sides of the same coin.
So back to today’s kerfluffle:  The BlockAdblock blog looks like absolute crap now, that is — if you have AdBlock Plus installed in it’s recommended state.  If you want to actually see anything that looks like a website from the past two decades you’ll need to disable Adblock Plus.
You may be wondering why we don’t just use our anti-adblock technology to stop Adblock users from reading the blog altogether.  [UPDATE: We did just that].   But here on the blog we were hoping not to.  Now Adblock is essentially forcing our hand. It’s either have a blog with no images (not easy) or block adblockers.  So it looks like we’re going to have to block Adblock here as well. The blog is a place for articles, conversations and opinions about ad blocking that we share with both Adblock users and those who abstain. Perhaps our frank discussion of Adblock Plus led a certain entity to make this blog as jumbled and utterly unattractive as possible?
Certainly seems to make sense.

13 Replies to “When Adblock blocks your entire blog…”

  1. Is blocking all your graphics the same as “defacing” your site? Hmm… interesting legal question. Certainly they would seem to have a motive.

      1. What is needed it a more accurate solution that does not block graphics other than ads. A server based solution that blocks known ad domains will work just as well, and something I have been testing on my own server, and this site is proof that it works, since I can block ads at the server level, but all the graphics on this site still load. Best of all, the anti-adblock script here does not pick it up.
        In short corporations that already have filtering solutions in place, may already have an ad blocking category that would be way better than AdBlock, since its blocks domains, and does wholesale block graphics, based on dimension size.
        Server level blocking is better, because all devices on the network are blocked, without any need to install and maintain adblockers on every device on the network, in addition to the fact that most anti-adblocker scripts do not yet detect router level ad blocking. The only ones I have found, so far, that detect server/router level ad blocking are Hulu and Forbes.
        The reason people are blocking ads is because ads can bring in malware. Now, video ads, like on YouTube and Hulu, will not bring in malware. They can be annoying, but you will not get malware from them.
        The ads I block are banner and flash ads, where malware does come in.

    1. Would love to see ad blocker sued for defacing websites. It seems as if it is like malware, but you need to pay a fee for your free content to be seen. Hijacking Flickr images and a scrolling carousel on a website with no ads seems crazy.

      1. Good luck with that. If anyone could be sued, several filtering providers for corporate networks would have been sued years ago, since they have had web ads in the categories of content to be blocked.,
        Of course, these vendors are not in the United States, so they are not subject to American laws. When SuperScout was around, they were based in Britain, where American laws do not apply.

  2. Yeah, I wouldn’t be surprised if they went out of their way to shut you down. This isn’t just another site, as far as they’re concerned. It’s the blog attached to the only defense system that actually works in my experience.
    Keep on fighting the good fight. This script has already saved me thousands of dollars in the past couple months.
    The fact that it’s free, and you folks update it regularly is just amazing in this era of premium everything.

    1. @brycemccalles:disqus how much of your traffic run adblockers? (As in about what percentage of your total users are running adblockers). Also what’s your site niche and general demographic? I’m just trying to get a feel for how expansive Adblockers are becoming.
      I think it’s abhorring that they’d stop images and CSS from loading on blogs – even though the site doesn’t even have Ads on it.
      My main concern is that Adblockers are in actuality Content Blockers.

      1. Anti-adblockers are even bigger content blockers because when I get a stupid fucking ass message like on Forbes.com or Wired.com etc. I just close the fucking tab and move on. Doesn’t take a genius to figure out that is blocking 100% of content.

    2. I am a web developer with websites. I use adblocker on my machines because… have you been to amazon.com without it on??????? OMFG it is super slow with shit blinking all over etc.
      I run ad blocker because I do lots of reading and research and it really pisses me off when the entire fucking page fucking shifts around to throw a fucking ad in the middle of the article I was just reading, one that is a fucking auto playing video with loud ass sound at that.
      I run ad blocker because I hate when some shitty sound starts playing in the background.
      I run ad blocker because I do not like advertisements popping up in div containers while I trying to read.
      If websites did not have such shitty fucking ads, then I would not use adblockers. What is so hard about having simple image or text ads? As a web developer the first fucking things we learned about best practices was not to have auto playing video, sound, flashing text or graphics or other animated annoying as fuck shit, why the fuck is that magically acceptable today?

  3. actually, anti-adblock scripts can be defeated with server level blocking, which is superior to Adblock. I have found that server level ad blocking still lets the page load, but the graphics still load.
    Router level ad blocking is going to be the next level

  4. It turns out that some brands of parental control software, that include ad blocking, cannot be detected by BlockAdBlock. I am on here right now with parental control software installed, with the web advertisements category enabled, and I can still get on here.
    At least Blue Coat’s parental control software will not screw up the graphics, like AdBlock will, as well as being undetectable by BlockAdBlock, and probably other anti-ablock scripts as well, As the saying goes, your mileage will vary.
    If you want effective, undetectable ad blocking, that will not render sites unusable, Blue Coat’s products are the way to go.

  5. I’m pretty sure that it was a mistake, as a result from blocking some other adblocker-blocker. Perhaps this one: https://github.com/sitexw/BlockAdBlock, which uses “blockadblock” as part of the url for the blocker.
    If you would have tried contacting them, instead of jumping to conclusions, they could probably fix the bug quickly.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *