AdBlock Plus has reacted to the news that Facebook is to prevent ad blocking software from working on the desktop version of its social media site by labelling Facebook as ‘anti-user.’
We already published a story here this week about Facebook’s intentions to prevent adblockers from working on PCs and laptops while not currently implementing such a move on its mobile apps, but now the communications and operations manager of the company that creates AdBlock Plus has weighed into the argument in a blog post.
Calling the anti-AdBlock policy being implemented by Facebook an ‘unfortunate move, because it takes a dark path against user choice,’ Ben Williams also said there was no need for users of adblockers to overreact. “Cat-and-mouse games in tech have been around as long as spammers have tried to circumvent spam filters.”
Quoting the Facebook blog post announcing the social media giant’s intention to bypass adblockers, Williams makes a very salient point:
“… you kind of have to wonder about the thinking that went into this decision. I mean, let’s also not forget something their blog post said: “When we asked people about why they used ad blocking software, the primary reason we heard was to stop annoying, disruptive ads.” So if that’s true, Facebook apparently agrees that users have a good reason for using ad-blocking software … but yet those users shouldn’t be given the power to decide what they want to block themselves?”
Facebook had originally publicly admitted that they were becoming more concerned by the use of adblockers on their site back in January when they listed their effect on potential revenue in a US tax filing.
More recently, big spend advertising companies are beginning to ask questions about blanket ad coverage on Facebook, with Proctor and Gamble telling the Wall Street Journal that it was cutting down on targeted Facebook ads.
Ben Williams, however, has seen the direct action of Facebook as something of a self created Trojan horse: Mark Zuckerberg’s dorm room created digital age leviathan:
“If nothing else, all this attention from Facebook shows that ad blocking has finally made the big time. We’re ready for our close up …”
Time will tell.