Adblock Plus and (a little) more

New Acceptable Ads Platform launches, will redefine RTB and help small websites · 2016-09-13 16:06 by Ben Williams

Acceptable Ads is a process, not a destination. We’ve been tinkering with it, trying to get it just right – so that, in my own words that you’re probably totally sick of hearing, we make a “compromise between users and advertisers.”

But all the surveys we’ve conducted and the user feedback we’ve compiled is not enough to move Acceptable Ads forward significantly. There are two key elements that we’ve been working on recently, and we think these will help take it to that next level: opening the policy of Acceptable Ads and improving the process of getting whitelisted through the Acceptable Ads initiative.

For the policy, we announced last year the formation of an independent committee that will take control of the Acceptable Ads initiative. This will make the whitelist more transparent and independent, thus making it scalable. And the committee is on scheduled to meet later this year.

But this blog post is about a massive improvement we’ve made on the whitelisting process. Starting today we’re launching the beta version of a fully functional ad-tech platform that will make whitelisting faster and easier. To do it, we teamed up with publisher platform-provider ComboTag to build what will be known as the Acceptable Ads Platform, an interactive platform that lets publishers and bloggers choose from a marketplace of pre-whitelisted ads that they can drag and drop onto their sites.

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The AAP will cut the whitelisting process from weeks to seconds, and all publishers have to do is implement a single line of code. If you’d like to read more about it, we put out a press release this morning detailing it.

But what will it bring going forward?

As I said at the outset, this is currently just in its beta phase, but despite that we already know what benefits it will bring. Looking ahead, the chief improvements the AAP will offer are its feedback mechanism, the way that mechanism will turn real-time bidding (RTB) on its head and how the AAP will be an especial boon to small blogs and medium-sized publishers.

Let’s unpack:

The AAP will offer a feedback mechanism embedded in each ad, which will let you say whether you thought that particular ad was great, good, bad or complete shit. This feedback will then figure into which ads get selected on a live auction.

This feedback mechanism, in turn, sets the stage for the second AAP benefit, making the real-time bidding process (RTB) better by making it more human RTB is the process by which ad inventory is bought and sold in real time on ad exchanges. It literally takes milliseconds for winners to be crowned on an auction, then appear on your page; which ads appear to you in particular is normally based upon a number of criteria, many of which are based upon tracking.

Not on ours.

Our platform will turn this model on its head, because instead of basing the auction winners on algorithms trying to figure out where you live, whether you like cool ranch or nacho cheese or where you just went on vacation, our system pick winners based on real feedback from real human beings, like you! No one does it this way, at least till now.

In fact, in recent years the ad-tech industry has exclaimed the merits of the “RTB Revolution,” but we feel this revolution hasn’t benefited users at all. Instead, it’s focused on publishers and advertisers. Our feedback mechanism will allow users to provide us with a per-ad feedback, in real time. Furthermore, it will allow us to examine, with the help of our user forum, each and every creative that is deemed problematic by one of our users. If users complain about it for whatever reason – it was ugly, it was intrusive, it was creepy – it gets punished on the auction. Ads that receive good reviews get rewarded by making them more likely to be chosen. Rad, eh?

And not only will the AAP help users – it will also help you, Small Blog Owners! This is the third benefit of the platform. While many of the larger networks and publishers interested in whitelisting should use our traditional method of whitelisting ads, if you are a medium-sized site – say a gaming site with a high ad-blocking rate or a tech site – you probably already go through a few layers of ad-tech companies (SSPs, DSPs, ad exchanges, data management platforms, etc.) to fill your sites with ads.

So you can continue to reach your users who do not block ads through those existing relationships, but now you can reach ad-blocking users by whitelisting ads in seconds. And the important thing to remember is that for any particular ad placement, ad-blocking users will see the Acceptable Ads-approved ad, while non-ad blockers will see whatever you served anyway – in the same spot.

Of course, none of this changes much of anything for users – but what we hope is that the new AAP will augment our previous whitelisting efforts by improving how we cater to a second, alternative web made up of ad-blocking users.

Comment [112]

  1. Rob Behr · 2016-09-13 17:48 · #

    Please remember, some of us remove ads because of reading disabilities. In particular, animated, flashing, and repeating motions ads can be a problem. So, technical options like “no animation,” “slightly greyed out,” and “text only” would be very helpful.

    Reply from Ben Williams:

    Hey Rob,
    Good point. The criteria do not allowed for ads like that:

  2. Chris · 2016-09-13 17:52 · #

    It’s like taking medicine for something, only to have that medicine not cure you of the advertised sickness.

    Reply from Ben Williams:

    If you want to take the pill that removes all the ads, you still can (and will always be able to):

    Opt out:

  3. Ebins · 2016-09-13 17:54 · #

    I have been using your software for a long time. Now thanks to this, I have uninstalled it forever and have installed another one. What you guys are doing is like selling condoms that guarantee “acceptable” pregnancies. No thanks.

    I’ve been browsing the internet ever since the WWW came into being (and was doing ftp and others before). Prior WWW, I was active in the BBS scene. I remember all advertisement from pop ups to pop unders, to all the rest. Simply put, I-do-not-want.

    You folks have lost me as a user forever. Good bye.

    Reply from Ben Williams:

    I’d ask you to reconsider.

    Just remember that …

    - Acceptable Ads is not new. It’s five years old, and we think it’s a better idea than blocking all the ads because it allows publishers to get back lost revenue.

    - You can turn it off if you disagree:

  4. Groc · 2016-09-13 17:59 · #

    Defeats the whole reason for installing ABP. Uninstalled!

    Reply from Ben Williams:

    Please reconsider, Groc.

    If you want to block all the ads, please just turn off Acceptable Ads and you’ll see zero ads. Easy as that. Here’s how:

  5. Jim · 2016-09-13 18:03 · #


    Adblock Plus is pushing ads.

    So, the program that is supposed to block ads is going to be showing ads.

    You need to change the name, it will now be a lie…and it will now be uninstalled.

    Reply from Ben Williams:

    Hey, I kinda already answered this one above. See here:

    I know I’m being lazy, Jim, sorry, but I can’t type the same thing one more time :)

  6. pete winchester · 2016-09-13 18:10 · #

    ABP is supposed to STOP ads not filter them. Thankfully there are now other programs and ABP like McAfee will soon be a thing of the past. Bottom line, your program works, why break it ? People will be un-installing in droves and the company will fail.

    Reply from Ben Williams:

    Hey Pete,
    Sorry we didn’t inform you well enough before, but we have been championing granular ad blocking by letting in ads that conform to our criteria for five years now.

    It’s better than complete ad blocking. We’re convinced compromise is better than war … but of course, any time you have a nuanced message in the days of instant news, it gets really confused.

    So, yeah, we think it works better for everyone involved to let some ads in, and we do our best to make sure those are nonintrusive. BUT, if you think that’s a terrible idea, you can turn off the feature and block all the ads:

  7. routehero · 2016-09-13 18:17 · #

    EyeO, the corporate entity behind Adblock Plus, has an employee with the Internet pseudonym of “MonztA” who maintains both the Acceptable Ads Whitelist and the Easylist blacklist [1]23.

    Now EyeO is in a position of ensuring you have no choice but to use their ad network if you maintain a site that monetizes traffic via ads.

    This is a colossal anti-competitive measure.

    Users who do not want to be pawns in this wholly unethical business practice should pursue other Adblock extensions like uBlock Origin.


    Reply from Ben Williams:

    Routehero, my hero! Thank you for coming back from the complete obscurity of our issue tracker and the Chromium issues page to the relative obscurity of our blog.

    Would’t want to keep you, so I’ll keep this short. I’m sure you’re busy keeping uBlock, AdBlock, ABP and every other type of ad-blocking user out of your employer’s website by erecting blockades and cashing in on it. Keep up the good work!

  8. Bill Farthing · 2016-09-13 18:21 · #

    Ads are not acceptable to me, even “non intrusive” ones, which is why I installed ABP. uBlock Origin is a great alternative for those that think ABP are a bunch of hypocrites.

    Reply from Ben Williams:

    Would you be one of those, Bill? ;)

    If so, let me make what we’re about very clear: – We do not think complete ad blocking is a good idea. We are totally behind granular blocking. Complete blocking is merely destructive. – That’s why we offer Acceptable Ads as an option. – BUT you can turn that off if you think it’s stupid and still want to block it all.

  9. Adam · 2016-09-13 18:25 · #

    “Of course, none of this changes much of anything for users…” except for the part where the users of an add-on called “Adblock” would now be seeing ads.

    I see from the press release that we will be able to turn this feature off, which of course I’ll be doing.

    Serious question: What kind of reaction did you imagine you’d get?

    Reply from Ben Williams:

    You’re just talking semantics, branding. I mean I do getcha … our mission is to make compromise between user and advertiser while leaving ultimate control to the user (you can turn this OFF!). So a better name would’ve been “Web Customizer” or similar. But you just don’t rename a product that’s existed that long. Ask Coca-Cola I get what you’re saying, but I think the semantics argument is shallow. Here’s a timeline for your interest:

    - Adblock Plus has been around for 10 years. – We started whitelisting ads that meet our criteria for better ads five years ago – Earlier this week we introduced this platform, which just automates the whitelisting process.

  10. Murphy · 2016-09-13 18:49 · #

    Hey devs — I know you’re going to get a lot of hate for this, but I wanted to show some cautious optimism. I use Adb+ to eliminate pop ups and other porny and/or dangerous nonsense some websites I visit like to throw up on my screen. It does suck though that for small websites I visit (who choose not to use flashy, loud, obnoxious advertising that bugs up my computer) don’t get supported when I visit their pages. I’m so down and supportive if helping out the little guy without screwing over the add-on user is the end game. If not, please don’t ruin the good thing you got going on T_T

    Reply from Ben Williams:

    Hey Murphy, thanks for the measured comment. The thing about this new platform, which has been misunderstood to a point I would never have thought possible, is that it’s just an automated way for sites to whitelist (they’ve been able to whitelist for some time).

    Since only the big guys pay, and the criteria are the same for everyone, Acceptable Ads should indeed be a no-brainer if you have a small site.

    What’s more, while our existing whitelisting procedure is time-consuming, it is a better fit for the big ones (for lots of reasons, but mainly because they use a lot of their own materials and don’t ned a platform). So guess who the platform helps? Small and medium-sized publishers who are big enough to go through a platform.

  11. Wild Horse Fantasy · 2016-09-13 18:56 · #

    So…. here is my question. My primary deal is I don’t want ads that SLOW the website. (Which means google ads are out! Ironic really.) Is THAT detail anywhere in this new process? I never gave a hoot if it had ads, only if they seriously impair functionality. Far too many (cough…google…cough) do. Animated ads as well as those with tracking also slow it.

    All I see is you mentioning ‘creepy or intrusive’. Where is ‘seriously slows down user seeing the site in this?

    Reply from Ben Williams:

    The criteria are here:

    As for getting rid of slower ads, a lot of that is solved by the fact that by nature, the ads allowed will be simpler and smaller. However, I’m not really sure how we’d be able to enforce something that has so many other variables (your connection speed, etc.) involved, ye know?

  12. Tinion Daye · 2016-09-13 19:19 · #

    I use Ad Blocker for several reasons. One is TO GET RID OF AD’s !!! I don’t want to see them!! I don’t need to find out about the latest gossip, I don’t need bigger privates, and I damm sure don’t need to go to any singles / porn site !!
    Listen up AD BLOCK PLUS!!! The first time I see ANY of those, YOU ARE GONE !!!

    Reply from Ben Williams:

    The idea of Acceptable Ads — a five-year-old program btw — is to find WHAT ads are better, i.e. what ads do not bother you.

    If you ever see an ad with ABP on and you feel like it is bothersome, let us know on our forum or directly.

    And if you don’t want to see any ads just turn it off:

  13. Steve Biset · 2016-09-13 19:30 · #

    Nice racket you got going there! ;)

  14. Nwildner · 2016-09-13 19:39 · #

    Ok. Time to migrate to uBlock Origin.

    Adblock, you are making a terrible mistake…

    Reply from Ben Williams:

    As you’ll read elsewhere in these comments, we believe partial ad blocking is better because it allows publishers to monetize with ads that are less intrusive.

    If you feel differently, please just turn it off:

  15. Annoyed Prior User · 2016-09-13 19:41 · #

    ABP remove, giving uBlock Origin a spin.

    Reply from Ben Williams:

    Fair enough. If you ever reconsider, please remember that:

    a/ this is not new
    b/ we think partial ad blocking is better
    c/ … but if you don’t you can turn it off:

  16. danwat1234 · 2016-09-13 19:49 · #

    If you guys ever remove the checkbox of ‘allow unobtrusive ads’, so we cannot nuke all the ads by unchecking that, a lot of people will be angry.

    Reply from Ben Williams:

    No worries, we won’t.

  17. Sword · 2016-09-13 19:50 · #

    Um…. you guys know you can turn this option off right? Probably something they should have noted in the paragraph with words small enough for you guys to read/fathom it.

  18. Sascha Pallenberg · 2016-09-13 19:51 · #

    Cheers Ben and thanks for finally going public to make sure that each and everyone understands what your “company” is all about.
    I can’t deny that I am going to follow the upcoming lawsuits with quite some satisfaction ;)

    Reply from Ben Williams:

    Sascha, old boy! Thanks for dropping by. I’m glad you like watching us win ;)

  19. Jake Creede · 2016-09-13 19:53 · #

    Wasn’t this company bought out a few years ago anyhow? Regardless, I stopped using it back then and glad to have done so. Plenty of other choices out there that aren’t interested in MAKING A PROFIT out of selfish needs.

  20. Иван · 2016-09-13 20:04 · #

    Either you block that damn junk, either you not “ad blocking plugin” anymore. You can’t be “a little bit” pregnant…

    Too bad you sold soul for money. People trusted you.

    Now you should also change name to something less misleading.

    Reply from Ben Williams:

    I would beg to differ. I was a little pregnant once, but I think it was because I used to live next to a nuclear power plant.

    For-real hate it that you feel like we betrayed you. That’s on us for communicating poorly. But the thing is, we think partial ad blocking is better than complete ad blocking — and we try to tell you that as often as possible.

    But you can still block it all if you want:

  21. James Edward Lewis Ii · 2016-09-13 20:15 · #

    I also noticed that Murphy and Wild Horse Fantasy (#10 and #11) are complaining about types of ads that are not allowed under the Acceptable Ads criteria; any such ads that the user sees with the Acceptable Ads whitelist active would therefore also be seen without it active, because they’re just ads that the main blocking-lists haven’t blocked yet.

    (They could also be from formerly whitelisted publishers that have gone rogue, but that is rare and dealt with swiftly, and going rogue within the new Acceptable Ads Platform is not possible.)

    Reply from Ben Williams:

    Yup. As usual, right on point.

  22. Sandra · 2016-09-13 20:38 · #

    This sounds like Facebook “ad choices”. Having to vote for each ad completely defeats the purpose of distraction free reading with an adblocker.

    I have changed to UBO. Good bye.

    Reply from Ben Williams:

    Hey Sandra,
    Sorry to see you go. I’d ask you to reconsider on the grounds that we, as opposed to FB, still allow you to block all the ads if you want:

  23. ironic isn't it · 2016-09-13 21:13 · #

    good job assholes, time to move on to another adblocking system

    Reply from Ben Williams:

    I’ve just been getting to responding to comments (@All, apologies, been super-busy), and you are the first one I’ve seen call me/us something a little nasty.

    What took the rest of you so long? I’ve gotten a lot of righteous indignation and a few “shame on you’s” but no one’s being nasty … or even better, creatively nasty. C’mon, y’all, this is the fucking internet! If you’re gonna hurl insults at us, do it right … like this girl/guy.

    Also, to your statement, why not just turn it off?

  24. dont wanna · 2016-09-13 21:18 · #

    Yep. moved to a different adblocker. I dont want “acceptable ads” and I dont want “unacceptable ads”. If there is something I need, I sure know how to search for it myself.


    Reply from Ben Williams:

    Sounds like you like options. Gotcha.

  25. no more abp · 2016-09-13 21:23 · #

    Just installed adblock pro and it seems to do the job just fine!

  26. Mikey Cooperman · 2016-09-13 21:31 · #

    Your software’s purpose is to block advertisements. This should mean all advertisements. For me, there are no acceptable ads. I hope that there’s an option to continue blocking what you consider acceptable ads. This seems like a cash grab on the part of your group.

    Reply from Ben Williams:

    Hey Mikey, you’ll always be able to block ‘em all. Here’s how:

  27. Nice try · 2016-09-13 21:51 · #

    No you won’t. Goodbye. Uninstalled.

    Reply from Ben Williams:

    I have no idea what this is in reference to, but I’m sorry you uninstalled.

    I’d ask you to reconsider, and maybe just turn off Acceptable Ads.

  28. Bernice · 2016-09-13 22:01 · #

    This is an absolute BETRAYAL of your users.

    I will be uninstalling your app after having used it for many many years.

    Reply from Ben Williams:

    No it isn’t. Sorry you feel that way, but we’ve been offering Acceptable Ads for years now — this just automates it.

    And, sigh, you can turn it off.

  29. *sigh* · 2016-09-13 22:09 · #

    I love how suddenly everyone thinks this is new. The “view non-intrusive ads” option has been around for a while for ABP users, and is even enabled by default. I understand there are people who don’t want to see any ads at all, but that’s why you can opt out through a simple checkbox. This whole big fiasco just makes me think that people aren’t informed about the browser extensions they’re using, can’t be bothered to read why having non-intrusive ads may be a good thing, and don’t care about fixing internet advertisement standards in the industry.

    Reply from Ben Williams:

    Are you an angel?

  30. Ebins · 2016-09-13 23:11 · #

    @ sigh – There are NO advertising standards to fix. The internet is world wide, not just some little corner of a progressive’s “safe space.” In addition, a user shouldn’t have to comb through fine print to find out, oh wait, I can do this and that, specially when a company called “Ad Blocker” just came out with a statement saying that they will allow some ads!

    Your disdain for the “pleebs” is pathetic. I wonder, are you Hillary Clinton? After all, she has disdain for millions of Americans, she just said so…

    Reply from Ben Williams:

    I’m sorry you couldn’t find out how to disable Acceptable Ads easier, but in our defense we offer three links on the homepage telling you what it is and why we do it and one additional explanation (with a link to turn it off) on the first-run page after you install.


  31. Tangroo · 2016-09-13 23:30 · #

    Sorry, but this is a deal breaker. I have already uninstalled and I’ll be using an add-on that actually blocks ads and doesn’t inject its own ads.

    I am actually dumbfounded that you’d try and pull a stunt like this, but you are free to operate your “business” as you wish, and I am free to look elsewhere. I’ll be recommending that my clients, friends, and family disregard my previous advice to use your extension and to now uninstall as soon as possible.

    Reply from Ben Williams:

    I’d ask you to reconsider.

    Apparently we haven’t explained this well enough, because …

    - we will not be injecting anything; – the Acceptable Ads initiative is already five years old; this just automates it; – you can turn Acceptable Ads off in like three clicks.

  32. hahaha · 2016-09-13 23:44 · #

    hahaha come on. Can’t believe those at the top thought this would be a good idea.

    Reply from Ben Williams:

    Well, really all it does is automate Acceptable Ads. Nothing at all changes for users. At the end of the day, it just allows (especially small- and medium-sized) websites to whitelist ads a lot faster.

  33. Deplorable in NC · 2016-09-14 00:09 · #

    No ads are “acceptable”. If you remove the option to continue blocking all ads, then you will be uninstalled and replaced with Ublock Origin.

    Reply from Ben Williams:

    We will never remove that option:

  34. Chumondley Grumthruddle · 2016-09-14 00:19 · #

    You want I carry on using Adblock? Then you:

    (1) Undertake never to allow ads that use tracking in any way, no exception.

    (2) Absolutely never to allow ads that have autoplay videos of any kind except when I press play on a video or when I click on a link for a video (and not a link for a story).

    (3) Absolutely never to allow ads that cover part or all of a website.

    (4) Absolutely never to allow ads that try to use my location. No “Shocking secret [city name] man discovers!”

    (5) Absolutely never to allow ads that use Flash, Java, or Javascript. No exception.

    (6) Confirm, preferably in writing that you accept sole responsibility for vetting any and all ads you allow. If an ad injects or attempts to inject malware you, the entity placing the ad and any ad company jointly and severally indemnify me from all costs in diagnosing and repairing, including but not limited to the restoration of any data that is lost and do so in writing.

    (7) Never, ever to allow ads that distribute either directly or indirectly (e;g;, as an “Optional extra”) any kind of Browser helper or toolbar. These are defined by many as malware.

    (8) Never, ever, allow ads for things I never buy nor companies I don’t want to do business with.

    (9) Never, ever, allow ads for things I already own. (Amazon!! WTF?)

    (10) Never, ever, allow ads for things I will never own (take a guess, it will be 99.9999% of what you peddle).

    (11) Confirm you will pay for any and all metered data charges the advertising content YOU have decided to push at me incurs. You pay for any metered data.

    There. I think that about covers it.

    Reply from Ben Williams:

    Geez, dude, maybe just design your own internet :D

    Actually, ABP does or lets you do most of those.

  35. Schwim Dandy · 2016-09-14 00:33 · #

    I wish you the best on your journey but it’s clear your goals and intent no longer reflect mine. As you spend more time trying to find ways to put ads back in my browsing experience, your peers have released fixes for things I’m actually concerned about, like Facebook’s new ads. I’ve removed all my ABP browser extensions and Android apps and have made a smooth transition to Adguard.

    Reply from Ben Williams:

    Sorry to see you go. But why would you turn down the only ad blocker with options?

  36. That was easy to fix · 2016-09-14 00:39 · #

    Eh, big deal, just uncheck all the options in ABP and back to normal, no Easylist, no Acceptable Ads, works like always…don’t know what the fuss is about.

  37. Max · 2016-09-14 01:26 · #

    Time to fork AdBlock Plus.

    Reply from Ben Williams:

    Already been done a lot, but please … that’s why it’s open source. Or … Did you can just turn it off.

  38. User · 2016-09-14 01:31 · #

    Uninstalled, i want an ad block, not a filter block
    Install uBlock Origin much faster

    Reply from Ben Williams:

    Well, you can just turn it off.

  39. kmo911 · 2016-09-14 02:30 · #

    it is unsafe to turn off ad blocker. you can be infected by bad ware crapware trojans whos behind badely written codes that can be explored by hackers. pop up behind ghost links and so on. use adblock nocscipt fair adblock for chrome. if you get a cat saying turn off block ers just find a nother site that not ban adblock. just use host file but make a backup.

  40. Eva · 2016-09-14 02:49 · #

    I use many chrome profiles to manage upwards of ten different email addresses. Each chrome profile had ABP installed; all of them have now been removed. I am not interested in seeing any ads, “acceptable” or not. If that means that periodically I have to change adblock extensions when something like this occurs, I am willing to do that.

    Reply from Ben Williams:

    Why not just turn it off?

  41. €C0N0M!K@ · 2016-09-14 02:59 · #

    Happy to hear that, now all the wicked guys will be jealous of the success of Adblock Plus :)

  42. Taylor · 2016-09-14 03:23 · #

    Unless there is a option to still turn off all ads, I will definitely be using another add-on for ad removal. I used this to remove all ads, good and bad. Not to see good ads at all.

    So please, at least allow us the option of turning off all and not just some of them. If people want good ads to show, that’s up to them. I do not appreciate being forced into that.

    Reply from Ben Williams:

    There is of course still that option:

  43. Alex · 2016-09-14 03:27 · #

    Reply from Ben Williams:

    That’s a terribly misleading article. We’re not selling ads, this just automates an existing program called Acceptable Ads.

  44. Mike McGough · 2016-09-14 03:29 · #

    Well, I am disappointed in the announcement of ads being allowed. As such I will speak with my browser and uninstall your software and go with something different. Had it forever but like others feel betrayed that you are deviating from your initial platform.

    Reply from Ben Williams:

    Sorry you feel that way, Mike.

    Did you know Acceptable Ads is five years old?

    Did you know you can turn it off?

    Did you know we do it because we want to be the champions of fine-grained ad blocking, and truly believe this is better than complete ad blocking?

  45. Alex · 2016-09-14 03:53 · #

    Like others I don’t like this. AdBlock Plus will be acting like a man-in-the-middle in place of just filtering.

    Also big online advertisement companies already do filter ads for quality and malware though less aggressively, you are just going to be more aggressive.

    Reply from Ben Williams:

    Hey Alex,
    Sorry you don’t dig this. Have a look at our “criteria for better ads:” to get a better idea of what a “better ad” entails. I know that ad companies filter ads, but our criteria are much more fine-grained.

  46. meto · 2016-09-14 03:57 · #

    I’m surprised that there is still that many ABP users since exists.

    Reply from Ben Williams:

    I’d be surprised if you didn’t work there.

  47. Enrique · 2016-09-14 04:37 · #

    I’m uninstalling adblock then! Shame on you!!

    Reply from Ben Williams:

    Did you know you can turn it off?

  48. T. Werme · 2016-09-14 06:42 · #

    If you start showing me ANY ads, I will immediately:
    (1) Uninstall your product,
    (2) Install one of your competitor’s product,
    (3) Notify all my social media contacts about what I did and why,
    (4) Instruct my contacts about how to make the change to your competitor’s product, and finally
    (5) Laugh at and mock your company’s demise after your self-inflicted, figurative, “shot-to-the head” mistake.

    Reply from Ben Williams:

    Wow, T-Werme, that’s a very detailed threat. Why don’t you just turn it off?

  49. Barry Fitzgerald · 2016-09-14 06:58 · #

    I chose your product after a lot of research and have two other ad block programs sitting in my download box uninstalled. The idea was to block ads, not to block “their ads” and watch your ads.
    Sorry you made this decision for I recommended you to 8 others and will recommend the alternate program.

    Barry Fitzgerald

    Reply from Ben Williams:

    Hey Barry,
    I’d ask you to reconsider. We allow ads through if they meet our criteria, and although it’s printed in the press that we’re “selling ads” we’re not. We’ve been running the whitelisting program for FIVE YEARS, and this is a platform to help publishers sign up for it. That’s all.

    Most importantly, you can always opt out if you think it’s a bad idea, and block ALL the ads:

  50. jasoon · 2016-09-14 07:29 · #

    Kudos! you’ve just introduced a button to unflush the toilet. Luckily, there are competent competitors to block ads, and you should rename to Add Ad Plus.

    Reply from Ben Williams:

    Awesome metaphor! Actually, you’ve got a point: “Adblock Plus” is not the right name for our mission. A better name would be “Web Customizer” or similar. But the harsh reality is you can’t just up and switch your brand’s name after ten years. Ask Coke … er Coca-Cola …

    But if you want to block ads, don’t forget you can:

  51. Marcus · 2016-09-14 08:36 · #

    Sellouts. That you legitimize it with that most users can’t find the non-intrusive ads button in your settings is just sad. Uninstalling.

    Reply from Ben Williams:

    You couldn’t find this?

    For real?

  52. ian jackson · 2016-09-14 08:48 · #

    Shame on you. Uninstalled.

    Reply from Ben Williams:

    Sorry you feel that way. But did you know Acceptable Ads is not new. We’ve been trying to make a compromise that works for users and publishers for years. This is just an extension of that program.

    And if you think it’s stupid, just turn it off:

  53. Eh maybe · 2016-09-14 08:51 · #

    I am tentatively okay with this. For years I didn’t use an ad-blocker because I just didn’t care. It was only once ads got super intrusive with pop ups, pop-unders, self expanding windows, self playing videos, and all that crap. That and that trend for web games to use ridiculously porny, NSFW ads. And even then, I was hesitant, because there were several sites that I liked, I just couldn’t take the ads anymore, but I felt guilty about denying them revenue they could use to keep running. So, if you can honestly say that I’ll be able to keep blocking intrusive, distracting, and NSFW ads, then ok, I’ll agree to bring the other ads back. I already whitelist sites I want to support, as long as their ads are mostly unobjectionable. On the other hand, if I start seeing giant expanding banners and half-naked people again everywhere I go, I’m going to be extremely pissed.

    Reply from Ben Williams:

    Don’t worry :) stuff like that will NEVER be in the criteria. We will never start showing that kind of stuff. There are the current criteria:

  54. Moishe Rabinowitz · 2016-09-14 10:18 · #

    The real compromise between users and advertisers is to pay users back the portion of advertising revenue. This can be done with SberData app

  55. Laur Florin · 2016-09-14 10:23 · #

    You can also alter the HOSTS file in Windows to block all ads… on all browsers… for free:

    Reply from Ben Williams:

    This is how you opt out in ABP:

  56. Former User · 2016-09-14 10:53 · #

    Well this just puts the nail into the coffin. uBlock is now the preferred ad-blocker.

    Reply from Ben Williams:

    If you prefer uBlock, fine. But if you’re already using ABP, why not just turn it off?

  57. alexander blok · 2016-09-14 10:56 · #

    After the extortion whitelisting of adserver, google/microsoft/criteo, ADP is now stealing the publisher space to make advertiser pay.
    Still without me. Moved to ublock origin months ago.

    Reply from Ben Williams:

    Sorry you don’t like that way, but it’s not okay to just start distorting the truth like you did. We’re offering a compromise for publishers that keeps users in control.

    And did you know you can just turn it off? Isn’t choice a good thing
  58. Nobody Important · 2016-09-14 11:46 · #

    Wladmir Palant, you betrayed my trust (and Rick’s) for money.


    goodbye adblockplus

    Reply from Ben Williams:

    Sorry you feel that way, but the truth is we’ve been running Acceptable Ads for five years now and we tell you three times on the homepage and one time on the first-run page what it’s about and why we think granular ad blocking is better than blocking everything.

    Still, hate it that you felt out of the loop. But let me emphasize two things:

    1/ This new platform is not a change form the Acceptable Ads initiative — it’s an extension of it.
    2/ You can turn it off!

  59. David Williams · 2016-09-14 14:56 · #

    I just uninstalled ABP. I want to block ads, not use your software that inserts ads. The market will decide if you’re new direction is right or not…

    Reply from Ben Williams:

    Sorry to hear that. A few things:

    - This is not new, Acceptable Ads is five years old.

    - You can turn it off and block ALL THE ADS.

    - We aren’t “inserting ads,” nor do we make ads. We just automated Acceptable Ads.

  60. Eiyuu · 2016-09-14 14:56 · #

    Pretty simple… you just lost all trust JUST by even thinking about accepting adds, when the job of your addon is to DISABLE them.

    You lost me, and everyone else. At least you came out clean… but never forget, there are always alternatives and we, the users, just can’t approve what you are even thinking about.

    Back to another alternative.

    Reply from Ben Williams:

    Sorry that Acceptable Ads is new to you. But it’s not new at all. It’s five years old and you can opt out if you don’t like it:

  61. Zerachi · 2016-09-14 15:11 · #

    The only mistake that was made was talking about it. This has been an option for years, and has always been optional.
    This entire situation proves, more than anything, that people don’t read or understand anything about the software they install on their computers. How many of you have installed ABP just because someone else told you to. This is the same logic as jumping off a tall bridge because your friend said to. The difference is that you have the common sense to know that jumping off a tall bridge isn’t a good idea. In this case you’re ignorant of your actions and remain ignorant. Then, when something that you didn’t know about is brought to your attention you lose your minds over it.

    I went through this a while ago when i installed ABP and noticed it had “acceptable ads” settings. I was upset, at first, and then i read about it and understood it more. I have a few computers that I have it disabled on because I use them for things that need no ads whatsoever, but there are other computers I use that i’m fine with getting a simple advertisement for when it wont ruin my web experience. The best part? I can report ads I see immediately and they will no longer show up, even if on the acceptable list. Oh no! An extra step in making my web experience better! whatever shall I do!? Better cry about it and twist reality to suite my desires.

    TL;DR : Uninformed consumers are upset that they have been told about an existing feature they assume they don’t like. Better to have left the ignorant ignorant.

  62. Mohit · 2016-09-14 15:54 · #

    Wow , so a company or the advertiser will now have to pay both, the platform (google ads, FB ads,etc. ) and AdBlockPlus so as to show their ads.
    I am not an advertiser , in fact I myself use adblockplus since 3 years or so, but this idea is just not acceptable and its very ruthless for advertisers.
    Also from a user point of view , I will have to again go and disable whatever ABP choses to Whitelist.

    Reply from Ben Williams:

    No, that’s not how it works. Whoever runs the ad architecture collects ads cash, then they distribute 80 percent to publishers. Of the remaining 20 percent the platform would get like 30 — and if you’re using our platform instead of another it means your not paying the other. So no double-pay.

    You can of course always disable Acceptable Ads.

  63. Matt · 2016-09-14 15:55 · #

    What you guys are not getting is that people use an adblocker to block ALL ads. Some of us find ANY AND ALL forms of advertisement on the internet unacceptable, because it IS unacceptable. I won’t bother explaining all the arguments, because as an ad-blocker company you should already understand these arguments and have accepted them as your company’s Gospel before you even started.

    The first chink in your armor was the “Acceptable Ads” checkbox. (The fact that ANYONE at your company would find ANY ads “acceptable” is already beyond the pale.) Yes, you can disable it, and I do. HOWEVER I also have noticed that every single time your plugin updates YOU RE-ENABLE IT. This is sneaky, low and underhanded. The kind of thing that Facebook has been taken to task over multiple times. What made YOU think you could get away with it?

    And now the ad-blocker becomes the ad-seller. You have now completed your transformation from force for good to Mafioso underlord:

    “Hey, that’s a nice website you have there. Would be a shame if you couldn’t make money on all those ads you display. Pay me a slice of your profits and I will ‘protect’ you from all those nasty ad blocking leeches by whitelisting you.”

    You disgust me. UNINSTALLED.

    Reply from Ben Williams:

    For-real? Disgust?

    Otherwise … I wholeheartedly and completely disagree with everything you wrote. You may want ad blocking to be 100 percent, but your preferences are yours alone. We’ve been preaching the “gospel” that some ads can be better for five years, so I do apologize if it takes you off-guard, but I won’t apologize for our stance. We thin k granular ad blocking is better than 100 percent ad blocking, and if you don’t, you can STILL turn it off.

    Besides, all this is is an automated version of Acceptable Ads, not a “new thing”; and we are by no means “selling” ads. Advertisers make and sell ads. Platforms facilitate their placement. This is a platform that helps publishers serve ads in line with our criteria.

  64. Nobody Important · 2016-09-14 17:08 · #

    If you want to regain user trust, then keep the acceptable ads OFF BY DEFAULT. end of story

    Reply from Ben Williams:

    Why would we keep what we believe to be a better default setting off?

  65. Cherazi · 2016-09-14 17:14 · #

    @Matt Don’t let …

    Reply from Ben Williams:

    Ha! Sorry to see you go.

  66. Yehuda Berlinger · 2016-09-14 18:18 · #

    I have also uninstalled ABP and swicthed to uBlock. I appreciate the “opt-out” feature (which should be “opt-in”, but at least it’s there). I understand what you’re doing, and I know that you’ve been doing roughly the same thing for a while. I didn’t like it when I first heard it.

    My problem is a moral problem. You released a free product that makes other company’s investment in ads become a waste; you essentially helped to dry up an entire ecosphere and hurt many, many companies. Then you took their loss, turned right around, and started selling the same thing. That’s incredibly immoral. It’s like when Microsoft refused to develop pen technologies, and threatened any company who would work with their competitors, And then, when all of their competitors were going out of business, Microsoft turned around and tried to sell pen technology. it stank then; it stinks here.

    What moral right do you have to earn money for an ad on company site X while denying company site X the advertising revenue from visitors to their site? Or the advertisers who have deals with company site X.

    At least Microsoft offers products that are useful. Really, what use is ABP other than for blocking ads? And why would it be worth my while to install it rather than any of the alternatives? Once it used to be a simple program that worked well, and it was the only one that did. Now it kinda doesn’t, and it isn’t. So what are the competitive advantages to having it installed at all?


    Reply from Ben Williams:

    Hey Yehuda,
    Thanks for the thoughtful comment.

    I’d say there are lots of uses for Adblock Plus other than blocking annoying ads (blocking tracking, customizing your web by making your own filters, blocking social media buttons, etc.)

    In response to your bit about morality, did you know that 90 percent of the whitelisted companies are there for free? Did you know that the criteria apply to all, pay or no?

    The main problem I have with your argument is that you misunderstand how ad blocking developed. ABP began as one developer’s hobby, and it used to block everything — and of course it still does, if you want it to. Acceptable Ads began five years ago, and it was a conscious pivot away from complete ad blocking. Yes, it does make a free, open source product monetizable; but no, I’m not about to apologize for that and no, that does not mean it can’t also do some good by encouraging compromise.

    And who else could possibly broker such a compromise? Who else could users trust to filter out bad ads and let in good ones than an ad blocker? The IAB has its LEAN initiative, and that’s fine, but users will never trust that. So ironically, we’re the only ones I can think of in a position to encourage better ads for ad-blocking users.

  67. Keith Lander · 2016-09-14 18:58 · #

    You really are advertising middlemen now. 100% no matter how you spin it.

    Reply from Ben Williams:

    Fine. Call us what you will. Names are shallow, and the ad-tech world has plenty of them. What matters is what you do, and what we do — or at least try to do — is create compromise between users and publishers.

    What do you call that anyway?

  68. Michael · 2016-09-14 19:26 · #

    While others recreate the 2011 knee-jerk reaction. I’ll not be uninstalling my Adblock Plus, until further information is revealed. So much fud floating around the Internet, one could easily believe Adblock Plus is the only add on in the world.

    The Brave browser has a similar business model. No pitchforks and torches at their gates.

    Reply from Ben Williams:

    Hey Michael, really nice to have a circumspect response amid the bullshit tornado of the last week (and, no, I DON’T mean that the comments here are bullshit; I mean the actual press. :)

    We’ll try to explain this to you as best we can, but I think we failed here. I really do. I don’t mind that the press spins things, but it appears we did not do a sufficient job explaining this to our users. I think the important thing to remember is that this does not change anything; it just automates whitelisting for some publishers and is an extension of not an additional program to Acceptable Ads.

  69. Fart McCoy · 2016-09-14 19:54 · #

    uBlock has been doing a better job of your job for years now. Getting malicious and screwing your remaining user base like this will end very poorly for you.

    Seriously, go check out ublock – blows this trash away.

    Reply from Ben Williams:

    You can use other ad blockers if you want, but don’t call us doing what we’re doing malicious. C’mon, Fart … For-real though, we don’t think blocking ALL THE THINGS is the right way to block ads. It hurts too many people.

    Acceptable Ads isn’t perfect, but the aim has always been to create a compromise between users and publishers, but leave the user in ultimate control. That’s why you can still turn it off and block all the things.

  70. Download · 2016-09-14 20:52 · #

    There are many acceptable sites which you block by default, and you will replace acceptable ads with your acceptable ads?

    Reply from Ben Williams:

    That’s not quite how it works. What actually happens is that advertisers apply to us and we check if their ads are in line with our criteria for Acceptable Ads.”

    We don’t actually make any ads at all. The ads are still made by advertisers, but we do have to check and monitor them for compliance (hence why they need to apply).

    This new platform only lets us automate this process.

  71. Michael DeMutis · 2016-09-14 20:54 · #

    LOL I find it so funny to see the people who are enraged and are posting that “You have lost me as a user forever!”

    Can you please remind me what you paid for the software? Oh that’s right it was free.

  72. alexander blok · 2016-09-14 21:29 · #

    @Ben Williams

    of course, ABP seems really truth-Driven…

    In this case, let’s disclose your Gross Profit from Google and all other adserver whitelisting.

    And let’s explain where you are using all that money, and need even more now, to just maintain an App you didn’t even develop from scratch. App which is using the whole community and external ad lists, which are free since no one is paying the rule makers.

    And one last thing, if you are so “make the world a better place”-driven, why did you put Flattr in another app (how many download so far?) since you could have integrate it in ABP
    And reversed, why didn’t you create another app for your adnetwork instead of integrating it in ABP?

    Reply from Ben Williams:

    Taking up your questions in reverse order:

    - This new platform is nothing new; that’s why it’s not separate. We automated the whitelisting process for some sites.

    - Flattr Plus hasn’t launched yet. You can sign up for updates at When it does it’ll be part of ABP, don’t worry, but it will also be available separately … if people, like, don’t want one or the other. And stuff.

    - Why do you think it’s evil to make money? Especially when only 10 percent of HUGE companies pay. Wladimir Palant, my boss, developed ABP, and now we have 70 people who work here — and paying employees > slave labor.

  73. Todd · 2016-09-14 23:26 · #

    well, if my choice is to receive ads from you guys or from the websites I visit, I’ll choose to get ads from the websites I visit. Why? Because you no longer serve the purpose for which you originally set out – elimnate ads – and if anyone should be receiving ad revenue from my site visits, it should be the actual sites I visit, not a third party supplying software that only replaces the website’s ads with a different set of ads.

    Reply from Ben Williams:

    Popular misconception. We don’t make ads. The way Acceptable Ads works is with publishers and advertisers so long as they meet criteria. And you’re right, we don’t block all ads as we did 10 years ago. For the last five we’ve been offering Acceptable Ads as an option because we think nuanced, granular ad blocking is much, much better than complete ad blocking.

  74. Vic · 2016-09-15 01:54 · #

    “I don’t care if ads are non-intrusive, I never want to see one!”

    You guys crack me up. 100% ad blocking would be the death of websites.

    I think your employers should block your paycheck.

    Reply from Ben Williams:

    Hey Vic,
    If you never want to see any ads, block them all.

  75. seodamage · 2016-09-15 02:08 · #


    Reply from Ben Williams:

    Sorry to see you go. Please remember you can turn off Acceptable Ads if you don’t like it.

  76. Ivan · 2016-09-15 03:17 · #

    Ads are ads – annoying things, and there cannot be “whitelisted” ads. Furthermore I don’t like to have a “big boss” who will decide which ads are “white” and which ads are “black” for me. I just uninstalled ABP and installed a new alternative addon. Bye!

    Reply from Ben Williams:

    Sorry to see you go Ivan, but you’ve got it 100 percent wrong. With ABP you’re the boss: write your own filters, turn off Acceptable Ads and block all the things, block tracking, malware, etc. Up to you.

    One of those options is Acceptable Ads. And by the way, the “boss” of the criteria? Also not going to be us …

  77. Brendan Eich · 2016-09-15 04:10 · #

    > The Brave browser has a similar business model.

    Not so:

    1. We proposed before doing anything unusual; so of course we have not yet done Brave Ads.

    2. We won’t impose Brave Ads without user opt-in.

    3. We proposed sharing revenue with users.

    4. We proposed using local data only for ad matching, no signals out, no cookies, fingerprinting, or remote “online behavioral advertising” surveillance.

    5. We proposed confirmation of ad impressions and other actions only via a non-interactive zero-knowledge proof (NI-ZKP) protocol based on Anonize (, which we also use for Brave Payments now available in Brave 0.12.0.

    (We would be happy to cooperate on standardizing such deterministically anonymous ad tech so it works in all browsers.)

    6. Brave Ads, as proposed, always come directly from brands and agencies. Never from ad exchanges or networks.

    7. Brave Ads, as proposed, always load into sandboxed iframes. They never load third party script into first party (publisher) pages.

    Again, nothing we have proposed is yet implemented. Everything we proposed keeps users’ data profiles safe on their devices. No server we or our partners run ever sees browsing history or other user data in the clear, not even for Brave Payments. We do not have anything to do with ads from exchanges or networks, which too often range from slow to annoying to dangerous.

    What is most important, we align our interests with our users by proposing to give the same Brave Ads revenue share to each of our users as to ourselves.

    Whether we succeed is for us to find out in the future, but in no way is our proposed business model similar to anything Eyeo does.

    Reply from Ben Williams:

    Hey Brendan,
    Hope you’re well. I’d say there’s a mountain of difference between your model and ours. We think publishers should have the last word about how they monetize their inventory, just as the user should have the last word about what she wants to see on her screen. If publishers want to advertise with nonintrusive ads we try to support that via the whitelist process, which, critically, can be turned off. If publishers don’t want to change and don’t use our offer to whitelist that’s also their call.

    By contrast, Brave will work — I assume it still hasn’t been implemented, right? — by replacing ads on publishers’ sites without their permission and with ads you make yourself .. which you then make a hefty profit from, eh? We neither make nor sell ads. Never have, never will.

  78. roberto santa · 2016-09-15 07:05 · #

    You know, we can hate yeah but this is the country/world you wanted, jackasses LOL. Market economy, market society market market market. What did you expect?
    Think about it this way…
    Now CEOs and ads people will have to make “beautiful” ads and not those nasty annoying ads we’ve all seen before. “This is progress” a Free market, Free Society fan boy would say….
    So yeah, we asked for this with our life styles, there’s no way around it.
    I’ll just have to block manually ip dns and all that stuff which I dont know nothing about (Im a lawyer)

    Reply from Ben Williams:

    Hey Roberto,
    Thanks. Here’s how to write your own filters and here’s how to turn Acceptable Ads off.

  79. Desoya · 2016-09-15 08:00 · #

    Guys, not only you steal ads revenues from other companies by hijacking them but you also embrace what you initially committed to fight against (I’m talking about ADs in case you got confused, and all of them very initially, not only the “acceptable”).

    Uninstalling now from all my deveices, I won’t support such an initiative. Many thanks for all your amazing job until this very moment though.

    Oh, and don’t come back with the “you still can refuse acceptable ads in your prefs”, you’ve just become a cancer worst than the one you used to cure.

    Reply from Ben Williams:

    Hey, sorry you feel that way. Please remember that this is not anything new, and that we remind you three times about Acceptable Ads on the homepage and once on the first-run page, devote an entire part of our website to it and just made a new website about it.

    Still, somehow we’ve failed at communicating this I suppose. Again, sorry to see you go, but what we have here is a compromise; and one that you can opt out of, as you point out. We’re not fans of absolutist “solutions.”

  80. John Snow · 2016-09-15 10:02 · #

    Is that “Pay us or we will ban you!” system?

    Reply from Ben Williams:

    Nope. 90 percent of the people on the whitelist pay nothing at all. Only the larger 10 percent pay, and everyone has to meet the same criteria, no exceptions:

  81. routehero · 2016-09-15 12:33 · #

    How much data will EyeO store?

    Fact: browser extensions have significantly more privileged access to your private data than Google Analytics.

    And nothing will be able to filter out the tracking beacons sent by Adblock Plus except firewalls.

    Who will get access to the data? Will it be enabled by default like acceptable ads?

    Reply from Ben Williams:

    Ahh, routehero, I was beginning to worry you didn’t like us any more. But I’m happy you could take time away from your busy day creating ways to make money off banning ad blockers from sites to get in touch.

    In answer to your question: none.

  82. Nate · 2016-09-15 12:33 · #

    I am no longer using your plugin.

    Reply from Ben Williams:

    Sorry if this caught you off-guard and hate to see you go. I’d urge you to reconsider by taking a look into why we whitelist better ads (it’s an attempt at compromise), and how that five-year whitelisting program has been a success. Here’s a start:

  83. Jesper Johansen · 2016-09-15 14:08 · #

    “Reply from Ben Williams:

    Don’t worry :) stuff like that will NEVER be in the criteria. We will never start showing that kind of stuff. There are the current criteria:”

    … so, how does that work with:

    “Today we’re upping the ante: we’re inviting a completely independent review board to take over, enforce and oversee our Acceptable Ads initiative. “

    If the Acceptable Ads initiative change its settings, ABP would no longer comply, or? I’m just confused that you can say what you will never do, when the initiative is claimed to be an independent entity…

    Reply from Ben Williams:

    Good point. We are giving up control. It’s just that the makeup of this committee — it’ll have plenty of digital rights and nonprofits on it — should prevent that. Also, they should know (as we always have) that if you start whitelisting annoying formats users will just install another free ad blocker.

  84. Michael · 2016-09-15 15:08 · #

    “Fact: browser extensions have significantly more privileged access to your private data than Google Analytics.” Sigh!!

    If you posses any knowledge about Adblock Plus, that foolish statement would never entered your mind. Google Analytics is the biggest data harvester on the net. Edward Snow didn’t call out Adblock Plus, for working with Uncle Sam. Here’s hint, G.O.O.G.L.E.

  85. Michael · 2016-09-15 15:10 · #

    “Fact: browser extensions have significantly more privileged access to your private data than Google Analytics.” Sigh!!

    If you posses any knowledge about Adblock Plus, that foolish statement would never entered your mind. Google Analytics is the biggest data harvester on the net. Edward Snowden didn’t call out Adblock Plus, for working with Uncle Sam. Here’s hint, G.O.O.G.L.E.

  86. Meme Man · 2016-09-15 16:53 · #

    Uninstalled. And yes, I know I can disable “acceptable ads”, and that they’ve been around since 2011 – I’ve had it disabled for a long while. I uninstalled on principle – this decision officially makes you not only not an ad blocker, but it makes you a sellout as well.

    uBlock Origin is now my ad blocker of choice, and I think that everyone should go to a different ad blocker, even if it’s not UBO.

    Reply from Ben Williams:

    So you uninstalled because we made Acceptable Ads easier to use for small- and medium-sized websites?

    Hate to see you go, but please remember that we’re not “selling ads,” like some people are portraying this. All this does is automate the whitelisting process … so how does a tech improvement inspire a response based on principle? Sorry, just don’t get that.

  87. Michael · 2016-09-16 00:41 · #

    Until Adblock Plus starts ramming ads down my computer’s digital throat. It’s staying! I comprehend why ABP users are loosing their sh*t. Even myself, perplexe by this decision to host ads. Certainty not going listen to the mob mentality. I’m a Wolf! Not a sheep.

    Reply from Ben Williams:

    Hey Michael,
    Appreciate the independent thinking! Keep tabs on the ads we whitelist on our public forum, and let us know if you think it’s going south (it’s public):

  88. Michael · 2016-09-16 01:51 · #

    To Ben Williams. Becoming an ad tech! It’s akin to running with the hounds, sleeping with the foxes. Please don’t become another Ghostery.

    You guys always wanted to save the ad networks, while I wanted to watch them burn (Malvertising). I’m not that surprised.

    No tracking, no loud ads, no “Malvertising”. No disco flashing ads, selling users info. ABP meets those requirements…. Your ads would be acceptable.

    Reply from Ben Williams:

    Please remember that we started Acceptable Ads in 2011. This is just an extension of it. As for becoming what we block, which I take as your other point, I get the counterintuitive nature of it — but names and labels become irrelevant when you do something different. Also, keep tabs on us on how we’re doing with whitelisting: we list every whitelisted ad in our forum:

  89. King · 2016-09-16 07:02 · #

    Whether you can turn it on or off is irrelevant. Why change something people are already satisfied with? People don’t WANT adds…hence why they got Adblock. Adding advertisements to people that will either A.) Block them, or B.) Uninstall your program, doesn’t even make any sense!

    We already whitelist the websites we don’t mind advertisements from, so what the fuck is the point of this update? If we wanted all of the adds we wouldn’t have Adblock -the whole point of something called “AdBLOCK” is to BLOCK the Ads, maybe you should call it something else lol. Let the advertisers rename the damn thing since it seems they’re already running the business now.

    Reply from Ben Williams:

    So this is really all about the name? Okay, fair enough. When we started Acceptable Ads we didn’t rename it because branding. You can’t just rename a product suddenly with millions of users … it’s confusing.

    I do need to correct you on one thing: Acceptable Ads is not new. We’ve been doing it for five years, and we’re quite proud of it — complete ad blocking is just destructive. This is an attempt at nuanced ad blocking.

  90. Mike · 2016-09-16 16:50 · #

    You are going to earn revenue from advertisers. I was uncomfortable when I learned that you started charging companies to white-list their ads. This will further worsen the situation. What is your incentives now? Your incentive is to keep people who pay you happy while just looking reasonable to users. You incentive is not protecting the interests of the users anymore. That is the real big change here. I am switching to an open source ad blockers right away whose incentives are not to satisfy advertisers.

    You had taken the first step onto the slippery slope when you started charging the advertisers to whitelist their ads, this is just the natural continuations of that step, and I can assure you you will take the next steps by allowing more intrusive ads like programmatic ones with trackers because that is what advertisers will want when you build a business relationship with them.

    Reply from Ben Williams:

    Hey Mike,
    Before you switch, consider that we have already dealt with the incentives “trap” you describe by making Acceptable Ads independent. This creates a firewall between us and our business side, so that we could never sell out the Acceptable Ads criteria.

  91. Tobi Vlad · 2016-09-16 17:10 · #

    Can’t believe there are so many ignorant & greedy people.(talking about the whiners)

    the “Allow of some non-intrusive advertising” has been around for like 5 years if i recall correctly and you people (the whiners) just start complaining now? wow just wow.

    Reply from Ben Williams:

    Hey Tobi,
    Thanks. You’re right — this has been around for five years, but in all fairness, apparently we didn’t explain this new change well enough.

  92. Chumondley Grumthruddle · 2016-09-16 17:22 · #


    You replied to my comment ( saying: “Geez, dude, maybe just design your own internet :D. Actually, ABP does or lets you do most of those.”

    Yes, I accept AdBlock can do do all those. I also note you are hoping people will accept your default settings that allow “Acceptable Ads”. So: which of the items I described is done by AdBlock in default mode?

    One thing I was getting at was that, if I decide I am not going to “deprive website owners of their advertising revenue” by allowing AdBlock to let some ads through, who picks up the tab for metered data? I am certain you would refuse a collect call from a marketing company. I am sure you would refuse to pay the postage for the junk snail mail you receive. Why should I pay for junk mail just because “its on the Internet”?

    Another is: If I accept your default settings that allow “Acceptable Ads” , do you guarantee that any adds you deem “Acceptable” will never be contaminated with malware or exploits? YOU claim to be deciding whether Ads are acceptable or not. Malware is not acceptable. Will YOU carry the can for anything YOU allow through?

    Most of the rest serves to define what I find “Acceptable” advertising in general. With which of the items I find unacceptable do you agree and are there any with which you don’t?


    Reply from Ben Williams:

    I think ABP + No Script would cover most of your concerns.

    Acceptable Ads addresses format. Why? Because when we started it five years ago no one, least of all an ad blocker, could have demanded more from ad makers. It’s enough that the criteria ask advertisers to adjust format; quite frankly, you’d have needed a lot more leverage and/or a much bigger team than ours to address things like security.

    That being said, we are working with several groups, including prominent nonprofits, to either invent the technical capability to do this. In addition, please bear in mind the very important fact that Acceptable Ads will be out of our hands and into an independent committee’s purview very soon. They may very well include other things beyond format into Acceptable Ads.

  93. John · 2016-09-16 21:44 · #

    Thank you for confirming that switching over to uBlock Origin was the correct choice.

  94. Schwim Dandy · 2016-09-17 01:25 · #

    Reply from Ben Williams:

    Sorry to see you go. But why would you turn down the only ad blocker with options?

    I haven’t noticed a single option lacking that I needed or desired.

    I understand that there is a larger discussion going on here; how we pay the content sources being a large part of it, but to be very blunt and honest, I let the rest of the world handle that and I use the internet in the manner best for me.

    I have used the internet since Al Gore formed it’s tubes. I enjoyed the early days before companies even realized you could advertise to visitors and then once they did, I weathered the storms of being held hostage by pop-overs, pop-unders, whole page, moving frames, hidden frames with no way to close, chain opening, autostart movie and audio, malvertising, virus deliveries and more. I started using hosts files during this time and welcomed the ad blocking community as it gathered together, making it easier to take back my browsing experience.

    Here’s where I become a little blunt. Because of my history with advertising on the internet, I don’t care what is done to make it less abrasive and more appealing. I’ve been abused enough by the ad networks during the era when we couldn’t protect ourselves from them that two things will never happen. I will never willingly allow advertising on a page I’m browsing and I will never click on an ad that does make it onto a page I’m viewing. Small minded? Perhaps. Petty? Probably. Short sighted? Only if I try to sell others on my mindset, causing the content creators to starve to death, like Lars Ulrich, leaving us with no new cat videos. Luckily, I don’t try to sell anyone on my ad-free lifestyle. I hope everyone else signs up for your kinder, gentler ads.

    So what about those “content creators” that are starving because I’m not viewing their ads? Well, they are welcome to block my visit if they wish. Luckily, there’s actually very few creators and the rest are simply copying and pasting the same content (so they can generate ad revenue on that delicious traffic). Any time content is blocked behind an adwall, I simply search the title and so far 100% of the time, I’ve found other sites with the exact same content that I was able to read without issue.

    And that’s why I don’t need my ad blocker developer to be working on an acceptable ads platform :)

    Reply from Ben Williams:

    So, turn off Acceptable Ads right?

    Since you’re going to be blocking all the ads, maybe you’d be interested in funding content-makers some other way? Check out Flattr Plus. Flattr Plus is our attempt to help provide a more holistic solution, which works for people who don’t like Acceptable Ads, for instance.

  95. Brendan Eich · 2016-09-17 02:44 · #

    > Reply from Ben Williams:
    > …
    > We think publishers should have the last word about how they monetize their inventory, just as the user should have the last word about what she wants to see on her screen.

    No, you block “unacceptable ads”, which means either or both of (1) ads that don’t meet certain subjective standards among a group of unaccountable and partly-beholden community members (I’ve done open source for two decades, I know open-washing when I smell it); and (2) ads that come from sources who have not paid you to get onto your whitelist or (now) into your exchange.

    For publishers to “have the last word”, they would get whatever ads they and their partners agreed upon to show without later blocking in the browser. A definition of your trope is here FYI: — note the necessity of temporal order implied by “last”.

    In fact ABP (same as with any browser-based ad blocker) runs last when it blocks scripts that create ads to fill publisher-sold spaces. Nothing the publisher wants to happen occurs “last” after such blocking.

    > If publishers want to advertise with nonintrusive ads we try to support that via the whitelist process, which, critically, can be turned off.

    Brave gives complete configurability to all options, and our default is to blocks ads and trackers, all else will be opt-in. You can see for yourself in Preferences / Shields and by clicking on the lion logo in the upper right.

    > If publishers don’t want to change and don’t use our offer to whitelist that’s also their call.

    “Nice restaurant you have here! Be a shame if anything happened to it…”

    > By contrast, Brave will work — I assume it still hasn’t been implemented, right?

    Why assume? Remember what Samuel L. Jackson said in “The Long Kiss Goodnight”. :-/

    > — by replacing ads on publishers’ sites

    No, 3rd party ads do not exist “on publishers’ sites”. I think you know this. They are injected by scripts running in browsers, from publisher pages — and from scripts on page that generate scripts, etc.

    For good reasons I’ve already laid out at and elsewhere, including in the very comment to which you reply, the 3rd party ecosystem of script-injected ads has become parasitic and toxic. It steals user attention and data and underpays publishers; at the limit it admits malware onto users’ personal computers.

    > without their permission and with ads you make yourself ..

    You really do need to read my comment again!

    > which you then make a hefty profit from, eh?

    No, we propose a standard take rate: 15%. You might want to read our docs, e.g.

    I’m glad your rate is 8% — well done! — but you should quit the phony posturing against “hefty profit”. Eyeo is a fabulously profitable company compared to Brave, and your unstated fees extracted since 2011 from dozens of whitelisted ad companies sum to a truly “hefty profit”.

    > We neither make

    Who ever said Brave would “make ads”? No need to assume, or to make up facts!

    > nor sell ads. Never have, never will.

    You charge for ads to get through your blocker via the whitelist, or soon, into your exchange. This is selling ad access. It is in business terms and economic effects the same as publishers selling inventory, i.e., selling access to space on their pages.

    Let’s see how well things go for ABP now that the charade of being an ad blocker for the user’s benefit is over. Brave continues to block all 3rd party ads and trackers by default, and we won’t change this default.


  96. Liz · 2016-09-17 05:03 · #

    You gained users by being the best ad blocker in the town. Now this is going to be really interesting. How many of your users will stay with you if you start selling ads? It is going to be very interesting cause your users are nerds and they are quick to adopt and move on to the next thing. As soon as another ad blocker becomes competent enough and if you cross the line of showing annoying ads your users will flock to other ad blockers.

    Reply from Ben Williams:

    Hey Liz,
    You’re right. We have to be careful with Acceptable Ads. I think it’ll help when we take a back seat, and hand it over to an independent committee.

    Btw, we won’t be “selling ads” — this platform is just an extension of Acceptable Ads, which allows publishers to choose ads NOT MADE by us but which do meet our criteria, for their sites.

  97. Jani Inu-Yasha · 2016-09-18 17:30 · #

    Manu of us have nothing against the optional Acceptable Ad’s, in fact some of us embrace it. While I personally deny all ad’s on mobile, because of the already limited screenspace, on desktop I support Acceptable Ad’s.

    However, I’m disappointed on your mobile solutions for another reason: poor UI with limited choices. In your Android app you can only select one list, and even that from predefined ones if I recall correctly. The same issues bother the Android Firefox add-on, plus the browser already being SLOW, the fact that ABP is slow – why don’t you implement faster matching routines, like in uBlock Origin? In fact, why does it seem you have no interest in upgrading your Android solutions?

    That is why on Android I use uBO on Firefox, but mostly use UC Browser, Dolphin and Opera Mini, which have built-in Adblock I can’t configure, though at least one is based on ABP apparently.

    I’m very fond of supporting you, but you’re not doing that great on mobile, and you could make the routines faster on desktop too. Hope you can take my criticism along with compliments :)

    Reply from Ben Williams:

    Hey Jani,
    Thanks for supporting us, and I’m sorry you’re unhappy with our mobile solutions. I’ll deliver that feedback to our product team.

  98. Aslanex · 2016-09-18 18:02 · #

    Firstly, I want to tell you I still do support ABP and I am glad for what you are doing. Both Acceptable Ads and Flattr Plus are one of the best ideas I’ve ever seen in the internet. I completely understand that blocking all ads won’t work, basically because it is technically possible to block out an adblock and that would probably be the result, when all people would use them.

    However, I am not sure about this step. Maybe I just don’t understand the principle, but here are my comments:

    One of the reasons I hate ads is they slow down the website. I’m ok with a site sponsor that will put a small banner to the bottom of all pages, but I am concerned of any ad distributors based on anything, since I feel the webpage is doing some annoying net request for each ad, and when there are many ads, the website loads up twice as long. Isn’t this an another ad distributing system? Or how is it technically made?

    Another note is I feel ABP is here to change how the ads work – make them not so obstructive or substitute them with a donating system. But allowing sites to show acceptable ads only to the adblock users while the other visitors will still be presented with the terrible obstructive ads, seems just not fair to me. The correct way should be making a deal with the website: You will turn off all unacceptable ads for everyone, or you will have all ads blocked. The same as you do not block just bad ads on a website full of ads, you block all of them in this case. I thing we the ABP users should be responsive too for the other users which do not use ABP, when they are not so hi-tech to be able to install it.

    Thanks for thinking about my comments :)

    Reply from Ben Williams:

    Hey Aslanex,
    Thanks for your thoughts, really appreciate the feedback.

    I’ll take up your questions in reverse order:

    - To your concern about showing unacceptable ads for non-ABP users, well, this helps publishers a lot. And let’s also bear in mind that we cannot assume other people want different ads. Believe it or not, some users actually like ads. Until they opt out of traditional ads by downloading an ad blocker, we can’t make too many assumptions.

    - To your first concern, this does not mean more ads per page — remember, it’s just a new feature of Acceptable Ads, not something completely new. This platform will offer medium-sized publishers a chance to plug into a supply of ads that already meet the Acceptable Ads criteria. But the criteria also stipulate that ads can only be placed on certain parts of the page, not to mention that they cannot take up too much space. Making sure the ads meet these requirements is possible for the publisher if they implement just one line of code on their page. After this, the ads cannot be too big or placed in the wrong places, thus, there will be fewer ads and it will take less time.

    Reply from Rachel Brochado:

    Hey Aslanex :)

    I’m reaching out to you because we’d really like to better understand how our users interact with ABP, and what users need from the product. I thought you could be a good fit for that. Let me know if you are fine with helping us out with that and would like to share your email so we can reach out to you. You can email me at


  99. Michael · 2016-09-18 20:44 · #

    There’s an old saying, “Don’t Believe The Hype”. Especially from desperate “content” creators, as their chickens come home to roost.

  100. Meme Man · 2016-09-18 23:06 · #

    Ben, in response to your response, the principle is, I don’t want to see ads. Yes, it’s “destructive”, but it’s easy to support a content creator or website – just turn off your ad blocker for that site. No need to replace ads with “acceptable” ads.

    Also, from my experience with it, pages load slightly faster with uBlock Origin than AdBlock Plus, so even forgetting the principle, it’s superior.

  101. Sascha Pallenberg · 2016-09-19 13:04 · #

    Cheers Ben and thanks for finally going public to make sure that each and everyone understands what your “company” is all about.
    I can’t deny that I am going to follow the upcoming lawsuits with quite some satisfaction ;)

    Reply from Ben Williams:

    Sascha, old boy! Thanks for dropping by. I’m glad you like watching us win ;)


    Well Ben, let’s wait and see. The last couple of lawsuits against Adblock Plus were a pretty sure deal. You’ve lost them. Get used to it because I am pretty sure that you guys will face such little battles on an international scale… at least sooner or later.

    All those lies Ben, all this “we wanna change the internet”, all these fake “community accounts”, the way you’ve blackmailed publishers and how you even forwarded your users to porn sites… We saw it all coming and revealed it ages ago while you were working for which company exactly? Oh yeah, scanning documents for the paperless office. I see a pattern :D

  102. Chumondley Grumthruddle · 2016-09-20 00:05 · #

    Ben. There’s still a few questions I asked that you never addressed:

    1) Would you accept a collect call from a marketing company?

    2) Would you pay the postage for the junk snail mail you receive?

    3) Why should I pay for junk just because “its on the Internet”?

    4) If I decide I am not going to “deprive website owners of their advertising revenue” by allowing AdBlock to let some ads through, who picks up the tab for data >I< don’t want but which is metered?

    Reply from Ben Williams:

    Could you explain what you mean by “metered”?

  103. Chumondley Grumthruddle · 2016-09-20 00:09 · #

    Just out of curiousity

    If I open a page that throws maybe a half dozen Google Ads; how much money am I making for the page carrying those ads?

    Reply from Ben Williams:

    I really have no idea; that depends on lots of factors, like how much the advertisers paid for the ads to be made, which types of platforms they were using, etc.

  104. Hingle McCringleberry · 2016-09-20 05:53 · #

    Look Ben, it’s simple. If this wasn’t about your company making money then the default would be opted out. This is about as obvious as cash grabs come.

    At this point it’s not about the ability to opt out, it’s the principle of it. An addon that is meant to block ads is now making money for displaying ads.

    Reply from Ben Williams:

    Howdy, Hingle. It’s the default because we think it’s a better way to block ads. That Acceptable Ads also keeps a free product afloat isn’t a truth we shy away from btw. Remember: ABP used to block all the things. But at that time it was just one developer’s hobby project. He ran into two realities back then: 1/his product was endangering publishers’ only viable revenue (ads) and 2/ he needed money to hire people to develop a product that had millions of users. He tried other things, but Acceptable Ads became the best option … way back in 2011.

    I guess I’m just surprised people are just learning about this now. We’ve been trying to champion this cause since then, so apparently we need to communicate better with people.

  105. Jesper Johansen · 2016-09-20 12:10 · #

    Hi Ben :)

    Although I do find all of this to be a little blurry, especially your answer to me earlier (an independent entity, with a mission to protect the commercial value, hmmmm), I just feel I have to praise your work here on this blog. I like your style answering all these comments. A work of art that you should be rewarded for, even if I dislike the whole acceptable ads thing. Good job!

    Reply from Ben Williams:

    Hey Jesper,
    Thanks for that :)

    To try and clear things up a bit, the Acceptable Ads Committee will be independent and have no commercial interest. However, we will give this committee control over Acceptable Ads, in which we will continue to have such an interest. It’ll make Acceptable Ads more transparent and independent, which we hope will spread the idea.

  106. Mauricio Escudero · 2016-09-20 18:20 · #

    I already uninstalled and switched to another app, who told you guys you were the gatekeepers of acceptable ads… what you guys are doing is shaping the ad industry to your personal liking, and that is extortion… so i guess all advertisers should follow your guidelines just to get through you… the nerve… anyways you had a good run, hope you reconsider…

    Reply from Ben Williams:

    I’d urge you to reconsider, Mauricio.

    Well, we invented Acceptable Ads, so for now we kinda have to keep the lights on and take responsibility for a product that we own. But we base the criteria on surveys, studies and consumer feedback on our open forum … where you can transparently see every single whitelisted ad. However, we’re actually giving up control of it very soon.

    Perhaps a better question: who gave advertisers the keys to the internet?

  107. Chumondley Grumthruddle · 2016-09-22 17:17 · #

    “Reply from Ben Williams: Could you explain what you mean by “metered”?”

    Yes, Not having an all-you-can -eat mobile data package, I get charged for each and every megabyte of data that is sent to me, including advertising dross.

    I would not willingly accept a reverse charge call from a telemarketer, nor would I willingly pay postage to receive junk mail so why should I be expected to stump up just to have someone try to tell me how wonderful their widget is?

    You still have not said whether you would accept a collect call from a marketing company, nor whether you would pay the postage for the junk snail mail you receive.

    Reply from Ben Williams:

    Okay, gotcha.

    Did you know that ad blocking really doesn’t exist within mobile apps? We do offer ad-blocking mobile browsers, however, which save you much of that cost so long as you’re using your browser. When you’re using other apps, it doesn’t.

    As to your questions, the answer for both is of course no. I see where you’re going with this one, and while the comparison is somewhat apt, I don’t think internet ads that pay for content I consume = junk mail or unsolicited calls.

  108. Michael · 2016-09-23 00:31 · #

    Some of the comments sound like disgruntled websites, bloggers, adtech companies. Whinging and whining about acceptable ads.

    The Internet was beautiful in the 90’s, until the ad cockroaches appeared. Ruined the Internet, with constant pop-ups, malware ads, bloated ads. 2006, day of liberation, ABP ended that bullsh*t

    If ABP can create a better system than the existing one. ABP has my blessing.

    Reply from Ben Williams:

    Thanks, Michael!

    In fairness to most of the others, I think we communicated this change pretty poorly, because we assumed our users already knew about our five-year-old Acceptable Ads program.

  109. Chumondley Grumthruddle · 2016-09-27 12:03 · #

    OK Ben, yes, I know there is no adblocking for mobiles*, which makes the point about paying on a mobile connection for content I don’t need or want being even more unacceptable.

    *I did happen across Adguard the other day, which seems promising.

  110. Chumondley Grumthruddle · 2016-09-27 12:38 · #

    Forgot the Adguard URL:

  111. Michael · 2016-09-27 15:05 · #

    Adblocking has existed on mobiles for many years. ABP released their first Android system wide Adblock Plus. Adblock Plus browser, Firefox for Android add on.

    Adguard’s performance was not that good, in my experience.

  112. Leather Bags · 2016-10-06 14:47 · #

    Thanks a lot for your comments

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