Adblock Plus and (a little) more

Sorry Filterset.G but it is time for you to go · 2006-11-23 18:05 by Wladimir Palant

The issues with Filterset.G have been discussed several times in the forums and now it is official — I recommend Adblock Plus users to uninstall Filterset.G Updater and use some other subscription instead. There are quite a few choices, my recommendation would be to choose one of either EasyList, Cédrics Liste, dutchblock or Filter von Dr.Evil (these are also the subscriptions that are currently suggested by the “Add subscription” dialog in Adblock Plus).

Each of these subscriptions has a much shorter track record of false positives (occasions on which a filter would block something that isn’t an ad or even worse — whitelist ads). And even if there are issues — these subscriptions all have responsive maintainers. They will slow down your browsing far less than Filterset.G. And none of them requires an external extension, the subscriptions feature in Adblock Plus is perfectly fine. The FAQ has more on the issues with Filterset.G.

I still have to acknowledge the achievements of Filterset.G. This filter list was the first to get widespread adoption, at a time when Adblock required everybody to spend their time (some would say: “waste their time”) on creating their own filters. It was the only way for less experienced users to benefit from Adblock and lots of Adblock’s fame certainly is due to Filterset.G. It is just sad that the project deteriorated over time.


Comment [20]

  1. IceDogg · 2006-11-24 23:03 · #

    I too am greatful to G for all that he did. I used his list first after searching high a low for a good solution to online ads. His was a God sent. For several years he was on top of it and kept things running smooth.

    Then some time later he posted on his forums that he was (I think I remember this correctly) getting married and taking on more responsibly at work. His time for the filterset has been reduced greatly. I don’t blame him for that, people have lives. And likewise I don’t think he would blame people for moving on to another filterset that works better for them now days.

  2. Omegatron · 2006-12-13 00:12 · #

    I just switched to Easylist and EasyElement…and i have to say…thanks but no thanks to G…I loved using it, but man finding the blessings that are Easylist, have just changed the way I browse. Anyone in distress over the loss of filtersetG I implore you go check out easylist

  3. Doug · 2007-01-12 08:03 · #

    I agree, the EasyList sets are great.

    Filterset.p is a good:

  4. Barbara · 2007-02-12 12:56 · #

    Help! I can’t find where it is to uninstall FG. I went to preferences and there’s nothing there on removing the filter set, only removing all filters. I’m having problems in that it seems to crash FireFox at odd times for no reason. By crash I mean that I lose internet connectivity and have to entirely close all instances of the browser.

    It worked fine for quite awhile. This browser problem just started over the past week.

    Reply from Wladimir Palant:

    Unlikely that Filterset.G Updater is causing anything like this. You always uninstall extensions using the Extension Manager:

  5. No Just Us for Peace · 2007-03-09 10:12 · #

    I’ve been a filterset.g evangelist for years up until recently. When I could no longer easily edit G’s list I was a bit irked to put it mildly. G would do well to have multiple levels of blacklists… akin to proxomitron filtersets. Giving in to the whining of ad-proponents is ludicrous!

    Its G’s prerogative, however, to engineer his list to be deployed on his terms as its his labor of ad-hate.

    Its disheartening to see that the adblock extension has splintered into three projects. I’m not too thrilled with the load-then-hide model. Blocking and hiding are not the same. There’s already a hide option: Filterset.P

    As it stands I now use ADP, all three easyelements lists, Aardvark & Remove It Permanently, Stylish, Greasemonkey, and occasionally platypus — I see the web the way __ I __ want to see it! ;) Unfortunately this still comes at the high cost of an insane RAM usage on FX1.5. FX2, while responsible ram usage, has become a vexacious experience with focus stealing (I don’t appreciate my use of other applications being interrupted by FX2 popping up)

    Can’t we all just get along? The enemy is the bandwidth-stealers: ads. It shouldn’t require hardcore CPU to not-see ads.

    IT IS TIME to play well with others.


    thanks all for the hard work!

  6. Jared · 2007-04-21 21:31 · #

    Why does EasyList whitelist a bunch of advertising sites? Are they sponsors of the filter or something? (i.e. doubleclick, 800flowers, ads.msn, etc.) And you can’t selectively edit the subscribed filter, so it’s either use it and accept whitelisted stuff you don’t want or do filters manually. :(

    Reply from Wladimir Palant:

    Did you see any actual ads that have been whitelisted? These whitelist entries are all for false positives, for example a few large news sites serve their videos through doubleclick – oops. Rick only adds exceptions if there is absolutely no other way.

    Btw, you sound like you could use this info:

  7. mario · 2007-06-28 17:01 · #

    that’s bull, easylist does whitelist advertising sites. i bet he gets paid under the table to focus ads by sponsors. MOST of the whitelisted sites should be blacklisted.

    Reply from Wladimir Palant:

    Have you any proof for the bullshit you are telling? EasyList whitelists false positives meaning elements that are not ads but would match usual rules. And I know that Rick tries to avoid whitelisting whenever possible. But what do you say about “@@;ad;” in Filterset.G?

  8. Jacob · 2007-11-15 21:47 · #

    Here is your proof, pulled off my Adblock Plus prefs. False positives never include “1800flowers”, unless you suggest they might be serving video for youtube…? Adblock Plus offers a fantastic service, but unless there is an easy method to control the whitelisted sites, I am leaving Adblock. Come on… adbrite, doubleclick, yahoo, ads.***... 1800flowers!? I think someone is getting paid, or threatened.*/banners/$script*/player.html?

    Reply from Wladimir Palant:

    I guess I need to explain what “false positive” means: it is a case where a filter blocks something that isn’t an ad. Sometimes, changing this filter is too hard and you simply add a whitelisting rule – just for this case.

    Go to and press Ctrl+Shift+B to see what gets whitelisted there. That’s the site’s content! And that’s why this rule is there – because people complained that they could not use

    adbrite.gif is a common “Adblock Plus detection” – by naming an image like this some people try to ban ad blockers. Makes sense that there is an exception for that?*video*player is used in video players on some sites. No single doubleclick ad has the words “video player” in its address – but quite a few video players will stop working if you always block doubleclick. is a script required by Hotmail, whitelisting it is the only way to use Hotmail.

    Etc, etc. I don’t know the story behind all these filters but if you look around in the EasyList forum you will find it. And if not – ask Rick, he will tell you.

    And now go find an ad that is whitelisted by these rules – that’s what people usually call “proof”. Stop spreading non-sense based on a suspicion. I hope you are ashamed of yourself now...

  9. Jacob · 2007-11-15 22:12 · #


    The only way around it, is to make your own list. Cutting and pasting around the garbage to a txt file with the header [Adblock]

    Reply from Wladimir Palant:

    Some people really want it complicated… See

  10. kim · 2008-01-16 09:17 · #

    Please give me line by line instructions on how to remove Adblock Plus and FilterG. It is causing way too much disconnection with the internet for me. I am not a techie, so tooling around to remedy problems as listed in forums or blogs is not possible for me because I couldn’t understand much what is written. Thank you for your assistance. Can you email me the instruction because I’m not sure where to look for the reply.

    Reply from Wladimir Palant: is what you are looking for.

  11. Boston Wedding Videographer · 2008-02-19 03:02 · #

    easy as pie.

    Very helpful, Thank You.

  12. Nick · 2008-05-01 10:50 · #

    Easylist is currently whitelisting:*/video

    Doubleclick is running banner ad campains on major sites which match this whitelist. Example:;tile=1;sz=728×90;ord=1209623882?

    I strongly disagree with the idea that AdBlock users want to see any content whatsoever provided by doubleclick.

    I also strongly disagree with the design of AdBlock Plus which prevents uses from overriding the whitelists provided by the installed filters. AdBlock Plus does not even show up in the context menu when I right click the Doubleclick banner ad shown. This is foolish. The user should always be able to block content regardless of the expressions given in the installed 3rd party filters.

    Reply from Wladimir Palant:

    Ok, that is a problem of course. Thing is, Adblock users do want to see some content served via doubleclick servers, e.g. on (news videos there were the issue I think).

    Ads matching this whitelist are an issue of course. I will forward this report to rick752, hopefully he can figure out a solution.

    As to not showing a context menu item – why should it be shown if overriding whitelists is impossible? That would be plainly misleading. And I don’t want to introduce “whitelist blacklisting rules” – where would we stop then, at 20 levels of overriding?

    See for how to disable filter rules you don’t like.

  13. rick752 · 2008-05-07 05:17 · #

    NO! I’m not getting paid OR threatened!

    Unfortunately, whitelists are a necessary evil. The whitelists that are in the EasyList are ONLY for allowing things that don’t work and are ‘targeted’ to ONLY allow the necessary pieces that allow things to work as best as I can make them for a given situation. You can’t leave things blocked or people will start complaining (and they do).


    Most of the whitelists that are listed are to allow video to work. The number of large, popular sites that have video feeds fed through known advertisers WOULD NOT WORK with normal adblocking rules enabled on ANYONE’S list. If can see the video, then parts of doubleclick would be coming through anyway. At least I try to limit WHAT parts are coming through.

    If anyone doesn’t like some of the whitelists, feel free to turn all of them off by clicking the bullet after each of them … they will stay off. Then see what happens. if you run into something not working, you could just allow EVERYTHING then by either whitelisting that whole site … or turning off ABP. In either instance, you will be allowing everything and not just the whitelisted piece.

    Complaining to Wladimir about the EasyList will do you no good because he just ‘recommends’ it … he doesn’t make it. Anyone who feels that I have “preferences” to what I block does not know me very well. Building the 3 EasyList filters is no picnic and takes up a substantial amount of my free time. But I really enjoy doing it. I try to do the best I can with them, To get an idea what it is like for me, just look at my posts here and especially at my own EasyList forum at “” …. and also other limited supoort at DSL Reports and Mozillazine’s forum.

    No one ever forced anyone to use the EasyList subscriptions and anyone is welcome to change them or build their own … but you WILL run into the same ‘allowance’ problems eventually. Just try to make 3 million people all happy :(

  14. rick752 · 2008-05-07 06:37 · #

    @nick says:

    “Easylist is currently whitelisting:*/video
    Doubleclick is running banner ad campains on major sites which match this whitelist. Example:;tile=1;sz=728×90;ord=1209623882?”

    I see the script on the Fark video section. But from what I can see, ONLY the script runs but any ads called by that script are BLOCKED. I will try to tighten that whitelist a bit if I can.

    You people DO know that you can disable ANY filter string in subscriptions don’t you?

    If you like using the EasyList(s) but don’t want certain strings enabled on it, then why don’t you simply DISABLE THE STRINGS YOU DON’T WANT????
    They will stay disabled even after a subscription update y’know.

    Just disable:*/video
    … nick.

  15. david b · 2008-05-20 05:11 · #

    um .. nick I think people plainly do NOT know this. Mind mentioning how? ..cause Im one of them.

    @Wladimir Palant
    wow way to jump to an unneeded extreme. “where would we stop then 20 levels”

    How about 1? lists are for user convenience, and not allowing user exceptions to a convenience list takes that one redeeming feature away. To have more then 1 level would be what .. list/user/list2 or list/user/list2/user The argument that you make doesnt even make any sense.

    Reply from Wladimir Palant:

    The current system has two huge advantages:

    1) It is simple (for users, for me as developer, for testing)
    2) It works

    I am not going to overcomplicate things (yes, even one additional level of overriding is already overcomplicating) unless I see an issue that cannot be solved within the current system. As I mentioned above, is the way to go if you have issues with some of the filters in the subscription. Mind however that all whitelisting in EasyList is there for a reason, if you remove these filters something on some site will stop working.

  16. Maverynthia · 2008-05-28 03:29 · #

    I think the best way to solve the whitlist issue is to remove all the whitelisted stuff and then allow the user to add those sites manually, or have 2 lists. One with the whitlisted tracker sites and the one that blocks them (for the people who don’t care about 1800Flowers and CNN video)

    Reply from Wladimir Palant:

    If a filter in EasyList happens to whitelist a banner (the complaint about DoubleClick video ads above it the first one I’ve seen in two years, and that’s really a complicated situation) – disabling the single filter is the way to go. Reporting the issue to Rick is probably still the better option, he will fix it. And inexperienced users will usually tell me “Adblock Plus isn’t blocking that banner”, something I can forward to Rick.

    But removing whitelist entries from the default filter list is a bad idea, most inexperienced users will be lost when sites suddenly stop working – and even telling what is responsible for that isn’t easy. Most of the time they will blame Firefox, and we don’t want that, right?

    Btw, which problem exactly are you trying to solve?

  17. david b · 2008-06-17 06:44 · #

    ‘it works’ etc.
    fair enough.. you’re the coder..

    A possible other direction that I dont see handled that might help in all this. How bout site specific filters?

    Ok thats a bit vague.. how bout ‘When Im on this page activate this filter’. It could be that exists in there somewhere, but I dont see it.

    This could make for some very easy filtering of some of this nasty stuff. For example you could disable all ‘doubleclick video’ on because it provides nothing of value, but that filter would not effect hotmail or whatever else that its used for.

    So maybe thats something for adblock to think about instead of all this easylist specific stuff.


    .any way thanks for all your work on this stuff..

  18. david b · 2008-06-17 06:55 · #

    uh oh.. after re re re reading my post let me be more specific again. Im talking about enableing for the media blocking what you already have for the element hiding.

    ..again if it already exists Im sorry.. just havent seen it.

  19. k · 2009-10-05 14:52 · #

    how can enable orkut in the add filter

  20. Kirill · 2010-01-08 15:46 · #

    Funny how three years later Filterset.G is still far better than any other ABP subscription! And if you hear that it’s no longer updated, just check and get your very own up-to-date copy.

    Reply from Wladimir Palant:

    For certain definitions of “better” – sure.

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