YouTube Is Cracking Down on Users Blocking Ads or Using a Higher Degree of Privacy Protection – Pixel Envy

By admin

Emma Roth
PERSON

, the Verge:


YouTube
ORG

is broadening its efforts to crack down on ad blockers. The platform has “launched a global effort” to encourage users to allow ads or try

YouTube Premium
ORG

,

YouTube
ORG

communications manager

Christopher Lawton
PERSON

says in a statement provided to The Verge.

“Encourage users” is quite the euphemism for a mechanism which will eventually prevent you from watching videos unless you permit ads.

In the statement,

Lawton
PERSON

explained that ad blockers violate

YouTube
ORG

’s terms of service. Presumably, this is the restriction which states “You are not allowed to: […] (

2
CARDINAL

) circumvent, disable, fraudulently engage with, or otherwise interfere with any part of the Service” which, in a strict reading, implies even programmatically hiding the comments section — as I do — is a violation. After all, I am disabling part of the service.


Zhenyi Tan
PERSON

:


YouTube
ORG

isn’t rolling out the anti-adblock to everyone. It seems to depend on things like your account, browser, and IP address. And if you’re not logged in or you’re in a private window, you’re safe. As a result, there are a bunch of people saying, “I use XYZ and I haven’t seen an anti-adblock popup yet,” unknowingly spreading misinformation. But here’s the thing:

YouTube
ORG

isn’t just targeting adblockers. Use Privacy Badger? You’ll get flagged. Use Malwarebytes? You’ll get flagged. Set your Edge browser’s tracking protection to “strict”? Yep, you’ll get flagged. So a lot of people think their extensions are safe to use, but actually they’re not.


One
CARDINAL

tiny correction: I am not signed into

YouTube
ORG

and I, too, have seen the anti-adblock campaign.


YouTube
ORG

is in a unique position — one I imagine is enviable for pretty much any other ad-supported product. It is the web’s video host — well, the web’s general purpose video host, I suppose — and has no equal, so it can do basically anything it wants. It has spent

years
DATE

ratcheting up the ad load. It is now typical that any video you watch will be preceded by

two
CARDINAL

unskippable ads, with more ads often appearing

every few minutes
TIME

. There is no

third
ORDINAL

choice: users either watch ads, or pay for Premium.

Is it any wonder

YouTube
ORG

announced it hit

80 million
CARDINAL

paying members in

November
DATE

?


Alec Watson
PERSON

:

Seemingly few people know (or understand completely) that

YT Premium
ORG

is a good deal for all parties involved – it kills ads, creators get a cut of the membership, and (in my experience anyway) it neutralizes many of the platform’s weird tendencies because serving relevant ads to the viewer is no longer a concern. I would advocate for it much more strongly (and I say

100%
PERCENT

truthfully that Premium views pay me more than ad-supported views do) except

YT
ORG

continues to lump

YT
ORG

music into it.

As is often the case with something

Watson
PERSON

does, this got me to think differently about

YouTube Premium
ORG

. If you think of

YouTube
ORG

only as an increasingly crummy free product pushing people toward paying a

monthly
DATE

fee, it looks extortive. Indeed, that is the way

YouTube
ORG

markets Premium —

five
CARDINAL

mentions of “ad-free” on that page, yet not a single indication of revenue sharing. You have to go pretty deep into the documentation to find out about this extremely appealing quality.