Following on from Facebook’s decision to override users’ ad blocking tools, Adblock Plus has fired one more shot, saying that it will continue the fight for the right to an ad-free social networking experience.
After finding a way to prevent Facebook blocking ads, which Facebook then bypassed once again, Adblock Plus says that while the game of cat and mouse may continue, it wants to use what it describes as “probably be the last time we talk about it for a while” to say that the open source community will fight the good fight for users.
The company has a simple message: “trampling on users’ free will to not see ads or deal with malware-laden sites is not sustainable”. At the time of writing, yet another way to stop Facebook blocking ad blockers has been discovered, but it is surely just a matter of time before Facebook nips this in the bud. Although Adblock Plus uses its latest attack on Facebook to promote its acceptable ads program, company PR man Rich Mullikin says:
ABP will continue to fight on behalf of users who are caught in the middle between having ads forced on them and having free will to see what they want on the internet.
Adblock Plus’s Ben Williams has already spoken out against Facebook, and has now done so once again. He says even a technological behemoth like Facebook cannot be allowed to get away with such activity. Writing on the company blog, he says:
The important thing is that at its heart this is a contest between consumers and Facebook… we called it a cat-and-mouse game, but it doesn’t mean we like it. Anger or blame toward ad blockers is misdirected; we merely enforce “the will of the people” (via the open-sourced filter lists). Should Facebook circumvent again, I’m sure another solution will arise from that open source community. And so on… What is the solution? We invite publishers and websites to work with Adblock Plus and our whitelisting process, rather than circumventing consumers’ expressed concerns.
We clearly feel like giving users control of their internet experience is better than taking it away, and it’s disheartening that a company like Facebook would abuse everyone’s experience of their site by forcing that experience into a one-size-fits-all, see-the-ads-or-else tube. The internet just doesn’t work that way. At least it shouldn’t.
In the meantime we’ll do what we can to keep users in control in the apparently endless loop.
This is clearly far from being the end of the story, but Adblock Plus wants you to know that it is fighting your corner.