Yahoo is taking a stand against people who employ ad blockers in their browsers by testing a feature that locks out Yahoo Mail users from accessing their accounts. The company says it’s testing the feature with a small set of U.S. users.
Users with an ad blocker installed in their browser who were included in Yahoo’s test were greeted with this message: “Uh oh…We are unable to display Yahoo Mail. Please disable Ad Blocker to continue using Yahoo Mail.” That message was shown to users on Chrome and Firefox browsers, according to a thread on Adblock Plus’ forum.
A Yahoo spokesperson offered this clarification to Engadget: “At Yahoo, we are continually developing and testing new product experiences. This is a test we’re running for a small number of Yahoo Mail users in the U.S.”
The Adblock Plus forum post that first reported the Yahoo Mail message pointed out that the URL includes the string “ADBLK_TRAP,” a not-so-subtle indication that the page acts as an unpleasant trap for unsuspecting users.
“Their users’ email account content are unique to them, so it’s different from news content where they can visit a competing website to get a same or similar experience,” said Tom Yeomans, CEO of anti-ad-blocker company Yavli, in an interview with Digiday.
Word of this test test with a “small number” of users has echoed throughout the Internet and is prompting some Yahoo Mail users to publicly declare their breakup with the email service.