Nice try: Facebook update disables Adblock Plus reblocking filter

facebook fake news newspaper ads woman using
After Adblock Plus reblocked Facebook’s ad-block-blocking tool a mere 48 hours after it was launched, Facebook is updating it code that will render Adblock Plus’ workaround useless. If that reads like gobbledygook, you may be in need of a recap as to the events of the previous two days.

In case you missed it, Facebook began rolling out a set of ad customization options for users that allow them to tinker with the types of ads they are served on the social network. The plan was tied into Facebook’s larger strategy to give its users a more pleasant advertising experience.

Updated on 08-12-2016 by Les Shu: Included new info about Facebook disabling Adblock Plus’ workaround.

Updated on 08-11-2016 by Saqib Shah: Included statement from Facebook

The only problem is, the company’s latest move left no room for users that don’t want to see ads altogether. As usual buried within its friendly spiel, Facebook revealed that the HTML of its ads had been added into its content, meaning the site could now bypass ad-blockers.

Popular ad-blocking tool Adblock Plus fired back by claiming that Facebook’s plan was “anti-user.” It also stated that it was hard at work on creating a workaround for the update. Today, just two days after it slammed the social network, Adblock Plus has unveiled a new filter that it claims can get the better of Facebook’s ads.

“We promised that the open source community would have a solution very soon, and, frankly, they’ve beaten even our own expectations,” says Adblock Plus in a blog post.

This is how the workaround would have worked: If you already have Adblock Plus installed, all you have to is update your filter lists to start blocking ads on Facebook again — or just wait a day for the filter list to automatically update itself.

But, as Adblock Plus noted, Facebook could “re-circumvent” ad-blockers at any time, which is what the social network has done, according to a TechCrunch report. Facebook is releasing new code that would disable the workaround. Adblock Plus describes the current situation as a cat and mouse game — somebody pass the popcorn because this is turning into a full-fledged war, complete with Star Wars-style dialogue that claims the social network has taken “the dark path.”

For its part, Facebook is clearly not happy with the Adblock Plus filter. Andrew Bosworth, chief of ads and business at Facebook, had tweeted they would “address the issue,” and they are taking action quickly.

A Facebook spokesperson told Digital Trends the following about its stance on the Adblock Plus update, and ad-blockers in general: “We’re disappointed that ad blocking companies are punishing people on Facebook as these new attempts don’t just block ads but also posts from friends and Pages. This isn’t a good experience for people and we plan to address the issue. Ad blockers are a blunt instrument, which is why we’ve instead focused on building tools like ad preferences to put control in people’s hands.”

This battle looks set to rage on until one company somehow manages to land the final blow. For now, Adblock Plus is painting itself as the David to Facebook’s Goliath. In reality, this is far from a one-on-one bout, as Facebook’s manpower (and financial standing) gives it the advantage. Meanwhile, all Facebook’s users can do is await the next round.

Photography

Luminar’s new libraries don’t even need you to manually import images

Luminar 3's new libraries feature doesn't require importing -- images are automatically added after clicking on a folder. The long-promised libraries feature gives editors a Lightroom alternative with organization tools as well as syncing…
Social Media

You can now share saved Facebook posts with a Pinterest-like collection tool

Facebook collections can now be shared with friends if you also want to allow them to contribute to the list. Facebook is rolling out an update that allows users to add a contributor to their collections, or lists of saved Facebook posts.
Computing

Nvidia researchers use artificial intelligence to upgrade your game’s graphics

Nvidia researchers found that A.I. could be used to remaster older game titles, adding more details to textures, lighting, and shadows. Researchers claim that games can be re-rendered in real time and new levels can even be added.
Social Media

Instagram’s new Close Friends List lets you decide who should see your Story

Have a story to share, but don't want to send it to everyone? Instagram now offers a close friends list that will allow users to share stories with only the users included on that list.
Social Media

Survey of teens says social media lets them connect with friends and get support

A survey of teenagers shows the ways that social media sites can be beneficial to them, like feeling more connected to their friends, the ability to interact with different people, and as a venue to get support when they are struggling.
Social Media

Hotel chain offers an Instagram ‘sitter’ who will post photos for you

If the pressure to post stunning Instagram photos is ruining your vacations, then how about hiring a local Instagram influencer to do the job for you while you go off and enjoy yourself? Well, such a service now exists.
Social Media

Ride the rails and share your stories with Amtrak’s new social media residency

Amtrak is looking for travel fans with a knack for telling stories on social media. The new Amtrak social media residency program wants amateur travelers to share photos, video, and written content from aboard long-distance trips.
Social Media

Hangouts isn’t being hung out to dry in 2020, Google says

According to a report, Google may shut down Google Hangouts by 2020. While Hangouts was once Google's top-tier messaging app, the app has since been neglected in favor of Android Messages.
Social Media

Tumblr bans nudity to create ‘a safe place for creative expression’

Tumblr will soon no longer allow images with adult content. The company says the change is one that's designed to help more creators feel comfortable sharing on the platform, but admits the change won't happen overnight.
Social Media

Members can share the same Story with Facebook’s new Group Stories

Facebook Group members can now view and share Group Stories. Unlike the Stories for an individual user, the new tool allows members to contribute to the same Group Story, if the feature isn't turned off by an admin.
Mobile

Broadway actor tells Kanye West to get off his phone during opening night

Theater actors can get understandably upset when they spot someone in the audience fiddling with their phone instead of watching the show. The other night that audience member was Kanye West, and he got called out for it.
Social Media

This event topped Facebook’s biggest moments of the year — again

As the year comes to a close, Facebook is looking back on what users discussed most over the last year. For two years in a row, International Women's Day topped the list. So what else is on the list?
Social Media

This band owns Twitter, according to list of top accounts and tweets for 2018

What was the biggest buzz on Twitter in 2018? Twitter's 2018 Year in Review highlights the biggest tweets, accounts, and hashtags. The most-tweeted celebrities, movies, TV shows, athletes, politicians and more in Twitter's 2018 trends.
Social Media

What do yodeling and Kylie Jenner have in common? YouTube’s top 2018 videos

In a true nod to the variety found on YouTube, the platform's top 10 list of videos from 2018 range from celebrities to sports, from perfectly tossing a picture frame on the wall to a kid yodeling in aisle 12 at Walmart.