Yahoo is blocking some users of Yahoo Mail from accessing their email until they turn off their ad blocking software, reports The Washington Post. Yahoo confirmed to the publication that it is running a test for product experiences. “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,” Yahoo’s statement read.
The publication added that Yahoo in its terms of service does not explicitly prohibit users from using ad blockers. However, by accepting its services users will have to agree to the statement:
“Yahoo may include advertisements and that these advertisements are necessary for Yahoo to provide the Yahoo Services.”
As of October 2014, Yahoo has 273 million users on its email service, making it the second largest email service after Gmail.
In recent times ad blockers have gained prominence as users find online advertisements increasingly invasive, annoying and difficult to close. Apple, most notably, has allowed third-party ad blockers on the updated iOS operating system for the Safari browser. However, Apple does not remove its own ads which are served in-app.
Other services which want ad blocks to be removed
It’s also worth noting that the Washington Post also forced users to disable ad blockers to access their content in the past. City AM, a London financial newspaper, has been blocking the text of stories on Firefox browsers with ad blocking enabled since October, as indicated by this Information Week report.
Ad block exceptions
Adblock Plus, a popular, browser extension which filters ads in September said that it would allow certain ads that are non-intrusive. At the time, Adblock Plus planned to allow an independent review board to determine whether ads qualify as “acceptable” and are allowed to pass through its filters, as indicated by this Wall Street Journal report.
The report added that Adblock Plus allows ads from some 700 companies to pass through its filters by default, provided those ads meet its “acceptable ads” policy and aren’t too disruptive or intrusive to users. Eyeo (Adblock Plus’ parent company) has accepted payment from around 70 of those companies, including Google, Microsoft and Taboola, in exchange for including them in the acceptable ads program.