adblock

Microsoft is working on supporting ad block in its new Edge browser through third-party extensions, reports Reuters. This is in line with most other popular browsers like Firefox, Chrome or Safari. Browsers like Opera and Slimjet, provide their own in built ad blockers.

As more browsers adopt ad blocking technologies, white listing websites which have ads that are non intrusive and do not ruin the browsing experience will become crucial. It is also necessary to give the power to whitelist websites to users rather than the ad blockers themselves. Already ad blockers are being likened to a cartel and publishers like Axel Springer are seeking court-ordered bans on them.

It’s also worth noting that publications such as 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 and Wired Magazine now requires users to disable ad blockers or buy a subscription.

Court ruling favoured adblockers: Interestingly, a German regional court recently ruled adblockers to be legal. This was the fifth such case to be decided in favour of ad block maker AdBlock Plus, which is based in Germany. The court in Munich also ruled that the “Acceptable Ads initiative,” a scheme that requires larger companies to pay for their ads to be whitelisted by Adblock Plus, is acceptable under German law.

However, while ad blockers are legal, there is nothing stopping websites from blocking users using ad blockers from accessing their content.

Developments in ad blockers

– In February, Google, which started blocking ad-blockers from the Play Store earlier, has stopped doing so after revising its policy. The company would now allow ad-blockers that were built for Samsung’s browser to stay online. Samsung recently rolled out ad blocking on its browser for Android devices that would allow third-party developers to to build apps for blocking ads.

– In November last year, Yahoo blocked some users of Yahoo Mail from accessing their email until they turn off their ad blocking software. More on that here.

– September last year, AdblockPlus released a mobile browser for Android and iOS. This is after Eyeo, the company which makes the extension for browsers, encountered problems in creating ad blocking software for mobile devices. More here.

– In the same month, Apple allowed third party ad blocker extensions for the Safari browser on the iPhone.