back to article Adblock Plus blocks Facebook's ad-blocker buster: It's a block party!

The makers of Adblock Plus (ABP) have already found a way to defeat Facebook's anti-ad-block tools. An updated filter list for ABP will disappear web ads on Facebook's desktop site – including banners the social network said it would force people to see even if they are using ad-blocking tools. Those ads are specially crafted …

  1. Steve Foster
    Joke

    Simple, innit?

    The filter consists of:

    *.facebook.com

    :)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Simple, innit?

      Absolutely. Dnsmasq does the job very well for me.

    2. William 3 Bronze badge

      Re: Simple, innit?

      More like;

      127.0.0.1 facebook.com

      127.0.0.1 www.facebook.com

      127.0.0.1 login.facebook.com

      127.0.0.1 www.login.facebook.com

      127.0.0.1 fbcdn.net

      127.0.0.1 www.fbcdn.net

      127.0.0.1 fbcdn.com

      127.0.0.1 www.fbcdn.com

      127.0.0.1 static.ak.fbcdn.net

      127.0.0.1 static.ak.connect.facebook.com

      127.0.0.1 connect.facebook.net

      127.0.0.1 www.connect.facebook.net

      127.0.0.1 apps.facebook.com

      # Block Facebook IPv6

      #fe80::1%lo0 localhost

      ::1 facebook.com

      ::1 www.facebook.com

      ::1 login.facebook.com

      ::1 www.login.facebook.com

      ::1 fbcdn.net

      ::1 www.fbcdn.net

      ::1 fbcdn.com

      ::1 www.fbcdn.com

      ::1 static.ak.fbcdn.net

      ::1 static.ak.connect.facebook.com

      ::1 connect.facebook.net

      ::1 www.connect.facebook.net

      ::1 apps.facebook.com

      ::1 edge-star6-shv-02-ams2.facebook.com

      1. razorfishsl

        Re: Simple, innit?

        No.......

        all i need is a DDNS and domain randomizer and your system will fail.

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: Simple, innit?

          Basically, a fast-flux system. That's how malware barkers evade domain blocks.

    3. The Man Who Fell To Earth Silver badge
      WTF?

      Re: Simple, innit?

      Facebook? What's that?

      Oh yea, that's something that old people like my Mom use.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    When will the ad pushers realise that most people don't want adds pushed in their faces when they visit a web page?

    1. Dwarf Silver badge

      @Ivan 4.

      What do you mean - you don't want 27 different types of new car, the latest mobile phone (even though you are already in a 2 year deal on the current one) - and as for your choice of music, well its about time you realised that mum knows best and you really should be listening to the latest fingernails down the chalk board "music"

      When will the advertising people realise that we are all different, have different views and want do do things in different ways. I'm not in the slightest bit interested in the latest game, fridge or TV or other random thing that some random party is paying you to spam across the Internet.

      As others have already said on previous posts, Stylish is great for blocking entities on web pages and any ad blocker is better than none, although uBlock is as others suggested very good.

      BTW - does anyone know if they still push adverts on El Reg - not seen one for very many months ;-)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        The 'We thought you might like' conundrum

        I bought some incontinence pads for my mother (hence the AC) online. The scumbag company has passed my email addy to every man and his dog that sells 'aids for the elderly'. While I am over 60, I ran a half marathon last March and am in pretty good health.

        Yes I know that I was foolish not to use a throw away address but that's life.

        Now and I'm looking at you Google I get ads for stairlifts, zimmer frames and all that crap when I visit a number of sites.

        I was pretty ambivalent about online ads but now? They can all go and fuck themselves. I've blocked ALL ads no matter how innocent and well deserving the site is.

        They have brought it on yourselves so good riddance to the lot of you I hope you all die a horrible lingering death.

        1. Aitor 1 Silver badge

          Re: The 'We thought you might like' conundrum

          I can improve that.

          My wife went to a hen party last week, and of course they bought penis like straws.

          Big mistake: buy them through amazon (I have prime).

          Now if I open amazon @work I can see penises!!

          1. Dwarf Silver badge

            Re: The 'We thought you might like' conundrum

            Same issue as others - I often avoid making on-line purchases for presents due to the lack of ability to forget that I looked / purchased a particular item. I want the surprise to happen when the wrapping paper is removed, not when they walk past my PC for any of the next 4 weeks after buying the item

            This is yet another marketing WTF - If I've already purchased something, then there is a really good chance that I won't want another one - by virtue of already owning one. Obviously if the item is a consumable, then for repeat purchases, then I'll probably go back to where the last ones were purchased from, so I don't need an advert for that as I've got both a brain and a pile of e-mails as it goes through the purchasing system.

            Advertising morons!. You would have hoped that the above would have gone into the marketing thinking under the topic of "Understanding your customer", Then for some random reason, the Hitchhikers guide to the galaxy pops into my brain (2nd time this week) and I remember why Golgafrinchans. They are one of the useless third !

            1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

              Re: The 'We thought you might like' conundrum

              "This is yet another marketing WTF - If I've already purchased something, then there is a really good chance that I won't want another one - by virtue of already owning one."

              I think you just hit the nail on the head. The advertisers doing the tracking should be using a blacklist system. If they want to "personalise" ads, and you are prepared to let them, they should be blacklisting the products and related keywords of your recent purchases, not using them as guides of what to show you now.

          2. Baldy50

            Re: The 'We thought you might like' conundrum

            Could be worse!!!!! Just saying.

          3. John Tserkezis

            Re: The 'We thought you might like' conundrum

            "Now if I open amazon @work I can see penises!!"

            Way back in the MySpace days, a friend of mine said a MySpace friend bought a dildo.

            Soon afterwards _all_ her friends received a message saying "so-and-so just bought a dildo, would you like to buy one too?"

            Very classy. And it appears no-one has learned anything since then either. Idiots.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              @ The penis guy

              Amazon does allow you to change your settings so that past purchases and searches aren't used to give you recommendations. I had a similar, but not as amusing experience a while back when my wife searched for clothes whilst logged into my account. A bit of pissing around through the settings allowed me to clear out the recommendations.

            2. VinceH Silver badge

              Re: The 'We thought you might like' conundrum

              ""Now if I open amazon @work I can see penises!!"

              Just put yourself in my shoes. I once purchased a Michael Jackson DVD on behalf of my nephew. Jackson's stuff kept appearing for ages after in my recommendations.

              I still wake up in cold sweats now.

              *Shudder*

          4. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: The 'We thought you might like' conundrum

            I can top that...

            Ex-wife was a social worker.

            Bought a book on sexual exploration and modern slavery...

            My ad's then consisted of BDSM books and accessories.

            One quick email to Amazon and a very apologetic email back....and the ads very quickly disappeared..

          5. MJI Silver badge

            Re: The 'We thought you might like' conundrum

            Amazon and Ebay do lose business due to this, if you keep getting it rammed in your face you go to places which do not.

            Many times we have gone elsewhere for presents to avoid the recipient seeing things like this about it.

            I had to set up another Ebay account for this and only use with one browser to stop it polluting other browsers.

            And yes I do block as much as I can

        2. fidodogbreath Silver badge

          Re: The 'We thought you might like' conundrum

          Yes I know that I was foolish not to use a throw away address but that's life.

          Make sure you never, ever participate in the so-called "Google Trusted Stores" program. Its only purpose is to enable The Goog to capture info about purchases that you made without using their search or Gmail.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: The 'We thought you might like' conundrum

          Spend some time searching for, and if necessary buying, some skimpy bikinis.

          Your ads will improve.

          Yours truly,

          Sun Tzu

          1. Ropewash
            Meh

            Re: The 'We thought you might like' conundrum

            "Spend some time searching for, and if necessary buying, some skimpy bikinis."

            Warning !!!

            If I spend money on something I'm going to feel compelled to use it.

            1. Esme

              Re: The 'We thought you might like' conundrum

              @Ropewash - don't mind us, sweetie, we're all liberal-minded around here! 8-}

              1. VinceH Silver badge

                Re: The 'We thought you might like' conundrum

                "@Ropewash - don't mind us, sweetie, we're all liberal-minded around here! 8-}"

                Just don't show us the pictures... PLEASE don't show us the pictures. ;)

        4. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

          Re: The 'We thought you might like' conundrum

          I tend to get the following ads on mobile:

          1) For products I've recently purchased

          2) Mature age dating, despite being half the age of the target demographic

          So I'm saving the advertisers money by blocking them, obviously.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        EXACTLY! I would like ads, I love buying crap. But only if they are interesting to ME. I turn ON all the 'give them my demographics' in the hope I'll get better targeted ads but nooooo it's still all rubbish. And as for El Reg, I would be a supporter and turn the ads on, but the first day I did that I got an autoplay video about NOTHING AT ALL from IBM in the middle of a story. So ABP went straight back on.

        1. fung0

          Codysydney: "And as for El Reg, I would be a supporter and turn the ads on, but the first day I did that I got an autoplay video about NOTHING AT ALL from IBM in the middle of a story. So ABP went straight back on."

          I won't allow ads on my (my!) system, as long as a single piece of malware has been delivered that way in the preceding decade.

          However, as soon as The Reg starts supporting Flattr or Flattr Plus, they'll start seeing revenue from me. I can't imagine why they haven't already done it. (Unless maybe it violates their deal with some of the ad providers they use.) I'll support these mechanisms not just because I value the content here, but more importantly because Introducing any sort of direct user support into the ecosystem will put the fear of god into the ad companies. (Who currently think they are the Gods of the Internet.)

      3. Chairo

        @Dwarf

        does anyone know if they still push adverts on El Reg - not seen one for very many months ;-)

        Yes, they do. But my in my impression most of these ads are non-intrusive and don't disturb, so I prefer to not adblock El Reg.

        Btw: IMHO the quality of advertisement on a site tells also something about the general quality of the site itself, so there is also some benefit of not blocking ads per default.

        1. Goldmember

          Re: @Dwarf

          "Yes, they do. But my in my impression most of these ads are non-intrusive and don't disturb, so I prefer to not adblock El Reg."

          Apart from the one embedded in an article yesterday which was chucking out malware...

      4. Steve Graham

        block Ublock

        The ublock.org developers forked the original and tried to pass it off as their own creation. They ask for donations to support their "hard work". The correct site for the real Ublock is https://github.com/gorhill/uBlock. You can also install "Ublock Origin" from the Mozilla add-ons site.

        See also the Wikipedia article on Ublock Origin.

    2. John Crisp

      When the vast majority of ordinary users figure out they have been mugged off.

      Think of hell freezing over... :-)

      The advertisers wouldn't do it if there was no money in it.......

      The fact is muppets like my wife fall for the recommendations/upsell everytime.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        "The advertisers wouldn't do it if there was no money in it......."

        Distinguish between the advertising industry and the advertisers, those who have something they want you to buy.

        The money is in it for the advertising industry for showing the ads. If they really wanted to do something for the advertisers' profits they'd follow the following line of reasoning:

        1. This person is trying to block us.

        2. This person therefore doesn't like being pestered by ads.

        3. If we pester him he'll probably give our client a miss when he might have otherwise bought something.

        4. Breaking through his ad-blocker will be bad for our client.

        5. We won't try to do it.

        The fact that they don't think that way (nor do the publishers) should tell the advertisers something and one day they might actually catch on and pull the rug out from underneath the whole thing.

        The fact that this hasn't happened yet tells the rest of us two things: firstly that the advertisers still haven't grasped the fact that they're not special snowflakes to whom this logic doesn't apply and secondly that the advertising industry is using this to sell successfully.

        And remember, the advertising industry doesn't sell to the rest of us, it sells to advertisers. How good a deal do they get?

        1. fung0

          The Logic of Self-Interest

          Doctor Syntax: "The money is in it for the advertising industry for showing the ads. If they really wanted to do something for the advertisers' profits they'd follow the following line of reasoning..."

          I once spoke to a spammer on the phone - back when they were stupid enough to put a phone number in their email promotions. He literally screamed at me (from his poolside deck-chair in Florida) about his absolute legal and moral right to bombard me with adverts for penis-enlargement products.

          The online ad industry today feels at least as entitled as that guy did. Check this article from the CEO of the Interactive Advertising Bureau, the big online-advertising trade group:

          The Ad Industry Needs to Disrupt the Disruptors

          The author refers to ad-blocking as "robbery, plain and simple," and an "unethical" "extortionist scheme." And (oblivious to irony) he compares those promoting ad-blocking to gangster Tony Soprano. We, the consumers, clearly do not have the right to control what we see, on our own hardware, via our own Internet connection, if said control interferes in any way with the advertising revenue stream.

          The online advertising industry truly is laboring under the delusion that they provide an indispensable service - as opposed to enjoying a pot of gold provided purely by an accident of history and contorted capitalist economics. When confronted by ad blocking, they rant and rave much like the content companies do about piracy - forgetting that content is something that consumers actually want. Warmed by their obscene profits, they've convinced themselves that advertising is an inescapable law of nature, that "advertising helps the economy function smoothly," "keeps prices low" and generally makes everyone happy.

          Introducing any workable direct payment system will pop this bubble. When content providers start seeing any other revenue stream, the ad industry will shit a brick, then swiftly fall over itself finding excuses for why its ads suddenly need to be much less aggressive, and much more tightly vetted for safety. That's the logic of self-interest, the only logic they understand.

    3. Charles 9 Silver badge

      "When will the ad pushers realise that most people don't want adds pushed in their faces when they visit a web page?"

      They DO realize it, BUT they only need ONE hit out of the unwashed masses to make it ALL worthwhile. Think about it. ONE hit among BILLIONS and it's in the black. They've essentially got nothing to lose.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        "They DO realize it"

        The advertising industry probably does. The advertisers may well not - after all they're probably so full of shit that they think they're universally adored.

        "They've essentially got nothing to lose."

        The advertising industry hasn't. They get paid for shoving the ads out there. Why should they care that they're pissing off their clients' potential customers?

    4. BobChip
      Unhappy

      FIFY

      people don't want ANY adds pushed in their faces. There. Fixed it for you.

      Oh ... The only reason adds are pushed is that the pushers know very well that you don't want them.

    5. This Side Up
      Flame

      When will ad pushers realise that if they interrupt me while I'm reading a post/article/whatever with pop-up windows, or interrupt the tv programme I'm watching and scream at me for 30 seconds, I'M NOT GOING TO BUY THEIR SILLY LITTLE PRODUCTS OR SERVICES UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES,

  3. Andy Non
    Coat

    arms race

    I'm sure facebook are already working on an blocker to adblocker's blocker of facebook's adblocker blocker and Adblock are pre-emptively working on a blocker to facebook's blocker of their adblocker's blocker of facebooks adblocker blocker.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: arms race

      There are ways to make ads unblockable.

      Text ads get baked inline with the article. The only way to block the ad would be to block the article, making it a pyrrhic victory and defeating the purpose of the ad blocker (you want to block just the ad, not the whole page).

      Graphical ads can be given a hash name so that it's different every time, making blacklist useless from the whack-an-ad shenanigans. Furthermore, ads can be programmatically baked into images genuinely to do with the article the way product placement and ads are now baked into TV shows so that you can't skip them without skipping the program.

      The nuclear option would be a clickwall, and the loading of ads (especially in-house ads) can be detected by the server without any scripting, especially if the filenames are hashed (and thus tagged per session).

      Yes, I know the nuclear countermeasure would be to abandon Facebook, but for many it's the only way to keep up with remote family (because where they live Internet, including e-mail, is a premium while Facebook is gratis) or other reasons that make ignoring Facebook "Walking on the Sun."

      1. israel_hands

        Re: arms race

        Inline ads: People will stop using the site if every single "article" (i.e. a post from a mate) includes an ad. That'll be too far for pretty much anyone.

        Name Hashing: I don't think many ad blockers rely on the name of a jpg that gets displayed.

        Product Placement: They can't programmatically add products into a post from your mate without running into the Inline Ads problem.

        Nuclear Option: Clickwall ads will be replaced with whitespace, whatever return the server is expecting to receive will be given by the adblocker.

        Can't see any of those methods would produce unblockable ads. Not really relevant to me as I've never used the site and never will but it'll be interesting to see where this goes.

      2. Gene Cash Silver badge

        Re: arms race

        > given a hash name so that it's different every time

        Actually AdBlock Plus Element Hiding Helper can do regexps.

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: arms race

          "Actually AdBlock Plus Element Hiding Helper can do regexps."

          But how does that help when (1) the name's different every time and (2) the legit images have the same scheme? The only way around it now is to block ALL images. And that does nothing for inline TEXT ads. And for those who think people will be turned off by them, they do it on television and people haven't unplugged en masse yet, so I don't think an inline text ad is going to make much of a difference. Some sites do it right now...successfully.

      3. P. Lee Silver badge

        Re: arms race

        >I know the nuclear countermeasure would be to abandon Facebook, but for many it's the only way to keep up with remote family

        Not quite the only way. You can... call them. They generally appreciate a call more than a "like" anyway.

        I tend to use skype on linux - no ads there (at the moment). I'm rather hoping firefox webrtc is usable before MS kills the skype client. I'll probably invest in an mpeg4-encoding webcam.

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: arms race

          "Not quite the only way. You can... call them. They generally appreciate a call more than a "like" anyway."

          Nope. Their reception is spotty, meaning you don't know when they're in reach.

          1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: arms race

            "Nope. Their reception is spotty, meaning you don't know when they're in reach."

            There were multiple communication channels in existence on the net years before Facebook came along to monetise it. They are still viable. If Facebook and the online advertising industry were both to disappear from this Earth today people would still communicate.

            1. Charles 9 Silver badge

              Re: arms race

              "There were multiple communication channels in existence on the net years before Facebook came along to monetise it. They are still viable. If Facebook and the online advertising industry were both to disappear from this Earth today people would still communicate."

              In the years before Facebook, the post was cheap enough to be useable. Not anymore. Now, like I said, it's Facebook or Bust.

        2. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

          Re: arms race

          You could always just use Teamviewer (for private use it's free)

      4. Katie Saucey
        Mushroom

        Re: arms race @Charles 9

        'abandon Facebook, but for many it's the only way to keep up with remote family'

        Whew. Does making an account with that particular demon still require an e-mail account and presumably an ISP? If yes, then viewing 6 million ads just to get in contact with someone you know is not necessary, e-mail groups and lists work fine, and are ad free. Do you just want to troll around and spam what you ate for lunch? Carry on.

        No need for the nuclear countermeasure if you don't encourage the cancer to begin with.

        1. Tromos

          Re: arms race @Charles 9

          Facebook is far from being the only way to keep in touch. One almost forgotten solution that has been around for more than a couple of decades is Internet Relay Chat (IRC). Set up your own private channel for family and friends and then you can have multiway chats, transfer files, etc. No need for your family pictures to become tagged, geolocated, recognized and otherwise processed property of some data slurping corporation.

          1. Charles 9 Silver badge

            Re: arms race @Charles 9

            "Facebook is far from being the only way to keep in touch. One almost forgotten solution that has been around for more than a couple of decades is Internet Relay Chat (IRC). Set up your own private channel for family and friends and then you can have multiway chats, transfer files, etc. No need for your family pictures to become tagged, geolocated, recognized and otherwise processed property of some data slurping corporation."

            You underestimate the capabilities on the other end. There, Facebook is SEPARATE the Internet on cell phone plans, which costs extra, meaning ANYTHING related to the Internet (e-mail, IRC) EXCEPT Facebook is a non-starter. And given that cell phone reception there can be hit or miss, something that doesn't require a constant connection, like Facebook, is preferred.

            Basiclly put, it's Facebook or Bust. And if they're pretty much the only family I've got left, going without means going total hermit.

        2. elaar

          Re: arms race @Charles 9

          @Katie Saurcey

          Some of us have Facebook accounts because it's a lot less effort to log on once a week and "like" a bunch of photos from distant relatives and friends you're not too keen on, than it is to actually have to see them in person a few times a year.

          Block the Ads, spend 10mins clicking "like", job done.

      5. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: arms race

        "Text ads get baked inline with the article. The only way to block the ad would be to block the article, making it a pyrrhic victory"

        For whom?

        If the ads are non-intrusive text ads then everyone wins - the ad neither annoys nor risks carrying malware. The advertiser and the viewer gain. Of course the industry doesn't get paid large fees for producing something vast and intrusive. So, yes, a pyrrhic victory for the advertising industry.

        If the baked in ads are the same old junk that viewers are trying to avoid then the viewer loses, the advertiser loses because they've pissed off a potential customer. The industry and publisher have indeed scored a pyrrhic victory because in the long run the poor experience of the site and the risk of putting malware out there will damage the sites reputation.

        Online advertising as it currently exists has done immense damage to itself. Adblockers are not the cause of the damage, they are a symptom. The industry - including the publishers here - needs to take a long, hard look at itself, grasp that fact and decide what to do about it - more of the same is not a viable option. It would help it it dropped its arrogance sufficiently to take note of the views we, the public, express about it.

        Maybe they won't do that. Maybe the industry will just die the lingering death it deserves. And if that happens will the rest of us bother? No, we'll quite happily dance on its grave.

    2. Planty Bronze badge
      FAIL

      Re: arms race

      They will always lose, as local modification of html, post download, pre display will always win.

    3. Rafael 1
      Trollface

      Re: arms race

      Well, just wait. They will soon find a way to do ads undistinguishable from real content. Just like Jolt Cola is part of your life, ads will be part of the content, and as refreshing as a "like" from your friends.

      1. elDog Silver badge

        Re: arms race

        Totally true. In fact your comment may have been "adjusted" by a bot for El Reg (or any other intermediary that has access to the content.)

        Now that SSL has been compromised, how do I know that the party on the other end of this conversation is a human, or something far superior?

    4. elDog Silver badge

      Re: arms race

      Bravo! Entered into the hall of maim!

      I'm no fig plucker's son but I'll pluck figs until the fig plucker's son comes.

      I slit the sheet,The sheet I slit and on the slitted sheet I sit.

      1. Alister Silver badge

        Re: arms race

        @elDog

        I'm no fig plucker's son but I'll pluck figs until the fig plucker's son comes.

        Woah, where did fig plucker come from?

        As I know it, the rhyme is:

        "I'm not the pheasant plucker, I'm the pheasant plucker's son, and I'll keep on plucking pheasants 'til the pheasant plucker comes"

  4. Bucky 2

    It's not really ads for products themselves that bug people (well, me).

    It's the fact that web ad companies are different from TV or radio advertisers. They spy on us. And then web advertisers become indignant when they are criticized for spying. Like WE'RE robbing THEM somehow.

    Sorry, no. You have to have morals to claim the moral high ground.

    1. Tannin

      "Bucky 2 - "You have to have morals to claim the moral high ground".

      ^ What is there left to say after this? Nailed the whole issue in one short sentence.

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      "It's the fact that web ad companies are different from TV or radio advertisers. They spy on us."

      If you have cable TV, the advertiser can buy your viewing habits too. Currently, that's generalised, but broadcaster and cablecos are working on methods to tailor ads to the specific viewer. Not sure how effective that will be since different family members will have different interests and my wife often turns off the TV but not the cable box so that will "pollute" any data gathering, however unintentional her actions may be.

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        HDMI can already detect when the TV attached to the box is on or off, and a little electrical magic can achieve the same for analog plugs (thus auto-sensing TVs), so that's sorted.

      2. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

        Don't forget 'connected' TV's

        once you plug in that RJ45 or enable WiFi your viewing habbits (and probably a lot more) is gone in a flash to the various motherships for distribution anyone who wants to pay for it.

        Don't forget to put some tape over that camera on the TV unless you really are a voyeur.

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: Don't forget 'connected' TV's

          You don't even need a connected TV. The BOX is ALREADY connected to the provider AND talks back (for plan enforcement if anything else). They're nearly more reliable than Nielsen boxes when it comes to demographics (where Nielsen is better is that they can handle multi-watcher homes).

          1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: Don't forget 'connected' TV's

            "The BOX is ALREADY connected to the provider"

            No. It's connected to mains and an aerial. Both are strictly one way.

            1. Charles 9 Silver badge

              Re: Don't forget 'connected' TV's

              "It's connected to mains and an aerial. Both are strictly one way."

              BZZZT! You've never heard of powerline networking, have you? And yes, they have ways to send them down upstream power lines, last I heard. The bandwidth is the pits right now, but that's all you need for demographics data.

        2. Esme

          Re: Don't forget 'connected' TV's

          @Steve Davies 3 - what is this infernal device, a 'connected' TV of which thou speakst?. And TV's have cameras on them now? Seriously? Crikey, so there is an upside in being too poor to buy a modern TV, then!

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sure they do

    "... to put control in people's hands."

    Right then, where's the off switch?

    1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Where's the off switch?

      I will bet a pint of three that it won't be long before we get devices that won't switch off until the user has viewed the required number of ads that day.

      1. P. Lee Silver badge

        Re: Where's the off switch?

        > will bet a pint of three that it won't be long before we get devices that won't switch off until the user has viewed the required number of ads that day.

        Facebook "mobile-basics"?

        Isn't the point of locked-down mobile devices to stop users doing what they would do on a pc?

        I've found that staying of anything for about a month enables me to lose interest in it. Avoid integrating spam-producers into your life - don't use FB for email or IM communication. Integrated solutions are more difficult to ditch. We really need an open-source presence system based on our own (self-managed) address books. I'm thinking smtp-based auto-responders, possibly redirecting to more real-time presence indicators.

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: Where's the off switch?

          Such a solution already exists. However, the problem with community-based solutions is that they expose the OTHER costs of keeping up systems like Facebook. In this case, you get hit with bandwidth usage.

  6. Sinick

    You know the arms race won't stop until...

    Farcebork's pages look like this:

    text you actually want to read BUY IRRELEVANT CRAP more text you came here for BUY ANNOYING CRAP a little bit more actual text BUY THIS USELESS CRAP INSTEAD are you still paying attention to this text anymore BUY MORE CRAP OBEY YOUR OVERLORDS

    1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

      Re: You know the arms race won't stop until...

      fnord

  7. benderama

    If my adblocker is blocking legit posts, it's not the adblocker I'd blame but the host for putting legit posts in the same style containers as ads. I already miss important posts from friends and family thanks to the crazy algorithms in place.

    I am always shocked at how dirty some sites are when an adblocker is not used. It should be a mandatory part of Chrome, Firefox, and IE these days.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Well, that's what's going to happen. It already happens on television with inline ads. Ad companies are pressured to get to you one way or another, so they're motivated to find ways you can't avoid short of going Luddite.

    2. DougS Silver badge

      If ads are served from the same type of goobledegook facebook.com URL as regular content, how is an ad blocker supposed to distinguish it? Sure, if it knows the layout of Facebook it knows where ads are likely to be, but they can simply put ads inline with the content.

      I don't think this war is winnable against a company the size of Facebook. Against smaller sites, sure, because they don't have the ability to serve the ads from their own domain so they are easy to block.

      1. Gene Cash Silver badge

        For a site with any sort of automated content, the ads will pretty much always be surrounded by some sort of standard DIV or other handy giveaway that the Ad Block regexps can sniff.

        It's just an ever-escalating arms race at this point.

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          "For a site with any sort of automated content, the ads will pretty much always be surrounded by some sort of standard DIV or other handy giveaway that the Ad Block regexps can sniff."

          Not if the element name is random (or worse, hashed, so they know what it's about but you DON'T). How will you be able to tell them apart NOW? And before you say "I'll just watch for the word "advertisement", they'll make a graphic out of it with a hashed/random name. NOW try picking it out without resorting to OCR.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Spongers. If you don't like their revenue model, don't use them.

      How'd you like it if I kept coming around your house demanding free food?

      1. Captain DaFt

        "How'd you like it if I kept coming around your house demanding free food?"

        No more than if you went to a house that'd plastered "Free Food!!" flyers all over town, then had to sit through several long "Courtesy Seminars" trying to sell you life insurance, tupperware, beachfront condo access, life partner exercises, dating services, etc, etc, etc, ad nauseaum, before they handed you a plate of crackers that somebody else had brought, and ask you, "What'd you bring?"

        That's the way Facebook works, you bring the content, they give you ads, all for "FREE!!"

      2. volsano

        There's spongers and then there's spongers

        > Spongers. If you don't like their revenue model, don't use them.

        Spongers wanting to run their scripts on my computer without contributing to the electricity costs - or having assured me they have indemnity insurance for any issues their scripts cause.

        Now, if all their scripts came ISO-9000 certified, I may be willing to give them a discount on the electricity and insurance cover costs. Until they do, they can pay in full up front before I let their stuff run.

        Just trying to be professional here.

      3. John Crisp

        I don't.

        But what I particularly don't like is the fact they still want to track me on sites that have nothing to do with FB but that have FB Like 'beacons' installed (or G or Twit etc etc) so they can see other places I go.

        Fine, track my usage on FB if I go there. But don't follow me on sites that are none of their business.

        If you buy from a shop or even just pass by and look in the window do you expect them to send man in white coat armed with clipboard to follow you round every other shop, and every other shop whether you buy or not, does likewise so when you arrive at home you are followed by 20 different researchers ?

        You'd tell them all to F off and stop following you....

      4. Mystic Megabyte Silver badge
        FAIL

        moi, sponger?

        >>Spongers. If you don't like their revenue model, don't use them.

        Exactly, I don't use them, view them or go there. I also block *all* adverts for security reasons. Your "industry" is borked.

  8. Mookster
    Facepalm

    Amazon is particularly bad, showing me ads for stuff that I already bought from them....

    (fuckwits)

    1. Nunyabiznes

      upvote

      Wish I could give you more.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: upvote

        Not as bad as the banks. I pay cash for a new car and they start sending me junk mail asking me if I'd like to take a loan out to buy a car. Er, no, I just paid cash for one. You know this, because you have access to my account because you're the fucking bank with my money.

        1. Grunchy

          Re: upvote

          Banks are the original "big data" mining outfits.

          They know exactly what people buy all of the time. I mean, 24/7. That's one reason why debit is usually "free" - they are interested in your precise purchase habits.

          Same thing with box stores (Walmart, Home Depot, etc). They are super interested to know what you, and people somewhat like you, are buying.

          You know where the "demographic" myth comes from btw? It comes from the horoscope superstition.

          According to horoscopes, every single person born on Aug 11 is a Leo and is therefore the same.

          Even though practically everybody knows it's fake & knows how it's fake, yet still marketing pursues demographic info.

          In a way it could be self-fulfilling prophecy: if I'm born on Aug 11 that means I'm a Leo and today's horoscope must therefore apply to me, therefore this is how I will choose to behave. I would guess similar to demographic programming.

          1. tfewster Silver badge
            Facepalm

            Re: upvote

            But...almost everyone on the Internet was born on the 1st of January (maybe it's only you that puts in your real date of birth?). So, by the combined wisdom of Astrology and t'Internet - we ARE all the same.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: upvote

            Banks are the original "big data" mining outfits.

            They know exactly what people buy all of the time. I mean, 24/7.

            They must have improved, but they really did get off to a crap start. Years ago, when my purchases consisted largely of computer hardware, food and copious amounts of booze, I got repeated mailings from my bank pimping limited edition 'collectors item' plates depicting a hand painted Kingfisher on a branch. How anyone extrapolated that as an ideal fit for my lifestyle is beyond weird.

        2. Ropewash

          Re: upvote

          Similar to when you purchase a house and the very first piece of mail you receive at your new address is "We can sell your home !!"

          I'd appreciate the opportunity of maybe living in it for a bit thanks. At least give me time to cook dinner.

        3. Shane 4

          Re: upvote

          Glad I am not the only one,

          Had the same thing happen to me a few years back, Was thinking to myself why the F do I need a car loan for, I had saved up cash for several years in bank and they gave me a bank cheque to give to car dealer, So they know I do not need a loan.

          Maybe they were hoping I would give in to temptation, Then go and buy two models up from my car and be in debt for years, Silly buggers!

  9. Ben Boyle

    Blocking legitimate posts?

    Facebook are already doing that themselves with their constant switching people to the "Top Stories" feed and selective display of items in the "Most Recent" list.

    E.g. SWMBO says to me "Why didn't you like my latest cute discovery I posted ten minutes ago?" and yet it's nowhere in my news feed. I go to her page to feast mine eyes upon her missive and have to wade through half a ton of "Posts I may not have seen yet" and stuff from two days ago before finally finding the post from ten minutes back.

    Curation, my ass.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Pint

      Re: Blocking legitimate posts?

      I knew someone would beat me to it. FB thinks it's more important to show you* cat pics and politics memes than your wife's posts or a can't-miss event tomorrow (but you'll see it after you've missed it). There's no solution for Too Much Worthless Information.

      *You, not me. I've already put a stop to this crap.

    2. Dave Lawton

      Re: Blocking legitimate posts?

      You need F.B. Purity http://www.fbpurity.com/

  10. TXITMAN

    This reminds me of the credits for a cult film. Maybe not but funny in anycase.

    We apologize for the fault in the subtitles. Those responsible have been sacked.

    The directors of the firm hired to continue the credits after the other people had been sacked, wish it to be known that they have just been sacked.

    The credits have been completed in an entirely different style at great expense and at the last minute.

    1. Magani
      Thumb Up

      Re: Credits

      Very Pythonesque.

      We now need FarceBook to feature in a clip called "How not to be seen".

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Credits

        >Very Pythonesque.

        Well, yes. It was Monty Python and the Holy Grail. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0071853/crazycredits

  11. Dead Parrot
    WTF?

    Err, what?

    "ad blocking companies are punishing people on Facebook"...

    OK, I'm going to need a lot of beer before *that* makes sense.

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge
      Coat

      Indeed

      The only thing that is punishing people is being on Facebook.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm catching up here ..

    .. is that what those block chain thingies are all about?

    /confused

    :)

  13. wobbly1
    Paris Hilton

    If you want to use Facebook with control over content

    use Facebook Purity block ads and manage what you do and don't see.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: If you want to use Facebook with control over content

      Bet you soon you won't be able to use that without blocking actual content, too.

      1. wobbly1

        Re: If you want to use Facebook with control over content

        in the latest battle in the war Facebook Purity remains ahead again , no noticeable drop in posts by friends or groups or pages. I also use an android tablet and use Facebook through the browser not the app (the android version of the chrome browser r cannot run the FB purity scripts as far as i am aware), the difference in the swarf and cruff is staggering.

  14. wolfetone Silver badge

    Adverts Help You

    But ignoring the slop bucket of humanity altogether would be the best thing I can do.

    *Deletes Facebook*

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Adverts Help You

      *Deletes Facebook*

      You can delete Facebook? Does that include Zuckerberg? Cool! Can I watch?

  15. Big Al
    Thumb Down

    Liars

    I might have been slightly more sympathetic to Facebook if their new system actually worked as claimed.

    For the new ads, the 'why am I seeing this' button just led to a script that never loaded, while the 'see fewer ads like this' button did nothing to stop the *exact same ad* from appearing again and again and again... and all this after I had carefully used the shiny new tools to "manage my experience".

    So stuff 'em, it's back to AdBlock Plus I go.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Liars

      So stuff 'em, it's back to AdBlock Plus I go.

      I prefer uBlock myself - fewer dodgy dealings. I can still decide to enable a site, but nobody at uBlock is making that choice for me as they do at Adblock.

  16. hellwig Silver badge

    Blunt Instrument

    Well, when you need to bludgeon something to death, isn't that the best type?

    "Oh, Facebook needs money". I'm sure they do. If Facebook is that worthwhile, maybe they should investigate getting money from their users, rather than sell their users information to the highest bidders. Or will their entire crystal palace crumble around them the second their users are forced to tie their Facebook experience to a dollar amount?

    I have the same problem with Google, but I'd probably pay Google a monthly fee if it meant I could keep using my Android phone without them selling every piece of information about me. But Facebook, I don't even use it when it's "Free".

    1. Gene Cash Silver badge

      Re: Blunt Instrument

      > getting money from their users

      What twists my jammies are companies that consider their FB page to be their website. Obviously, I make a point to detect and not patronize these establishments, but I do think FB should charge them a fee.

      1. MJI Silver badge

        Re: Blunt Instrument

        Or the replacement of forums and feedback pages with Facebook, I HATE this

    2. Neil Barnes Silver badge

      Re: Blunt Instrument

      It's not that FB *needs* money. It's just that they've decided the way to *get* money is by selling advertising space (and your viewing habits). They're not in the business of enabling communication between people; they're in the business of making money and enabling communication is the way they've decided to do it.

      A moment's googling reveals FB has 1.7 billion users and a profit last year of 15 billion dollars - a user is worth, on average, just under ten bucks to FB.

      Is an advert-free FB worth ten bucks a year to you? Then hassle FB to pay for it directly.

      Much as I dislike advertising (and I'm not an FB user; it's not worth ten bucks to me) I can't criticise FB for using it to fund themselves. I *can* criticise the way the advertisers in general behave... but the thing to remember is that FB is a way to make Zuckerberg rich, not a way to let granny know what you're up to. If he finds a better way, he'll use it. Using advertising blockers is a good way to suggest to him that he might want to start looking.

  17. Zack Mollusc

    Just a thought....

    I would welcome an 'I have bandwidth to burn' button on my browser which caused the ad-blocking software to repeatedly request the ads it was blocking from view and throw the data into null. It could click on all the ads as well, just so long as i never had to see the ads themselves. Let's jack up the advertisers costs and lower their click/purchase ratios.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The way things are going the ads will end up being blocked by virus checkers...

  19. razorfishsl

    If I install an ad-blocker, it makes it clear i do not want ads.

    Why is Facebook not being prosecuted for "hacking" my computer and defeating security systems i have put in place?

    1. Captain DaFt

      "Why is Facebook not being prosecuted for "hacking" my computer and defeating security systems i have put in place?"

      Now there's a thought... Take it to small claims court for damages due to hacking, increased expense of internet, privacy invasion, whatever, for the max amount in small claims.

      They most likely will not bother appearing, you collect default settlement, and if enough people do it (Free Money!! is a great motivator!) Then it's death by a thousand cuts for them. :)

      1. Grunchy

        Be cautious fighting a gigantic monolith like Facebook in the courts - they can crush your entire life flat.

        Scientology has this attitude and Facebook is perhaps only a little less evil...

        1. SundogUK

          Not in small claims they can't.

          1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

            Unfortunately they probably have enough information on you to make your life difficult if they chose to

  20. Oengus Silver badge

    Ransomware...

    Those ads are specially crafted by Facebook to circumvent ad-blocking plugins such as Adblock Plus.

    From memory isn't there a way to get ads past the Adblock Plus filters by paying Adblock Plus to allow the ads?

    This is the reason I stopped using Adblock Plus and went to uBlock Origin.

    1. Captain DaFt

      Re: Ransomware...

      "From memory isn't there a way to get ads past the Adblock Plus filters by paying Adblock Plus to allow the ads?"

      And in ABP+ settings, there's a button that disables that.

      As long as it's there, I'll use it, along with Element Hiding Helper.

  21. Someone Else Silver badge
    Pint

    Pull up a chair!

    Popcorn? Check!

    Beer? Check! --------->

    Comfy seat? Check!

    This should be right entertaining!

  22. Grunchy

    The insidious nature of advertising is a lot more subliminal / psychological than people realize.

    You don't even need to 'look' at advertising for it to work on you. It can be on the side where you only see it peripherally, and you're being manipulated. In fact it even works better that way.

    Even better, the most susceptible people are the people who feel they are Least susceptible!

    So the more confident you are of your immunity - the more easily manipulated you are.

    So, in conclusion, that's how come I love Ad Block Plus.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Bollocks to that. Adverts do bring awareness of a product that you may never have heard of. For example, I know of a car, or SUV or something called a Lexus NX. Or RX. Or LS. Or something. You know, the one that the play at the end of advert breaks on channel 4 programs after you've hit fast forward 8 times to skip through the 4 mins of adverts.

      So, yes, I'm aware of the existence of this car. Am I ever going to buy one? Well, no.

      I also go out of my way to avoid products I see on adverts with a Ukulele (sure sign that said company is downright evil) or with John Hannah doing the voiceover (had to look that one up - always referred to him as that guy with the annoying voice previously).

      So I've been manipulated to avoid products. Do their competitors pay for these adverts?

      *edit* I googled the cars and it turns out all of them actually exist. But then again, I like cars and read car websites. The only Lexus I'd buy is an LFA and I can't afford one.

      1. John Crisp

        >Bollocks to that...

        Afraid it isn't bollocks....

        Read the previous post.... it is extremely accurate... and you clearly fall into the following....

        "Even better, the most susceptible people are the people who feel they are Least susceptible!

        So the more confident you are of your immunity - the more easily manipulated you are."

        We all like to think we are immune. We all like to think that we 'wouldn't buy' But if you are naive enough to think the only purpose of advertising is to simply make you buy something you are badly wrong.

        E.g. perception... you might not buy car X, but what happens down the pub when your mate is talking about buying one ??? Do you tell him 'don't buy it cos I saw an ad online' ? More like 'yeah I think I saw something about them... they seem popular' or some such crap. You support THEIR buying decisions. That is really important.

        No, you don't want that loan the bank is offering cos you just got one. But Fred is thinking of buying. Do you tell him you got a crap deal on your loan? Or do you say your bank seems to have loads of cash and deals ?

        So I'm afraid it isn't all about selling to YOU directly (much as you might like to think it is). It is way more subtle than that.......

        1. SundogUK

          I have not once advised someone on a purchasing decision because of something I saw in an advert. Mainly because I do not advise people on their purchasing decisions.

          1. VinceH Silver badge

            "I have not once advised someone on a purchasing decision because of something I saw in an advert."

            I have done, but my advice follows my own behaviour: when I'm making my own purchasing decisions I tend to research what I'm looking for (even if it's just looking at all the different options in a shop or shops at the time because I want/need something that day) and make my decision based on what appears to best fit my requirements.

            1. Charles 9 Silver badge

              And if you're looking for something where an ad for it just happened to be on the TV before, you will unconsciously leap to that one first because it's the freshest instance of what you're looking for on your mind. That's the true magic of ads; they affect you subconsciously, lodging in your memory so that when the time does come for something of the sort, it automatically registers because it's exploiting the way our brains work.

    2. Jamie Jones Silver badge
      Coat

      So the more confident you are of your immunity - the more easily manipulated you are.

      Utter bollocks. I'm not susceptable to any of these ads.

      In fact, that lady on the TV (a new plasma for only $2.50 a week for 50 years from tritehouse) who said she could tell my future told me that, and it *only* cost 99p a minute. A real bargain.

      But before you reply, you need to know.... This crazy (crazy as a frog) price will not last indefintely, so call while it's still cheap. Further more, buy one and get one free. (*)

      * Terms and conditions apply. The model featured is not necessarily the same as the one we provide. Shares can go up and down in value. Always read the label.

    3. mrjohn

      Are you advertising Ad Block Plus?

    4. SundogUK

      "So the more confident you are of your immunity - the more easily manipulated you are."

      Bollocks. Show me some evidence of this.

      (Regardless, NoScript + uBlock + no Facebook account, so what do I care?)

  23. tfewster Silver badge
    Facepalm

    re: you're being manipulated

    Yeah - didja know there's a car that will READ your texts to you?! Don't know the price, MPG, comfort levels, reliability or any of the old fashioned ways of picking a car but, wow, I want one that can do THAT!

    Unfortunately I don't know the make or model either, so I can't buy one.

    I think it was blue.

    Or there's the one that does donuts. That was red. Definitely. Or was that the one with the American?

  24. ashdav

    Why all the bitching..

    Previous to this post (@01:45Z) a lot of people have been complaining about ads,tracking,etc.

    One would assume that because they are posting on El Reg that they would know about these things.

    Apparently not so.

    Don't want to see ads - use an adblocker.

    Don't want to be tracked - delete cookies after your session.

    Don't want to be tracked - don't use Google.

    Use an anonymizer search instead such as DuckDuckGo or Startpage.

    If you have to use Facebook then good luck to you. You are there to be milked.

    It's the internet. You have as much control as the websites.

  25. Peter Prof Fox

    Long term AB+ user

    Enjoying this.

    Also, ETHICAL QUESTION, what about AB clients reporting home to AB-central what's been blocked. The weekly 'shit parade' might get some advertisers realising how much their brand is respected.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I smell fear...

    Windows-10 slurping as a service and Google behavioral-spying tentacles everywhere are more reliable long-term earners...

    1. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: I smell fear...

      Re: Windows-10 'slurping'

      Actually, this is one dimension of the problem that has been overlooked.

      Given that MS intend to monetize Windows, I suspect that they would be wanting to implement their own ad blocker to protect the value of their investment in Windows-10...

  27. Suburban Inmate

    ANOTHER facetard essential

    Gratifying to see them lose a few bucks from their mountain of moolah!

    I already had faceberk's latest shenanigans blocked anyway: I wouldn't internet without AdBlock, Privacy Badger, and on facespook this little add-on: Fluff Busting Purity.

    It's like developer options for the zuckernet.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ahhh Facebook

    A lifetime is too short to spend ignoring that tat.

  29. Aynon Yuser

    I deleted my Facebook. No more ads... forever...period. So how is zucksberger going to sell my information and to shove ads in my face now? Huh zucksberger?

    Fuckin asscunt.

    1. Ropewash

      @Aynon Yuser

      I think you've only diffused the attack, not defused it.

      FB still has a record of everything you ever did while you were on there and access to all your "friends" as well. The demographic info will be shared with any other site that pays for it and the ads keep coming, only less personally targetted.

      Maybe the witness protection program could be opened up to include Ex-Facebookers.

  30. Delbert
    Boffin

    (Flash) Gordon's alive!

    I find that not updating 'Flash' is a wonderful sidekick to my ad blocker so many advertisers rely on Flash but if it is not kept updated Firefox detecting content asks "Do you want to run this legacy piece of crap (sort of)" a simple NO! and the carefully crafted/selected spamming goes in the bin.

    Admitted it has vulnerabilities but...if it is blocked and cannot run.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    blocking companies are punishing people on Facebook

    as well as supporting terrorism and harming children by letting them sign up to facebook. Bad bad bad!

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    good and bad news

    as with every war, as long as it stays in the sidelines, you might benefit, because your opponents can't be bothered to find ingenious ways to crush your resistance. But then, in all out, open war, much larger resources are involved, and as the wars go, technological progress suddenly moves at blinding pace. I'm worried that once facebook is involved (and their dick size is at stake, so they'are unlikely to give up), this ad war moves forward - and we, the users, ultimately lose, because the other side has such vast resources :(

  33. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

    They (Facebook) have a nerve

    To quote a company statement

    "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," the company said in a statement.

    How is improving the user experience by reducing the number of ads slung at the poor user( sorry product) punishment? It is their shoddy code that blocks post from friends.(as detailed on many other sites)

    I am so glad that I've never even visited their website let alone signed my life away to join up.

  34. Neil Charles

    There's no way publishers win this war

    If publishers and the advertising tech companies go to war with adblockers, then they're going to lose. It's analogous to conventional large armies vs. guerrilla warfare. The adblockers are much faster to adapt, more flexible and there are lots of them operating independently. They don't have to force the surrender of a company like Facebook, just keep harassing them until Facebook gives up.

    How many resources did Facebook have to pour into developing, testing and deploying their new anti-adblocker strategy? Adblock Plus defeated it for free in 24 hours.

    The advertising tech industry has become large, unwieldy and very complicated. Could all of its different players coordinate a coherent response to adblocking? No chance. I mean look at this mess.

    http://www.lumapartners.com/lumascapes/display-ad-tech-lumascape/

    Eventually, adblocking will force a retreat by the advertising industry. Blocking's not going away and in an arms race, the industry loses. A major problem now for publishers is whether they can put the genie back in the bottle by removing the slow loading, tracking and targeting features, which users really don't like. Going too far has driven adblock adoption upwards, but now that easy ways to block ads exist, I can't see everyone stopping using them.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: There's no way publishers win this war

      The publishers however, can employ techniques that are not conducive to surgical strikes.

      Facebook, for example, can take the "take hostages" route (similar to unscrupulous guerillas sticking to hospitals, religious places, etc.) and simply make ads indistinguishable from content: likely by "baking it in" by putting text ads inline with articles and baking ads into graphics, then using random-looking hashed names (so they can track each visit) for everything universally so good luck with a pattern search. NOW how do you strip the ads without collateral damage?

      And remember, the server can tell whether you call up something or not, and if you fake loading something you waste your bandwidth, which for many is at a premium.

  35. Unicornpiss Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    Thought I'd add... (not ad)

    ..that purveyors of those insane, animated, blinking ads that shout at you should be forced to live in an apartment with no curtains or blinds, facing an all night XXX motel with a garish orange blinking neon sign right outside their window.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: Thought I'd add... (not ad)

      The kind of people you're talking about, this stuff probably turns them on.

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Does no body find the timing of facebooks war on adblockers a bit strange as it comes only after The Competition and Markets Authority produced a report highlighting that famous people who are paid to make adverts on social media must disclose its a paid advert, thus shutting down one vector of advert attacks.

    All this make me think of is the south park episode where the adverts become sentient and take human form.

  37. adam payne Silver badge

    "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," Facebook said.

    "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."

    Punishing people by blocking ads, what planet is this Facebook mouthpiece on?

    With ad preferences you will put control in my hands, really? is one of the preferences to have no ads at all?

  38. TomChaton
    Meh

    Meh

    It's a free service. They can push ads at me all they like. I've long since developed internal filters for ads.

    Of course, I see them peripherally, but that doesn't mean I'm going to walk/click zombie-like into a shop and buy it there and then. I may specifically seek this product out when I'm weighing the pros and cons of a list of alternatives, but it doesn't get preferential treatment

  39. SomeoneInDelaware

    We're having a block party!

  40. Claire Sweet

    Not sure of the point of an ad-blocker on a browser, when we can use a hostfile to do te same thing?

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Ad blockers can be tuned more precisely, allowing you to handle the situation where the ad server and the content server are the same.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        You might also not have access to a hostfile because you're no the admin. But you have control of your browser.....

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