Eyeo, the maker of the AdBlock Plus browser extension, is being roasted for accepting money to "whitelist" some ads, letting them pass through the software's filter mechanism — but there's an easy way to tweak it to block all ads.
Eyeo is dealing with the aftermath of an article by the Financial Times, which reported this weekend that not only Google, but also Microsoft, Amazon and advertising network Taboola are among the companies paying to stop having their ads their ads blocked. In response, users have blasted the company and have vented frustration with the software on social media and elsewhere.
However, an Eyeo spokesman said Tuesday the company has been open about the fact that companies pay to be on the whitelist, and maintains that overall, the software helps make online ads less irritating.
The company says it's been talking about whitelisting what it calls "acceptable ads" since it began doing so at the end of 2011. That's when it started to put what it considers nonintrusive, static ads with no animation or sound on a "whitelist," allowing them to pass through AdBlock Plus' blocking feature. The company has acknowledged that it did this mainly to meet the wishes of Web masters who complained about revenue losses due to the use of AdBlock Plus.
But users who do not want to see any ads at all can turn off the whitelist feature and block all ads, any time they want. The company provides a list of instructions for different platform opt-outs. AdBlock Plus, which according to Eyeo has been downloaded over 250 million times and has over 50 million active users, also offers an option to whitelist sites its users want to support. Here's how users who have installed AdBlock Plus can turn off the whitelist feature and block all ads:
Blocking all ads
On Firefox: Click the AdBlock Plus icon and choose Filter Preferences from the menu. Uncheck "Allow non-intrusive advertising" and you are done.
On Chrome: Right-click the AdBlock Plus icon in the address bar on the right, then choose Options and uncheck "Allow non-intrusive advertising."
On Opera: Click the Opera menu button in the left corner at the top (on OS X: click Window at the top), choose Extensions, find AdBlock Plus there, click on Options and uncheck "Allow non-intrusive advertising."
On Internet Explorer: Click the AdBlock Plus icon in the status bar on the right, then choose Options and uncheck "Allow non-intrusive advertising."
On Safari: Click the AdBlock Plus icon in the address bar on the left, choose Options, and uncheck "Allow non-intrusive advertising"
On Android: Click the AdBlock Plus icon in the notification bar at the top, then uncheck "Acceptable Ads / Allow some non-intrusive advertising."
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