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This article was published on August 11, 2016

Pot, meet kettle: Adblock Plus calls out Facebook for being ‘anti-user’

Pot, meet kettle: Adblock Plus calls out Facebook for being ‘anti-user’
Bryan Clark
Story by

Bryan Clark

Former Managing Editor, TNW

Bryan is a freelance journalist. Bryan is a freelance journalist.

Adblock Plus isn’t taking the news of Facebook’s decision to circumvent ad-blockers all that well. Today, the popular browser extension called the move ‘anti-user’ and claims it ‘takes a dark path against user choice.’

Wait, is this the same company that got caught taking payments (of $250,000 to $1 million) to put advertisers on a white list?

In case you don’t live online I’ll go ahead and answer: yes, it was. In fact, the Interactive Advertising Bureau chief, Randall Rothenberg once called Adblock Plus: “an unethical, immoral, mendacious coven of techie wannabes.” Harsh as it may sound, the criticism is warranted.

Adblock, after all, did sell space on a global whitelist to allow certain publishers to display ads — even to those using Adblock Plus. The deals included the likes of Google, Microsoft, Amazon and ad-serving company Taboola, according to the Financial Times. This has been going on since at least 2012.

Adblock plus is a dishonest sham of a company that preaches integrity while dealing in something else altogether.

One has to wonder if a company that sells paid inclusion to a list that forces ads on its users — after promising to block them — possesses the moral compass to call out another company for being ‘anti-user.’

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