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Adblock Plus

adblock plus, adblock plus chrome
282 November 22, 2016; 21 days ago 2016-11-22

for Chrome, Opera, Safari

1122 August 23, 2016; 3 months ago 2016-08-23

for IE

15 September 22, 2015; 14 months ago 2015-09-22

for Android 13 March 3, 2015; 21 months ago 2015-03-03 Written in JavaScript, XUL, CSS Operating system Cross-platform Type Mozilla extension
Android application License GPLv3 Website adblockplusorg, acceptableadscom for whitelist policy

Adblock Plus ABP is an open-source content-filtering and ad blocking extension developed by Eyeo GmbH Wladimir Palant, a German software development company The extension has been released for Mozilla Firefox including Firefox for mobile, Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge beta version, Opera, Safari, Yandex Browser and Android

In 2011 AdBlock Plus and Eyeo attracted considerable controversy from its users when it introduced an "Acceptable Ads" platform to "allow certain non-intrusive ads" such as Google AdWords to be allowed whitelisted under the extension's default settings While participation in the whitelisting process is free for small websites, large advertising companies are required to pay a fee Whitelisting was enabled by default for AdBlock Plus users Developers have launched competing adblockers which do not have Acceptable Ads programs; uBlock Origin specifically refuses donations


  • 1 History and statistics
  • 2 Operation
    • 21 Android
    • 22 Filters
    • 23 Filter subscriptions
  • 3 Controversy over ad filtering and ad whitelisting
    • 31 Legal challenge
  • 4 Detection
  • 5 See also
  • 6 References
  • 7 External links

History and statistics

Michael McDonald created Adblock Plus 05, which improved on the original Adblock by incorporating the following features:

  • whitelisting
  • support for blocking background images
  • subscription to filters with a fixed address and automatic updates
  • the ability to hide HTML elements, allowing a greater range of images to be blocked
  • the ability to hide ads on a per-site basis, instead of globally
  • memory leak fixes
  • improvements to the user interface

McDonald discontinued development and transferred the name to Wladimir Palant, who released Adblock Plus 06 with a rewritten codebase in January 2006 PC World chose Adblock Plus as one of the 100 best products of 2007

Adblock Plus for Google Chrome has been available since December 2010 and has over 10 million users It has also become the most popular extension for Firefox, with around 18 million users as of March 2014

Adblock Plus was released as an app for Android devices in November 2012

On March 3, 2013, the Android app was removed from the Google Play Store along with similar ad blocking apps Some apps remain in the Play Store with the caveat that they require root access in order to function Adblock Plus, while not in the Play Store, is still available on the app's website Users can download the apk file directly and install it as a third-party app if they allow "Unknown Sources" in Android settings

Adblock Plus has been available for Internet Explorer since August 2013

Adblock Plus has been available for Safari since January 2014

Adblock Plus has been available for Yandex Browser since December 2014

An Adblock Plus browser beta version was made available in May 2015, called the "Adblock Browser" Adblock Browser 10 was released on 7 September 2015, based on Firefox for mobile

Adblock Plus has created an independent board to review what is an acceptable ad and what is not

As of 27 April 2016, Adblock Plus ranked as the top 1 startup for Germany by StartupRanking

In May 2016, Adblock Plus teamed up with Flattr to release Flattr Plus, an add-on that allows Adblock users to automatically give money to website owners when an ad is blocked


A website hosting Google ads with and without Adblock Plus

Like Mozilla's built-in image blocker, Adblock Plus blocks HTTP and HTTPS requests according to their source address and additional context information and can block iframes, scripts, and Flash It also uses automatically generated user stylesheets to hide elements such as text ads on a page as they load instead of blocking them, known as element hiding


On rooted devices, the Android app blocks ads on all web traffic including mobile networks For non-rooted devices, ads are only blocked through a Wi-Fi connection and requires the user to set up a local proxy server for each network in order for the app to function The app uses a local proxy server to intercept web traffic and remove ads before showing content to the user Most of the content that users are trying to block will be removed, though some content is missed and the app is not as reliable at blocking ads as the browser versions The app can be configured to auto-start every time the device reboots, minimizing the action required by the user


Basic filter rules can include wildcards represented by asterisks Sites and objects can be whitelisted with filters that start with two at signs @@ Regular expressions delimited by slashes / can be used Adblock Plus also supports a more-sophisticated syntax that gives fine-grain control over filters An example of the sophisticated filtering would be wikipediaorg##div#centralNotice, which will hide the centralNotice element used by Wikipedia to display donation requests

Filter subscriptions

Users can add external filtersets Adblock Plus includes the ability to use one or more external filter subscriptions that are automatically updated FiltersetG is incompatible with this system and Adblock Plus specifically recommends against using FiltersetG for other reasons as well, but other filtersets can be added by typing their addresses A list of known Adblock Plus subscriptions is maintained on the Adblock Plus official website

EasyList was the most popular Adblock Plus filter list as of August 2011, with over 12 million subscribers Created by Rick Petnel, it became officially recommended by the Adblock Plus program, and filter lists for other languages were built on top of it Petnel died in 2009 following which Palant placed a user named "Ares2" as the new maintainer The filter lists EasyList and EasyPrivacy are both subscribed by default in uBlock but not in Adblock Plus itself

In May 2013, the former second most popular Adblock Plus filter list, Fanboy's List, was merged with EasyList

Controversy over ad filtering and ad whitelisting

Main article: Ad filtering

The owners of some websites which use third-party hosted online advertising to fund the hosting of their websites have argued that the use of ad-blocking software such as Adblock Plus risks cutting off their revenue stream While some websites such as The New York Times and The Daily Telegraph have successfully implemented subscription and membership-based paywall systems for revenue, many websites today rely on third-party hosted online advertising to function In 2007, web developer Danny Carlton described the use of ad blockers as tantamount to theft, and called for other site owners to block the Firefox web browser from their websites to deter its use

On December 5, 2011, Wladimir Palant announced that certain "acceptable" ads would be whitelisted in upcoming builds of the Adblock Plus software, with the option to remove whitelisted ads via a custom setting in the software According to Palant, only static advertisements with a maximum of one script will be permitted as "acceptable", with a preference towards text-only content The announcement created some controversy both at Adblock Plus's website and at social media sites like Reddit

In 2012, Adblock Plus's managing director Till Faida told the Swiss newspaper Thurgauer Zeitung that the "strategic partners" on Adblock Plus's whitelist would not be named, but that the partnership is part of the company's "Acceptable Ads" whitelist project In February 2013, an anonymous source accused Adblock Plus developer Wladimir Palant of offering to add his site's advertisements to the whitelist in return for one-third of the advertisement revenue In June 2013, blogger Sascha Pallenberg accused the developers of Adblock Plus of maintaining business connections to "strategic partners in the advertising industry", and called ABP a "mafia-like advertising network" He alleged that Adblock Plus whitelisted all ads coming from "friendly" sites and subsidiaries, and promoted their product using fake reviews and pornography Faida responded to Pallenberg's accusations, stating that "a large part of the information concerning the collaboration with our partners is correct", but that the company did not see these industry connections as a conflict of interest He said that the company is convinced that the "acceptable ads" business model will be successful and says that the whitelisting criteria are "completely transparent" He also stated that "We have an initiative called Acceptable Ads to support websites with unobtrusive ads Every website can participate The article on purpose just slanders our good name"

In response to the "Acceptable Ads" whitelisting, forks of Adblock Plus were created such as the now defunct add-ons Adblock Edge, and Adblock Lite The Adblock Edge developer stated "Discontinued in favor of uBlock, a general purpose blocker, that not only outperforms Adblock Edge but is also available on other browsers and, of course, without "Acceptable Ads Whitelist""

Attacks were made in 2016 against ad-blocking with paid whitelists—though Adblock Plus was not mentioned by name—by content providers who provide content free of charge to users, deriving revenue from advertisements, and by industry and government sources who criticise the "unsavoury" business model, which has been described as a "modern-day protection racket"

The Eyeo Corporation has partnered with ComboTag to make it easier for Publishers, Advertisers, Ad Networks, Ad Tech Suppliers to comply with acceptable ads rules, however this has proven controversial as some users have switched to alternative adblocking extensions despite that they can uncheck "Allow some non-intrusive advertising" in ABP

Legal challenge

In December 2014 it was reported that Zeit Online GmbH and Handelsblatt GmbH had brought suit against Eyeo GmbH in the Landgericht Hamburg de In April 2015 the court rejected the suit Axel Springer SE has filed a court order for removal of adblock plus post though there is a redacted version and people have posted videos and posts on how to get around the Axel Springer wall


Some webmasters have used JavaScript to detect the effects of the popular Adblock Plus filters This is done by generating a honeypot-like URL, verifying its delivery, and DOM verification after the web page is rendered by the web browser, to ensure the expected advertising elements are present Detection is simplified since the extension is not yet capable of replacing content; Loopback proxies provide this additional functionality

These methods do not detect the presence of the Adblock Plus extension directly, only the effects of the filters They are vulnerable to continued filter updates, and whitelist-filtering web scripts with extensions such as NoScript

An attempt was made to detect the plug-in itself, but that detection method was rendered unusable by the 0752 update of Adblock Plus Furthermore, third party developers have created specific browser add-ons like "Anti-Adblock Killer" to work alongside the Adblock extension that allow users to visit websites that would otherwise restrict their access

Google Chrome had a defect in Content Security Policy that allowed the detection of any installed extension, including Adblock Plus for Google Chrome The solution of this was possible only in Google Chrome 18, and requires each developer to make some changes in their extensions Adblock Plus for Google Chrome fixed this in version 13

See also

  • AdBlock


  1. ^ Palant, Wladimir "Introducing Eyeo GmbH, the company behind Adblock Plus" Adblockplusorg 
  2. ^ Hern, Alex "Adblock Plus: the tiny plugin threatening the internet's business model" Theguardiancom 
  3. ^ Sartoros, Alkimos; Dernbach, Christoph "Adblock Plus: Erpresser-Vorwürfe gegen umstrittenen Werbeblocker German" Spiegelde 
  4. ^ Wladimir Palant November 22, 2016 "Adblock Plus 282 for Firefox released" Adblock Plus Retrieved November 22, 2016 
  5. ^ Dave Barker August 23, 2016 "Adblock Plus 1122 for Chrome, Opera and Safari released" Adblock Plus Retrieved August 23, 2016 
  6. ^ Oleksandr Paraska September 22, 2015 "Adblock Plus 15 for IE released" Adblock Plus Retrieved September 22, 2015 
  7. ^ René Jeschke March 3, 2015 "Adblock Plus 13 for Android released" Adblock Plus Retrieved March 3, 2015 
  8. ^ https://easylist-downloadsadblockplusorg/exceptionrulestxt
  9. ^ Adblock Plus "Adblock Plus : About" Adblock Plus Retrieved June 20, 2012 
  10. ^ Adblock Plus "Adblock Plus : Source Code" Adblock Plus Retrieved June 20, 2012 
  11. ^ Mozilla "Adblock Plus :: Add-ons for Mozilla" Mozilla Retrieved July 10, 2011 
  12. ^ a b "Reach new audiences with Acceptable Ads" acceptableadscom Retrieved 2016-09-22 
  13. ^ "Subscribe to read" 
  14. ^ Raymond Hill 2015-08-16 "README" 
  15. ^ "About Adblock Plus" Adblockplusorg Retrieved November 4, 2011 
  16. ^ "PC World - The 100 Best Products of 2007" PC World Retrieved August 19, 2007 
  17. ^ adblockplusorg October 27, 2011 "Adblock Plus for Google Chrome™ Beta - Chrome Web Store" Chromegooglecom Retrieved November 4, 2011 
  18. ^ "Statistics for Adblock Plus" Mozilla January 17, 2006 Retrieved November 4, 2011 
  19. ^ "Adblock Plus and a little more: Adblock Plus for Android removed from Google Play store" adblockplusorg Retrieved 2015-08-13 
  20. ^ "Install Adblock Plus for Android" adblockplusorg Retrieved 2015-08-13 
  21. ^ "Adblock Plus 10 for Internet Explorer released" Adblock Plus Retrieved September 26, 2013 
  22. ^ "Adblock Plus for Safari Beta released" Retrieved January 21, 2014 
  23. ^ Williams, Ben "Adblock Plus now available on Yandex Browser" Adblock Plus Retrieved 23 January 2015 
  24. ^ Williams, Ben 20 May 2015 "Adblock Browser is here" Retrieved 20 May 2015 
  25. ^ "Adblock Browser for Android" Google Play Store 2015-09-07 Retrieved 2015-09-09 
  26. ^ "Adblock Plus creators plan independent board to decide ad acceptability" Retrieved 2015-10-05 
  27. ^ "AdBlock Plus to introduce independent board to oversee Acceptable Ads program" BetaNews Retrieved 2015-10-05 
  28. ^ "Germany Top Startups - Adblock Plus, Ecosia, Dawanda | Startup Ranking" StartupRanking Retrieved 2016-04-27 
  29. ^ Pirate Bay Founder Aims to Disrupt Online Advertising Industry Torrent Freak Retrieved 3 May 2016
  30. ^ "FAQ - Adblock Plus internals" Adblockplusorg Retrieved November 4, 2011 
  31. ^ "About Adblock Plus for Android" adblockplusorg Retrieved 2015-08-13 
  32. ^ "Writing Adblock Plus filters" Adblockplusorg Retrieved November 4, 2011 
  33. ^ "Known Adblock Plus subscriptions" adblockplusorg 
  34. ^ "The Official EasyList Website" easylistto 
  35. ^ "EasyList Statistics: August 2011" EasyList September 1, 2011 Retrieved September 2, 2011 /
  36. ^ Whoriskey, Peter June 25, 2008 "One Man, One Long List, No More Web Ads" The Washington Post Retrieved April 23, 2010 
  37. ^ "Richard J Petnel Obituary: View Richard Petnel's Obituary by Albany Times Union" Legacycom Retrieved November 4, 2011 
  38. ^ "Adblock Plus and a little more: Sad news" Adblockplusorg Retrieved November 4, 2011 
  39. ^ "Adblock Plus and a little more: What is going on with EasyList" Adblockplusorg Retrieved November 4, 2011 
  40. ^ "EasyList merges with Fanboy's List" EasyList May 17, 2013 Retrieved September 3, 2013 
  41. ^ "An Open Letter Regarding AdBlock and Revenue Loss" wordswithmeaningorg April 19, 2012 
  42. ^ "Why Ad Blocking is devastating to the sites you love" Ars Technica March 6, 2010 
  43. ^ "Two years in: Reflections on the New York Times paywall" journalismcouk March 28, 2013 
  44. ^ McDougall, Paul September 12, 2007 "Firefox Adblock Foe Calls For Mozilla Boycott" InformationWeek Retrieved November 4, 2011 
  45. ^ "Ad blocking is theft, so block Firefox instead updated" The Guardian London August 10, 2007 
  46. ^ Palant, Wladimir December 5, 2011 "Allowing acceptable ads in Adblock Plus" Adblock Plus Retrieved December 12, 2011 
  47. ^ "Mit aufdringlicher Werbung übertrieben" in German November 20, 2012 
  48. ^ "Media mafiosos: Is Adblock Plus shaking down websites for cash to let ads through" Digital Trends February 21, 2013 
  49. ^ a b "Serious accusations against Adblock Plus" The H June 26, 2013 Archived from the original on December 8, 2013 
  50. ^ a b "Adblock Plus denies ad fixing allegations" TechEye June 27, 2013 
  51. ^ Adblock Lite at Mozilla Add-ons
  52. ^ Mark Sweney 9 March 2016 "Adblocking 'pretty unsavoury' business model, says Trinity Mirror chief" The Guardian Retrieved 9 March 2016  Chief executive of Daily Mirror publisher: "They offer software for free and then come to us and say 'your site's OK so if you pay us we will ensure ads on your sites get through' There is something extremely unhealthy about this business model"
  53. ^ "Adblock Plus and a little more: New Acceptable Ads Platform launches, will redefine RTB and help small websites" adblockplusorg Retrieved 2016-09-22 
  54. ^ LTD, ComboTag Technologies "ComboTag" wwwcombotagcom Retrieved 2016-09-22 
  55. ^ "Acceptable Ads - Adblock Plus" adblockplusorg Retrieved 2016-09-22 
  56. ^ "Auch Zeit Online klagt gegen Adblock-Plus-Mutter Eyeo" in German horizontnet 2014-12-17 Retrieved 2015-06-04 
  57. ^ "Prozessauftakt in Köln - Adblock Plus: Axel Springer klagt gegen Eyeo" in German Internet World Business 2015-03-11 Retrieved 2015-03-15 
  58. ^ "Auch Süddeutsche klagt gegen Adblock Plus" in German Internet World Business 2015-03-13 Retrieved 2015-03-15 
  59. ^ Landsgericht Hamburg 16 Kammer für Handelssachen, Urteil vom 21042015, 416 HKO 159/14 Anonymized
  60. ^ Ben Williams 2015-04-21 "Restating the obvious: adblocking declared legal" Adblock Plus and a little more Retrieved 2015-10-25 
  61. ^ "Landgericht Hamburg: Adblock Plus darf weiter blocken" in German heise online 2015-04-21 Retrieved 2015-04-30 
  62. ^ "AdBlock Plus accuses Axel Springer of censorship after ad-block move - Digiday" Digiday Retrieved 2015-11-13 
  63. ^ "Adblock Plus • View topic - bildde adblock detect unskippable" adblockplusorg Retrieved 2015-11-13 
  64. ^ Bildde AdBlock Sperre umgehen in German, retrieved 2015-11-13 
  65. ^ Larsen, Dan "Adblock Detector v 10 - A JavaScript way of doing ad block detection" adblockdetectorcom Archived from the original on February 17, 2012 Retrieved 2016-06-22 Adblock Detector is a javascript, that can help site owners to detect ad blockers like Adblock Plus It is not bullet proof, but definitely better than nothing, if you want to make sure your visitor are not blocking your ads!  CS1 maint: Unfit url link
  66. ^ "Content Filters and Proxy Detection" BrowserLeakscom Retrieved 2016-06-22 The set of demos that try to determine Content Filters usage, is the type of applications that operate between the browser and the web page, and are designed to manipulate the connection and content of a visited web pages Among them are TOR Browser, Privixy, Adblock Detectors 
  67. ^ "Detailed changelog for Adblock Plus 0752" Adblockplusorg Retrieved November 4, 2011 
  68. ^ "How To Bypass Websites that Block "AdBlock" eg Forbes" Brandon, Nick Retrieved July 14, 2015 
  69. ^ "Intro to Chrome addons hacking: fingerprinting" The World According to Koto 2012-02-17 Retrieved 2016-06-22 Webpages can sometimes interact with Chrome addons and that might be dangerous, more on that later Meanwhile, a warmup - trick to detect addons you have installed 
  70. ^ "Google Chrome Extensions: Migrate to Manifest V2" Google Retrieved February 11, 2013 
  71. ^ "Adblock Plus 13 for Google Chrome™ released" Adblockplusorg Retrieved February 11, 2013 

External links

  • Official website
  • AdBlock Plus Android package at the F-Droid repository
  • NPR Staff July 20, 2015 "With Ad Blocking Use on the Rise, What Happens to Online Publishers" All Things Considered NPR Retrieved July 20, 2015  Contains a short interview with Adblock Plus Chairman Tim Schumacher

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