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Author Topic: I bet YouTube is Ad-Block...Blocking you!  (Read 1246 times)
Melooon
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« on: November 07, 2023 @657.89 »



EDIT: for added context; the video site YouTube now formally blocks people who are using ad-blocking software, this was not the case in the past.

As a convicted viewer of YouTube and a known purveyor of ad blocking software, I was disgruntled to find a large message appear on a youtube video that said "You cannot! Ad block is enabled and we don't allow that at all" (Or something along those lines). I promptly copied the URL into another browser (Safari in my case) and lo and behold, the video played just fine there, so my day was saved and everything was ok in the world.

But was it really?? No of course not! It's very annoying that half the time I go to watch a video, I'm told I can't watch it! Sometimes YouTube works fine and lets me watch things, other times it completely blocks me out.

Overall my reaction has been largely to stop watching YouTube; for videos, most people I subscribe to are on other platforms like Nebula, and some even have their own dedicated video sites like History Hits. Overall though Iv found I'm just watching fewer videos online; Iv defaulted to playing games more, and listening to audiobooks while I work... and you know.. its kinda an improvement  :tongue: YouTube has always been a lazy viewing experience for me; a 20 minute video is super low commitment, and Iv found cutting it out is not as big of a deal as I would have expected.

I'm curious to hear how others are experiencing the ad-blockpocolypse? Apparently, there has been a big spike in people uninstalling ad blockers completely (I guess they dunno how to turn it off per site?). Do you value YouTube or Ad Blockers more? Maybe you think people should watch ads? Has it altered your habits? How do you think it will all play out? Is this the slow end of YouTube and what does that mean for web culture?
« Last Edit: November 07, 2023 @709.56 by Melooon » Logged


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« Reply #1 on: November 07, 2023 @681.57 »

Personally, I've been using two adblockers (Sponsorblock + uBlock origin) + my browser has some level of ad blocking natively (Vivaldi). I've used the uBlock element zapper to get rid of the anti-adblock popup on Youtube, which works to an extent! my current problem is limited functionality once i claw my way to the video itself lolol. the scrollbar is disabled by the popup and i don't quite know how to resolve that, ive seen some people saying they can't use any buttons (like liking/disliking, sharing, etc.). it's a mess right now.
i've still been using youtube... but i def feel frustrated and annoyed any time i have to deal with residual problems from this whole anti-adblock thing they want to do. i really don't know what they were thinking with this move but i do feel like more people who weren't using adblockers, or weren't aware that you could block ads, are being introduced to the concept on a huge platform. i'm really hoping that this whole thing leads to more pushback, and more people being aware of adblockers in general, but who knows!
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« Reply #2 on: November 07, 2023 @705.88 »

While I've only gotten the ad-block-blocker message once, it's already providing an incentive for me to stop using the website altogether. There are plenty of podcasts hosted on Soundcloud and the various Wordpress sites that don't have ads and provide whatever background noise/educational information to keep me going through the day, so it's not that much of a loss for me, but I feel for the folks that survive off the videos they create.

At least if they have a Patreon they can provide patrons with a video hosted elsewhere to circumvent the issue and still get income, though the issue of discoverability is still there (which is exacerbated by the decline of many social media that were great for that express purpose).
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« Reply #3 on: November 07, 2023 @729.95 »

I have started watching less and less YouTube due to this change also, although I sometimes manage to overcome the adverts issue without much of a hassle. It appears that uBlock Origin is constantly trying to outrun YouTube from blocking it which is quite funny to see. I've been trying out Freetube as an alternative too, so I can technically still access the site without ads, but I cannot interact with it. Which is a shame since I want to support the videos/channels I watch in some way (through liking, commenting and whatnot). Either way, my habits have not altered much. I just use different mediums.

I understand that YouTube needs some short of income to support such a massive site, but the way they lay out their ads is really annoying. :tongue: I would actually consider switching the ad blocker off of YouTube if it wasn't for the fact that the ads can appear anywhere, at any time. Even while watching a video. Why not have an ad or two at the beginning of every 2-3 videos? I would actually not mind it that much in a case like that. Ads can sometimes support creators too which is nice.

I initially thought that this could weaken the platform since people would start to watch less and therefore interact less. However, YouTube is so powerful that it is difficult to drop. Plus, how many people use ad blockers anyway? Not everyone is a tech wizard or even has time to bother about ad blockers. I'm sure some users never noticed such change. Again, YouTube's audience is massive. If a good chunk of the audience who previously used ad blockers leaves or migrates, that could seem as a mere drop in a huge sea for YouTube. It might as well help them out with the server costs if less users become active, ha ha! Although I am unsure whether this would make sense in practice. Just a thought.

I reckon the issue here primarily concerns the creators of the platform. Seldom does the change indeed weaken YouTube, it ultimately might ruin a lot of careers or career opportunities for creators who have nowhere else to go. I am aware that this might as well pose an opportunity for other smaller video hosting services to have a chance at becoming more popular, but if YouTube withers, its creators wither along. Nothing will be as strong as and popular YouTube or, if something does, what are the chances? Video files are difficult to maintain on the net. The cheapest way to have your video accessible for all to view is through YouTube. Creating an account is free, whereas smaller services usually cost or have a lot of limitations. Sustaining a site like YouTube is just not possible in the small web.

Everything has to end up somewhere, but I believe it is a bit too early for YouTube to just... diminish like that. So, keep on enjoying free vids and have fun! In conclusion, I think that this change is just momentarily annoying to battle against than anything else. Not sure if much actually changes for the time being. It's not that bad. :ok:

If that something ever happens though, things could take so many twists and turns for the web. It's quite unfathomable. :ohdear:
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« Reply #4 on: November 07, 2023 @751.77 »

The one thing i think is really annoying is that most people dont even try to use alternatives, they always just say some crap like "but what alternatives are there? right none, so we have to keep using this site even though i didnt even take a second to look". this happens for every kind of thing online which people are annoyed with but keep using. It's not like alternatives are hard to find either.
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« Reply #5 on: November 07, 2023 @777.71 »

i've gotten the adblock message a few times and through some finagling thanks to the ublock origin reddit managed to fix it. haven't gotten it since (fingers crossed) (but i also think this has something to do with my using firefox and not chrome :ziped:). as long as ublock origin works on youtube i'll keep using it, not out of some kind of loyalty to the brand though. if my favorite creators (and i only watch a handful of people on there anyway) moved off youtube to a different platform i'd be happy to leave it too

i don't think this'll change the behaviour of people who use adblockers though. i can't imagine a scenario where there's a youtube vid someone wants to watch bad enough they'll turn off their adblock just to watch it - especially since so many youtube videos are under 30 mins and, without adblock, that 30 min video will have at least 3 mid-roll ads that vary in length from a few seconds to three whole entire minutes long :ohdear:

(sidenote: the fact that youtube lets people put entire three minute music videos as ads is ghoulish)

it's interesting to me how youtube and streaming have just turned into cable tv 2.0. wanna watch a 30-min episode of your favorite show? gotta sit through ~5 mins of ads per episode!
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« Reply #6 on: November 07, 2023 @781.60 »

I haven't gotten that popup even once :grin: it's been going on for weeks now but I haven't been hit yet!
I think I only go on YouTube every 2-3 days, maybe that's why. During that time, maybe the filter lists in uBlock Origin updated so it's fixed before I use it. Usually you can search for updated filter lists online to add, or refresh them in the settings and the popup will disappear.

If it gets bad, I'll try different frontends. I hope the creators I watch will have switched to Nebula at some point in the future. I have no issue with supporting creators, just YouTube.

(but i also think this has something to do with my using firefox and not chrome :ziped:).
There are indeed some browser differences in regards to extensions. I am not super knowledgeable in it, but in easy words, Chrome will load some stuff before the extensions are applied, meanwhile Firefox will apply extensions before other stuff is loaded. This also affects how successfully trackers are blocked on Chrome. But anyone interested in that, please look up the details, I have a hard time explaining it :D
« Last Edit: November 07, 2023 @786.74 by shevek » Logged

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« Reply #7 on: November 07, 2023 @805.02 »

The one thing i think is really annoying is that most people dont even try to use alternatives, they always just say some crap like "but what alternatives are there? right none, so we have to keep using this site even though i didnt even take a second to look". this happens for every kind of thing online which people are annoyed with but keep using. It's not like alternatives are hard to find either.

i agree, but i would also like to point out that alternatives are often harder to use for the average person, or lack functionality that youtube has. ive tried a couple of alternatives but i honestly just don't like using most of them unless i'm looking for a specific function. for example, i use both youtube and newpipe on my phone. i use newpipe when i want to have a video playing in the background, or don't feel like dealing with ads. but i'll use youtube for their algorithm, recommended feed, and search function. often i'll look for videos on youtube and then copy the title of what i want to watch into newpipe. even importing subscriptions into newpipe was a bitch and a half lolol, i had a hard time with it!
i just think it's more complicated than people just. not feeling like looking. at the end of the day the alternatives are missing a lot of functions that the original has, or are just harder to use if you're not used to it.
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« Reply #8 on: November 07, 2023 @814.63 »

i agree, but i would also like to point out that alternatives are often harder to use for the average person, or lack functionality that youtube has. ive tried a couple of alternatives but i honestly just don't like using most of them unless i'm looking for a specific function. for example, i use both youtube and newpipe on my phone. i use newpipe when i want to have a video playing in the background, or don't feel like dealing with ads. but i'll use youtube for their algorithm, recommended feed, and search function. often i'll look for videos on youtube and then copy the title of what i want to watch into newpipe. even importing subscriptions into newpipe was a bitch and a half lolol, i had a hard time with it!
i just think it's more complicated than people just. not feeling like looking. at the end of the day the alternatives are missing a lot of functions that the original has, or are just harder to use if you're not used to it.

But Odysee has alot of what Youtube has, you can follow people, you can watch the videos, you can get your YT videos transferred, you can search through their catalog and even get videos for you without any kind of bad algorithm, and yet people still choose to use Youtube. I dont feel like the whole situation is that complicated, it's just people not liking youtube but still using it because it's where all the videos are. More people need to take the plunge and jump of the debauched ship that is Youtube.
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« Reply #9 on: November 07, 2023 @825.12 »

But Odysee has alot of what Youtube has, you can follow people, you can watch the videos, you can get your YT videos transferred, you can search through their catalog and even get videos for you without any kind of bad algorithm, and yet people still choose to use Youtube. I dont feel like the whole situation is that complicated, it's just people not liking youtube but still using it because it's where all the videos are. More people need to take the plunge and jump of the debauched ship that is Youtube.

ahh i think my original reply wasn't on the same page, so let me try again!
if you want viewership, you pretty much have to use youtube. it's the most popular video hosting platform, and other platforms just do not hold the same kind of audience or potential (especially considering advertising & revenue!). i checked out Odysee (i had never heard of it before), and there are some familiar faces there! but their videos only get a fraction of the views on odysee that they're getting on youtube. for plain old video hosting i don't think it really matters that much which site you use, but if you want to create a platform or grow as a channel, there really isn't any other options realistically.
i do agree that this should be more simple. i think we shouldn't be relying on just one platform for video hosting, i think people should be more open to using different platforms, or even more than one platform. but its much harder to get everyone on board with that when, honestly, its a lot less convenient than using one app everyone already is incredibly familiar with. you do have to sacrifice access to most large creators if you want to switch platforms, and i feel like it's not that unreasonable to feel conflicted or uncomfortable with that.
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« Reply #10 on: November 07, 2023 @832.82 »

if you want viewership, you pretty much have to use youtube. it's the most popular video hosting platform, and other platforms just do not hold the same kind of audience or potential (especially considering advertising & revenue!).

Yes, thats what I meant! You cant get as much of a foothold on those sites as you can with YT. But i feel like ODS's lack of commerce and smaller viewership is the what makes Odysee great. It's not some site where the whole game is too make money for yourself and therefore Youtube, and doing everything to make it more profitable, its just a site where you make videos. For someone like me, it's almost... perfect.
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« Reply #11 on: November 07, 2023 @839.49 »

Can watch youtube with my uBlock Origin enabled np. One day it might stop, than I would probably DL the few of my favorite vids that I didn't backed up already and go to another platform; I hardly use yt anyway.

I find Nebula hardly sexy. Seems to be what I hate about Youtube in a nutshell. A good Peertube instance would be nice; atm I'm using dalek.zone to host my vids, but I'm not fond of the neighborhood there.
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« Reply #12 on: November 07, 2023 @844.06 »

But i feel like ODS's lack of commerce and smaller viewership is the what makes Odysee great... For someone like me, it's almost... perfect.

ahh i see what you mean then! i generally struggle with change, so i haven't quite put too much thought into entirely switching platforms. i do understand finding comfort in smaller, less commercial platforms. i'll def have to think about it more and see whats out there!! seeing people i recognize on odysee does make me more inclined to try :]  :dog:

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« Reply #13 on: November 07, 2023 @992.64 »

I had no issue simply blocking the "turn off your adblock" element and haven't lost any functionality but in general I don't really like youtube, there are better things out there.
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« Reply #14 on: November 08, 2023 @8.82 »

I haven't seen it at all. Thank you, uBlock ;)
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