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Google Clamps Down on Ad Blockers Affecting YouTube Video Playback

Image Source: photosince / Shutterstock

Recent developments reveal a twist in the ongoing struggle between Google and ad-blocker software, with reports of disrupted video playback for Adblock Plus users on YouTube.

For a while now, individuals using ad-blocking programs have encountered issues on YouTube. The confrontation intensified around a year ago when Google began actively discouraging the use of ad blockers. After a brief period of resolution, when ad-blocking providers updated their services to bypass YouTube’s notifications, videos were once again accessible without interruptions, preserving user privacy.

Could Your Ad Blocker Be Terminating YouTube Videos Early?

A recent surge of discussions on Reddit highlighted a puzzling situation where YouTube videos would prematurely stop playing. Accounts of videos speeding up before playing normally were also discussed, alongside experiences of videos being silenced automatically. It appears that these problems are primarily affecting those using Adblock Plus, casting doubt on whether users of other ad-blocking tools are experiencing similar setbacks.

Responding to the incidents, a Google representative delivered comments to 9to5Google: “We caution against using ad blockers as they go against YouTube’s Terms of Service. We persistently promote that viewers support content creators by enabling ads on YouTube or choosing YouTube Premium, which is devoid of ads. Ongoing enhancements to ensure YouTube’s optimal functionality and reliability may inadvertently introduce issues for viewers using ad-blocking software.”

However, this clarification prompts additional questions, especially considering the seemingly isolated effects on Adblock Plus users. To address this, it might be wise to consider switching to uBlock Origin, which seems to be unaffected by these complications. Should problems continue, attempting a browser restart or updating your ad blocker’s filters via the extension settings might be beneficial.

The impact of these issues can vary depending on the ad-blocking extension you’re using with YouTube.

A Distinctive Option for You: Explore FreeTube

For those seeking an alternative YouTube client, FreeTube stands out. Open-source and privacy-conscious, FreeTube comes equipped with SponsorBlock, a built-in ad blocker, and allows for subscribing to channels anonymously. The application’s recent update introducing user playlists enhances its existing capabilities, enabling playlist management and import/export functions.

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A minor glitch I’ve noticed with FreeTube concerns the erratic performance of closed captions, particularly on the Invidious network, where they may fail to appear. If you encounter this problem, modifying the API Backend to ‘Local API’ within the General Settings might fix it. For users who prefer a browser-based YouTube experience, Invidious offers a comparable substitute.

Despite Google’s firming position on ad-blocker use, it’s comforting to understand that alternatives like uBlock Origin and similar tools are likely to continue overcoming these barriers.

Image Credit: photosince / Shutterstock

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