Reports suggest that Google may have implemented a new tactic to discourage the use of adblockers on YouTube. This new measure seems to be affecting the speed at which videos load on the site, following previous actions such as delaying the loading of YouTube for users with adblockers and displaying messages prohibiting ad blockers on YouTube.
Users have observed that the video buffering on YouTube is occurring at a slower pace than usual, potentially causing video playback to pause as the buffer attempts to load more content to resume playing.
Even users with high-speed internet connections have encountered this issue. Some have found that disabling their ad blocker leads to normal buffering.
Google has not yet commented on this issue. The previous measures affected only a portion of adblock users on YouTube and not the entire userbase.
To determine if you are affected, try playing a video on YouTube and monitor the buffer. If the buffering seems slow or delayed, then you may be affected. Affected users will notice that the video playback pauses until the buffer catches up.
One way to check if Google is intentionally slowing down the video buffer is by disabling the content blocker and attempting to play the video.
It appears that even YouTube Premium subscribers are impacted by this if they use an ad blocker. Disabling the ad blocker on YouTube should resolve this issue for them as well.
What can be done about it
For users impacted by this issue, there are a few potential solutions other than purchasing YouTube Premium or discontinuing the use of YouTube.
It is important to ensure that only one ad blocker is enabled in the browser, as having multiple ad blockers can cause conflicts.
Switching to another browser or using private browsing mode may provide a temporary solution. Google seems to be testing the functionality at this time, so other configurations may not be affected by the test.
Alternatively, users can explore new ad skipping tools. Extensions like Ad Accelerator or Ad Speedup attempt to skip or fast forward ads instead of blocking them. This approach is not technically considered blocking and may not be recognized as content blocking.
Another option is to use ad-free, privacy-friendly YouTube frontends such as Invidious, or apps like NewPipe or Skytube, which provide access to YouTube’s entire video database without ads.
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