On the OpenSource forums and social media platforms I belong to there is a lot of discussion about YouTube being stricter on the use of AdBlockers.
What Is An AdBlocker?
Many people use AdBlockers online not only because they block many intrusive adverts but also because:
- Improve the speed of web pages showing up in a browser rather than waiting for the adverts to appear.
- Improve privacy as adverts can come with third-party trackers that may collect data you don’t want others to have.
- Protect users from malware.
What Data Does YouTube, aka Google, collect from me?
This is easy to find out from the Apple App Store:
It’s very scary how much data is collected from users. Note that Meta and Twitter also harvests the same amount of information from its users. I would recommend double checking before installing these apps and ensure, using tools on your smartphone, they cannot track you.
YouTube Strategy Regarding AdBlockers
Lately, users have been receiving the message below. They are being given three warnings, if they don’t disable their AdBlocker/s they won’t be able to play any more videos. This policy is in their terms and conditions, it’s just now they are enforcing it in a very strict manner. This is partly achieved using cookies so the technology they are able to do this is not really ground breaking.
Looking at various articles around the internet I notice these perspectives on this strategy.
- “SEO Experts” and “advertisers” like this strategy as it will force YouTube users to watch the adverts and buy their products.
- This is just a way of YouTube to make more money out of users through their extremely expensive and unreasonably priced “premium” subscription. The content on there is not worth the subscription price.
- AdBlocker’s mean “content creators” don’t get paid, however, many now include in-video affiliate advertising as they have adapted over time. Some users have Patreon accounts to make money and offer additional content. Also, some people suggest money hasn’t gone to content creators since 2012 from YouTube.
- There is so much trash and illegal content on YouTube that, along with the adverts, will force viewers off the platform.
- Users don’t want adverts especially when they appear several times during the video they are trying to watch.
- YouTube aka Google are so rich they could limit their advertising including those which interrupt a video.
- I don’t have any AdBlockers but still receive their message, YouTube can’t even get this right and don’t get back to users when the issue is reported.
On YouTube there is the “My Ad Center” feature in which you are supposed to be able to indicate your advertising preferences relating to subjects and brands you don’t want to receive adverts about. However, in my experience, this is broken. I tell YouTube I don’t want to receive adverts on a certain subject but I appear to see more of them, same with brands. I suspect this is just a tool which creates the perception that they care about the users, a placebo, but has the reverse effect since it doesn’t work.
Is Google To Be Trusted?
I would say no. I’ve seen a trend from quite a large community of people, especially security and privacy experts, to “De-Google” their devices and computers. There are plenty of high quality alternatives around today regarding all Google products. For a YouTube alternative consider the more professional platform Vimeo or the federated universe platforms such as TILvids.
For me, Google is one of the worst spam supporting ISPs. Most of the spam emails I receive comes from Gmail accounts that someone can all too easily set up. Microsoft is another one of these spam ISPs as well. Neither of these companies do enough to protect their users, this is contrary to the adverts they play time and time again on the television.
YouTube, like other platforms such as Twitter, have become too big for their boots that it is difficult for users to leave them. The amount of useful accounts on the platform are few and far between. Everybody has something to sell us no matter where we go and it’s becoming tougher to avoid; we get it on the TV, radio, newspapers, through our letter box, email, telephone, social media and more. Personally, they are a waste of my time and unlike what these companies want us to believe, they aren’t helpful or life enhancing and more than ever I am careful about companies siphoning off my personal data.