Adblock Plus says Facebook’s decision to block ad blockers is ‘anti-user’

ben williamsEyeo communications and operations manager Ben Williams.Adblock Plus

Adblock Plus has reacted to the news that Facebook is going to prevent ad blocking software from working on its desktop site by accusing the social network of becoming “anti-user.”

Facebook announced Tuesday it was updating its tech to circumvent ad blocking software on its website. At the same time, Facebook said it will update its ad preferences tools to make it easier for individuals to tailor the types of ads that are served to them on the site. 

Adblock Plus says the move “takes a dark path against user choice.”

Writing in a blog post entitled “Oh well, looks like Facebook just got all anti-user,” Adblock Plus owner Eyeo’s communications and operations manager Ben Williams pointed out that Facebook’s own blog post announcing the changes says the primary reason people use ad blockers is to “stop annoying, disruptive ads.”

Williams says this shows there is good reason for consumers to download ad blockers and questions why, therefore, users are being prevented from deciding what they can and can’t block.

He continued:

“In any case, it’s hard to imagine Facebook or the brands that are being advertised on its site getting any sort of value for their ad dollar here: publishers (like Facebook) alienate their audience and advertisers (the brands) allow their cherished brand name to be shoved down people’s throats. Yikes.”

Facebook first admitted it was starting to worry about ad blocker users back in January, highlighting in its annual 10-K filing that they have impacted its ad revenue “from time to time” 

Meanwhile on Tuesday, Procter & Gamble, the world’s largest ad spender, said it was cutting down on targeted Facebook ads.

P&G chief marketing officer Marc Pritchard told The Wall Street Journal: “”We targeted too much and we went too narrow. And now we’re looking at: What is the best way to get the most reach but also the right precision?”

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