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Chrome Ad Blocker vs Mozilla Tracking Protection: A Battle For The Higher Moral Ground?


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It is hard to believe that Google, a company that makes billions of dollars via advertising would ever think of blocking ads. However, for Google, it has always been a matter of ethics. One of the most ‘beloved’ brands and a company with international goodwill and credibility, Google recently announced that they now intend to block all ads on a website that does not meet certain advertising standards. And yes, this includes their own ads as well!


Chrome Ad Blocker: A Game Changer

Even if one ad on the website is not following the advertising standards, Google will block all ads on the website. How, you ask? Google plans to do this with the Chrome ad blocker. Google Chrome, the most popular web browser when it comes to the global markets is being used as a tool that will force unethical advertisers out of the markets, or to start adapting global advertising standards.


Google has now taken the lead towards bringing in better advertising standards – the company tried throwing a couple of easy ones at the advertisers, but its now time for curve-balls. Google is now forcing unethical advertisers to mend their ways. While some believe they are taking an approach that is too strict by blocking all ads, sometimes this level of control is necessary. With the Chrome ad blocker, Google has taken a stance that places them at a moral high ground compared to competition such as Apple, Mozilla and Microsoft.


While Google has announced this, Google has given advertisers time till early 2018 to fix all these ads that do not match the standards. Starting early 2018, Chrome ad blocker will make its debut which will ensure ‘ethical advertising’, if there is any such thing at all. This is the time the aforementioned competition can make use of to pull the rug from under Google’s feet. However, it would be interesting to see how they respond. For now, all eyes are on Google, and the company has indeed placed itself on a moral high ground.



If Not Google, Who? Mozilla Tracking Protection, Maybe?

Rumors of an ad blocker on Microsoft Edge have been around since 2016 but there has been no movement on this since. Apple, as we know them to be, are pre-occupied with various other major launches in the next few months, and going by Safari’s update history, it is unlikely that we might get to see something major like an ad blocker in the next few months. Mozilla however still has the chance.


The Mozilla Tracking Protection has been around for a long while. A feature that works in the back end since 2015! Firefox, which is updated every month, is likely to rival Google’s Chrome Ad Blocker with their Mozilla Tracking Protection feature. This feature helps the users stay safe on the internet. Firefox browser automatically blocks all ads, analytics trackers and social share buttons that might lead you being tracked by the advertisers.


While this has been a salient feature of the Mozilla Firefox web browser for about two years now, this is the time Firefox needs to take things out in the open, and present the Mozilla Tracking Protection feature as a rival to Chrome ad blocker from Google. The one limitation this has is that it works only on private browsing. Reports have said that Mozilla is working on taking it out of that mode, but there have been obstacles.


Mozilla, you have 6 months to one-up Google and gain the moral high ground. In this age of intense competition, it would give Mozilla a major boost in its credibility if it were to do so!


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19 minutes ago, Batu69 said:

The one limitation this[Mozilla Tracking Protection] has is that it works only on private browsing.

It's false info. We shall enable in about:config for normal browsing as well and the setting is kept as is after updates too.

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I use Ublock Origin for tracking protection last time i used tracking protection in Firefox they was using filters from Disconnect witch is nothing special and there in Ublock Origin's filter list.

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11 hours ago, Batu69 said:

It is hard to believe that Google, a company that makes billions of dollars via advertising

would ever think of blocking ads.

Quite a Paradox, isn't it? :think:

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Be Careful Celebrating Google’s New Ad Blocker. Here’s What’s Really Going On.



Google, a data mining and extraction company that sells personal information to advertisers, has hit upon a neat idea to consolidate its already-dominant business: block competitors from appearing on its platforms.


The company announced that it would establish an ad blocker for the Chrome web browser, which has become the most popular in America, employed by nearly half of the nation’s web users. The ad blocker — which Google is calling a “filter” — would roll out next year, and would be the default setting for Chrome when fully functional. In other words, the normal user sparking up their Chrome browser simply wouldn’t see the ads blocked by the system.


What ads would get blocked? The ones not sold by Google, for the most part.


The Chrome ad blocker would stop ads that provide a “frustrating experience,” according to Google’s blog post announcing the change. The ads blocked would match the standards produced by the Coalition for Better Ads, an ostensibly third-party group. For sure, the ads that would get blocked are intrusive: auto-players with sound, countdown ads that make you wait 10 seconds to get to the site, large “sticky” ads that remain constant even when you scroll down the page.


But who’s part of the Coalition for Better Ads? Google, for one, as well as Facebook. Those two companies accounted for 99 percent of all digital ad revenue growth in the United States last year, and 77 percent of gross ad spending. As Mark Patterson of Fordham University explained, the Coalition for Better Ads is “a cartel orchestrated by Google.”


So this is a way for Google to crush its few remaining competitors by pre-installing an ad zapper that it controls to the most common web browser. That’s a great way for a monopoly to remain a monopoly.

There’s more to the story, however. The real goal for Google appears to be not just blocking ads sold by other digital suppliers besides Google, but to undermine third-party ad blockers, which stop Google ads along with everyone else’s.


According to the Financial Times, Google will allow publishers what it’s calling “Funding Choices.” The publisher could charge the consumer a set price per page view to use third-party sites that block all advertising. Google would do the tracking of how many pages users view, and then charge them. Users could then “white list” particular sites, allowing ads to be shown on them and removing the charge. If users decided to pay to block ads, Google would receive a portion of that payment, sharing it with the publisher.


Web users will quickly recognize their only options: pay to use the internet, or uninstall the ad blockers and surf the web for free. At least 11 percent of all web users, and perhaps as many as 26 percent of all desktop users, have third-party ad blockers on their devices, a number that will likely grow in the next few years. But it’s easy to see how Google’s policy would depress ad blocker usage — except for the case of Google’s ad blocker, which creates preferences for Google’s own ads.


Google has already been found to have paid off ad blockers to keep its own ads intact. But this new policy creates an internet landscape where Google ensures viewing of its own ads, to the relative disadvantage of competitors.


Senior Vice President of Google Sridhar Ramaswamy describes the concept as a way to support internet websites and users alike, by making online ads less annoying and helping to “maintain a sustainable web for everyone.” It’s hard to build a coalition in favor of annoying ads. And publishers would be guaranteed a revenue stream, either through charging consumers for an ad-free experience, or from the ads themselves. So the policy aligns the interests of virtually everyone on the web content side.


Improving Google’s bottom line and crushing anyone who tries to compete is just a nice side benefit.


With the Federal Trade Commission still at just two members for the foreseeable future, and the acting chairman favoring a laissez-faire approach to internet oligopolies, it’s unlikely any action will be taken in the near term to stop Google from operating as what former FTC official Jonathan Kanter calls “prosecutor, judge, and jury for ad quality.”


Other experts believe that the Department of Justice might take the lead in antitrust enforcement against Google, especially in light of such a forcing event. That’s especially true if the department’s antitrust division sees the Coalition for Better Ads as a cartel, which the FTC does not typically enforce.


In a New York Times op-ed in April, author Jonathan Taplin laid out the path forward for regulators: It’s time to break up the Alphabet.





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