Princeton’s Ad-Blocking Superweapon

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An ad blocker that uses computer vision appears to be the most powerful ever devised and can evade all known anti ad blockers.

A team of Princeton and Stanford University researchers has fundamentally reinvented how ad-blocking works, in an attempt to put an end to the advertising versus ad-blocking arms race. The ad blocker they’ve created is lightweight, evaded anti ad-blocking scripts on 50 out of the 50 websites it was tested on, and can block Facebook ads that were previously unblockable… More at Motherboard.

This annoys me, it really does. I know many people abuse web adverts, but potentially this leaves the online services we use so much with nowhere to go because people just don’t subscribe…

4 thoughts on “Princeton’s Ad-Blocking Superweapon

  1. Yes, this is pretty awful. So many of the arguments against ads are so unbearably whiny and self-righteous.

    I wonder if this would be effective against truly integrated sponsorships, the way daring fireball does it? It sounds like the system isn’t genius pattern recognition, just looking for that little federally mandate icon. I then wonder what the definition of ad is according to that mandate, because that’s where the battle goes next, I’d wager.

    1. That’s a big and valid question- what is an ad? Some people don’t care, they just think every ad diminishes privacy.

  2. If the current draft of the ePrivacy regulation is close to what ends up being in the final copy, targeted ads are in for a very tricky time legally, let alone technically.

    But it is a relatively extreme position — and not one I’ve seen — that every ad, even those which are not targeted, diminish privacy.

  3. I use a mild ad blocker I have to admit. I don’t mind ads at all, and I realise that it’s a means to an end for many sites. I do block the ones that pop up in my face everytime I try and scoll down the page and basically ruin my Internet experience. They suck! But I’m not going to shoot myself in the foot by losing the sites I love because I can’t put up with a few ads!!

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