Another anti-ad-blocking tactic? Nope, just a bug, and it’s already been fixed.
Over the weekend some users of Adblock Plus and AdBlock experienced performance issues on YouTube. Given recent changes with YouTube, many assumed this was another anti-ad-blocking tactic, but it turns out the slowdown was just a plain old bug from an update on our end. And thanks to our dedicated team who monitors these types of issues 24/7, it’s already been fixed.
YouTube’s recent warnings to ad-blocking and ad-filtering users that they would be blocked from their site if they didn’t turn off their ad blockers magnified the conversation about the value exchange for content and sparked new interest in ad blockers. So it’s not a far leap to think they could deploy something to slow down performance when browsing on YouTube. Though not the only publisher or platform that is actively pursuing anti-ad-blocking tactics, YouTube is undisputedly one of the most prominent and thus makes the headlines.
So what really happened?
A recent bug in one of our updates caused AdBlock and Adblock Plus users to experience a slowdown in performance along with a higher use of CPU when browsing on YouTube and other sites. (Due to YouTube’s popularity and high volume of traffic, the slowdown on this site was the most discussed amongst users online but not the only one affected by this issue.)
As with most technology, our ad-filtering core requires continuous updates to provide best-in-class solutions. To provide the highest quality we also have a team dedicated to monitoring user issues around the clock. During that process, we encountered this bug.
The problem was promptly addressed, and in less than 48 hours, our engineering team released a hotfix called 1.1.2. The new version is already available (released 15 January between 12 PM and 1 PM EST) in the Opera and Edge extension stores and is currently in review in the Mozilla and Chrome extension stores (expected to be available within the next few days). This means that as soon as AdBlock and Adblock Plus users update their extension to the newest version, they should not experience issues related to the fixed bug and can continue to enjoy the power of our ad-filtering technology just as before.
An enormous thank you to our engineering team, who is always on the lookout for problems, bugs, circumventions, or anything else that can disrupt the enhanced browsing experience we believe everyone deserves online. For us, this incident proves how diligent our team is and shows just how quickly they react.