EasyList

Anti-adblock guide for site admins

written by MonztA, on May 10, 2013, 3:28:00 PM.

Most sites do not mind if users have adblocking software installed in their browser. There are however a couple of sites that take counter measurements, trying to convince users to disable their adblockers. Our policy states the following about those so-called anti-adblock measurements: "Anti-Adblock should only be challenged if the system limits website functionality or causes significant disruption to browsing". Since this can be interpret in numerous ways, here's a more detailed explanation for webmasters about what we allow or disallow.

This is what we allow and/or require from anti-adblock measurements:
  • It must use small, static images and/or text only.

  • The font and markup must be similar to the other parts of the page.

  • The text must be polite and understandable, or at least in the same tone as the other parts of the website.

  • It must be clear that the message is shown because the user is using adblocking software.

  • It must not interrupt the normal reading flow of the page content.

  • It must be clear that any action requested in the anti-adblock message, like disabling the adblocking software, whitelisting your site or asking a donation as a replacement for the ads, is completely voluntarily.

  • It may suggest disabling adblockers entirely, but if it does, it must also include detailed and easy-to-read instructions to disable them on your domain only.

  • When the user clicks an anti-adblock message, more content may be shown (including overlays, animated images and all otherwise forbidden content types, like plugins), provided they can be closed.

  • The user must be the only one in control of the filters required for the purpose of the anti-adblock message. It must not be possible for external sources to add, modify or remove any rules remotely.

This however is what we do not allow:
  • Animations (including changing text messages), sounds and other content that will constantly distract the user.

  • Content that uses plug-in resources or frames.

  • Redirects (automatic page forwarding) and pop-ups to a different page.

  • Content that overlaps the normal page content or prevents the normal reading flow in any other way, like messages in the middle of a text.

  • Content with a height over 100px and a combined area larger than 105,000px. This includes the size of unnecessary empty areas caused by the message.

  • Content for which it is not immediately clear it's targeted to users of adblocking software.

  • Measurements that limit the access to the site and/or cause annoying side effects (like additional delays) and/or prevent normal content to be shown.

Well, that isn't too hard, is it? If you follow these guidelines, we're all happy. We (the list authors), because we don't have to add or adjust rules for your site. The visitor, because (s)he won't be the victim of terrible anti-adblock measurements. And the site admins, because they don't have to adjust their site every time we block their message, while still being able to tell users about their adblockers.

There are just two more side notes that should be mentioned:

  • If your anti-adblock message does not follow the guidelines, or there is discussion about its compliance, it is up to the list author(s) to determine if we block it or leave it as it is. When your anti-adblock message is being blocked specifically, while it's following all guidelines, please leave a notification in our forums or send an email to our email address; if we agree, it'll be unblocked.

  • In case your anti-adblock message is being removed by a filter that is also used to block or hide ads or other content that should be blocked anywhere else, it will not be whitelisted, even if you perfectly follow all guidelines.

Comments

  • This is the right way. Thanks for this Anti-adblock guide.

    Comment by TPC — May 15, 2013, 5:52:48 AM | # - re

  • Thank you for (all involved with easylist,anti-tracking,author of abp;a true superhero of our time,and Fanboys lists) making the net clean and free for those who are scientists whom use the net for research and history and not for shopping or social grandstanding, crime and perversion. Freedom of speech with privacy from freaks,political police states. Thank you also for sexual free speech that allows men and women from other country's to meet one another with similar interests and goals for a better world. Peace love and happiness to all involved. ~clrwtr001~

    Comment by clrwtr001 — Jun 3, 2013, 10:13:00 AM | # - re

  • Hello........

    Comment by t.knickse — Jun 28, 2013, 9:30:47 PM | # - re

  • no deja trabajar en el pc.la publicad de unternet.

    Comment by angel londoƱo — Sep 1, 2013, 1:10:19 PM | # - re

  • Why do you think the pages are free on internet ??? it is not because santa claus exists !!! it is because the ads !!! ignorants !!!

    Comment by poch — Oct 3, 2013, 12:13:19 PM | # - re

  • the adds yes but sexual innuendo that basically spells out that women are being demoralized. so I can watch a torrent. I'd rather see a pack cigarette's advertised n to see a bunch of young women showing off everything. it makes me sick I have a daughter and i'm terrified of what THE TYPES OF ADOLESCENT PEER PRESSURE THAT COME COMES DIRECTLY FROM HARDCRE PORNOGRAHY. In British Columbia alone they realized they had to lower the age to teach children about sex education from 14 to 10 years of age. Did you here this one anal is the new oral.. it must be stoped

    Comment by ryan — Oct 13, 2013, 9:03:45 AM | # - re

  • I noticed adblock could not update on my android. Not thinking much of it I uninstalled the app with the intent to reinstall it. Now I find out there is no reinstalling it!!! What to do! I hate ads!!! They drive me nuts! Do I abandon my phone now?

    Comment by Christel — Apr 27, 2014, 11:47:48 AM | # - re

  • Ads are one thing, and I own a blog so I get it. But venturing into Google's wasteland of a search engine, you never know what's on the otherside of the link now. Google does their ads in a non-intrusive and great way. Youtube likes you piss you off and force you to watch 5-20 seconds of commercials, before getting to your content. IMO, I would rather have a small ad in the middle of the video, not at the start when I'm eager to see what this is.

    Comment by ... — May 26, 2014, 7:58:33 PM | # - re

  • Thanks MonztA for the great articles, and thanks for all the lists that are always up to date. Easylists make it quite simple to allow some non intrusive ads on my favourite sites. The sites who often complain, have the most annoying popups and animated adds that just frustrate users, and I quite happily block all advertising on such websites or ignore visiting them entirely.

    It seems some websites have forgotten that the internet was founded without advertising, and for many years we maintained some brilliant websites and services with no need to resort to advertising of any kind. Now if websites want to make a little money, removing intrusive and targeted advertising would actually help as I tend to decreasingly use such sites so I can avoid sliding boxes and banners that drop in front of the text I'm reading. I actualy favour those with well placed adverts where I can read articles of interest uniterupted and afterwards perhaps even read the adverts as well.

    Comment by Gordon Freeman — Aug 25, 2014, 2:05:54 PM | # - re

  • IMPORTANT NOTICE FireFox found a way to prevent adblock plus from blocking ads.... Can the developing team please take notice about this extreme problem, kthnx.

    I hate ads, period, it's not what they show but it's the viruses that crawl in without any software standing a stance. If all I can use is an adblocker to prevent infections, then so be it, but for the love of god make it work again because now I need to refresh the page to block the ads, which is stupid, annoying and utterly frustrating.

    Comment by Yezpahr — Nov 4, 2014, 10:57:08 PM | # - re

  • I didn't know there were guidelines. I do agree with them though. Good work MonztA!

    Comment by A. Nonymous — Feb 15, 2015, 11:03:37 PM | # - re

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