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YouTube Confirms Slowing Down Videos For Users With Ad Blockers

YouTube says it is slowing down video playback for adblocking users

Following reports from users of how YouTube has seemingly inserted an intentional five-second delay before video pages load in Mozilla’s Firefox and some other browsers, YouTube has responded by saying that while users are right about the delay, the browser has nothing to do with it. The video streaming platform says this is part of the company’s efforts to quash ad blockers across all platforms.

“In the past week, users using ad blockers may have experienced suboptimal viewing, which included delays in loading, regardless of the browser they are using,” YouTube communications manager Christopher Lawton said in an email. Lawton added that disabling the ad blocker should resolve the issue, though users “may still experience a temporary delay in loading” until their browser has refreshed.

Lawton also mentioned that users will keep seeing issues like this as YouTube’s ad-blocker detection methods improve.

This reported five-second delay however appears not to be affecting everyone. As PC Tech, we have tried to check it out on different devices and browsers with ad blockers enabled and we couldn’t replicate it as YouTube works equally well across all devices and browsers.

The company began a crackdown on ad blockers as a limited test in June prompting users with ad blockers to either allow ads or consider paying for a YouTube Premium subscription. This came after several people had started noticing a new prompt warning that video playback could be cut off if YouTube detects repeated use of ad-blocking tools. 

“Ad blocker detection is not new, and other publishers regularly ask viewers to disable ad blockers,” Google spokesperson Oluwa Falodun said at the time. 

The platform insisted then that viewers will receive multiple warnings before playback is disrupted. 

“We take disabling playback very seriously, and will only disable playback if viewers ignore repeated requests to allow ads on YouTube,” said Falodun in an email to The Verge.

YouTube last month “launched a global effort” to encourage users to allow ads or try YouTube Premium with more users using ad blockers finding themselves unable to watch videos. Now, the video-sharing company has introduced a five-second delay before video loads for users with ad blockers enabled.


Winnie Nantongo

Winnie is a tech reporter with a passion for digital media & communications.
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