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YouTube Intentionally Malfunctions for Millions of Users to Sabotage Ad Blockers

Krishi Chowdhary Journalist Author expertise
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  • Users who use ad blockers have complained that YouTube has not been working properly for them.
  • YouTube videos are automatically skipping to the end or going mute after playing for just a few seconds.
  • While YouTube has not officially addressed this issue, it has issued multiple statements in the last few months saying that people using ad blockers will soon experience trouble.

YouTube Intentionally Malfunctions for Millions of Users to Sabotage Ad Blockers

YouTube continues to fight against third-party ad blockers. On Monday (May 27), several users who have enabled ad blockers complained that when they played a YouTube video, it would automatically skip to the end or go mute after a few seconds.

For example, a Reddit user by the name ‘Freemanhl2’ took to the YouTube subreddit to share their experience: “There’s no sound whenever I use ad blocker on YouTube. You can adjust the volume slider for a second then it goes mute again.”

Another Reddit user shared a similar experience. “If I try to play a video with adblock running the video plays the first second with sound and then goes silent,” they said. Apparently, the videos work fine for just the first few seconds and then get muted for the rest of their durations.

Was This Move Too Extreme?

While my humble opinion states that doing something like this without a clear warning beforehand isn’t the best of moves, I can understand YouTube’s frustration and desperation to stop illegitimate ad-blocking.

Also, it’d be completely unfair to say that such “weird behavior” is completely shocking. After all, YouTube announced last month that it would be taking steps against users with ad blockers enabled because it violates YouTube’s terms of service.

“We want to emphasize that our terms don’t allow third-party apps to turn off ads because that prevents the creator from being rewarded for viewership, and Ads on YouTube help support creators and let billions of people around the world use the streaming service.” – YouTube

The company had also warned that such users might experience buffering issues or get an error message reading, “This content is not available to play.”

Understanding YouTube’s Dissent for Ad Blockers

I personally feel YouTube isn’t in the wrong here. It’s a revolutionary video platform (the most-watched streaming platform in the US) that continues to be absolutely free of cost, with time spent on ads being the only currency it seeks from non-paying users.

Yes, it’s true that the duration and frequency of YouTube ads have increased over the years. Previously, it was just one skippable ad on every other video. Now, you often get two ads in a single video—if you’re out of luck, they both might be unskippable.

If the video is a really long one, such as a podcast or a web series episode, you might even get ads in the middle of the video. Even worse, YouTube is planning to launch a new feature called ‘Pause Ads‘. These will be unskippable ads that will run when you pause a video.

Naturally, all of this can get pretty frustrating for users, who eventually lean in on ad blockers to stop YouTube ads—without having to pay for YouTube Premium.

In truth, though, ad blockers really hurt YouTube; no ads mean no revenue, and no revenue means nothing to pay the creators. Moreover, the platform does an excellent job at offering an affordable way to get rid of ads.

“We also understand that some people prefer an entirely ad-free experience, which is why we offer YouTube Premium.”

YouTube Premium also has a family plan, wherein you can cover up to 5 family members. This is the plan I personally use and recommend, as it offers unbeatable value for your money.

I feel that we need to be a little more cognizant of YouTube’s troubles with ad blockers and support our favorite creators by either allowing ads (i.e. if we want to continue enjoying YouTube for free) or sign up for YouTube Premium.

It’s also worth noting that paying for YouTube Premium is a better option than watching ads—assuming a future where ad-blockers will be completely useless for YouTube. That’s because YouTube uses behavioral-tracking to show advertisements, which is privacy-invasive.

Read more: YouTube’s ad blocker detection accused of flouting EU privacy law

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Krishi Chowdhary Journalist

Krishi Chowdhary Journalist

Krishi is an eager Tech Journalist and content writer for both B2B and B2C, with a focus on making the process of purchasing software easier for businesses and enhancing their online presence and SEO.

Krishi has a special skill set in writing about technology news, creating educational content on customer relationship management (CRM) software, and recommending project management tools that can help small businesses increase their revenue.

Alongside his writing and blogging work, Krishi's other hobbies include studying the financial markets and cricket.

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