Adblockers remain welcome on Google Chrome after wave of criticism

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Google is implementing its plan to block adblockers in Chrome. A study shows that the motivation to remove support for adblockers was based on fallacy.

Last month it came to light that Google wanted to dispose of adblock extensions for Chromium browsers. Google didn’t say that in so many words, but the intention appeared in the provisional version of Manifesto v3. This manifesto indicates what rights browser extensions will have in all Chromium-based browsers (including Chrome and soon also Edge). Specifically, Google wanted to block access to the WebRequest API, which makes adblockers impossible in practice. A new built-in adblocker from Google itself would continue to work.

Germinals

Google developers claimed that the adaptation was made to keep Chromium fast. Excessive reliance on WebRequest would slow down the browser. That ad giant Google would prefer its own adblocker to more efficient versions from third parties was not said out loud.

Both adblock developers and users climbed on their horses when they heard the news. Ghostery, himself a provider of an adblocker, therefore decided to carry out a study himself. It compared the loading times of web pages with and without the most popular adblockers activated. This study clearly and undeniably showed that the impact of the extensions on the loading time remains below the millisecond.

Conclusion: Google’s reason for closing WebRequest access is invalid. In fact, several studies show that the impact of JavaScript performed by advertisements is much greater than that of an adblocker, so pages often load faster with an adblock extension instead of slower.

Retracted

A few hours after the publication of the results, Google took a step backwards. In a blog post written by Google developer Devlin Cronin, we read that WebRequest access is maintained, and that adblockers can continue to function as before. Cronin praises the feedback and points out that the transparent development process is a great advantage of the open source character of Chrome. He goes on to say that it was never the intention to block extensions, and that Google supports the broad ecosystem.

For the time being, the problem has been averted. The whole saga shows how much power Google has. Chromium as a project is basically open source, but at the end of the journey important decisions are made under the Google roof. If you use an adblock extension, you can at least sleep on both ears for the time being.

This news article was automatically translated from Dutch to give Techzine.eu a head start. All news articles after September 1, 2019 are written in native English and NOT translated. All our background stories are written in native English as well. For more information read our launch article.