Facebook has taken a major step towards combatting the practice of blocking online advertisements, by deploying tools to by-pass the popular browser add-ons.
The social network says it is giving people more power to control what ads they do see, but ad-blocking software will no longer function on its desktop site.
“When we asked people about why they used ad blocking software,” the company writes in a blog post, “the primary reason we heard was to stop annoying, disruptive ads.
The new controls the firm speaks of will enable users to opt-out of receiving ads about certain things they’ve liked or expressed interest in via their Facebook profiles.
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Users will also be able to disable ads from “businesses or organisations who have added them to their consumer lists.”
The new Ad Preferences page will make it possible to make the tweaks.
Facebook, which isn’t yet taking action on mobile, hit out at the ad-blocking companies for accepting cash to show ads they’ve previously blocked.
This practice confused web users, and removed funding necessary to keep news sites running, the firm said.
“Rather than paying ad blocking companies to unblock the ads we show — as some of these companies have invited us to do in the past — we’re putting control in people’s hands with our updated ad preferences and our other advertising controls.”
One of the most popular providers of ad-blocking software, AdBlock Plus, called the decision “an unfortunate move, because it takes a dark path against user choice.”