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YouTube’s war with ad blockers just escalated

YouTube’s battle with viewers using ad blockers to skirt commercial interruption has intensified, with many reporting a major slowdown of the service.

Previously, Google has blocked playback for users with ad blockers enabled, or showed users a blank screen for the duration of the missing adverts, essentially negating the effect of having an ad blocker.

In November, Google went further and admitted to providing a “suboptimal viewing” experience, which could result in days in loading videos for some users.

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According to a Reddit thread (via 9to5Google), the problems are getting worse with severe loading lags that impacts playback, browser performance, and even causes system crashes some users say.

The thread is filled with users who were fooled into believing their internet connection was impacted, and users whose entire browser performance (both Edge and Chrome) had frozen or crashed completely when attempting to play YouTube videos with ad blockers enabled.

One user wrote: “I play League (presumably League of Legends) alongside YouTube and I found it strange that my game had a perfect connection while Edge was freezing entirely while trying to play a video.”

Another wrote: “One thing to add also, this messes up the resources on the computer as a whole. It just kills chrome it seems.”

One more still wrote: “And here I was wondering why my laptop ran like a f*****g jet for the last few days.”

On the contrary, some users who’ve subscribed to YouTube Premium to avoid ads completely and legitimately are also reporting struggles with the slowdown issues too.

YouTube is yet to comment on the latest attempts to deter users from using ad blockers, but its previous statement on the matter read: “Ads are a vital lifeline for our creators that helps them run and grow their businesses. That’s why the use of ad blockers violate YouTube’s Terms of Service. We’ve been urging users for some time to allow ads on YouTube or try YouTube Premium for an ad-free experience. 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. Users who have uninstalled their ad blockers may still experience a temporary delay in loading, and should try refreshing their browser.”

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