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Facebook Starts Circumventing Ad Blockers on Desktop

Alex Spencer

The new improved Ad Preferences tool, which Facebook claims solves the underlying issue behind ad blocking

The new improved Ad Preferences tool, which Facebook claims solves the underlying issue behind ad blocking



Facebook has begun displaying ads on its desktop site regardless of whether users have ad blocking software installed.

This move against blockers was announced alongside improvements to Facebook's ad preferences tools, which promise to make it easier for users to control what ads they see, by removing a particular interest from their targeting data.

In the announcement, Facebook said it believed these tools helped tackle what it sees as people's underlying problem with online advertising: "annoying, disruptive ads ... that try to sell us things we have no interest in buying".

It also took the opportunity for a none-too-subtle jab at Adblock Plus, and in particular its Acceptable Ads whitelisting policy:

"Some ad blocking companies accept money in exchange for showing ads that they previously blocked," reads the announcement. "A practice that is at best confusing to people and that reduces the funding needed to support the journalism and other free services that we enjoy on the web.

"Facebook is one of those free services, and ads support our mission of giving people the power to share and making the world more open and connected. 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."

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