February 27, 2024

New Adblock Update Significantly Impacts YouTube Performance

Title: Performance Issues on YouTube Linked to Ad-Blocking Extensions, Users Report

In recent weeks, users of popular ad-blocking extensions Adblock and Adblock Plus have been facing performance issues while using YouTube. Initially, Google was blamed for deliberately slowing down video buffering for ad-blocker users. However, it was later revealed that the root cause of the problem lies within the ad-blocking extensions themselves.

The controversy began when a Reddit post alleged that Google was intentionally causing slower loading times and other performance problems for users with ad blockers enabled. Online tech publication BleepingComputer decided to investigate the claims and confirmed the issues after installing the Adblock Chrome extension. They experienced considerable slowdowns and difficulties while navigating YouTube.

Many affected users initially believed that the problems were related to slow internet speed or memory leaks. This assumption was further reinforced by the fact that YouTube Premium subscribers did not report any performance issues, adding to the confusion surrounding the source of the problem.

It appears that the performance issues specifically impact users with active Adblock and Adblock Plus extensions, while another popular ad-blocking extension called uBlock Origin remains unaffected. According to Raymond Hill, the developer of uBlock Origin, the problems are not caused by Google’s code but rather by the Adblock extensions themselves.

Further investigation revealed that the issues stem from version 1.1.1 of the Adblock extension engine, which was introduced in Adblock version 5.17 and Adblock Plus 3.22. The content script code of Adblock Plus on the YouTube webpage is responsible for the performance degradation.

Users have found that simply disabling Adblock or Adblock Plus is insufficient to resolve the issues. Instead, they need to reload web pages or open them in new tabs for the extensions to be completely disabled.

Adblock developers are currently aware of the performance problems and are actively investigating them. However, they have been unable to reproduce the issues themselves. In response, Adblock Plus has created a GitLab page to keep track of the problem and has called on users to provide feedback.

BleepingComputer reached out to both Adblock and Google for comments. However, no response has been received as of yet. As frustration grows among affected users, it remains to be seen how long it will take for a resolution to be found for these performance issues on YouTube.