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The Adblocking Tug-of-War
Hamed Haddadi, Rishab Nithyanand, Sheharbano Khattak, Mobin Javed, Narseo Vallina-Rodriguez, Marjan Falahrastegar, Julia E. Powles, Emiliano De Cristofaro, and Steven J. Murdoch
Online advertising subsidizes a majority of the “free” services on the Web. Yet many find this approach intrusive and annoying, resorting to adblockers to get rid of ads chasing them all over the Web. A majority of those using an adblocker tool are familiar with messages asking them to either disable their adblocker or to consider supporting the host Web site via a donation or subscription. This is a recent development in the ongoing adblocking arms race which we have explored in our recent report, “Adblocking and Counter Blocking: A Slice of the Arms Race”. For our study, we used popular adblockers, trawled the Web and analyzed some of the most popular sites to uncover how many are using anti-adblockers. Our preliminary analysis found that anti-adblockers come from a small number of providers, are widely used, and that adblockers also often block anti-adblockers.