There's A Major Hole in the Adblock Plus EasyList Filter.

Post date: Jun 2, 2016 5:08:20 PM

Consumers blocking ads on the web is big news at the moment.

Today as a part of a test I enabled Adblock Plus (an open-source content-filtering and ad blocking extension ) in the Firefox browser with EasyList. EasyList is the primary filter list that removes most adverts from international webpages, such as unwanted frames, images and objects. It is the most popular list used by many ad blockers and forms the base of over 10 combination and supplementary filter lists.

As you might guess after a few minutes use I'm far from an expert Adblocker (I have never used one before) but imagine my surprise when I saw Google Shopping listings in their full glory:

Ad block

Merchants pay Google in order to list their products on the Google Shopping service - the above listings are all ads!

Ads (including shopping results in normal search results) were being blocked in other Google searches (I had unchecked the "Allow some non-intrusive advertising" option) e.g.

Ad blocking plus

Thus it appears there was a big hole in the filter! I reported this to Ad Block Plus. Their feedback was that EasyList authors considered that removing all the links would leave the page blank, so have not taken on board my feedback!