YouTube last year started artificially slowing down its site for users with ad blockers enabled. Now, according to reports from affected viewers, this tactic is being expanded to more users.
Ads are a massive revenue source for YouTube, so it’s no surprise they want to discourage ad blocking. But their methods are raising controversy among users who feel trapped between intrusive ads or paying a monthly fee.
The first phase of YouTube’s anti-ad blocking efforts involved popup messages stating “ad blockers violate YouTube’s Terms of Service.” Users had to disable their ad blocker to proceed.
Now YouTube has moved into directly sabotaging the user experience by throttling site performance. A 9to5Google report has highlighted how Redditors have complained about YouTube suffering from lag, buffering issues and other glitches when an ad blocker is enabled.
Youtube started slowing video buffer with adblock enabled
YouTube seems to be imposing an artificial timeout or bandwidth limit to mimic a slow internet connection. Videos struggle to load, previews won’t generate, and fullscreen mode is unusable without a refresh.
This effectively makes YouTube unusable for ad blocker users, who now face a choice: disable their ad blocker and sit through video ads, or pay the Premium subscription fee for an ad-free experience.
YouTube believes ad blocking violates its terms of service since their business model depends on ads. Critics counter that excessive ads violate the user experience. This clash will likely intensify as YouTube doubles down on ads while users push back.