What a Kerfuffle! Is AdBlock Plus Paying Other Blockers to Allow ‘Whitelisted’ Ads?

What a Kerfuffle Is AdBlock Plus Paying Other Blockers to Allow ‘Whitelisted’ AdsAdBlock Plus has been accused of paying off other ad blockers to let certain ads get through.

Well, duh.

How do we think ad blockers make any money? Good samaritans are out there — but they seldom work in digital tech, just sayin’ …

Now comes this news: “The new ad blocker support Apple introduced in its mobile Safari web browser in iOS 9 is causing quite a stir,” reports BGR. “Publishers are up in arms, worried that users will adopt mobile ad blockers en masse and poke huge holes in their revenue streams. Meanwhile, just one day after Apple released iOS 9 to the public on Wednesday, several ad blocker plug-ins have indeed shot up the charts in Apple’s iOS App Store.”

Is it fair to offer an ad blocker that only blocks the marketers that don’t cough up? Or does it start to look like a mafia-inspired protection game?

“Regardless of which side of the debate you stand on, there’s one thing we can probably all agree on: What AdBlock Plus is doing — if, and only if recent accusations turn out to be true — is both unethical and deplorable,” contends BGR.

The kerfuffle is this, notes BGR: “According to a (recent) report published by French blog Info iGen, AdBlock Plus has found a sinister way to profit from Apple’s new ad blocking feature in iOS 9.”

How does THAT work?

“AdBlock Plus has a monetization strategy it calls “Acceptable Ads.” The scheme allows AdBlock partners to serve white list ads that the AdBlock Plus plug-in, by default, will not block on computers or mobile devices even while the plug-in is running,” explains BGR. “As a result, users will still see these ads even if they believe all ads are being blocked, and AdBlock Plus will enjoy a cut of the revenue.”

Holy moly. But did we not … kinda … know this?

And get this: AdBlock is paying monthly fees of as much as $5,600 to companies that do not block ads on the AdBlock Plus “Acceptable Ads” white list.

Here we’ll just give you the skinny from BGR: “Here’s where things get particularly interesting: this would be an incredibly easy report to deny, but Eyeo has declined several opportunities to deny it. Instead, the company would only say that the report is “not entirely correct.” What does that mean? Does it mean Eyeo is paying other ad blocking companies $6,000 per month and not $5,600?”

We’ll keep following this, of course. In the meantime, some things remain ever true: no company does work for nothing, out of the goodness of its heart (let us know if you disagree and can nominate one). The other true thing? Things become clearer whenever you follow the money.

Happy ad blocking … maybe.