Why does AdBlock allow "non-intrusive" ads?

Many people share the view that there are no "good" ads. They don't want to see any ads at all. We understand.

The unfortunate truth is that advertising is still the only way to pay for much of the content on the web. With print newspapers and magazines, advertising and subscription revenue pay for the staff that creates the content, the paper they are printed on, the trucks that deliver them, and so on. There are direct parallels with web content in creation, data storage, and Internet access. Unlike with print media, however, most consumers of online content are used to getting content for free and resist attempts to charge for it.

So it might surprise you to know that studies have found a majority of users don't mind seeing ads to support websites and YouTube channels they love, if the ads are unobtrusive and relevant. To that end, AdBlock participates in the Acceptable Ads program. Acceptable Ads defines strict guidelines to identify non-intrusive ads, which AdBlock shows by default.

We have also proclaimed our support for the EFF's Do Not Track privacy standard. With these moves we’re making it easier for you to support your favorite websites, without degrading your web browsing experience or compromising your privacy.

Did AdBlock start the Acceptable Ads program?

No. The Acceptable Ads program was started by Adblock Plus (ABP), an unrelated product developed by a different company and our friendly rival.

In 2017, ABP moved control of the Acceptable Ads program to a third-party review board. We think this is a good thing and we’re behind it all the way.

Does AdBlock make any money from Acceptable Ads?

AdBlock is not involved in running the Acceptable Ads program or deciding what advertisers are allowed in. We do not get a cut of the fees large advertisers pay to join.

Adblock Plus earns a significant part of its revenue from large companies that pay to be included in the Acceptable Ads whitelist. The fees large companies pay subsidize smaller companies, which can join the whitelist for free. No company can pay to whitelist ads that don't meet the criteria.

You're always in control

We believe users should control what they see on the web. That, after all, is what AdBlock is all about. You can easily opt out of the Acceptable Ads program.

  • Method 1: Click the AdBlock button in the browser toolbar and select Options. On the GENERAL tab, disable Allow some non-intrusive advertising.
  • Method 2: Disable the Acceptable Ads filter list on the FILTER LISTS tab.

If you're using the AdBlock for Safari app, please see these instructions instead.

I want to support websites I love. I just don't want to see ads from Taboola!

We hear you. Acceptable Ads is an all-or-nothing proposition. Whitelist rules (the kind that make up the Acceptable Ads filter list) always override blacklist rules (the kind that block ads). If you have Acceptable Ads turned on, you can't also block some of the ad providers that are on the list.

We agree that Taboola (and to a somewhat lesser extent, Outbrain) ads aren't "acceptable." We're hopeful that now that the Acceptable Ads list is under the control of that third-party board, Taboola and Outbrain will be removed from it. We encourage you to voice your opinion of Taboola ads on the Acceptable Ads forum.

In the meantime, if you prefer not to see ads from Taboola and Outbrain, we recommend that you disable the Acceptable Ads filter list and just whitelist sites you want to support.

Some websites are able to force Taboola ads past the ad-blocking filter lists, however. You can use a custom filter to block Taboola ads on most sites. Other particularly stubborn sites require additional custom filters.

Is the Acceptable Ads option reset every time you start your browser?

Please see these articles:

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