Some folks have reported that msn.com (and other websites) look like the following screenshots when they visit with AdBlock or Adblock Plus (ABP) running. (Adblock Plus is an unrelated product developed by a different company.)
Or your msn.com home page might look mostly normal, but it may show a message like this:
Special notice: If you are seeing problems with pages displaying or links not working, it may be related to your ad blocker software. We suggest temporarily disabling your ad blocker software while visiting www.msn.com to resolve these issues.
Why is it happening?
Msn.com and some other popular websites appear to be escalating the war against ad blockers. First, they began using very aggressive ad technology to sneak ads past users' ad blockers, particularly in Chrome. Now it looks like the sites are intentionally breaking their own pages to force visitors to disable their ad blockers altogether.
What can I do about it?
Ad blocker developers and the community of volunteers who maintain the filter lists are working on ways to counter this aggressive technology. In the meantime, there are a few things you can try that may make msn.com pages display properly.
Pausing AdBlock is a quick and easy way to disable AdBlock temporarily. Remember to unpause when you leave the site.
- Click the AdBlock button in the browser toolbar and select Pause on this site or Pause AdBlock.
- Reload the page.
To resume ad blocking, click the AdBlock button again and select Resume blocking ads or Unpause AdBlock.
Whitelisting tells your ad blocker not to block ads on a particular page or website while continuing to block them everywhere else.
- Click the AdBlock button in the Chrome toolbar and select Don't run on pages on this site.
- Click Exclude.
- Reload the page.
Open Chrome's developer tools
Opening Chrome's developer tools temporarily stops msn.com's ad technology from running. The technology is smart. It can detect when the developer tools are open and not run. In effect, it's "hiding" from visitors who know how to use developer access to the page to try to get around it.
You don't have to be a web developer to use this workaround. You don't need to do anything with the developer tools, just open and close them. Site pages will load properly, without ads, for a little while. When the ads return or the page breaks again, just open and close the developer tools.
To open Chrome's developer tools, press Ctrl+Shift+I or right-click the page and select Inspect. To close them, click the X in the upper right corner of the developer tools pane.
We are actively working to counteract the aggressive ad technology. The best thing you can do is to keep your AdBlock up-to-date. If your extensions are set to update automatically (which is the default setting in most modern browsers), you don't need to do anything to get new releases. AdBlock will update itself automatically when your browser is open.