Announcing the Acceptable Ads program for the AdBlock extension

If you use the AdBlock extension your browser may have opened on a new webpage which contains an announcement about the Acceptable Ads program. An ad-blocker extension that doesn’t block all advertisements anymore? Strange, right?

Announcing the Acceptable Ads program for the AdBlock extension

The AdBlock extension now allows some advertisements it feels are not annoying to be displayed if you use their extension. Luckily, you can disable acceptable ads in AdBlock by disallowing “some non-intrusive advertising” in the options panel.

If you want to know why this happened: AdBlock’s creator Michael Gundlach sold the company to buyer who wishes to remain anonymous and Michael will no longer have any relationship with the company, which suggests that he’s cashed out quite nicely. Adblock’s previous director, Gabriel Cubbage is now going to run things under new ownership.

How to disable AdBlock acceptable ads

1. Click the AdBlock icon at the top of your web browser or go to your extensions page and click Options.

disable AdBlock acceptable ads

2. On the options page un-check “Allow some non-intrusive advertising.” Vioala!

AdBlock alternative

There are a few great AdBlock alternatives including uBlock Origin. uBlock is lightweight and blocks advertisements across the web and social media websites like Facebook and YouTube.

Acceptable Ads program announcement

This is the full Acceptable Ads program announcement from Michael, the creator of AdBlock:

Announcing the Acceptable Ads program

Hi, it’s Michael, the creator of AdBlock. Pardon the interruption!

For years I have wanted to help make it easy for you to see useful ads and block annoying ones. I am excited to tell you that it’s finally happening.

AdBlock is now participating in the Acceptable Ads program. Acceptable Ads defines strict guidelines to identify non-annoying ads, which AdBlock now shows by default. This way, you can help support your favorite websites — and if you still want to block every ad, you can disable this easily.

Want more details? More about Acceptable Ads

With Acceptable Ads, you are allowing some advertising that’s not considered annoying to be shown. By doing this you support websites that rely on advertising but who choose to do it in a non-intrusive way.

The Acceptable Ads program is a plea to advertisers, their ad agencies, online ad networks and websites to stop making bad online advertising — ads that are obnoxious, annoying and obtrusive. Specifically:

– Acceptable Ads are not annoying. – Acceptable Ads do not disrupt or distort the page content we’re trying to read. – Acceptable Ads are transparent with us about being an ad. – Acceptable Ads are effective without shouting at us. – Acceptable Ads are appropriate to the site that we are on.

You can learn more about Acceptable Ads here. Like I said: AdBlock has enabled this feature by default, but you can can disable it in AdBlock’s Options if you ever want to block every ad. I think you’ll really like the change. Happy surfing!


PS: Why now? Well, I have always shared similar goals for the Web with the ad blocker Adblock Plus, who created the Acceptable Ads program. But I did not like the fact that they also control the program, because they are supported by some Acceptable Ads advertisers. Now, Adblock Plus will be transferring custodianship of Acceptable Ads to an impartial group of experts. I love this idea — in fact, it was my wife Katie’s suggestion! Due to this change, I’m happy for AdBlock to join the program. As a result, I am selling my company, and the buyer is turning on Acceptable Ads. My long-time managing director will keep working with the new company. I believe this is a great thing for you users.

It’s been an honor to make the Web a better place for you! 🙂


Sean Doyle

Sean Doyle is a tech author and engineer with over 20 years of experience in cybersecurity, privacy, malware, Google Analytics, online marketing, and other topics. Sean's content has been featured in numerous publications.

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