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Ad blockers are breaking internet and websites

Staff writer |
Ad blockers don't just block ads on the internet - they actually break websites such as British Airways and Vodafone, a new study has found.

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According to tests conducted on the UK's 100 most popular websites, ad blockers didn't just block pop-ups, but accidentally corrupted useful parts of a website, such as an airline check-in screens or retail order tracking pages.

If you were browsing, all you would see is an error message or simply a chunk missing on screen, but no explanation for what was behind it.

In the study by London ad-tech company Oriel, the researchers tested 24 common ad blockers, including Adblock, Adblock Plus and uBlock Origin, on a range of popular websites including BA, Aer Lingus, RyanAir, Vodafone, P&G and Land Rover.

"For me it was triggered by the genuine fact that I couldn’t check into British Airways and wanted to find out why," said Aidan Joyce, CEO of Oriel.

For instance, they found that the software prevented users from checking in online on the BA and RyanAir websites, because it blocked the terms and conditions check box.

Rather than notifying you that an ad blocker is active, you just get an error message.

They also found that the ad blockers prevented them from tracking an order delivery on the Vodafone site, and blocked videos on the Land Rover site, among other problems.


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