Vivaldi 2.6 will block abusive advertisement by default

Martin Brinkmann
May 20, 2019
Internet, Vivaldi

Vivaldi Technologies is working hard on getting Vivaldi 2.6 out to the browser's stable channel. The most recent Vivaldi 2.6 snapshot introduces several new features in the browser including one that will block abusive advertisement practices by default.

Vivaldi, which is based on Chromium, uses the same blocklist that Google uses for its Chrome web browser.

Google started to integrate ad-blocking functionality in Chrome for Android in mid-July 2017 and introduced the functionality in desktop versions of the browser in February 2018.

Most ad-blockers make no distinction between different types of advertisement or how it is served. There are some solutions that allow some ads to pass through, AdBlock Plus being the prime example with its acceptable ads initiative, and Google's implementation follows a similar methodology. Instead of blocking all ads, Google, an advertising company first and foremost, blocks only some ads in Chrome based on certain criteria.

On desktop for example, popup ads or auto-playing video ads get blocked, and so is content or advertisement that Google considers abusive.

Vivaldi 2.6 and abusive experience protectionsvivaldi block ads

Vivaldi 2.6 will block advertisement that is considered abusive. The browser uses Google's blocklist to make the determination. Google lists the following experiences as abusive at the time of writing:

  • Fake Messages, e.g. warnings or system dialogs.
  • Unexpected click areas, e.g. non-visible page elements.
  • Misleading site behavior, e.g. ads that use play buttons or next arrows.
  • Browser history manipulation, e.g. when sites inject content into the history.
  • Social engineering, e.g. ads that try to steal personal information or try to trick users.
  • Auto redirect, e.g. sites that redirect users without action from the user.
  • Mouse pointer, e.g. content that resembles a clicking mouse pointer to get users to interact with it.
  • Malware or unwanted software, sites that host, promote, or link to malware or unwanted software.

Vivaldi's developers could not just use Google's implementation because the blocklist that Chrome uses was not provided to the developers in the same way that Chrome uses it. The Vivaldi developers maintain a copy of the blocklist on the Vivaldi servers, and it is that copy that the browser uses to block abusive advertisement experiences.

Vivaldi Technologies has no control over the list, however. It is created and maintained by Google. Vivaldi users may disable the new feature in the following way once Vivaldi 2.6 lands:

  1. Select Vivaldi Menu > Tools > Settings, or use Alt-P to open the Preferences using the shortcut.
  2. Switch to the Privacy section.
  3. Remove the checkmark from Block ads on abusive violating sites. This turns the functionality off in the Vivaldi browser.

You can download the Vivaldi 2.6 snapshot directly from the Vivaldi website for all supported versions of the web browser.

Closing Words

Vivaldi protecting users against abusive experiences is a welcome addition. Users who don't want to be exposed to any ads can still use ad-blockers to block these.

Now You: What is your take on the development?

Vivaldi 2.6 will block abusive advertisement by default
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Vivaldi 2.6 will block abusive advertisement by default
The upcoming Vivaldi 2.6 web browser will block abusive advertisement practices by default using Google's abusive experiences blocklist.
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  1. Torin Doyle said on May 21, 2019 at 6:27 pm

    I wouldn’t feel comfortable using a closed-source web browser.

  2. Lindsay said on May 21, 2019 at 10:51 am

    I consider lying to be an abusive advertising practice but that would rule out 99% of ads.

    1. John Fenderson said on May 21, 2019 at 7:13 pm


      I consider the tracking to be an abusive advertising practice. I think that rules out even more ads.

      1. Lindsay said on May 24, 2019 at 7:38 am


  3. Richard Allen said on May 21, 2019 at 12:56 am

    “What is your take on the development?”

    Sorry, but “will block abusive advertisement practices by default” is simply just tripe. If a site isn’t on the blocklist, Nothing gets blocked. If the “criteria list” was blocked everywhere, all of the time, now that would be much more useful. No, actually that would be impressive. As it is right now, this news barely deserves so much as a yawn.

    I can’t help but look at Google’s ad blocking functionality with the same amount of disdain as I do their “Safe Browsing” (Phishing and Malware Protection). How many hundreds of thousands of users are affected before the guilty site is added to either list? Every month I read about websites inadvertently pushing malware and the like, considering a huge majority of the affected users are using Chrome shows me that both concepts, the built-in ad blocking and safe browsing of Chrome and Vivaldi, are seriously flawed. In the past I’ve cleaned over a dozen computers that used Chrome as their primary browser and found hundreds of malware objects (300+), in two cases over a thousand objects. Seriously! With everyone of those users I installed uBlock Origin with its default settings and with small changes to the subscription filter lists and they are always amazed at the improvement in performance and usability.

    Will block abusive advertisement by default… is something that is only done by a real content blocker like uBO. :)

    1. Anonymous said on May 21, 2019 at 6:22 am

      This is to help protect common users in general. No one is stopping you to use uBO

    2. Richard Allen said on May 21, 2019 at 1:39 am

      One more thought.
      Every one of those computers that I’ve cleaned in the past, when I talk to the owners, I ask when their last malware scan was and how did it look. Usually, they are embarrassed and proud at the same time. Embarrassed because the scans are irregular and proud because they haven’t seen any malware! I laugh with them after admitting that my malware scans are also somewhat irregular and that I’ve gotten a little complacent because I haven’t seen a single malware object in over 10 yrs. I try to run a scan at least once a month but… life happens aka procrastination.

      One thing I’ve learned over the years is that having kids at home is like having a super-malware magnet. With that reality, being able to keep your computer clean is quite the accomplishment for anyone. :)

  4. Robert Ab said on May 20, 2019 at 9:44 pm

    Adding uBlock Origin to Chrome/Vivaldi will solve the problem with SELECTIVE blocking of abusive advertisement using Google list :)

  5. Paul(us) said on May 20, 2019 at 8:20 pm

    When there is no possibility to not allow Google/Vivaldi what I want to see or not see I am quite sure that I will stop with Vivaldi or any other browser who thinks that they have to decide what’s good for me. At all times I want myself to compose the list of sites I personly want to block.

    In main personal opinion, not allowing to make your own choices it’s the same as Google does on the moment with Huawei. Not because Trump wants it because of his one economic war against China, but because of that Google wants world domination.

    And how many times have we heard that before in the history of the humankind, right now already more times than there are stars to count at any given time in the Universum?

    1. realAnonymous said on May 21, 2019 at 6:44 am


    2. Anonymous said on May 21, 2019 at 4:20 am

      Google, AKA Alphabet, is a front for the US government. They are exactly the same as Hauwei which is a front for the Chinese government. I guess people are still in denial of what’s really going on in this world.

  6. Peter said on May 20, 2019 at 5:12 pm

    No need for blocklists from google. They most likely have other undisclosed categories and criteria, pandering to corporate ideals.

    1. Amonynoose said on May 22, 2019 at 3:23 pm

      Yeah, like, I don’t know. Blocking/replacing ads that aren’t theirs.

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