YouTube is automatically skipping videos if you use Adblock Plus

Ashwin
May 30, 2024
Youtube
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33

Google's tug of war with ad blockers continues. This time, Adblock Plus users are reporting that videos are automatically skipping to the end.

This is not the first time YouTube has annoyed users who use a content blocker, the shenanigans began about a year ago, before Google officially announced its crackdown on ad blockers. The issues were soon sorted out by ad blockers, who blocked the prompts that were displayed by the streaming service, allowing users to protect their privacy and use YouTube ad-free.

Are YouTube videos skipping to the end automatically if you use an ad blocker?

The new video-skipping behavior was reported by users on Reddit, who said that videos that they loaded ended automatically without playing. A few comments mentioned that videos were skipping forward ahead before the playback resumed. Some users also said that YouTube is automatically muting their videos. But, I couldn't help noticing that most of these complaints were from users who were using the Adblock Plus extension. It is unclear if the issue impacts other ad blockers.

A statement sent by a Google spokesperson to 9to5Google says the following: "Ad blockers violate YouTube’s Terms of Service, and we’ve been urging users for some time to support their favorite creators and allow ads on YouTube or try YouTube Premium for an ad-free experience. An unrelated push to improve YouTube’s performance and reliability may be resulting in suboptimal viewing experiences for ad blocker users."

That does seem a little confusing, since only Adblock Plus users have been experiencing issues. How do you fix this problem? Use uBlock Origin, as the extension is not impacted by this. If you still face any problems with ads on YouTube, just restart your browser, or update the filters manually from the add-on's settings.

You may or may not have experienced the issue on YouTube, as it depends entirely on the adblocker that you are using.

FreeTube alternative

I prefer using FreeTube. It's an open-source front end for YouTube that has a built-in ad blocker, SponsorBlock, and lets you subscribe to channels without an account. You may also use it to download videos. The app was updated recently to support user playlists, which was the only thing I was missing. This allows you to create, save, export/import playlists within the app.

The only issue I have faced with FreeTube is that closed captions may not work in some Invidious instances, sometimes the button does not appear at all, even though it did work when I tried accessing the instance through a web browser, so it wasn't a question of too many users accessing the service from a specific API. If you're facing this bug, you may have to change the API Backend under General Settings to use Local API to get captions to work. Speaking of which, if you prefer accessing YouTube from a browser, you can use Invidious directly.

Google is likely to intensify its strategies in the battle against content blockers, fortunately uBlock Origin or other ad blockers will always find a way around these restrictions.

Have you faced similar issues on YouTube?

Summary
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YouTube is automatically skipping videos if you use Adblock Plus
Description
YouTube videos are automatically skipping to the end for Adblock Plus users.
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Ghacks Technology News
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Comments

  1. Anonymous said on June 2, 2024 at 4:20 pm
    Reply

    google just killing YouTube. whatever..

  2. Iron Heart said on May 31, 2024 at 2:56 pm
    Reply

    Adblocking can never be truly stopped as long as YouTube is still offered in regions where YouTube has not rolled out ads, since it’s not profitable. They do this to increase their reach and not let competitors emerge in such regions.

    As long as you can use VPN this cannot be won by YouTube, even if they find a way to beat uBlock Origin or other adblockers, which I doubt.

    I wonder why they didn’t prevent access to YouTube videos based on extension ID leak yet. For those who don’t know, every Chrome extension comes with an ID assigned to it, which is the same for all users of that extension. Specific users can’t be identified based on that alone, but the extension itself can be, so why don’t they use that leak to nuke uBlock Origin and similar extensions? Firefox extension IDs can leak too, and are unique to every user (generated per-install). This means the extension can’t be identified (well, in the case of adblockers, it can be… via the leak of the lists it uses: https://browserleaks.com/proxy ), but it becomes a unique identifier for the user which is suboptimal for privacy.

    They don’t use the extension ID leak or the known leak of adblocking lists which seems odd to me.

    1. mrrr said on June 1, 2024 at 5:47 pm
      Reply

      BROs ,
      it sure is a shame i dont have those isues , because I use newpipe ,
      https://newpipe.net/

      enjoy

      1. Bobo said on June 2, 2024 at 8:17 am
        Reply

        @mrrr

        That’s magical. Now share a link with all of us so we can install NewPipe on our computers, because we like to watch YouTube on large screens.

        Thanks in advance, BRO.

    2. JudgeWaylon said on June 1, 2024 at 11:15 am
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      As long as youtube doesn’t crack down on sponsored content inside videos, they can sell adfree all they want. The creators still put ads you can only skip with 3rd party sponsor block.

      So the whole discussion is moot and inane. If I cannot be 100% ad free with running 2 blockers. Why would I pay for a subscription that only supports blocking 1 type of 2 ad types?

      /quod erat demonstrandum

      The blocker stays on. Lock me out of Youtube with paywalls ore I keep coming back. Period.

  3. Mystique said on May 31, 2024 at 11:31 am
    Reply

    There is a version of Freetube for android too if someone was interested in that.

    The benefits of Freetube is that it also allows you to have local playlists, subscriptions, favourites, etc without an account needed. This in itself is brilliant but it absolutely if there was some sort of pipped software that facilitated this and much more then that would be great but there isn’t.

    If mozilla had their act together and had something of their own alternative to electron then we might have seen more software like this or better but it is what it is.

    None of the options mentioned as far as I know is similar to Freetube on that level even Materialious fails to support this as of yet.

    1. Bobo said on June 2, 2024 at 8:23 am
      Reply

      The best one right now for Android is SkyTube Extra. Works like a charm on super-old, low spec potatos too. That’s right, that crappy old Acer tablet from 2011 you use to spank your misbehaving children with, can now show YouTube videos. In 480p, but still =)

  4. afin said on May 30, 2024 at 10:38 pm
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    in my country ( NL ) it’s not “illegal “to use ad blockers
    Youtube/Google has to find other ways to display their ads

    1. JudgeWaylon said on June 1, 2024 at 11:16 am
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      In no country refusing to make a HTTPS connection to a site is “not” allowed. You simply do no connect to their servers. The concept is crazy.

      1. Tom Hawack said on June 2, 2024 at 9:57 am
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        @JudgeWaylon, @afin did write ‘illegal” with quote marks, hence not strictly in legal terms yet factual when a corporation such as Google states that ad-blockers are forbidden by YouTube’s terms of service, a statement which is itself arguable in terms of legitimacy.

    2. Tom Hawack said on May 31, 2024 at 10:37 am
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      Netherlands has a history of freedom. I love that country, yours, mine by my dad (RIP).
      It is indeed a normal, a legitimate and a should-never-be illegal behavior to block advertisement.
      In a perhaps distant analogy a country such as Switzerland does not consider a prisoner’s attempt to escape as a crime, such an attempt does not ad charges to those which have sent him to jail : freedom, my friends, is the breath of humanity.

      1. Bobo said on June 2, 2024 at 8:26 am
        Reply

        @Tom Hawack

        Sad to inform you that the Netherlands you are talking about doesn’t exist anymore. That is all due to the “freedom” you mentioned.

      2. Tom Hawack said on June 2, 2024 at 10:02 am
        Reply

        @Bobo, sad to read your assertion. Last time I visited, lived in the Netherlands was back in the eighties and should I return there and discover that centuries of societal and intellectual freedom have collapsed that I’d certainly feel very sad. But remains to be observed and detailed in what terms this freedom would have vanished as you write it.

      3. Bobo said on June 3, 2024 at 11:29 am
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        @Tom Hawack

        My comment was a bit misleading. Just be prepared that the country you visited back then is not the same anymore, should you visit again. I wouldn’t. It’s such a small country that extreme changes are clearly visible in every corner of the land.

        Let’s just leave it at that.

      4. Tom Hawack said on June 3, 2024 at 11:56 am
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        OK, Bobo. I wasn’t over-interpreting your comment but considered it as perhaps relevant of changes, be it in the NL as everywhere. “Avec le temps va tout s’en va” (“With time goes everything goes”) sings French Léo Ferré (RIP). Yet when it comes to freedom the issue is far greater than nostalgia.

        Freedom is to be considered in many aspects I guess. Mine facing others’ mainly. “Freedom, Equality, Brotherhood” as we say in France ever since the 1789 Revolution. Freedom and equality may clash, they do as thesis and antithesis, and brotherhood is meant to be the synthesis. So when I wrote above that “Freedom is the breath of humanity” perhaps should I have written that brotherhood is.

        I’ll have a touch ‘n’ go in Netherlands maybe. I know law enforcement regarding drugs has increased, and that certainly is not in the scope of my feeling of my freedom being tied. I hear that Amsterdam is having many problems with cartels, problems lead to enforcement and enforcement leads to concerns of freedom, inevitably.
        Remains a population’s culture, way of life, mentalities. I do hope that extremist political considerations will never erase a country’s anchor to humanism, freedom, equality and brotherhood. Be it in the Netherlands as everywhere.

      5. Paul said on June 3, 2024 at 3:47 pm
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        Europapa, please go and vote ….
        Hier in BE zijn adblokkers ook niet ”ilegaal” net zoals torrent dowloads ook niet ”ilegaal” waren, zijn.
        EU against GAFAM

  5. Anonymous said on May 30, 2024 at 9:18 pm
    Reply

    It is not about the adblocker, it is about the rules and features, uBlock and Adguard had made it difficult to Youtube to do much about it unless they totally change the way ads are delivered, so uBlock and Adguard only need to modify rules that break the experience if necessary, ads are still going to be blocked though, we are talking about anti-adblock measures made externally from modifying the ones specific to give you ads, like cosmetics or network requests, not the scriptlet injection.

    I use Brave, which is compatible with all uBlock scriptlet injections (the reason for uBlock fork inside Brave github, this is to update the resources from uBlock automatically). And it works fine, Brave has added an experimental list that will optout new UI stuff and also don’t let Youtube detect you are on watching the video (brave-video-bg-play, based on a Mozilla repository) and it works great, if something breaks youtube, it will be fixed easily.

    That’s how adblocking works, you as a technology blog, you should stop pretending browsers can detect adblockers, they don’t, they only detect ‘patterns’ like adding display: none !important to random html nodes that are not meant to be hidden or blocking a Network request that is not suppose to be blocked. This is why scriptlet injections is so powerful, they are injecting JS code just as any page would, but there is no way a page will know, unless they make a complex detection.

    The problem with adblockers are their rules and the features they support, and that’s it, if Adguard and uBlock don’t have any issues with youtube, and it happens with other adblockers, it means those adblockers haven’t done the proper development to stop Youtube and implement good features, if tomorrow Youtube starts delivering ads, well, uBlock and Adguard will do anything about it, even if that means modify complete scripts to remove the ‘ads’ part of it and then create a redirection so Youtube only loads the modified JS and not the official one.

    Reddit users are usually clueless about anything adblocking, so making a 100 paragraph article about how uBlock, Brave, Adguard adblockers works but others might not work, is just weird….

    People should just report to ABP to fix it, or switch to uBlock or Adguard if they aren’t using Brave, and stop complaining they are getting issues when it is obvious it’s not ‘adblockers’ the issue, it is ABP affecting something it shouldn’t.

    Youtube can do whatever they want with their domain, it’s their scripts and all, so people also should stop crying about it, if they don’t want to see ads, well, don’t use Youtube or try what is considered a ‘better’ adblocker.

    Even Twitch ads can be avoided by lowering quality to 360p, and using proxy connections even if they are embedded… this is how clever some people are to create scriptlets or extensions that help workaround, Youtube will not be different, at least now ads can still be blocked without any issue and it’s only about using json-prune or json-prune-fetch-response scriptlets which are made to bypass these things.

  6. John said on May 30, 2024 at 8:53 pm
    Reply

    Never understood ad blockers in the first place. Never saw ads as an annoyance but simply a necessity for free content. Either pay a subscription to avoid ads, or stop trying to circumvent vent them and complain when Youtube finds a way to stop the blockers. I hope Youtube does continue to stop the blockers and make everyone choose to either watch the ads or buy a subscription.

    1. bruh said on May 31, 2024 at 10:14 am
      Reply

      advertising is ridiculous now, I remember back in 2009-2012 when I gained sentience and began heavily using the internet, it wasn’t as extreme as it is now. Nobody is crying about static banner ads, but how often do you see one of those pure sweet things? Often it’s some animated loop these days.

      In terms of youtube, as soon as they made video adverts which weren’t inserted by the video creator, the revenue from which would also not go to the video creator, I stopped watching adverts.

      I will flip it around, if people are able to block adverts on your site, and it hurts your finances – close it off and make it account required & subscription required. Ask yourself why they can’t do this!

  7. Anonymous said on May 30, 2024 at 5:10 pm
    Reply

    Content creators need to move on from shittube. Rumble is the next stop. The thing I worry about is screwgle buying rumble.

    1. yut said on June 7, 2024 at 6:40 am
      Reply

      rumble is just as scammy and the content quality if horrible unless you love russian propaganda

  8. Service Pack said on May 30, 2024 at 4:47 pm
    Reply

    uBlock Origin or NewPipe

  9. TelV said on May 30, 2024 at 4:46 pm
    Reply

    Privacy Redirect works most of the time: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/privacy-redirect/

    Otherwise just make a list of instanties that work for you and then just tag the youtube ID on the end.

    Possibly the problem with ABP is that it allows some ‘acceptable’ ads which might be in competition with youtube’s own ad contracts and Google won’t like that.

  10. Mystique said on May 30, 2024 at 11:59 am
    Reply

    I am not at all surprised by this. I believe they had been testing this for quite some time perhaps and it has only become more mature now to be more affective.

    What is abundantly evident is that we as consumers and content creators must move over to another viable solution for content hosting be it another similar host or otherwise.

    Things are only beginning really.

    Btw whilst Freetube is okay and probably my preferred there are other alternatives too.
    Here is another that is a bit more immature than Freetube called Materialious. Materialious is missing a lot and nowhere near as good as Freetube but it might be something to keep an eye on too.
    The developers of Freetube do not completely support the use of Sponsorblock so whilst you can take advantage of sponsorblock you cannot actually contribute to sponsorblock by submitting your own segments to sponsorblock through Freetube so if theoretically if the same people that are technically minded moved to Freetube you will have far less sponsor skips because like me you will be reluctant to stop what you are watching on Freetube, go to the website, find that segment, submit the skip and then either view it on Freetube again or refresh the youtube website to see the results of your efforts.
    The developers have decided that this is a moral issue and is not a technical issue so do not bother asking them to implement it. It’s just the way it is. Hopefully someone will fork development in time as they did for Newpipe for similar reasons and allow that interaction with Sponsorblock to create and submit new segments.

  11. Tom Hawack said on May 30, 2024 at 11:24 am
    Reply

    FreeTube is an open source cross-platform client for YouTube, which is one thing when an on-line front-end may be a user’s preference.
    FreeTube relies on Invidious (unless to use a Local API).
    Invidious servers, even those proven to be the most reliable ( [yewtu.be] in particular) appear not to be sufficiently, and having to switch from one Invidious instance to another may appear cumbersome.

    In my experience, the most reliable scheme to bypass YouTube servers is to use a ‘Piped’ [https://github.com/TeamPiped/Piped] instance [https://github.com/TeamPiped/Piped/wiki/Instances] and to set its proxy (in the instance’s options) to an adequate proxy. Which ones ? Try by yourself if you please, I’m off with promoting specifics. No fuss, YouTube videos, channels, playlists delivered immediately here, lite, aerial, fast, privacy-respectful when YouTube servers are heavy, foggy, slow and privacy-invasive.

    1. Andy Prough said on May 31, 2024 at 4:23 am
      Reply

      Just use mpv in combination with yt-dlp on the command line. Freetube is a bloated approach. No need to waste so many resources. Piped is preferable, but in cases where piped won’t work, I wouldn’t download an additional heavy program requiring a lot more resources when I could just type “mpv” and paste the link to the page with the video and be done with it.

      1. Tom Hawack said on May 31, 2024 at 2:25 pm
        Reply

        @Andy Prough, I understand your point but I cannot imagine downloading every single video just to view it, when I often have a glimpse without viewing one till its end. If it’s exceptional (IMO) then I may consider downloading it (which I do with an online video downloader : PX Buddy at [https://9xbuddy.in/] which handles other video servers than YouTube as well, offering various video qualities, audio only …).

        And what about live streams videos? mvp won’t do it, you’ll need to copy the stream url to view it with a local reader…

        Correctly set, ‘Piped’ is 99% reliable. Should an issue arise (servers may happen to fail) then with a click I’ll just change the proxy. No fuss, easy. Install and forget.

      2. Shiva said on June 2, 2024 at 4:08 pm
        Reply

        @Tom Hawack

        mpv\yt-dlp + VortexDM with ContextSearch web-ext
        https://i.postimg.cc/jjsQ298n/MPV.gif

        It works with all sites supported by yt-dlp

      3. Bobo said on June 2, 2024 at 8:33 am
        Reply

        @Tom Hawack

        For all my downloading needs I use ClipGrab https://clipgrab.org/ Don’t click the big blue “FREE DOWNLOAD!” button, click the text below that says “Download version without third-party offers.”

        On the first start it will ask permission to download yt-dlp, and then it’s ready to rock. Works on thousands of websites. You can also of course choose to dowload just mp3 too, among other formats.

    2. Shiva said on May 30, 2024 at 8:19 pm
      Reply

      Just added a new one to bookmarks (also available on F-Droid as App): Materialious

    3. Yash said on May 30, 2024 at 12:25 pm
      Reply

      Freetube is based on Invidious. But it works flawless. Maybe Freetube is eating up all the Invidious bandwidth, just kidding.

      1. Tom Hawack said on May 30, 2024 at 4:06 pm
        Reply

        Well, good then. All I know is that Invidious instances are unstable sooner or later, that is those which are basically functional.
        I happen to check them occasionally, those known to be functional, and they’ll work seamlessly for a day, a week and then boum: problem.
        Moreover many YouTube front-ends may work correctly for “static” videos but encounter an issue with streaming videos.
        How does FreeTube with Invidious handle a live streaming video such as, i.e. Sky News LIVE at [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w9uJg68CV4g] ?

        Invidious is a great project unfortunately it faces YouTube’s battle against front-ends with a mitigated success. Piped is far more stable on the long term but unfortunately Freetube does not make any use of it, be it feasible.

        Finally, for users who prefer a Web-based front-end to a client, Freetube doesn’t concern them. On the web connections are established, handles, cleaned within the navigator’s (Firefox in my case) protocols, securities. A client on the other hand is totally in the hands of the OS. I happen to trust more Firefox than Windows, even if the OS always has its word to say, but a cleaner word when filtered via a healthy navigator, as i see it.

  12. bruh said on May 30, 2024 at 10:46 am
    Reply

    Clearly abp is getting busted in some special way. ublock seems immune from these issues. I remember a month or two ago, major slowdowns on youtube if you had abp enabled.

    A shame, abp is good for nuking stupid menu buttons, “context” boxes, and those crappy end-of-video overlays.

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