YouTube users have recently voiced complaints about experiencing slowdowns on the platform when using ad blockers. The issue was brought to attention through a Reddit thread, where users reported poor loading performance when ad blockers were enabled. A video shared in the thread demonstrated that a video with an ad blocker on couldn’t load quickly enough to keep up with the playback speed, requiring pauses, and turning off the ad blocker immediately improved loading performance.
Some users mentioned that YouTube’s ad-block detection seemed to cause peculiar issues, such as lag impacting full-screen mode or comments. Others reported problems with Chrome being unable to load other web pages while YouTube was open. YouTube has been actively discouraging the use of ad blockers, employing tactics such as pop-up messages notifying users that ad blockers violate the platform’s terms of service. There have also been instances of YouTube adding a delay to the initial site load for users with ad blockers.
While users initially blamed YouTube for the slowdowns, Adblock Plus published a bug report covering performance issues introduced by version 3.22. According to uBlock Origin developer Raymond Hill, the problem is limited to Adblock Plus and its spinoffs, and he mentioned that blaming YouTube is “an incorrect diagnosis.” Regardless of the cause, users expressed confusion and frustration, with some thinking there was something wrong with their internet connection and others contemplating reinstalling Chrome to address the sudden issues with YouTube.
These incidents highlight the ongoing battle between YouTube and the ad-block community, with changes in ad-blocker code potentially leading to unintended consequences for users’ experience on the platform. The situation underscores the challenges faced by content providers and users as they navigate the evolving landscape of online advertising and ad-blocker technologies.