AdBlock Plus, a web browser extension designed to prevent the display of advertisements on websites, has undergone a significant change: by default, it will now allow adverts through that have been deemed 'non-invasive.'
Since its inception, the AdBlock Plus browser add-on has used a series of blacklists - both community provided and local - to prevent the downloading and display of advertising on websites.
Although this is seen as a plus by its users, especially those on slower hardware or lower-resolution displays, publishers aren't so keen, with some claiming that its use is tantamount to theft of content by not viewing the adverts that make up the majority of websites' sole incomes.
The latest change allows through adverts that fit in with a set of guidelines designed to prevent invasive advertising from being displayed. As a result, only static advertisements with a single DNS request will be considered - although the project's creators point out that these rules are not final.
"Without this feature we run the danger that increasing Adblock Plus usage will make small websites unsustainable," the project's maintainers warn. "Why is this feature enabled by default?
"Because that's unfortunately the only way to reach the goals outlined above. If we ask users to enable this feature then most of them won't do it - simply because they never change any settings unless absolutely necessary. However, advertisers will only be interested in switching to better ways of advertising if the majority of Adblock Plus users has this feature enabled."
Despite the project's explanation, the change is proving unpopular. While an opt-out exists in the form of an option to revert to the old 'block-all' method, some are suggesting that an 'AdBlock Plus Plus' should now be created to set the default to always-block.