AdBlock bug behind most recent YouTube slowdown

  • Despite YouTube’s crackdown on adblockers last year, it wasn’t behind the most recent performance issues AdBlock users experienced.
  • Instead, it was a problem with AdBlock itself.
  • The bug has been addressed in a recent update and users shouldn’t experience more slowdowns.

This week YouTube was once again in the crosshairs of Adblock users. At the weekend, users of the adblocking software reported that there were performance issues when loading YouTube videos.

As YouTube has slowed the load times for users before, the obvious assumption was that the platform was once again throttling those users. Only now do we know that YouTube wasn’t slowing users, it was a bug with AdBlock itself.

“Recently, ABP released version 3.22 which upgraded the bundled extension engine version to 1.1.1. AdBlock released version 5.17.0 which also updated the extension engine to version 1.1.1. We’ve had several reports of slow response time since the update. It appears to be an issue in the extension engine since ABP, AdBlock, and the EWE test extension all seem to experience a similar issue with the 1.1.1 version of the extension engine,” the developers wrote in a post on GitHub.

Thankfully, the issue has since been resolved as reported by Neowin and AdBlock users can enjoy their YouTube content without being bothered by a barrage of advertising or experiencing a slowdown in performance.

As mentioned, last year YouTube throttled performance for users who weren’t using the Chrome browser. Ultimately however, it was revealed that YouTube was trying to get users to abandon their ad blockers.

“Users who have ad blockers installed may experience suboptimal viewing, regardless of the browser they are using,” a YouTube spokesperson said in November.

The platform urged users who didn’t want to see advertising to pay for a YouTube Premium subscription which, as you might imagine didn’t go down too well. This is because without Premium or an adblocker, YouTube advertising is incredibly disruptive. There are several examples of YouTube stacking long, unskippable adverts on top of each other, forcing a viewer to watch each of them before they get to the content they want to watch.

For now then at least, YouTube viewers with an adblocker remain clear of YouTube’s wrath, there is no telling how long that will last though.


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