YouTube seems to have found a new way to counter ad blockers — and it's super annoying

A person watching YouTube on a television with popcorn
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Update: A YouTube spokesperson told Tom's Guide: "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." 

Original Story follows:

YouTube is no fan of ad blockers, and the video streaming site may be taking that opposition to a new level. Reports claim that YouTube has started to skip videos and mute audio for any users currently running an ad blocker in an attempt to force people to turn off the software. 

This news comes from a post by Reddit user SDHD4K (via Android Authority) which features a video showing how YouTube has started dealing with ad blockers. If it detects that there's an ad blocker, the streaming site jumps straight to the end of the video. Other users claim that their audio was muting on videos, regardless of where they moved the volume slider.

It seems that ad blocker developers are aware of the change and have already started to work around it. Users in the same Reddit thread have stated that Ublock Origin and Opera GX have already found a workaround. There's no word on whether other developers have come out with workarounds of their own.

YouTube has been working on ways to stop ad blockers, since it loses revenue from ads due to the extensions. From YouTube's perspective, they'd prefer that users pay for its YouTube Premium tier or sit through ads appearing before and in the middle of videos. 

But users complain that the steps YouTube is taken are causing the service to suffer. Earlier this year, reports surfaced of annoying delays for YouTube users with ad blockers enabled, something YouTube has used before to impede users. However, a YouTube spokesperson told Android Central at the time that "recent reports of users experiencing loading delays on YouTube are unrelated to our ad blocker detection efforts." 

YouTube’s battle against ad blockers will likely never end, and the company will never be content until the extensions aren't having an impact on its ad revenue. 

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Josh is a staff writer for Tom's Guide and is based in the UK. He has worked for several publications but now works primarily on mobile phones. Outside of phones, he has a passion for video games, novels, and Warhammer.