YouTube appears to be slowing itself down upon detecting ad blockers

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A YouTube frown on a dark background

As Google continues to wage war on ad-blocking users who access YouTube, a recent discovery has been made that the site itself will load significantly slower and almost freeze upon detecting an ad blocker.

Similar to previous attempts to slow down the site and the introduction of prompts to disable ad blockers, which will prevent viewing of content until the user does so, this change has been discovered to be increasing CPU load for the site, which disappears as soon as the page is reloaded without an ad blocker enabled.

In a thread on the YouTube subreddit, users noticed that not just the site but video buffering was slowed with an aim to make YouTube unusable when accessed while ad-blocking software is enabled. An unintended side effect of these changes is that it’s causing crashes within another Google product, Google Chrome.

Tests by PCGamer have shown that when YouTube is open with AdBlock enabled, CPU load on the author’s specific machine is increased by approximately 17% compared to when the add-on is disabled. Additionally, even when users have YouTube Premium subscriptions, the slowdown still happens, with tests still producing an approximate 15-18% CPU load increase.

Google, and therefore YouTube, have declined to comment on the recent discoveries. However, given the implementation of a deliberate five-second delay to video loading that was introduced back in November, this latest move is hardly surprising. Google’s position on the matter makes it clear that the company wishes to give users who use ad blockers a “suboptimal viewing” experience.

As an online publication, Neowin also relies on ads for operating costs and, if you use an ad blocker, we’d appreciate being whitelisted. In addition, we have an ad-free subscription for $28 a year, which is another way to show support!

Source: 9to5Google; PCGamer

Update: Adblock has explained why Google isn’t even the culprit for the slow YouTube performance.

News Article Courtesy Of Steve Bennett »