• Sun. Dec 10th, 2023

Slow Video Loading in Firefox Linked to YouTube’s Code


Nov 20, 2023

In recent weeks, YouTube users on the Firefox browser have reported a five-second delay when playing videos. This delay has been linked to the use of ad blockers and Google’s efforts to combat these programs.

One user, identified as vk6, shared their experience on Reddit, noting that when they played a video on YouTube in Firefox, the screen went black for several seconds before the video started. However, when they switched to Chrome, the video started playing automatically.

The reason behind this delay is believed to be related to the use of ad-blocking extensions in the Firefox browser. In the uBlock Origin Reddit forum, users claim that the delay is not a Firefox bug but rather a code that Google has entered into YouTube. This code has been identified as 5E3 in the polymer script link.

YouTube confirmed in early November that it was implementing global measures to combat ad blockers in browsers. This included an increase in warnings urging users to avoid using ad blockers or subscribe to YouTube Premium. Additionally, if users continue to use ad blockers, the platform may block playback of videos.

This move by Google and YouTube has sparked concerns about privacy violations as they rely heavily on advertising for revenue. One immediate consequence of these measures was an increase in uninstalls of ad blockers and installations of alternative ad-blocking programs such as AdGuard, AdLock, and Ghostery.

Privacy activist Alexander Hanff has reported this issue to the Irish Data Protection Commission (DPC), alleging that YouTube’s blocker detection system uses illegal JavaScript code under European Union law.

Google and YouTube’s fight against ad blockers raises questions about their ethical practices and whether they are prioritizing revenue over user privacy. As technology continues to evolve, it will be important for companies like Google and YouTube to find innovative solutions that respect user rights while still allowing them access to content they enjoy.

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