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YouTube videos are skipping to the end for users with ad blockers [U]

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For many users with an ad blocker employed, YouTube videos are suddenly starting to skip to the end of the video.

Over the past few months, YouTube has been enforcing its rule against the use of ad blockers. That started last year with the platform displaying a message that would tell the user to turn off their ad blocking, in turn blocking videos from playing after that prompt was ignored. That led to many uninstalling their ad blockers, as well as some clever workarounds popping up.

This week, many have noticed that YouTube videos are suddenly skipping straight to the end of the video. Even if the video is just replayed, it skips straight to the end almost immediately. It’s a strange phenomenon and one that only appears to be happening for users with an ad blocker installed. When the blocker is disabled, everything works as normal.

Users also report that this happens when the video is replayed and, if you try to skip to a certain part of the video, it just endlessly loads in some cases.

As such, many believe that this is an intentional move on YouTube’s part to discourage the use of ad blockers. That’s entirely possible, but it’s equally possible that this is a problem with the ad blocker itself.

Earlier this year, a bug in AdBlock caused videos to load slowly and also put undue stress on the machine running YouTube. When that issue popped up, many accused YouTube of being the cause. It’s also worth noting that, at least from what we could find, those experiencing this latest problem are using AdBlock, while those on other ad blockers aren’t seeing the same behavior. There are some very limited reports of this happening without an ad blocker too, though, but they’re in the extreme minority.


Update 5/28: In a statement to 9to5Google, YouTube explains that a “push to improve YouTube performance” is to blame for the behavior being noticed by many with ad blockers lately. This is “unrelated” to YouTube’s crackdown on ad blockers, though.

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.

It seems likely that the change is interacting with adblockers to bring this result, though YouTube didn’t directly mention if that’s the case. As mentioned, at least one user claimed seeing the problem without an active ad blocker.

YouTube reiterates in its statement that using an ad blocker violates YouTube’s terms of service and pointed to a support page informing users how to allow ads on YouTube while still using popular ad blockers.


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