Chrome’s new API brings an end to ad blockers

The most popular web browser Chrome is planning new changes in the near future, which already are causing a huge commotion and discontent amongst users and content creators. Even though Google claims to be making these alterations in their extension platform for security reasons mainly, most ad blockers and antivirus extensions will not be able to function properly anymore.

According to the official Chromium blog post, back from October 2018, the tech giant Google presented its goals for 2019, which included an update of extensions manifest version to Manifest v3. The whole idea was to improve safety, privacy, performance and a number of other issues of the current platform by implementing new APIs and etc. However, only recently developers started to notice that their extensions may lose their ability to work because Chrome, and other Google’s browsers, from now on
will only allow plugins to view Javascript, but not alter it in any way. This
for many extensions is an absolute necessity allowing them to replace or block scripts of the web’s content in order to provide their service.

The most affected apps are going to be ad blockers and other security, privacy-enhancing extensions because their principle is to detect potentially dangerous virus code or typical advertisement codes and block them so it would not load for the user to see or prevent further traffic to any dangerous websites. uBlock and uMatrix ad-blocking extension developer Raymond Hill was the first one to raise supposedly from Amazon, Google, Microsoft, and Taboola to pass their ads.

All in all, no extension creators, nor users who are already used to watching their online videos without having to sit through 7 ads in 10 minutes, are happy about the changes. While some developers will have to find new ways to make their products work, some are preparing for the battle with Google, who thankfully is very understanding about the current situation.  James Wagner, Chrome Extensions Product Manager, wrote in the blog:

We intend to make the transition to manifest v3 as smooth as possible and we’re thinking carefully about the rollout plan. We’ll be in touch soon with more specific details.

So there is still time to cancel the changes and prove that all controlling Google needs to step back. Chrome’s representatives also mentioned that these updates, unlike it may seem at first, are, on the contrary, to help ad blockers to work more efficiently and have better accuracy. Even if no one will stop Google from doing what they want, it is unlikely that users will shift over to other browsers, especially because there is another surprise – Chrome’s worldwide version with a built-in.


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