• Sun. Dec 3rd, 2023

Firefox users experience slow video loading on YouTube due to a code issue


Nov 20, 2023

In recent times, users of YouTube 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, stating 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 altogether.

As a result of these measures, there was an immediate increase in uninstalls of ad blockers and installations of alternative ad-blocking programs such as AdGuard, AdLock and Ghostery.

Google’s and YouTube’s fight against ad blockers stems from their reliance on advertising as their primary source of revenue. However, concerns have been raised about whether this technology company may be violating users’ privacy by using spyware to detect ad-blocker usage in browsers.

Alexander Hanff, a privacy activist, has reported this issue to Ireland’s Data Protection Commission (DPC), claiming that YouTube’s blocker detection system uses illegal JavaScript code under European Union law.

Overall, it appears that Google and YouTube are taking aggressive measures to combat ad-blockers and protect their revenue streams while raising concerns about user privacy and potential violations of European Union laws.

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