The tactics used by social media giant Facebook to break ad-blocking technology has been criticized by web developers as it has injected several lines of code in every page which makes it tough for standard advert-blockers to trace and block sponsored posts. But this reduces the website’s efficiency and makes it difficult for visually impaired people to use screen readers. Developers generally look for similarity in patterns of code that a website uses to block advertisements that can be both identified and hidden. Ad blocker plugins can easily identify words like sponsored or Ad within a webpage’s code so companies like Facebook use various coding tricks to camouflage their adverts.
Facebook uses following methods to circumvent ad-blockers such as Breaking down “Sponsored” word into small pieces that is just one or two alphabets, Inserting extra letters like SpSonSsoSredS that is hidden from viewers, adding these words to all regular articles on Newsfeed and also to those that are not advertisements and then hiding these using another piece of code. It also provides controls for users that they can use it to influence adverts that they can see.
Facebook’s help center says that though users cannot opt out of adverts completely they can influence the kind of promotional content they see on a regular basis by giving feedback and hiding adverts that they do not want to watch. Software developers that were working on uBlock Origin browser plugin to block FB adverts have documented their counter measures in a coding website called Github. They observed that whenever they tried to plug in one loophole to tackle the problem Facebook’s engineers would change the code so they would have to start from scratch again. Some developers have suggested that since this tug of war is not likely to end soon, they would have to make a workable UI language where expressions of people should be written in language neutral way.