Serious accusations against AdBlock Plus
In an article for mobilegeeks.de, blogger Sascha Pallenberg accuses the developers of the popular AdBlock Plus (ABP) browser plugin of maintaining business connections to "strategic partners in the advertising industry". Pallenberg goes as far as calling ABP a "mafia-like advertising network".
The plugin, which is available for Chrome and Firefox, introduced a whitelist for web sites with non-obtrusive ads in version 2.0 and Pallenberg is questioning how this list of "acceptable ads" is compiled. Pallenberg is accusing the ABP developers of having connections to advertising and affiliate programmes and that their advertisements are included in the whitelist as a result.
In a statement, Till Faida from Eyeo GmbH, which according to Pallenberg now develops the tool, confirmed many of Pallenberg's claims. Faida says that "a large part of the information concerning the collaboration with our partners is correct," but he also states that the company does not see these industry connections as a conflict of interest. The company is convinced that the "acceptable ads" business model will be successful and says that the whitelisting criteria are "completely transparent".
According to Eyeo, having their ads whitelisted is free of charge for small and medium-sized web sites and the company says that it has "always been transparent about financial support from larger companies". The criteria for the selection process are the same for everyone, according to the statement.
Pallenberg, who runs several advertising-supported web sites himself, alleged that the ABP developers could offer web sites a deal in which their advertising would pass the ABP filter if they were prepared to share some of the advertising revenue.