Digiday, pointing to posts in the AdBlock Plus forums, reports that some Yahoo users have found they were unable to access their e-mail accounts because they were using ad-blocking plugins on their web browser.
This isn’t mere supposition or any sort of conspiracy theory. The on-screen message makes it clear in no uncertain terms that “We are unable to display Yahoo Mail. Please disable Ad Blocker to continue using Yahoo Mail.”
And the company confirmed to DSLreports.com that it is indeed barring some users from seeing their e-mails.
“At Yahoo, we are continually developing and testing new product experiences,” a Yahoo rep explains. “This is a test we’re running for a small number of Yahoo Mail users in the U.S.”
While we understand that billions of dollars are lost each year to blocked ads, we’re not sure if holding someone’s e-mails hostage is the best route to go for Yahoo, especially since the company can’t even get all of its own employees to use Yahoo Mail.
This sort of tactic also runs counter to the online ad industry’s recent admission that it had gotten overzealous during the last decade, resulting in an environment full of annoying, invasive ads that drive consumers to install ad blockers.