YouTube points to ad-blockers for Firefox video slowdown

YouTube acknowledges the delay reported by users to The Verge, clarifying that it’s not browser-related but part of their broader strategy against ad blockers. Users on platforms like Reddit and Hacker News raised concerns about a deliberate five-second delay in video page loading on Mozilla’s Firefox and other browsers.

Christopher Lawton, YouTube’s communications manager, acknowledged the delay for users with ad blockers in the past week. Disabling the ad blocker should fix it, but there might still be a temporary delay until the browser refreshes.

Credit: u/Rytoxz on Reddit

Lawton mentioned that similar issues may occur as YouTube improves its ad-blocker detection methods, and emphasized that ads are crucial for creators. Initially reported for Firefox, users in Chrome and Edge also experienced the delay.

Despite claims, code analysis by Reddit and Hacker News users found no evidence that YouTube checks the browser type. Mozilla’s senior brand manager, Damiano DeMonte, stated that there’s no proof it’s a Firefox-specific problem.

According to the report, not everyone is affected by the five-second delay. The Verge tested on Mac and Windows machines, logged in or not, with or without an ad-blocker, and in incognito mode, but none experienced the reported delay.

This situation arises as Google intensifies efforts against ad blockers, especially on YouTube. In June, YouTube started disabling videos for some users with ad blockers. Last month, YouTube launched a global initiative to encourage users to enable ads or subscribe to the ad-free Premium service.