Update: Reddit says it does not pay to whitelist its ads and that Adblock added Reddit to the acceptable ads list on its own. Reddit Systems Administrator, Jason Harvey (aka alienth) posted in a related thread, “We have not paid Adblock, nor have they even asked us to. Even if they had such an offering, we wouldn’t pay for it. Absolutely nothing has changed from our point of view; they chose to do this of their own volition.”
Google is reportedly among the ad networks and Web properties paying Adblock Plus parent company Eyeo for inclusion on Adblock Plus’s whitelist. Adblock is the number one browser extension on Chrome and Firefox for ad blocking. The Verge picked up German news site Horizont’s report that Google and others are paying Adblock to allow “non-intrusive” ads to show by default for Adblock Plus 2.0 users.
The Adblock Plus states that “Whitelisting is free for all small websites and blogs. However, managing this list requires significant effort on our side and this task cannot be completely taken over by volunteers as it happens with common filter lists. That’s why we are being paid by some larger properties that serve non-intrusive advertisements that want to participate in the Acceptable Ads initiative.”
It is not known how much Google or other properties may be paying the company for inclusion on the acceptable ads list. A look at the Adblock Plus exception list shows Reddit, Amazon, Yandex, eHow and Livestrong among the large properties whose ads have been given a pass by the ad blocker. Many other Web properties are included with Google AdSense ads listed as the exception.
According to the Adblock site, the acceptable ads initiative started with Adblock Plus 2.0 and is designed to allow some small and static ads in part to support websites that rely on advertising “but choose to do it in a non-intrusive way.” The company says that according to user survey results, only 25% of users seem to be strictly against any advertising. Those users can opt-out of the acceptable ads list entirely by unchecking “Allow some non-intrusive advertising” under Filter Preferences in the Options menu.
Yahoo, Bing and Facebook are not included on the whitelist. A quick search on any of those sites with Adblock Plus activated shows ads on those properties continue to be blocked.