- Adblock Plus
Founded in 2011
Adblock Plus is a browser extension and app that blocks advertisements and websites through the use of filtering lists. The tool automatically whitelists ads that meet the "acceptable ads" standards — so ads can avoid being blocked on this platform by adhering to those standards. Users can opt out of even these ads by adjusting the default settings. The tool, while initially an adblocker, has increasingly seen itself as a way for users to protect themselves not only from harmful ads, but also from other harmful sites, including those that spread disinformation.
Adblock Plus is not affiliated with RAND. It was selected for this database because it fits our researchers' inclusion criteria.
- Tool type
- Fully operational
- Intended users
- General public
- Tool focus
- This tool is both content- and process-focused. It directly evaluates information (e.g., authenticating a photo), but also assesses how information is produced and disseminated.
- Method or technology
- Machine learning and AI
- Is the tool automated?
- Founding organization
- Information not available
- Founder/primary contact
- Wladimir Palant
How is this tool working to address disinformation?
This tool fights disinformation by reducing individual exposure to disinformation spread through advertising and by preventing cookies and trackers from monitoring individual browsing. This reduces the likelihood of microtargeting (another means of spreading false information).
Is there a connection with tech platforms?
Who is funding the tool?
Most funding comes from either user donations or from contracts with corporate clients for Whitelisting. Adblock Plus receives funding from the Acceptable Ads Initiative.
Are there external evaluations?
There are some papers comparing and evaluating different ad blockers in terms of accuracy and succes rates in blocking ads (rather than their success in the fight against disinformation): ieeexplore.ieee.org; arxiv.org