Over the 2013/2014 new year period, Yahoo was found to be pushing malware onto hundreds of thousands of internet users every hour in the form of poisoned adverts.
Maybe you remember the headlines…
Today, according to BBC News and other online news reports, the company is preventing some of its web email users from accessing their messages if they have an ad blocker installed.
Uh oh… We are unable to display Yahoo Mail. Please disable Ad Blocker to continue using Yahoo Mail
Why is it doing this? Because Yahoo wants to display adverts to its email users. That is how it makes most of its money after all.
And yet, blocking ads is one of the best ways to protect yourself against the all-too-common problem of malvertising.
Unsurprisingly, some Yahoo Mail users are less than impressed.
So @YahooMail has blocked my inbox for using an ad blocker. It was a good run, I guess. Goodbye! Hello Apple Mail, as much as I hate it.
— Andrei Herasimchuk (@Trenti) November 19, 2015
“please disable ad blocker to continue using yahoo mail” how about no. do you want me to stop using yahoo mail?? cause this is a good start
— Timmay (@RunLikeDeer) November 19, 2015
At the moment, it seems that Yahoo is blocking ad blockers as part of an A/B test - rather than preventing ad blockers for all of its web mail users. No doubt they’re interested to see what user reaction is, before considering rolling out the block on a wider basis.
Other websites are beginning to detect the existence of ad blockers and request (politely) that users disable them in order to help support the site, but Yahoo’s approach appears more heavy-handed.
If you want to stay with Yahoo, and are nervous that at some point you will be forced to disable your ad blocker to access your email, then maybe your best bet is to install an email client on your computer which can connect to your Yahoo account.
If you really want to be sure that you are treated with respect as a customer it may make sense to pay a little cash for that client, rather than expect your app manufacturer to find another method of generating income.