Surprise! Mozilla just launched an ad blocker for iOS

8 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Mozilla Launches Content Blocker For Safari On iOS 9.

Here is a bit of a surprise announcement: Firefox-maker Mozilla today announced the launch of Focus by Firefox, a content blocker for Safari on iOS 9 that’s based on the Disconnect blocklist. Unlike other content blockers that almost solely focus on blocking ads, Focus for Firefox is all about blocking the kind of ad, analytics and social media trackers that now follow us around the mobile web.

This move is use that space for rather what content users want. “Our learnings show that users want content that is relevant, exciting and engaging. Nobody loves online ads and getting tracked and profiled online, but it’s still how most online publishers monetize the “free” content you read. Launching Tuesday in the iOS app store, the software represents the latest effort to beat back the unruly rise of intrusive ads and other unwanted Internet software that often bedevils Internet users. We have therefore made the decision to stop advertising in Firefox through the Tiles experiment in order to focus on content discovery,” VP of Content Services, Darren Herman writes in a blogpost.

Mozilla argues that too many users today “have lost trust and lack meaningful controls over their digital lives” — and that loss of trust has negatively impacted the web ecosystem. It will happen gradually and the company will eventually end the program in a few months. “Naturally, we will fulfill our current commitments as we wind down this experiment over the next few months,” Herman further writes. But Mozilla also argues that blockers shouldn’t discriminate between different kinds of content and publishers by default and that the software needs to be transparent about what’s going on. However, he further states that Mozilla ‘will continue to explore ways to bring a better balance to the advertising ecosystem’ that will benefit everyone.

Earlier this years, Mozilla CEO Chris Beard had lashed out at Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella for making it difficult for users to change the default browser in the new Windows 10. In addition, by monitoring how Web users employ the app, Mozilla hopes to gain insights into what types of content people find most objectionable, and why. But viewed in another light, they could become a source of tension as some Internet users, won over by the charm of an ad- and tracker-free Internet, choose not to go back to the world they left behind.

As Mozilla put it when it laid down a series of principles to shape the debate: “Content blocking is not going away — it is now part of our online experience.

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