Firefox and Chrome are squaring off over ad-blocker extensions


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Jun 14, 2011
There’sThere’s a growing split over how much room browsers should leave for ad blocking — and Chrome and Firefox have ended up on opposite sides of the fight.

The rupture centers on a feature called Web Request, commonly used in ad blockers and crucial for any system that looks to block off a domain wholesale. Google has long had security concerns about Web Request and has worked to cut it out of the most recent extension standard, called Manifest V3, or MV3 for short. But, in a recent blog post, Mozilla made clear that Firefox will maintain support for Web Request, keeping the door open for the most sophisticated forms of ad blocking.

Google’s strategy has been roundly criticized by privacy advocates — the Electronic Frontier Foundation has been a vocal opponent — but the search company hasn’t been swayed. Though Firefox has a far smaller share of the desktop marketplace than Chrome, it could be a chance for Mozilla’s product to really define itself. For Google though, sticking with MV3 will have a huge impact on the overall role of ad blocking on the modern web.