Developer uBlock Origin removes Finnish Easylist for abuse of power

Oct

27

2018

Raymond Hill, the developer of uBlock Origin, has removed the filter list Easylist Finland from his adblocker. The person maintaining the list had blocked a number of websites as a political position. Hill thinks that that is not the place for that kind of expression.

The blocked websites belong to Finnish trade unions, which are currently in conflict with the Finnish government, according to The Register . The supplement was reported by a user, where Hill decided to completely remove the filter list from his app. However, this update has not yet been published at the time of writing on the add-on stores of Firefox and Chrome.

Hill responds to the report with the words ‘unless a filter list is clearly presented with a political position as the primary goal, I consider this a breach of trust’. The standard filters with which you supply Block Origin are not maintained by Raymond Hill itself. This is done by external volunteers, who get a lot of power through bundling with uBlock.

According to The Register, the entire filter list has now been removed from its hosting site and a Facebook page about the filter list has also disappeared. The Finn who is behind the list is not available for comment.

Holders of such lists do not only have the power to make a political statement. Adblock Plus, for example, another well-known ad blocker, is aware that some large advertisers have to pay to get to its acceptable ads list, even though the ads already meet the criteria of that list.

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