Social/Search: Tit-for-tat ad-block battle

The technology arms race against ad-blocking software heated up this week as Facebook played a cat-and-mouse game with popular ad-blocking software Adblock Plus.

Facebook announced an update to bypass the use of ad-blocking on desktop PCs.

Two days later, Adblock Plus had crowd-sourced a workaround and said in a blog that Facebook could circumvent their update at any time. The social network did so in less than 24 hours.

The two companies continued a back and forth update battle and at this stage Facebook is on top.

TechCrunch received a statement from Facebook, saying: “We’re disappointed that ad blocking companies are punishing people on Facebook as these new attempts don’t just block ads but also posts from friends and Pages. This isn’t a good experience for people and we plan to address the issue. Ad blockers are a blunt instrument, which is why we’ve instead focused on building tools like ad preferences to put control in people’s hands.”

Facebook boosts informative stories

Informative content that is personally relevant to users will now be bolstered in Facebook’s news feed.

The social network said content users find informative is generally related to their interests, engage people in broader discussion and contain news about the world around them.

The change follows another recent tweak to the social network’s enigmatic news feed algorithm that saw Facebook penalise click-bait content.

While the algorithm update could be a potential win for publishers who rely on the platform to disseminate their quality content, Facebook said most publishers would not see any significant changes in traffic.

Stop the hate: Instagram to add comment filter

Users of photo-sharing platform Instagram will soon be able to weed out negative or offensive comments with the rollout of filtering feature, The Washington Post reports.

The new feature will allow publishers to moderate on a macro or post-by-post basis.

The Facebook-owned platform will introduce the feature to high-profile accounts in the coming weeks.

Instagram’s Head of public policy, Nicky Jackson Colaco, told The Post that Instagram’s goal was to make it a friendly, fun and safe place for self-expression.

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