Technology giant Google has responded to issues that were raised by developers regarding its move to restrict ad blockers. The company has said that it will be enabling complete ad blocking capabilities, however, this will only be for Chrome users. The new change has been introduced months after the search giant faced outrage for the Manifest V3 standard. When the company proposed the Manifest V3 standard, it was meant to replace the existing webRequest API with declarativeNetRequest API.
With the new API, the ad blocking extensions can be used to filter out Web traffic. It is worth noticing that ever since the change was announced by the company in January, a large number of extension developers started protesting the move.
Google has clarified its stand regarding the proposal saying, “Chrome is depreciating the blocking capabilities of the webRequest API in Manifest V3, not the entire webRequest API (though blocking will still be available to enterprise deployments).”
The response is a clear indicator of the fact that Google is not completely moving to the alternative that it has proposed. However, it does say that the company will be retaining the existing webRequest API exclusively for enterprise users who are paying to use Google Chrome.
But for developers who are not targeting enterprise users, Google will not be making any major changes and the company will continue to stick to the Manifest V3 that it announced in January.
A number of extension developers have complained that the declarativeNetRequest API would make ad blockers less effective. Raymond Hill, who is the creator of extensions like uBlock Origin and uMatrix, said “Extensions act on behalf of users, they add capabilities to a user agent, and deprecating the block ability of the webRequest API will essentially decrease the level of user agency in Chromium, to the benefit of websites which obviously would be happy to have the last word in what resources their pages can fetch/execute/render.”
The primary reason behind extension makers complaining against declarativeNetRequest API is the limit of 30,000 rules. They say that rules such as blocking content elements beyond a certain size cannot be done. However, Google has said that it will be increasing the original limit. The company said, “We are planning to raise these values but we won’t have updated numbers until we can run performance tests to find a good upper bound that will work across all supported devices.”
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