Google and a host of other major players in the online advertising business have started working toward “better ads.” You won’t find Mozilla on the membership list of the Coalition for Better Ads, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t concerned with advertising annoyances.

One particular problem they’re looking to tackle is in-page popups, like the one shown here. They might not be quite as bothersome as ads with autoplaying audio or video, but they’re still an unanticipated disruption when you click through to a website.

Mozilla’s plan — at least for now — is to have Firefox detect these ads and dismiss them automatically. All but the most insidious let you click an X (or skip, continue to site, etc.) to close them. If Firefox can be trained to sniff out the offending elements in a page’s code, it could also whisk them away without requiring user intervention.

That’s where Firefox users come in. Mozilla is building a database of offending sites, and anyone who encounters one can quickly fill out a short Google Form to let them know about it. The goal is not to compile a massive blocklist to counter invasive ads like some annoyance-busters do. Mozilla doesn’t want to force its users to rely on a centralized list.

Instead, they need real-world examples so they can test the new feature as it’s being developed. If Mozilla is happy with the results, then you just might see Firefox’s built-in popup blocker tackle these in-page elements in the near future. Mozilla’s Ehsan Akhgari says they’d love to see the feature delivered to both desktop and mobile versions of Firefox.

via Android Police

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10 replies on “Future Firefox Builds May Purge Annoying In-Page Popups”

  1. The thing I want dealt with:
    *pop* “This site works better in our mobile app! Click this link to download it instead of looking at this page you requested!”

  2. Chrome needs to do something about the proliferation of sites that want to be able to send push notifications. That little “Allow/Deny” popup (which is part of the browser) can become a real pain on some sites.

    1. Isn’t that how Google took care of it? By asking you whether or not you want them for that site?

      Maybe there’s a way to turn them off entirely–like what you can do for things like cookies–allow/deny/ask.

  3. Does anyone know what causes the fake “Your computer has a virus and must be scanned” modal windows? Someone once told me that it is a problem of the ISP.

    1. I doubt it. They’re usually just rogue ads that (when you get them on reputable sites) have made it through the screening process of the ad network the site uses. Of course, if you venture into the seamier side of the web, you can find them everywhere.

      Best way to deal with them is to either close the tab, or right click the back button and click on a page in the history before the half-dozen or so redirects they always put in there.

  4. You mean like this site?
    My mac has Ad-block on and it comes on with a Main Pop-up. This was on my whitelist before, but the ads became very unbehaved and intrusive, that I had to reenable Ad-Block. But tis fine on mobile.

    1. What Lee said. If you can provide examples of “unbehaved and intrusive” ads, that’d be helpful. We haven’t made any changes to the types of ads we allow, so if you were cool with what we had at one point, and then noticed a change in behavior, odds are that it’s a rogue ad that we might be able to track down and kill.

      1. I have ad-block turned off for this site and haven’t noticed anything like that.

Comments are closed.