Ads are the bane of many people’s Internet lives but they are also the lifeblood of many companies. Striking a balance between those two parties without resorting to shenanigans and illegal practices has become an almost never-ending quest for the likes of Google. From third-party browser extensions to premium subscriptions, there have been different methods of removing ads on web pages and videos. The simplest, it turns out, is to just add a single dot after the “.com” of a YouTube URL.
This loophole was discovered by a Redditor who is now being hailed as a genius and hero, at least for the time being. The workaround is based on a loophole that YouTube and some other sites have failed to plug. Now, some Internet users will be able to take advantage of that at their expense.
Adding a simple “.” to after the “.com” part of a YouTube URL still loads the video as normal because YouTube and some pay-walled sites fail to normalize or modify small mistakes like that in a uniform manner. But while the URL for the video still works, it trips up other things like cookies and ads that require an exact and error-free URL. The result? A YouTube video uninterrupted by ads.
It’s a workaround that might not be around for long as YouTube and site owners will probably have caught wind of it now. It might be just a matter of a server configuration that will make such URLs behave like normal ones. It’s really just a matter of time.
The discovery may stoke the debates around ads. Some find them distasteful and wrong no matter what method is used while others rely on such ads, even on YouTube, for small pieces of revenue, especially during these days. Of course, sites like YouTube offer paid subscriptions to do away with those advertisements, only adding fodder to already fiery arguments.