Yahoo decides to hack off users

a1pissedoffSearch engine Yahoo has decided that the best way to retain its users is by hacking them off.

In what appears to be a PR own goal, Yahoo is preventing some Yahoo Mail users from seeing their own e-mails until they turn off their ad-blocking software.

US users have tried to view their mail, only to receive a message from the site asking them to turn off their ad-blocking software first. It is the sort of “users have to do what they are told” approach which you can only get away with if you have a wonderful service which people want, which Yahoo doesn’t, or you don’t have any competition, which Yahoo has in spades.

Apparently the whole thing is a test of “new product experiences” and only a small number of Yahoo Mail users are involved.

It is all part of a move against the use of ad blockers, which people are installing on their devices to get away from annoying, invasive, often inconvenient advertisements.

Rather than instructing their advertising departments to stop using adverts that take over your computer until you click something, or have to fill in a survey about your experience on the site which you cannot see because of a huge survey advert demanding your attention, Yahoo has joined the legions who want to punish those who use ad-blockers.

Ad-blocking is a headache for Yahoo, Google and media companies, all of which depend on advertising revenue to fund their businesses.

Some firms have put up messages asking users to turn off their ad-blocking software in exchange for access to content, but Yahoo may be alone in actively blocking users from reaching their own correspondence.