Some YouTube users have reported that the website is taking an extraordinarily long time to load.
The problem seems to predominantly be affecting users of Mozilla Firefox and Microsoft Edge, but there have been a smaller number of reports of the issue in Chrome.
The issue is linked to ad-blockers, according to YouTube.
Some YouTube users have reported that the website is taking an extraordinarily long time to load
When ad-blockers are enabled, even on Google Chrome, some YouTube users on Reddit reported waiting five seconds for the site to load when opening a new tab.
But users report that the problem occurred for them on non-Chrome browsers, when they weren’t using ad-blockers.
READ MORE: Google is ordered to sell off parts of its lucrative digital ad business as Europe’s anti-trust watchdog says it is the only way to address anti-competitive practices
The 27-nation EU has led the global movement to crack down on Big Tech companies – including groundbreaking rules on artificial intelligence – but it has previously relied on issuing blockbuster fines, including three antitrust penalties for Google worth billions of dollars. It’s the first time the bloc has told a tech giant that it must split up key parts of its business over violations of the EU’s strict antitrust laws, though details on what that would look like have not been released. Google can now defend itself by making its case before the commission issues its final decision. The company said it disagreed with the finding and ‘will respond accordingly,’ with the EU’s investigation focusing on a narrow part of its ad business.
All of this comes amid the United States government’s antitrust case against YouTube’s owner Google, which is accused of anticompetitive practices related to internet advertising.
So the appearance that Google is making the YouTube experience worse for people using competitors’ web browsers could spell worse news for the company.
Members of the r/Piracy subreddit noted earlier this year that YouTube was testing out ad-blocker blockers.
None of this explains why using Edge or Firefox would cause issues, though.
And the mystery goes deeper, as many media outlets and individual users have been unable to replicate the delay.
Android Authority could not make the five-second delay happen on Firefox, Chrome, or Edge, despite being one of the first to report on the issue, and even identifying the snippet of code that supposedly causes the delay.
YouTube told 404 Media that the delay some users are experiencing is due to their use of ad-blockers, and that it should not have anything to do with which browser they are using.
‘Users who have ad blockers installed may experience suboptimal viewing, regardless of the browser they are using,’ the company told the news outlet.
404 Media could not replicate the delay across multiple browsers, either.
If you are concerned about YouTube punishing you with a ‘suboptimal’ experience, try switching off your ad-blocker.
It’s not an ideal solution if you prefer not to view ads, but it could at least prevent the odd delay.
Even after switching ad-blockers off, some users have reported that the delays continued, leading many to suspect that the delays are linked to their specific accounts.
As YouTube rolls out new advertising technology, including its ad-blocker detectors, the company may be testing such features on some users and not others, according to 404 Media.
To get around the delay on Firefox, some Reddit users reported that employing a user-agent switcher eliminated the five-second delay.
This method makes the user’s browser appear to be a different one – in this case, Chrome instead of Firefox.
So if you are experiencing a delay even after switching off an ad-blocker, this may be the way to go.