What Is The Block List Countermeasure Plugin?

Most ad blockers utilize what are called block lists. Block lists are… well… lists of things to block. Most are community maintained, and regularly updated to catch new items.

The problem with block lists is that they can block anything, not just ads. This omnipotent power is used by some block list maintainers to block anti-ad-blocker tools, like this plugin.

 

It was only a matter of time until this power was turned against this plugin.  To be candid, I’m surprised it took as long as it did.  But, that fateful day arrived.  A user reported that Ad Blocking Detector wasn’t working correctly.  After some time, I narrowed the problem down to the French version of the EasyList block list.

That block list incorporates this fateful line:

 

That single line blocks EVERY file included in this plugin from loading in the visitor’s web browser.  It is a horridly clumsy sledgehammer used to disable ad blocking detection from this plugin.  In addition to successfully massacring the ad block detection features, it also completely breaks the plugin dashboard.

 

Instead of going through a likely futile appeal attempt, that I would need to repeat ad nauseam every time someone blocked this plugin on another site, I’ve decided to simply circumvent the issue.

 

How To Circumvent Block Lists

The weakness of block lists is that they don’t handle name changes very well.  In fact, renaming this plugin’s directory from /wp-content/plugins/ad-blocking-detector to something else entirely would completely invalidate the offending block list rule.

 

Unfortunately, WordPress.org’s plugin repository chooses that name.  Not me.  I cannot rename that directory during install, and changing it later would break WordPress’ plugin update checks for that plugin.

 

How To Circumvent Block Lists WordPress.org Restrictions

Now things get interesting.  In order to get around block lists, I need to put every file that the web browser loads in a randomly named directory.  Preferably, one that can be renamed at will.  In order to get around WordPress.org restrictions, this can’t occur within the Ad Blocking Detector plugin.

The solution?  Sideloading another plugin into WordPress without using WordPress.org’s plugin repository.

 

So that’s what this plugin does.  Ad Blocking Detector has the capability of installing, and keeping up to date another plugin, whose only purpose is to place those needed files in a randomly named directory that can be renamed at will.

 

This plugin is entitled Ad Blocking Detector – Block List Countermeasure.

 

Using This Block List Countermeasure Plugin

If your web server and WordPress installation supports it, and most do, this plugin is created automatically when you activate Ad Blocking Detector, and kept up to date with every plugin update.

I cannot, however, safely and reliably activate this plugin automatically.  Meaning, at a minimum, you will need to go into your installed plugins list and activate Ad Blocking Detector – Block List Countermeasure.

The plugin includes a handy checklist which monitors the status of this countermeasure plugin.  It is available in the Advanced Settings tab.  Solid green and checkmarked indicates completion and proper functioning.  Any red with an X next to it is incomplete or non-functional, and may need addressing.

 

What If My Server/Site Isn’t Allowing Automatic Creation?

Well, that sucks.  If at all possible, you’re going to want to make this work.  If the plugin wasn’t automatically created, you’ll see a checklist of common configuration problems that interfere.

Before you jump into that however, I recommend you click the “Automatically Install Plugin” button. There’s a possibility something went haywire during activation/updating, and retrying will fix everything.  If it’s successful, you’ll see a success message at the top of the page, and the checklist will update.  If it fails, you’ll see an error message.

 

If you see the error message, then you have a configuration problem.  The plugin outputs a report of the most common configuration problems and their status.  You want all those subpoints green with a check mark.  If an entry is yellow, its status can’t be determined or is unclear.  If it is red, it will probably result in plugin creation failures.Watch Full Movie Streaming Online and Download

Try fixing those issues, then reattempt the plugin creation by clicking the “Automatically Install Plugin” button again.

 

You can also find more specific and technical information about what is failing in the Session Log in the Report a Problem / Debug tab, though that report is more technical.

 

What If The Countermeasure Plugin Isn’t Doing Its Job

Over time, the random chosen directory name may be blocked.  If that happens, the simple solution is to reset the countermeasure plugin’s directory name.  If you don’t have any server/site configuration problems, this is as simple as clicking the “Reset Fallback Plugin Directory Name” button.

I recommend doing this periodically anyway, just to keep ad blockers on the defensive.

 

Note that resetting the directory name will deactivate the plugin, and you’ll need to return to your installed plugins list and reactivate it.