Mozilla Working on Getting Rid of In-Page Popups

You’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who enjoys popups ads on websites. But even more annoying lately than popup ads are the in-page popups. These are controlled by CSS and javascript and they can’t be blocked by ad-blocker.

The great news is Mozilla wants to help eliminate those or at least provide something in the Firefox browser that makes it easier to work around them so that they’re not glaring you in the face, blocking the text you’re trying to read.

Are you wondering what distinguishes the pop-up as an in-page popup? These are the popups that have something to do with that website that you’re visiting.

It’s usually a large box blocking everything interesting on the website. They either have an “X” to close out the box, or they have text that you need to click that says, “No thank you.” Or sometimes you have to wait. You have to wait a certain amount of seconds, which seems like an eternity, to have the option to click the “X”.

Usually they are offering a special discount or signup for that website. If you sign up for the website, you’ll get the newsletter, or you can do it today with a 15% discount. Or use this coupon code to get a 40% discount on the already-marked-down clearance items.

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But you don’t care about those things. You just want to read the news article that brought you to the site. But you can’t because that box is right in the middle of the text.

You know exactly what you’re shopping for, and it’s not on clearance, and you know the coupon code will not apply. But you can’t continue your shopping, as the box is right on top of the area where the items are being displayed.

Mozilla is looking for a way to help clear this annoying hurdle with the in-page popups.

A Mozilla employee, Ehsan Akhgari, tweeted, looking for Firefox users’ help. “Are you tired of seeing in-page popups like this?” he queried. “We’re experimenting with a popup blocker to dismiss them automatically, and we’re curating a dataset for it. If you know of a site that shows these kinds of popups, help us by submitting it here.” He provided a link to a Google Docs form.

Exact information isn’t given, of course, but it sounds as though they’re looking to build some type of algorithm, and for this they need to find examples of sites that use these blockers and the different ways that they’re dismissed.

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The hope is that once they have created the algorithm, when you visit a site that uses an in-page popup, on Firefox of course, it will automatically block the popup so that you don’t need to worry about seeing it anymore.

What could pose a problem are websites that don’t want you to visit unless you pay their premium subscription price. If Mozilla finds a way to block the in-page popup that you need to sign into with your account to access the site, then everyone will be able to access this content, and the website will lose out on their subscription fees.

More information is needed, of course. We don’t really have that much to go on, just the quick tweet from the Mozilla employee letting us know what they’re working on and that they’d like our help with it.

I won’t even bother to ask if you would like such a tool to be added to your browser, as that’s a given. Everyone is annoyed by in-page popups. It’s just a matter of how much you’re annoyed by it.

But how do you think it will work? Do you think they’ll be able to come up with a successful algorithm after collecting information and curating that dataset? Or are in-page popups now becoming a necessary evils for nearly all websites?

Let us know what you think in the comments section below.

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