A tech-savvy user on Reddit has uncovered a way to bypass the adverts on YouTube videos as well as circumvent various paywalls on news sites.
The trick involves simply adding a full stop after the domain name in the URL.
So, for example – http://www.youtube.com/randomvideo becomes http://www.youtube.com./randomvideo and the latter will load without adverts.
Apparently, the hack only works on desktop browsers and is due to larger websites using different hosting domains for ads and content. Adding the extra symbol fools the site into loading the content but none of the connected stuff – like cookies or adverts.
As Redditor u/unicorn4sale explains:
‘It’s a commonly forgotten edge case, websites forget to normalize the hostname, the content is still served, but there’s no hostname match on the browser so no cookies and broken CORS – and lots of bigger sites use a different domain to serve ads/media with a whitelist that doesn’t contain the extra dot.’
Some of the paywall-blocked sites the hack also works on include the New York Times, The Washington Post and The Atlantic.
Now, while it’s obviously great to browse YouTube and news sites sans adverts, keep in mind this is how many creators and companies make their living. So it’s up to you to use this new power responsibly.
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