Adblock Extension for Chrome blocking Divi Icons

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The Adblock extension for Chrome performs automatic blocking of ads and privacy affecting content. Adblock's "Block social media icons tracking" feature is blocking social icons added by the Divi Theme and by plugins such as Divi Booster which allow you to add additional icons alongside Divi's own. 

 I believe that this is an error in Adblock. The description of the feature is:

"The social media icons on the websites you visit allow social media networks to build a profile of you based on your browsing habits – even when you don't click on them. Hiding these icons can protect your profile."

This is true for icons which are either loaded from the social media networks' own servers or which notify the social networks (e.g. via JavaScript) that the icon is being displayed. However, in Divi's (and Divi Booster's) case, the icons are loaded locally and there is not notification to the social media networks in question. As a result, the privacy risks the feature is designed to protect users from does not apply in this case. The icons in Divi are basically just stylized links and don't impact on privacy in any meaningful way (of course please correct me if I'm wrong).

Looking in the rule set used by Adblock, it appears to be blocking the following elements used by Divi and/or Divi Booster:

##.et-extra-social-icons
##.et-social-google-plus
##.et-social-icon
##.et-social-icons
##.et_pb_social_media_follow
##.et_social_facebook
##.et_social_fadein
##.et_social_flyin
##.et_social_follow
##.et_social_heading
##.et_social_icons_container
##.et_social_inline
##.et_social_mobile
##.et_social_networks
##.et_social_pinterest
##.et_social_popup
##.et_social_sidebar_networks
##.et_social_twitter

##.socicon
##.socicon-facebook
##.socicon-googleplus
##.socicon-instagram
##.socicon-linkedin
##.socicon-twitter
##.socicon-youtube

 

What Can Be Done?

I've reported this issue to Adblock and hopefully they'll be able to remove the rules responsible for the blocking. I'll update here if / when I hear back from them.

If you are an end user (or developer) trying to view the site correctly, make sure Adblocker, or at least the "Block social media icons tracking" feature is disabled.

I'm not sure whether or not it would be possible to overwrite Adblock's CSS and display the icons again. A quick look suggests that the way Chrome extensions in general and Adblock specifically work, this is unlikely to be possible.

An alternative approach, which I think would work (I did a quick test) but haven't tried tackling fully, would be to rename the affected classes / elements and reproduce the styles on these elements (and any JavaScript code which interacts with them). I'm not convinced this would be a great solution (as it wouldn't support other plugins, etc, that aren't aware of the change), but as a hacky workaround until Adblock fix their ruleset, it might work…

I'll update this post if I have any more thoughts on this or hear back from Adblock. I just thought I'd share what I've found out so far. If you have any ideas not covered here, let me know in the comments.

 

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