YouTube is a perfect example of why we need more than just Shields ON/Shields OFF

If Brave had fine-grained controls like Ghostery — instead of just Shields ON/OFF — users could turn off ad blocking and still be protected from everything else.

The recent hardcore blocking of adblockers by YouTube is the ultimate example of why the binary nature of Brave Shields is — and always has been — inadequate.

For years I’ve been requesting Brave turn Shields into something more user-friendly, more informative, and especially more fine-tuned, where users can allow certain elements through, but not others.

Brave has shot itself in the foot with the binary nature of Shields, and the chickens have come home to roost.


Umm, have you not paid close attention to settings? For example, you have all of the below:

And it’s more than On and Off. You can choose range, such as Aggressive, Standard, and Off.

You also have the option to do your own custom filters:


Or you can choose existing filters to layer on top (partial list below):

And YouTube hasn’t been an issue. I have seen no ads and not had any warning given to me. The same is true for millions of other users.

Hate to break it to you, but Shields and uBlock Origin are very similar. We use the same content filters and all.

@Saoiray Sorry, you’re right. I wasn’t clear enough. I edited my original post too, for simplicity, so sorry about the quoted parts being gone.

What I’ve always wanted is a quick and easy way to know exactly what’s been blocked — in simple language, not just element URLs that don’t mean much to me — and have the easy option to unblock individual elements on the current page, without having to do a deep dive into settings.

EDIT: In other words, open Shields in Toolbar, unblock ads only for YouTube, leave everything else intact, resume watching YouTube.

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Let me make sure I’m understanding. If you look at your URL bar, there’s the lion icon, which is Shields. If you click on it, you’ll see something like below:

Whatever setting you change on that is what will be for that website only. So I can change the level of how I want to block trackers and ads or can turn it off, I can block scripts, change how I want to block cookies, etc. All of that is on a site level basis.

So if I’m on YouTube and I change that top one to allow for ads, it would do that for YouTube only. Any other site I go to will rely on the global settings at brave://adblock.

This one indeed is a bit harder, as it requires you to go to filter lists. And actually, filter lists persists across browser profiles as well. So it’s definitely engrained deep into the browser. Not sure about where one argues on diving deep, as it can take you there just simply by clicking on that icon I showed above and then clicking on Filter Lists. Essentially making it a 1-2 click process.

If you’re saying something else does that, I’d be curious to see it. What I will circle back to though is that widget we talked about. On the right side it has a number in blue, (at least on desktop). If you click that, it shows what’s been blocked. Screenshot example is below:


Like you said, it’s just showing URLs. It’s not loading it to show exactly what the ads were or to differentiate if it’s a video ad or some other type of ad. But it does at least give some context of what’s going on.

Sorry, I know I’m kind of typing a lot. But can you kind of confirm how much of that matches along with what you’re saying? And wherever it’s falling short, help to point out.


Other thing, you can block elements as well. Right mouse click → BraveBlock Element


And Manage custom filters takes you to spot I mentioned earlier, which is any custom filters you make. If you block an element, it appears in your custom filters area.

@Saoiray , thanks for the detailed reply!

Blocking trackers & ads
My issue here is the combining of trackers and ads. Maybe I don’t know enough to understand how interconnected they are, but I’d like to be able to experiment with blocking individual sources, so I could allow through only what’s necessary to bypass YouTube’s aggressive new ad-blocker blocker.

Good to know. This is not clear to me from the Shields UI. In the Shields dropdown, it looks like “Shields are up for YouTube” is specific to YouTube, but Advanced Controls is a separate section of general settings for shields. This is not helped by the instruction “If this site seems broken, try Shields down.” This is what gives the impress of an all-or-nothing approach. This suggestion may not be as clean or compact (and might be less so when translated into other languages), but I’d have understood this better if this instruction said, “If this site seems broken, try Shields down, or adjust Advance Settings below for this site.”

But my not realizing the Advanced Settings were site-specific is partially my fault for not toying around with them enough.

Here you go:

NOTE that I’m not comparing the blocking capabilities, just the ability to Trust on this site | Restrict on this site | Block on all sites for each detected source. Also, you can click on each source and learn a little more about it. Not terribly helpful with Google, but when you see something you’ve never seen before, it’s more than just a URL and gives you some information to go on. This is a simple, self-explanatory UI — as opposed to Manage Custom Filters, which requires the user to know a lot about those filters in order to make informed decisions. In Ghostery you can, for example, allow just DoubleClick on just YouTube with a single click.

(I know Ghostery isn’t as strong as Shields or uBlock Origin, and I know its motives are questionable, but its UI is simple and self-explanatory, which Shields and especially uBlock Origins are not.)

Hope that’s helpful feedback.


Think the hard part is there’s no easy way to honestly differentiate between the two. And in many cases, the ads are actually trackers as well.

For what it’s worth, two articles are below which kind of touch in on that.

Obviously you’ll see some repeat info in the links, but some different talk as well. The NordVPN and Avast ones are more simplistic, the other two talk a lot.

Thanks for the links.

Was what I said about the Ghostery UI clear to you? It would be great to be able to allow/disallow sources on each page right in the Shields dropdown. I want to try allowing ads on YouTube and leaving everything else turned on, but it seems like with Brave Shields I’d be letting through a lot more than might be necessary.

I wish there was an easy way to turn off each source, one at a time, to see which ones are the blockers YouTube is fighting. That would be so much better than Allow all trackers & ads.

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