At the weekend while trawling through the internet we stumbled upon a rather neat trick that removes advertising from YouTube.

While ad-blockers are the first choice for many this trick is arguably far simpler than installing an ad-blocker though if we’re honest that isn’t exactly straining yourself.

So what are we on about?

Last week a Reddit user discovered that by including an extraneous full stop after the .com in a YouTube URL would remove advertising.

So for example if you were to go to this YouTube video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hwOjtFT-_iE without your ad-blocker enabled you would find an advert. However, if you went to this URL https://www.youtube.com./watch?v=hwOjtFT-_iE the ad will not play. At least not as of time of writing.

So what is going on here?

According to the Reddit user that discovered this neat trick, this ad-free viewing is brought to you by a often forgotten trick.

“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 [cross origin resource sharing] – and lots of bigger sites use a different domain to serve ads/media with a whitelist that doesn’t contain the extra dot,” explained the Reddit user known as unicorn4sale.

The trick can be executed on mobile so long as you request the desktop version of a website.

It seems then as if the issue requires a website owner make changes to its back end.

How big an issue this becomes for YouTube then will likely dictate how quickly the issue is resolved but YouTube is not the only site to feature this bug.

Upon further investigation unicorn4sale discovered that a rather large news website which puts its content behind a paywall opens up when you place a full stop after the .com in the URL.

For now though, go out and consume YouTube ad-free, who knows for how long this bug will be around.

Alternative, you could spend R71.99 per month and get yourself YouTube Premium which removes adds and includes YouTube Music free.

[Image – CC 0 Pixabay]
Brendyn Lotz writes news, reviews, and opinion pieces for Hypertext. His interests include SMEs, innovation on the African continent, cybersecurity, blockchain, games, geek culture and YouTube.