There's a new "experimental feature" being tested in Firefox 83: sponsored sites in the URL bar.

"Mozilla works with advertising partners to place sponsored tiles on the Firefox home page (or New Tab) that would be useful to Firefox users. Mozilla is paid when users click on sponsored tiles."

You can disable this by setting `browser.newtabpage.activity-stream.showSponsoredTopSites` to `false`.

Found via



@andreas Welp, I think each day I'm getting more convinced to either move to Brave or to ungoogled chromium (which is most likely)

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@cybernomad @andreas

This post reminds me of how difficult it is to present "actual choices" vs. "things that are worse, but have marketing teams behind them"

@cybernomad @andreas Who pays for the development of ungoogled Chromium? That option exists to give those that might try to push for something better being developed to have an easy path to not pushing for something better and having something they can settle for.

It's not enough to have a privacy respecting tool, but it needs to be sustainable too. These sponsored tiles are actually really tame compared to regular adtech, and they need to be considered in the context of Firefox being the only real competitor to Chromium and the recent rounds of layoffs at Mozilla and ongoing financial difficulties there.

The proxy seems a pretty reasonable solution (I didn't investigate in depth yet) and I'm also pretty happy to let Mozilla benefit from my eBay or Amazon shopping, giving less of a cut to various billionaires.

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