Is WordPress proposes blocking FLoC by default?

It is estimated that 40% of all websites use WordPress. Implementing the proposal could be a devastating blow to Google’s advertising targeting capabilities.

On Sunday, a proposal was made to prevent Google, Federated Learning of Cohorts (FLoC) from being replaced by WordPress sites by default. It is estimated that more than 40% of all websites use WordPress (according to W³Techs), which means that if this proposal is implemented, a significant part of the browser’s behavior could be hidden by Google’s advertising targeting technology.


Matt Mullenweg, CEO of Automattic, the parent company of WordPress, pointed out that no decision has been made yet. “It is more accurate to say that there is a proposal from a WP contributor to block the FLoC by default,” he tweeted.

How does it work?

 According to the proposal, FLoC would be disabled with the addition of a few lines of code that WordPress sites could not see to pass on user interest groups to Google.

This feature is not exclusive to WordPress; every programming language with websites usually has a similar function. It will be relatively easy to implement if a website owner or developer wants it, but if WordPress disables FLoC by default, it can be a big scale for Google’s advertising features.

Why the blockade was proposed. The WordPress proposal calls the Electronic Frontier Foundation article ‘Google’s FLoC is a bad idea’ and states that ‘people in groups tend to facilitate work, housing and other forms of discrimination, as well as predators based on browsing habits below consumers.

The proposal also raises privacy issues regarding the detection of users and the sharing of their data “clearly without informed consent”. For these reasons, WordPress treats FLoC as a security issue, which means it could fix the next minor version (as opposed to the next major update, which will be available in July) to block and fix FLoC for older versions of WordPress. sites back.

Many WordPress sites delay the update when a new major version is released because the update may cause issues with other parts of the site and blocking FLoC may result in the following smaller and older versions of WordPress. That the FLoC link code has already appeared on several websites.

WordPress joins a growing group of FLoC opponents. The arguments of the Electronic Frontier Foundation against FLoC are delivered by players in different sectors on the internet: browsers based on Chromium, Vivaldi and Brave, FLoC, and Chrome extension blocks removed by DuckDuckGo FLoC.

Google’s main competitors in the browser market, Microsoft, Mozilla, and Apple, have not committed to blocking FLoC. Microsoft and Mozilla are considering several proposals (including FLoC) that would fill the gap for third-party cookies, The Verge said, and John Webber, an engineer at Apple Webkit, tweeted a similar view. However, it is highly unlikely that your browsers will eventually support Google’s proposal.

Because we care.

WordPress is the predominant content management system, so if you block default FLoC, it could damage a significant portion of user behavior. This in turn reduces the ability of advertisers to reach potential customers effectively through Google’s target audience.

Google has said that support for third-party cookies will end in 2022. However, as the FLoC moves forward to replace third-party cookies, more and more players are pointing out ways to protect users or how they are used. it can be competitive. Google’s deadline for 2022 is already in sight, but it looks like Google is the only one aboard the FLoC. When third-party cookies run out, the internet decides whether FLoC should be approved or not: this WordPress proposal can be considered as a very important vote against.

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