Last updated: July 2, 2018
Mozilla released Firefox 60 on May 9, 2018. Among the new features introduced in the release is Pocket Sponsored Stories. Pocket is a web clipping service acquired by Mozilla in February 2017. Since its acquisition, Pocket has provided content recommendations in the Firefox New Tab page in certain countries including the United States. In a January blog post, Mozilla explained they would experiment with sponsored stories in the Recommended By Pocket section of the New Tab page in Firefox Beta. The experiment moved to production in Firefox 60 for users in the United States. This tutorial demonstrates how to turn off sponsored content in Firefox 60 and greater.
The addition of Pocket Sponsored Stories introduces advertising into the Firefox web browser, at least of a sort. The presence of advertising these days raises questions about privacy and data tracking. Mozilla addresses privacy concerns in A Privacy-Conscious Approach to Sponsored Content. The blog post states that Mozilla’s experiments showed them they were “able to create personalized sponsored content that provides value to users without jeopardizing their privacy.” Additionally, a “Sponsored” label clearly denotes sponsored content to differentiate it from regular recommended content. For more information about privacy, see the Pocket Recommendations in Firefox FAQ.
Turn off Pocket Sponsored Stories
The option to show sponsored stories is on by default. To turn off sponsored stories, launch Firefox and open a New Tab. Click the gear icon in the upper right corner to customize your New Tab page. Under Recommended by Pocket, uncheck the Show Sponsored Stories checkbox.
If you do not want to display any Pocket recommendations in your New Tab page, uncheck the Recommended by Pocket checkbox too. Finally, click the Done button at the base of New Tab Preferences to save your changes.
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