Is Brave already going down the path of enshittification?

Is Brave already going down the path of enshittification?

I use Brave, it is my secondary/backup browser behind Firefox+Arkenfox. I’ve noticed recently a series of small

  • Full page, flashy, intrusive ads built into the browser (Ford trucks, Soda Brands, etc)
  • Less effecive adblocking (by default Brave Shields doesn’t block Reddit ads or promoted posts)
  • Brave Shields won’t block their own first party ads
  • variations[dot]brave[dot]com has recently become the most blocked domain according to my NextDNS logs (and that is without Brave even being my primary browser, I probably use it <5% of the time).

Brave has always felt a bit like a cheap las vegas billboard, What with all the ‘features’ they bundle and push/advertise through the browser (Rewards, Wallet, VPN, Search Ads, Homepage Ads, etc). But more recently I feel like I am noticing more distasteful things about the browser than before. That said, I’m well aware Brave has always had a business model centered on advertising, their stated goal being a business model centered on a supposedly more ethical, user-respecting, form of advertising. I don’t know that I’m comfortable with this business model, but I also don’t hold it against them for trying to re-imagine the relationship between Advertisers, Publishers, Users, and the Browser, but with all these recent things I’ve noticed it just feels like a rather ‘cheap’ experience, like one of those free browsers bundled with anti-virus software from the early 2k’s.

What are you thoughts? Am I reading into these things too much and nothing has changed? Do you feel this is nothing new and just Brave continuing down the path it was always on? Am I expecting too much/acting entitled?


How else are they supposed to make due on the $37+ million in VC funding?
People need to learn to say no!


Chrome based multi Plattform alternative?

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@SkewedZeppelin probably can speak to this better than I can, but I don’t believe there is one. At least not one that takes privacy+security as seriously as Brave and is also cross platform. As much as I have complaints about Brave, they do seem to actually care about extending privacy+security to a more mainstream audience, at least so long as it aligns with their incentives.

Honestly, Firefox has no peers.

On the Chromium side of the fence, every cross platform option seems to be a commercial product with profit incentives that make it difficult for them to stay aligned with the interests of their users. I don’t totally fault them for that, they are somewhat stuck between a rock and a hard place, developing a browser costs real money (even moreso if we are talking about an independent Browser like Firefox), but almost none of us are willing to pay for a browser, so browser companies, and even not-for-profit browsers, must look for alternative revenue streams. The big guys (Google, Apple, MS) can subsidize the development of their browser through other revenue streams or through monetizing private user data in the case of Google), the independent companies must get more creative. and pay for development through some other model (ads, selling services, donations, etc).


Yes, I know :wink:

I use Brave on mobile, so I can’t speak for their desktop experience.

Personally, I haven’t been bothered at all by Brave’s business model and default features. The day I installed the browser, it took less than 5 minutes to run through all the settings and disable any of the features I disliked. My mobile browsing is limited, but based on the content I’ve seen, I haven’t noticed any instances of the adblocker failing to block any content.

I also don’t use any brave services besides the browser, so it goes without saying that I haven’t seen any instances of not blocking their own first-party ads. I am curious though, what ads have you found they don’t block on their own platforms?

All in all my biggest and only gripe with the Brave web browser is the orange/red colour palatte and logo, but that is something I am able to live with.


I’ve been using Brave on macOS for ~2 years now. I have not noticed the enshittification yet - I turned off all of the Brave crypto stuff on install and it stayed off. The occasional new feature like the VPN is disabled with 1-2 clicks and Brave is never aggressively trying to convince you to switch stuff on again.

Can’t comment on Brave Shield, I’ve disabled that and been using uBO since day one.


What is up with all of these anti-Brave topics lately?

I have never encountered any of the items on your list on Android, iOS, or Linux.

I have also never encountered any of the problems other people are bitching about like bloat or crypto or ads.

It takes 5 minutes when you download the app to configure the settings and get rid of all that.

There are a few videos on YouTube (Side of Burritos I think is one) that walk you through the process. Even a dumbass like me could figure it out.


At maximum :wink:

We shouldn’t assume that because we never faced that issue, it doesn’t happen at all. It’s a dangerous path.

I think this is where the problem is: You shouldn’t waste time turning off things that might hurt privacy. Also, why should someone who doesn’t want to deal with ads and tracking have to turn off crypto things and wallets?

Doesn’t this seem odd?
The fact that they have their own ad network, might be a potential conflict of interests.


It’s easier to whine than to accept the fact that it costs a lot of real money to maintain and develop a browser like Brave.

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Every privacy browser comparison i have come across pits Brave, LibreFox, Mull, Fennec & Firefox on top, depending on OS

Whatever issues one may have, Brave is always rated within the top two or three

I don’t get it either. I don’t use it in desktop, where it’s a 3rd backup, but it’s my main in GOS.

Yes, there’s a growing lot of bloatware, but it’s fairly easy to disable it all when you first set it up. I haven’t changed anything and yet none of the recent changes affected my homepage or whatever. Of course, I’m not using Brave Search, so that might help.

On the other hand, Brave Shields is the best thing there is, and I hope FF would just copy it. Having ad blocking, cookies, script blocking and “forgetness” settings, all per site, all in one place, is just amazing. Site breaks in Firefox? Disable RFP for all sites. Site breaks in MB? Set safety to standard to all sites. That just sucks. Or multiple clicks inside the settings page to manage per site cookie exceptions.

Yes, Brave has to earn money to appease it’s VC overlords, but people seem to forget about Mozilla. FF can’t come with uBO pre-installed (or even better, integrated) because it would kill it’s $500-million-a-year deal with Google. Because those are the good guys, right?

And PS: how Mozilla can’t produce a decent browser with half a billion a year to spend is beyond me.


@Dkama I also don’t get it why people seem to follow this browser like a cult (I thought this only happened with OS’s and brands).

Yes, there’s a growing lot of bloatware, but it’s fairly easy to disable it all when you first set it up. I haven’t changed anything and yet none of the recent changes affected my homepage or whatever. Of course, I’m not using Brave Search, so that might help.

Yeah, that might one of the problems

Brave has to earn money to appease it’s VC overlords, but people seem to forget about Mozilla. FF can’t come with uBO pre-installed (or even better, integrated) because it would kill it’s $500-million-a-year deal with Google. Because those are the good guys, right?

No one forgets about Mozilla… everybody remembers when they pushed the Pocket crap down user’s throats!

I think everybody here knows (or should know) that they need to earn some kind of money to keep the product(s) evolving (this is the way the world works). The issue is that there needs to be a fine balance between earning revenue and providing features that don’t harm the user. This is the key.

There isn’t a good guy/bad guy thing in the corporate world. That’s utopia! You just have to assume that they are all bad, but some of them are less bad than others, and that they always need users to keep them in line.

Well, I think this is because, objectively, Brave is the best browser for daily driving for most people, and the only arguments against it are like this:

“Well, it’s based on chromium, and chromium is Google, and Google is bad, so chromium is bad.”

“Well, I think that crypto is bad; I don’t like crypto! So Brave is bad, it has crypto stuff!”

“Amm, I have no technical, objective criticism, so I will mention that Brave’s CEO is homophobic, like it has to do anything with a browser itself.”

Some people are just tired of hearing these same points over and over again, and I understand them.

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I wish Brave and Vivaldi developed their browser based on Firefox not chromium. We would be in a very different situation.


I’m not going to argue about which one is better because I don’t think it’s as simple as that. Why didn’t Tor choose Chromium instead if it was the best choice?

Regarding the Crypto topic, let’s be real, if you go into the blog Private Cryptocurrency Blockchains - Privacy Guides you have a warning there:

Many if not most cryptocurrency projects are scams. Make transactions carefully with only projects you trust.

So, it seems that most people agree on this take. If Brave wants to follow that path, it’s okay, but let’s not pretend that it’s the good path.


I would appreciate it if you could not use straw man arguments. You may not like these kinds of arguments, but objectively speaking, they are valid criticism.

  1. Chromium: Acting as if the Chromium monopoly wouldn’t matter seems strange when Google is pushing forward new web standards such as Manifest V3 and Web Environment Integrity API that clearly achieve more harm than good. Google is just a too powerful actor in the web space right now as they can basically decide themselves what web standards get implemented and what don’t.

  2. Crypto: Like others have stated already, even PrivacyGuides is critical about crypto, and Brave’s choice to implement their own cryptocurrency instead of using something privacy-focused like Monero can be criticized.

  3. Brave’s CEO: Even though this criticism isn’t technical and strictly related to the browser, it doesn’t make it invalid. If you are a homosexual, for example, you may feel uncomfortable using a browser whose CEO has these kinds of views about you.


It’s not a potential conflict, it’s a conflict of interests as it is. The only question is where and when it fires.


Honestly wonder what is the advantage here? You can add any list to brave?


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