Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

Google Cracking Down on Ad Blockers in the Play Store

Allison Schiff, Ad Exchanger:

In an episode reminiscent of Google’s removal of ad-blocking privacy app Disconnect last September, Adblock Fast got booted out of Google Play on Wednesday for violating the section of Google’s Developer Distribution Agreement that prohibits developers from creating anything that interferes with or disrupts how another app or service does business. […]

Google pays a “‘ransom’ to Eyeo, creator of Adblock Plus, “to the tune of millions of dollars a year,” Kane said, whereas Adblock Fast, which just received its Play store pink slip, declares on its website that it “doesn’t, nor do we intend … to ever, make any money. … Unlike other ad blockers, we don’t sell out to support our project.”

As of this writing, Adblock Plus was still live in Google Play.

There’s nothing inherently wrong with this; Google has every right to control what they have in their store. In some ways, it matters a little less than an app being booted from Apple’s App Store as Android users can always sideload apps. But there’s a greater price paid on the developer’s reputation. Steve Troughton-Smith:

Also, Google handing out policy strikes for apps that they decide they don’t like? That’s way nastier than how Apple handles it

Ouch.