Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 20th Apr 2017 09:18 UTC
Google

Alphabet Inc.'s Google is planning to introduce an ad-blocking feature in the mobile and desktop versions of its popular Chrome web browser, according to people familiar with the company's plans.

The ad-blocking feature, which could be switched on by default within Chrome, would filter out certain online ad types deemed to provide bad experiences for users as they move around the web.

Google could announce the feature within weeks, but it is still ironing out specific details and still could decide not to move ahead with the plan, the people said.

An ad-blocker from Google? Something tells me this won't go down well with antitrust regulators.

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In another universe...
by M.Onty on Thu 20th Apr 2017 10:18 UTC
M.Onty
Member since:
2009-10-23

Poacher gang-master applies for gamekeeper position. Doesn't mention quitting poaching. Landlord puzzled, assumes its a cynical joke, hires a nice young lady called Privacy Badger instead (despite the name).

Reply Score: 2

RE: In another universe...
by fmaxwell on Fri 21st Apr 2017 01:23 UTC in reply to "In another universe..."
fmaxwell Member since:
2005-11-13

Poacher gang-master applies for gamekeeper position. Doesn't mention quitting poaching.


No, this is more like in Robin Hood where only the king (Google's role here) was permitted to hunt on 'huge tracts of land'.

Reply Score: 3

Could be a good thing.
by tkeith on Thu 20th Apr 2017 11:23 UTC
tkeith
Member since:
2010-09-01

As long as it's a third party deciding which ads meet the requirements this could be a good thing. Ad blocker popularity is too high for Google to ignore on the desktop and the lack of ad blocker in mobile Chrome is too obvious for users to ignore.

Reply Score: 5

I don't understand
by pedlo on Thu 20th Apr 2017 11:30 UTC
pedlo
Member since:
2011-04-30

I don't understand this sentence: "which could be switched on by default within Chrome".
It's either on or off by default. If someone has to switch it on or off, it's not a default anymore.

Reply Score: 3

RE: I don't understand
by ahferroin7 on Thu 20th Apr 2017 12:08 UTC in reply to "I don't understand"
ahferroin7 Member since:
2015-10-30

I would guess it means you can set per-site preferences for whether or not it's enabled, and can then additionally set a global default.

Reply Score: 2

RE: I don't understand
by Brendan on Thu 20th Apr 2017 13:24 UTC in reply to "I don't understand"
Brendan Member since:
2005-11-16

Hi,

I don't understand this sentence: "which could be switched on by default within Chrome".
It's either on or off by default. If someone has to switch it on or off, it's not a default anymore.


Google get to choose what the default will be when people install Chrome. Initially I expect Google will choose "off by default" (in case there's problems/bugs), but eventually I expect Google would switch to "on by default".

Mostly, "which could be switched on by default within Chrome" makes sense if you imagine a programmer working for Google with a text editor open and their cursor over a "hypocrisy: on/off" setting that will be part of the next version of the Chrome installer.

- Brendan

Reply Score: 2

RE: I don't understand
by Pro-Competition on Thu 20th Apr 2017 19:58 UTC in reply to "I don't understand"
Pro-Competition Member since:
2007-08-20

I interpret it to mean that they are not sure yet about the specifics. In fact, they are not sure yet about the whole thing:

Google could announce the feature within weeks, but it is still ironing out specific details and still could decide not to move ahead with the plan

Reply Score: 2

Comment by ahferroin7
by ahferroin7 on Thu 20th Apr 2017 12:11 UTC
ahferroin7
Member since:
2015-10-30

To be entirely honest, while I like the possibility of this (assuming it does actual blocking, not just filtering out 'offensive' content), I would still much prefer if they just added extension support to Chrome for Android. Most people are already using ad-blockers on the desktop version, and most of the argument for it on Android results from the fact that they have no extension support, so you need a custom build of Chromium or a different browser to do ad-blocking there.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by ahferroin7
by Alfman on Thu 20th Apr 2017 12:50 UTC in reply to "Comment by ahferroin7"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

ahferroin7,

Most people are already using ad-blockers on the desktop version, and most of the argument for it on Android results from the fact that they have no extension support, so you need a custom build of Chromium or a different browser to do ad-blocking there.


I could be wrong, but I think the underlying intentions could be to add filter definitions in such a way that deliberately or 'coincidentally' blocks non-google ads but allows google ones through, then hope that users stop using 3rd party ad blockers.

If they do block google ads, google's ad blocker might be designed to hide their own ads but replace it with a tracker giving google the telemetry data. 3rd party blockers typically block these all together. Conceivably they could even gather telemetry for non-google ads. Frankly I don't put this above google given the privacy invasions the whole industry is undergoing.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by ahferroin7
by Carewolf on Thu 20th Apr 2017 14:49 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by ahferroin7"
Carewolf Member since:
2005-09-08

Google doesn't need to install telemetry code in ads if you are already using Chrome. It's entire purpose is tracking you and provide data on what you do even when you are not visiting sites with Google ads.

Reply Score: 4

Additions
by bolomkxxviii on Thu 20th Apr 2017 13:54 UTC
bolomkxxviii
Member since:
2006-05-19

HTTPS everywhere and Privacy Badger are both available for Firefox on Android. These are useful tools to add to your arsenal.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Additions
by dark2 on Thu 20th Apr 2017 13:59 UTC in reply to "Additions"
dark2 Member since:
2014-12-30

I'm not sure how useful HTTPS everywhere is now that most sites automatically redirect to their HTTPS URL. It's actually become a problem when logging into free wifi services since the browser will detect the site doesn't match the certificate, so to log into free wifi you need to find a rare non HTTPS site so the browser won't complain about the redirect to the wifi login.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Additions
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Thu 20th Apr 2017 21:55 UTC in reply to "RE: Additions"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

It's actually become a problem when logging into free wifi services


That's a feature, not a bug. Won't fix.

Reply Score: 2

It's a block list
by franksands on Thu 20th Apr 2017 13:55 UTC
franksands
Member since:
2009-08-18

It's not an ad blocker as any other current being used. It will only block specific ads considered 'bad'by the 'Coalition for Better Ads'.

Reply Score: 5

Firefox + uBlock Origin
by Caraibes on Fri 21st Apr 2017 11:53 UTC
Caraibes
Member since:
2007-08-06

Firefox + uBlock Origin on Android and also on MacBook, it just does the job, and it gives me that sweet FLOSS vibe. Whatever those reviews are saying, with a fast internet connection and a decent device, you don't really see any performance difference in real life.

Reply Score: 1

Doesn't sound like it'll block everything...
by rklrkl on Fri 21st Apr 2017 14:14 UTC
rklrkl
Member since:
2005-07-06

I want ad blockers to block every single possible ad they can and I also choose the option to not allow so-called "non-intrusive advertising" (is there even such a thing?).

It sounds to me like this Google ad blocker will let a fair amount of ads through under some sort of non-offensive/intrusive umbrella (probably more than Adblock Plus does I bet), which makes it next to useless for me and I suspect a lot of other people.

Reply Score: 2

News website ads
by dark2 on Fri 21st Apr 2017 19:42 UTC
dark2
Member since:
2014-12-30

Since I don't see any drop in market share for chrome on mobile, this most likely has to do with their joint efforts with news websites to attempt to get adblockers to stop destroying their revenue. Step 1 was to tell them to get paywalls, which doesn't work. It's like I'm reliving the early days of Google News when the websites didn't want to publish online, but a rehash of the story on some other news aggregator was only a click away. It appears they've had to admit the paywall method isn't working, and will put the adblocker directly in chrome in the hopes people don't install a 3rd party one or never have to learn about them. I doubt this will matter, as all the shady advertisements asking you to call a support center in India to solve problems they most likely also put on your computer, or to download their rootkit, will still find a way through.

Reply Score: 1

oiaohm
Member since:
2009-05-30

Wonder if we will see ad blocker as standard feature in all browsers and advertises having to pay browser makers to get their advertisements to customers.

Reply Score: 2