Earlier this week, Google rolled out new filtering policies for its Chrome browser that will block all advertising on websites that serve particularly annoying ads, like autoplay videos with sound or full-page pop-ups.
The idea behind this move is pretty straightforward: If users don’t have to deal with intrusive ad experiences, they may be less likely to download third-party ad blockers. Ad blockers crush revenue opportunities for websites that rely on ads to make money while also affecting the bottom line of ad providers like Google, which pays a fee to whitelist its ads in popular services like Adblock Plus.
While Chrome’s new policy is widely lauded, Google’s dominance of the online ads business — in conjunction with the dominance of its Chrome browser and its influence on the group that selected which ads count as “intrusive” — raises some thorny questions.
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