Google Removes Ad Blocking Apps from Play Store

Google has removed all ad blocking apps for Android from its Play Store, including AdBlock Plus, which we reviewed and spoke to the creator of when it launched in November. AdBlock says that this ‘unilateral move threatens consumer choice’.

AdBlock Plus is a free tool created by an open-source community that its creators say helps users avoid misleading, malicious and distracting advertising. The app currently blocks all ads but the creators planned to have a ‘whitelist’ of acceptable ads – similar to its desktop version – along with ad filters for users.

Ad blocking software violates section 4.4 of Google’s Developer Distribution Agreement by disrupting the ad funding model which enables developers to offer free apps. “We remove apps from Google Play that violate our policies,” a Google spokesperson said.

“We believe that the user, not Google, should be in charge of what kind of content can be displayed on their device,” said Till Faida, co-founder of Adblock Plus. “Of course it’s important that developers can still monetise but many overdo it or use ads that present a privacy invasion or promote malware. We encourage advertising that is done appropriately and conforms to an acceptable ads policy, which is debated and decided in an open public forum.

“By unilaterally removing these apps, Google is stepping all over the checks and balances that make the internet democratic. People should be really alarmed by this move.”

Android users can still install Adblock Plus from the AdBlock website.

Written for Mobile Marketing Magazine and published here: http://www.mobilemarketingmagazine.com/content/google-removes-ad-blocking-apps-play-store

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