AdNauseam is silently clicking ads. This directly costs Google money. Google happens to control the extension web store for their own browser. Removing it from the store really isn't that bad. Uninstalling it from existing browsers as malware? A little more malicious, but I would still consider it self defense.
There is even a method to install it directly which AFAIK Google has not blocked.
Granted, if Google were not both running the browser and the ad network, these actions probably wouldn't have been taken. But the whole attitude that this is some sort of tyrannical thing is a little over the top.
This is the exact sort of thing anti-monopoly laws are intended to work against: that a major market force in one market uses that power to intrude or support itself in another market. Since Google Chrome undoubtedly has a sufficiently large market share that this may be a concern and the removal of this extension certainly affects the advertisement market, this seems like a very dangerous move for Google.
Yes, it may be considered “self-defense” but is the cost incurred really so large that they want to risk another lawsuit?
That's actually not true. There's some case law about that sort of thing (the Microsoft antitrust case being the most famous), but the basis for anti trust law has always been about price efficiency, not protection of competition for competition's sake (c.f. the Microsoft breakup was overturned), nor consumer benefit.
I switched to FireFox long ago.
That does not describe the situation in the least. AdNauseum is more akin mailing junk back to junk mailers using their paid postage. You show me an ad, which I did not ask to see? Fine, I'll click it, automatically. Enjoy.
Am I stealing money from advertisers?
There is no such rule for online adverts. So what is a parent to do?
By blocking them and obfuscating through clicking I am protecting my own sanity, and that of my children. This is my "No/No" sticker.
Wow, that's actually kind of amazing. I wish we had that in the US...
But the advertising company is supposed to well-qualify their targets, right? It's on them for serving and charging for advertisements to people who don't want them or will 'click them' regardless of content.
"A false representation of a matter of fact—whether by words or by conduct, by false or misleading allegations, or by concealment of what should have been disclosed—that deceives and is intended to deceive another so that the individual will act upon it to her or his legal injury."
Now, if the advertiser knows that people are clicking things through a script, and has some clause with their agreement with the company that says 'We won't charge you when this happens' but charges them anyway, that would be deceit. But it'd be on the part of the advertiser to the company buying the advertisements.
You don't think so? Isn't the whole point of this extension to try and trick advertisers into paying for non-existent user engagement?
It's up to the advertiser to accurately classify user behaviour, and the user has no responsibility to make that easy for them.
It is generally understood and indeed reasonable to assume that in order for most users to click an ad they must first see it. This extension intentionally violates that in order to deceive that same advertiser.
Sending automated clicks to ads arguably meets all the elements of common-law fraud:
(1) A false representation of fact (that the user clicked on the ad);
(2) Knowledge of the falsity (by the user installing and using the extension);
(3) Intent to deceive the party by making the false representation (that is the extension's stated purpose!);
(4) Reasonable reliance by the innocent party (by believing the "click" was real and intended);
(5) Actual loss suffered (by paying the owner/operator of the page containing the ad)
In my view, therefore, "fraud" is an applicable term.
"A party does not have a right to rely on a representation if she is aware the representation is false, not enforceable, or not made to her."
It's clearly arguable that the ad network knows that a browser is able to click on an ad in an automated fashion. Thus, they do not have a right to rely on that representation, as it is not enforceable.
 - http://www.mitchell-attorneys.com/legal-articles/common-law-...
This would be like if you are a dairy farmer and you notice people who buy cookies usually buy milk, so to make things simple you make an agreement to pay a store 25 cents for every cookie they sell (because you want to incentivize them to sell more cookies and therefore more milk). You couldn't then accuse a customer of fraud when they buy cookies but not milk. They never agreed to always buy milk when they buy cookies, that was just an assumption you made.
Whatever the merits of that argument might be in the general case, using an extension which expressly advertises its function to include falsifying clicks to mislead ad networks makes it hard to make the argument in that context.
(Not saying that I do that, of course. Entirely hypothetical.)
I think you are deceiving everyone that you are indeed an attorney.
Sure, Google wants to make money on ads and they're under no obligation to let people use their infrastructure to undermine that goal. But likewise, the people who get fucked over by Google compromising the Chrome ecosystem to defend their ad income are under no obligation to be particularly enthusiastic about it.
If the user does something with their device Google dislikes, Google can block the user from using Google services, or if they're doing something illegal, they can go that route.
This habit of retroactively removing functionality from devices is not OK. If Google relies on a business model other people hate, perhaps they should give some thought in to doing something about that.
Most large tech companies want to get a noose around users' necks. If you stick your head in the noose, guess what happens?
(I'm just guessing that's what they might call it.)
That doesn't make acting in such blatantly bad faith until you are able to take legal action forgivable.
They deserve shit for lying.
I agree that Google should probably remove browser extensions that are convincingly designed to facilitate actual fraud. I'd also be on board with Google removing a browser extension that was designed by a site operator to produce artificial clicks on ads on that particular site, since now there's someone involved who probably signed a thing saying they won't produce artificial clicks.
But my point with my examples was that you can harm someone's bottom line without it being fraud or otherwise illegal, so it doesn't just follow that if you harm someone's business, you're doing the equivalent of a DoS or smashing up their merchandise.
Blocking an ad/tracker is being "not particularly cooperative", and fulfils the goal of not seeing ads or being tracked pretty well. The entire point of modifying an existing ad blocker to click everything, as stated by the creators is to disrupt the metrics to the point where the system doesn't continue to work as intended, and cost the indiscriminately clicked ad-purchasers an average of $1.58 per wasted PPC click, as they've taken the effort to estimate (see their FAQ).
I can't see how anyone can honestly argue that a tool whose creators openly state that its purpose is to indiscriminately "obstruct" and "resist" an industry to force it to change its business model by rendering its analytics worthless and wasting PPCers budgets isn't sabotage, irrespective of whether they agree with the desirability of the end goal.
But here, they are wasting their money because they decided that they'd pay some amount per click. That doesn't somehow confer a legal or moral obligation on me, some random third party, to behave in such a way that this is actually a good deal for them.
That whatever they measure when my browser follows an ad corresponds to some amount of human attention is a gamble they're making, and in no way comparable to the expectation that in civilized society, someone doesn't walk into your store and smashes your merchandise without being punished for it.
Next we're going to go around and fine people for leaving their TVs running without paying attention to the commercials...
Well that actually might happen someday. Not sure where, but some podcast on youtube was discussing almost just that. Electronics companies might strike a deal, where you have a smart tv with a camera and face recognition, where you get a good deal of channels cheaper if you watch the commercials. Also when you rent a movie via their streaming partner, you pay depending on how many eyes are watching.
Off course we all know how easy it is to game face recognition now, but in the future it might not be as Ai algos keep improving. Sadly I hate to see this day when we get to the level where most people will obediently watch the commercials because they can't pay trice the price. This kind of future seems both comical and disheartening, like someone would combine 1984 and They Live.
That's why the relevant criterion here is is this software written for the express purpose of fucking up their shit?, to which the answer is obviously, yes and they've said as much, and acknowledged that if you just don't want to be tracked you're better off with a proper adblocker anyway.
If you want to leave your TV running without paying attention to the commercials, regular adblockers exist and are amongst the Google Web Store's most-downloaded apps.
Indeed it is marginally safer for one to simply use a strong adblocker and protect themselves. And it is also safer to stay at home rather than to attend a protest. But safety is not the only concern. Using an adblocker does little to change the status quo. AdNauseam, and the obfuscation strategy in general, instead presents a possible avenue for collective resistance; a means of questioning and perhaps, eventually, changing the system. But this is not for everyone. If your goal is primarily self-protection, it may not be for you...
So they're aware of the fact this is worse at protecting privacy than a simple blocker, and equally unambiguous about their objectives being to change the status quo by damaging ad networks' business models. And yes, they've calculated the direct cost of some of those clicks too:
As the precise cost generated by clicks is not visible to the client, AdNauseam calculates an estimate using an average value of $1.58 for each clicked Ad.
No it doesn't, it is to obfuscate the results about your interest and make the information they sell about you - useless. They are not giving me any money so I have no obligation to provide truthful ad clicks either.
> (in a manner intended to bring the system down) but so do many DDoS attacks...
You can't be serious, it's not comparable to DDoS attacks. It is just obfuscation, pure and simple. It is not in any way unethical either, digital surveillance that ad companies practice is on the other hand very much unethical. When I visit one website, why should dozens of third parties be able to sella and that information? When did they ask my consent? The only way to make that info useless is to have automated add-on like this, if the majority would use it, we wouldn't have as big problems of ad networks spreading malware and proving government agencies with surveillance information.
It's purpose is to get you to look at things from the other side: what would you do if one of your customers was intentionally harming your business?
To pre-empt a personal attack against me: I do not make a living from advertising.
Oligarchs abusing there power? Not so bad, as long as it hits somebody else backyard. Even better, if it just never makes its way into the news.
All even, the democratic powers playing the great game again, condemning every country who doesn't want to be a feudal servant and go for a "Leave me alone" nuke-stance?
And after all - hey we are still here, aren't we- so its not so bad.
People vanishing every night? Guess, one can get used to that, nobody of the vanished has ever complained. And hey, dropping housing prices, finally a solution to that.
To actually get a accurate, neutral moral "measurement" you would have to take a group and enclose them in the isolate standards of the past- and then have them write about how they perceive today.
The interesting measurement question- if there is one, is what is left that those in power could do- they wouldn't get away with?
That couldn't be swept under the rug, that once really tied the room together?
See how ridiculous this is?
Of course, Google probably detects bots and doesn't count these clicks, but your statement that "Google created click fraud" is correct (although they weren't first) and kinda funny.
It's a process involving delivering specific tracking cookie along with the ad that should you end up clicking through to the intended destination gets tracked through either more cookies or tags in the URL.
I certainly resonate with the issue of advertising getting ridiculous (and love Troy Hunt's response) but don't begrudge Google their right to not help people mess with their income stream.
The holdup are people confusing this click fraud with immoral. It seems to be very clearly illegal by the books, but in my opinion a moral and right thing to do
Edit: Keep in mind I'm referring to developer mode installation per the link above, not directly installing the extension package from the store or a file.
The good thing of course is that it shows that they are afraid of such an extension.
Seriously. I'd figured they'd filter these "clicks" out easily server-side and didn't bother to install this thing, but this ban has hinted otherwise. I'll be installing it everywhere I can now.
With IPv6 it could work, or maybe with the local IP address passed by the script at click time, but the latter would be trivial to forge.
Then again maybe it doesn't, since they bothered to ban this extension. They did seemingly more-or-less give up trying to sort spam search results from low-traffic but high-value sites a few years back, so I guess they can't algorithm their way out of every abuse problem.
[EDIT] all ads on some pages visited by a given IP over some shortish span of time, I should say, in the case of NAT.
1. Does a user searching without paying not cost Google's money?
2. Does a user using Chrome for free not cost Google's money?
3. They even built Chrome to boost advertising ecosystem.
4. Is there any law or ToS said users are not allowed to use a script to click the ads automatically? Are the advertising companies going to spy on me to check if I'm using a script?
5. Advertising surveillance directly violates my online privacy. Yet, "by using our services, you are agreed to our terms and conditions"
Instead of playing dirty they could accept the challenge and tweak their click-fraud algorithms.
Reminds me of the joke about Jesus and Moses playing golf.
We had more than 380,000 DAU (Daily Active Users) from 36 countries with all good feedbacks on Google Chrome Web Store, but even so, Google always tried to find a way to get us delisted and sometimes removed... they called it "an automated review process that is not performed by humans".
Every time this happened we need to send several messages to all available email address to get our extension approved and listed again in 24-48 hours. After facing this kind of situation more than 12 times, we simply gave up and remembered that it's not worth trying to build a business (or App) on top 3rd party company, like Google or FB.
Priorities clearly higher in killing ad blockers.
Edit: I'm genuinely curious -- did they copy the actual assets from the original game, or did they just copy the style and gameplay (which would generally be legal).
Google doesn't have much incentive to make it easy, but third parties (like Debian) do, and do a lot of the heavy lifting on an ongoing basis.
Does OS X/macOS not still come with a bundled installation of Ruby? Or is the version it comes with too old to use with brew/brew cask?
I have Chromium installed on a my Ubuntu desktop but I think I had to add a PPA to get it.
Most of the more-or-less mainstream distros ship Chromium in their standard repos. In fact, they're more likely to ship Chromium than Chrome due to the fact that the former is FOSS and the latter is not.
Neither macOS nor Windows have such a philosophy of "prioritize the FOSS alternative", so Chrome is unsurprisingly the better-supported option there.
That's actually how I first started using Chromium early in my Linux days; I didn't really know the difference between Chrome and Chromium, so I just picked the one that was easier to install. Once I finally learned the difference, I consciously made the choice to use Chromium on all of my systems, even the non-Linux ones.
Google has blocked installing AdNauseam from the Chrome store and installing the .crx file manually.
Manually installing the developer package is completely unhampered.
On each restart, you will need to re-add the extension from source.
Not only is it apparently banned from the store, but also it's being removed from existing user's machines, on top of not allowing new installs.
Edit: Going to quote my thread from that discussion as this announcement confirms they were banned over the single use policy...
> Other ad blockers "block ads" and "block annoying eu cookie notices". Should they be removed?
> I just visited the Chrome store and chose the first extension: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/office-online/ndjp.... It makes word documents AND spreadsheets?!
> Hopefully you can see where I'm going... whatever's written in the policy is difficult to enforce literally. Someone has to make the distinction based upon the intent of that policy. A person has to draw the line. If Google have made the decision based on that policy, well that's their decision.
> Reading https://developer.chrome.com/extensions/single_purpose (part 4) makes me thinking "disrupting ad networks" could be that single purpose. Then it'd cover blocking & clicking. Just like "Office Online"'s "edit office documents" covering both "word processing" and "spreadsheets".
> AdNauseam, a not-for-profit, research-based privacy tool, hides and clicks every tracking ad that it identifies in order to resist the opaque collection, analysis and monetization of private user data, and to challenge the intrusive and unethical business model that currently dominates the web.
Ital. gives you the justification Google could use to block the product. "Disrupting Ad Networks" is the single purpose, but while "Ad Blockers" are a simple nuisance to Ad Networks and 3rd party revenue streams, "Ad Obfuscators" poses a threat to affiliate marketers and resellers who may interact through Google's channels.
(In my opinion.....) Is AdNauseum justified in their work? ABSOLUTELY YES. But there are other hands at play. This also explains why Google is working so hard to block updating or new installs of it.
If you are going to block ads, block them. Don't click on them.
If Google wants to wholesale block all IPs that cause them a problem with click fraud that's their prerogative, but manipulating the electrons that very safely reside within my own private property and then turning around and continuing to serve me ads is something straight out of a Dickens novel and I shudder to think of what happens after the second chapter.
Yes, the large networks occasionally serve dangerous ads. But by far and large, they have better standards then most of the fly-by-night ad networks.
There's a reason why everybody uses ad networks.
I’m not sure why you think this is so complicated or impossible.
Actually, Google does track all of this stuff already:
Google could decide to just ignore IPs that host users that display this behavior pattern. But yeah, it's "easier" to just ban the offending Chrome extension.
Also, if these developers really wanted to, they could distribute it directly from their site and dynamically generate the extension, packaged with a unique identifier, for each download. This would make it effectively unblockable. So simply identifying an install of this specific extension is not a solution.
This year I will try to fix the rough edges in any FF plugins I use instead of switching back to Chrome.
I wish for a more open smartphone ecosystem and better tools for privacy.
If you don't care about sync / mobile then just use a local .html file. Maybe this could be Dropbox'd around but there's that 3rd party problem!
Sure, just a way to keep bookmarks synced when I might switch systems/browsers without having to manually export-import them every time.
How about doing this to every pizza store you encounter that serves meat?
You're not profiting..just wasting a business's resources by misrepresenting your identity and intentions.
What if I had a billboard with a camera that used face recognition to determine how many people looked at that billboard. Is it fraud to put on a mask to prevent my face from being detected? Is it fraud to put a bunch of faces on a poster-board and parade it in front of the billboard to confuse it?
Websites only provide information that I then can choose to render/manipulate however I want, and what I do on my application on my end with that information is my business.
Just because you intend to use the 911 hotline as an emergency resource surely shouldn't impede my right as a phone owner from calling it in the manner you intended. It's my god-given right as a phonebook owner to call whatever numbers I see fit in whatever quantities I want to.
It doesn't even have to be 911. You can DDOS the phone lines of any business to make them less effective. Is this ethically defensible?
This is more the equivalent of replying to every piece of physical junk mail that you get using their provided self-stamped return envelopes. I think you'd be hard to pressed to argue that, while being a jerk move, you're still aren't entitled to do it.
There were stories of people who would attach their return envelopes to heavy objects and try to send those back to them.
Maybe some day advertisers will come to understand that if their ads affect me negatively, then I will do my best to make it unprofitable for them to present them to me.
The practice of ... clicking on an advertisement hosted on a website with the intention of ... draining revenue from the advertiser
Elsewhere on the same page they've even gone to the extent of explaining how they calculate the average revenue they think each simulated click drains from the entities they wish to "resist"
In AdNauseum's implementation, the revenue is drained from the advertisers to all of the sites where those ads are hosted and where AdNauseum's users browse. Neither AdNauseum nor the users browsing the sites benefit from that revenue. Instead, the advertiser's marketing budget is slightly less effective.
This changes the behavior from an intent to profit to an intent to harm. I'm certain that they could prove in court that they do not intend to profit from this activity. But I don't know whether or not the court would classify the outcome of the activity as "resistance" or "harm".
Regardless of what a court may decide if it ever gets involved, the term "click fraud" as its most widely used and defined certainly includes clicks aimed at causing a party to lose money as well as than clicks aimed at directly obtaining money.
They are trying to bring down the price of ads on the internet, thus making them unprofitable. I hope they succeed.
Yes, tracking and overly intrusive fullpage popups are real issues, but not all ads are inherently evil.
Companies that can't survive by selling a product or service directly probably should go out of business, IMO.
I'd hope that it enables do not track, and also checks for tracking cookies before clicking, but haven't looked carefully.
>not all ads are inherently evil.
All advertising is manipulation. Advertisers are bad and should feel bad.
And frankly, I even discovered products through ads I might have never found otherwise, even though that's not how it should be in a perfect world.
I don't think it is. I'm connecting a producer and a consumer in both of their best interests. When the producer is the one who asks an entity like Facebook "who enjoys this author?" and advertises the new book to them, why is this evil?
People have desires, and without advertising it is very difficult to connect those people with producers who can fulfill them.
I think advertising isn't inherently evil, just some tactics used to persuade people with misinformation.
If you already want something, then the ads are useless because the entire point of an ad is to manipulate me into buying something I didn't want to buy.
If I want to buy the book already because I am interested in the author's books then the books sell themselves without need for ads.
How about search and email? All the major players are ad supported.
Today Google actively removes things from their index at the requests of various governments and entertainment industries. We have very little choice in search, leaving much of the web unlocatable.
I might likely do the same for a search page if such a thing existed and the price was right. Until then I use startpage or duckduckgo to (attempt to) retain some anonymity.
One dimension of that distinction is intent - are you trying to persuade me having my best interests in mind (including not applying the technique if you're not sure about the consequences)? Then I'll probably be fine with it, and consider it an act of friendship. Are you trying to exploit me by convincing me to make self-harming decisions? I'd consider this an act of malice. An attack.
Advertising of all kinds would be fine if it performed just the information function - by honestly trying to paint the whole picture and give all relevant information to enable customers to make a rational choice. As it is today, it's squarely in the malicious, abusive zone.
> essentially all of the ad supported sites I visit are diversions
Perhaps the reason for this is that virtual goods have often been for free, because of ads (?)
I've been noticing this trend. I have a pretty extensive hosts file and this one site I visit started displaying ads. I had to double check to make sure my hosts file was correct and it turned out that they were saving the ads from their own CDN.
Edit: Not making a judgement here, just clarifying that the extension is doing more than messing with metrics.
If there's someone who makes content you like to see, why don't you mind draining their wallet?
Why support the middle man who just makes the Internet a worse place when you can directly support an author's efforts?
The advertisement business model just exists to justify the existence of low quality content.
Okay, when was the last time you watched one?
You want to stand by that argument, or admit that you're talking out your butt?
AdNauseum doesn't hurt advertising networks, it hurts publishers. When they get banned for click fraud, the network keeps the money.
Also, increased click fraud on tracking ads lowers their attractiveness, nudging ad revenue toward sites that serve display ads targeted to their content.
This helps funnel money to sites that produce high quality content and away from low quality sites that happen to attract users that view high quality content elsewhere.
They become the publisher. In the grand scheme, this is a misguided effort that will further monopolize publishing.
"If you have a YouTube channel (s) and your logged in to that channel it will get your channel suspended for Violation of TOU #4 Section H" 
Has anyone else confirmed this behavior on YouTube?
I would if I could!
But we are not in a yard. We are in a public area, where I was walking along minding my own business and the dog came up and started barking at me. I never wanted to interact with the dog in the first place. He intruded on my life.
This is Y Combinator's yard. YouTube is Google's yard. So is the Chrome Web Store.
The World Wide Web Foundation has no particular standing and no authority on what actually happens on the web.
So maybe it's OK to poke them preemptively, to keep them at a distance.
They fall into the gap where the most humane thing to do would be to kill them, but they aren't quite dangerous enough for anyone to do that without feeling bad about it.
In the context of ad networks, they do need to be burned to the foundations and rebuilt better, but no one can stomach hurting anyone that currently needs them.
Some legal resource I found online says that in the US fraud requires: (1) a false statement of a material fact, (2) knowledge on the part of the defendant that the statement is untrue, (3) intent on the part of the defendant to deceive the alleged victim, (4) justifiable reliance by the alleged victim on the statement, and (5) injury to the alleged victim as a result.  Note that "material fact" here is a legally significant phrase, and implies a written agreement or some other mutually agreed to terms that establish the expectation - which never happened between you and the ad provider.
No matter how you slice it the user of ad nauseum is not committing fraud. This misinformation needs to stop.
Walk me through this, okay?
(1) a false statement of a material fact
The extension is telling the site, "I am this browser (user agent), requesting this content (what's behind this ad url), who clicked on this ad (calling the onClick handler of the element that has the ad."
That's not true. The user did not click on the ad.
(2) knowledge on the part of the defendant that the statement is untrue
The user knows they did not click on the ad.
(3) intent on the part of the defendant to deceive the alleged victim
Everyone in this thread is saying it's to confuse the metrics, and some are saying it's to purposefully take money from the advertisers.
(4) justifiable reliance by the alleged victim on the statement
The vast majority of HTTP GETs to URLs that are only found as href on Ads are requested because the user clicked on the Ad in their browser. Can you name even ONE other time a browser follows the onClick event on an Ad?
(5) injury to the alleged victim as a result.
So, walk me through how this is not fraud?
First, a GET request is in no way a statement that the user intended to view an ad: is accidentally clicking an ad fraud? Of course not.
Second, a GET request is not even an indication that the user clicked on some element. It's not even a statement that the user requested a particular resource. Indeed, when the ad itself is requested you could hardly call that user-requested; if your analysis were correct I see no reason we couldn't extend it to say that ads themselves constitute a fraudulent statement that "this content is something you requested".
Third, even if a GET request amounts to a statement of user action (if not intent), adnauseam's actions do not constitute a false statement of user action/intent. There are lots of ways to activate the default onclick handler; physically pressing a mouse button is only one of them. Trackpads and touchscreens are other ways; are they fraudulent? Keyboard shortcuts and other keyboard navigation are yet more, are they fraudulent? No, of course not, since they accurately represent user actions. Installing adnauseam is just another method of performing the same action, clicking on ads. It accurately implements the intent of the user, more so than clicking, which can be accidental.
IANAL, but based on your own criteria, without a false statement of material fact there is no fraud.
>(1) a false statement of a material fact
>The extension is telling the site, "I am this browser (user agent), requesting this content (what's behind this ad url), who clicked on this ad (calling the onClick handler of the element that has the ad."
>That's not true. The user did not click on the ad.
I said in my comment:
>Note that "material fact" here is a legally significant phrase, and implies a written agreement or some other mutually agreed to terms that establish the expectation - which never happened between you and the ad provider.
And you left a YUUUGE amount of ambiguity there, intentional or not, when you used the word "implies."
I don't know how the courts take things like "Click here if you agree to the terms" on an online form, but I don't think you've closed the door on my argument, yet.
Said a clown before the rodeo.
The collateral damage is putting small independent publishers out of business and reinforcing monopolies in publishing. If you think tracking is going to be less pervasive by knocking down the little guys, you are sorely mistaken.
> ‘We know your dark secrets. We know everything.’ - Steve Huffman from Reddit
When all that's left is Reddit, Google, and Facebook - the collateral damage is the same thing you're trying to protect.
Or, it could even have two "modes": a "carpet bombing" mode for high Alexa sites that clicks everything, and as you decrease in popularity, it increasingly begins to simulate real user behavior.
That would simultaneously disrupt the system for the big players and, hopefully, get extra revenue for the little guys.
But more importantly:
> If you think tracking is going to be less pervasive by knocking down the little guys, you are sorely mistaken.
I believe the only way tracking is ever going to be less pervasive is when tracking simply doesn't work any more. Nothing short of widespread technical countermeasures will ever convince these people to back off, so I will gladly do anything I can to make their data as worthless as possible.
In the grand scheme of things, I know it probably won't make a difference, but I still recommend anyone else who is angry about this to do the same. It at least gives you some satisfaction in taking back a little bit of personal control from Google.
What about Android, DeepMind, self-driving cars, etc.?
Google doesn't start side projects to make more money: they make more money (on ads) so they can have fun, unprofitable side projects.
Personally, I first heard about this extension a month ago and didn't pay much attention to it then. Now I want to install it.
I would like an AdNauseum type interface for video.
That theory works until someone notices that the extra clicks aren't leading to anything else, complains about click fraud, and then the website is penalized with fines, account suspension, etc. That small site likely won't even have the resources to defense themselves effectively.
There's also an interesting security question: do you really want to automatically click on the next zero-day deployed through an ad network?
Doesn't mean Google will accept it, obviously.
If it's simulating clicks on every ad, what is its mechanism for protecting a user's client from ad-delivered malware that has now been activated without the user's knowledge?
By blocking the extension (and, no less, actively removing it from places it was already installed!) they just reveal that the Chrome store exists primarily to serve their own interests and is not for the benefit of the user.
We may be overthinking this. Google may have blocked it as malware because it's malware, even if it's not intended to be.
I don't own an Android Phone (any cellular phone, since the Snowden Documents disclosed mass domestic surveillance programmes). So I can't use AdNauseum. I do, however, run similar software on my laptop and I would have used this software or something similar to it were I to own such a device.
One of the reasons - above and beyond GPS tracking databases and my information from cellular phones going into HUMINT and propaganda databases - is that the phones and tablets I've used haven't been sufficiently owned by me.
Google/Alphabet's willingness to uninstall software on user's devices is an example of this: their terms of agreement lay out conditions equivalent to their partial ownership of your device, and your limited ability to own and control the device for yourself.
How would you react if a website provider was able to detect that you were using AdNauseum, and they blocked your access to their website?
Edit: Expand the question to include other adblockers, not just AdNauseum.
If it was more prevalent, eg. if Google somehow managed to arrange for all sites serving Google ads to stop working if ads are blocked, that'd change the dynamic. Ultimately it's not gonna lead to me clicking on any more ads and then buying people's stuff, so I don't think it's in Google's interest, but it'd be interesting to see.
In principle there's no problem with sites that refuse users that don't view ads, I don't visit them, but I take no issue with them.
However, if I request a remote resource from your site and you transfer it to me, you have no say in what my client chooses to do with it.
Do you think it is unethical, immoral, or should be illegal to pay someone to clip the ads out of a free magazine before I read it?
Question: I'm not a web dev, Ive never heard of this. I currently use adblock plus and privacy badger. Does this do what they do? Would it be a good idea to install them all? If not which solution do you think is the most hardcore in terms of privacy. thanks!
Over 50% of all desktop users , or, in other words, hundreds of millions of people.
Anyone who's (or should be) a little bit concerned about security ?
Firefox has been absent from 2016's Pwn2Own contest because of insuffisant "security improvements in the last year".
This may change with the Electrolysis project
Google keeps trying to recruit me based on my search data...
It's pretty pointless anyways.
Well. I guess that's the point. But then surely it's fairly understandable for Google to try and stop them - at least on their own turf?
Google doesn't fund Chrome out of a sense of altruism - they want to have control over those aspects of the web-browsing ecosystem that potentially threaten their bottom line.
And here is that strategy behaving exactly as it should. You want the stuff Google has paid to build? You probably have to accept that "I want to automatically hide and click ads" falls under the banner of "maybe you should use a different browser then".
That’s exactly what they can’t do, and where antitrust laws come in.
Google has to run Chrome out of altruism, or not at all.
So I installed Firefox and adNauseam on it. I was not a user before.
https://developer.chrome.com/webstore/program_policies (ctrl-f, then search for "Interfering with Third-party Ads and Websites")
Edit: Hmm, below is correct. The "single purpose" policy is pretty hard to understand, and the reason Google gave for banning it. The policy above would seem more applicable.
The description of that rule also doesn't seem to apply: "Ads associated with your app must not interfere with other apps, ads, or the operation of the device, including system or device buttons and ports." It's specifically under the ads section of the policy.
I'm not sure the policy applies in any way to Chrome either: "...ensure that together we continue to deliver the world's most innovative and trusted apps to over a billion people through Google Play." EDIT: The link has been changed and now points to the equivalent Chrome Store policy. My other 2 points remain true though.
I can see, however, a view that "not loading" an ad doesn't qualify as "interfering" with it...but clicking on it for the purpose of disruption is considered "interfering".
Also, I updated the link to point at chrome extension policy vs app store policy. The wording is similar.
It's still clearly referring only to ads that are part of an extension, and AdNauseam obviously doesn't have any so it can't be the reason.
I ctrl+f'd ads to see what else they say, it's almost all in that section that doesn't apply but one thing that came up was "Impersonation or Deceptive Behavior" under Content Policies which contains the wording " Products or the ads they contain also must not mimic functionality or warnings from a user's operating system or browser". I wonder if that could be argued to apply - mimicking click functionality?
I guess they just invented this "single purpose" policy to be able to ban things without coming right out and saying "you're hurting our revenue stream" :)
There must be someone from legal that's advising them not to ever say anything specific about extensions that mess with ads.
It has substantially improved in responsiveness over the past few months, Chrome/Chromium really isn't worth the price of admission.
I also hate how Google took pieces of WebKit and Gecko and smooshed them together into a closed browser (which they only opened up later). Granted WebKit was gobbled up from KHTML, but at least Apple expanded on it and contributed back, at least initially.
If someone wants to kick you out of there house for no reason, you leave their house. You're not paying to be there, you're not paying to publish there... you have no intrinsic "right" to be there... you were there as a privilege - when it disappears, for whatever reason, there is no reason other than a false sense of entitlement to whine about it...
It's not a huge amount, but you do pay to be there. See https://developer.chrome.com/webstore/publish
"Before you publish your first app, you must pay a one-time $5 developer signup fee"
So the rest of us shouldn't be aware of what Google is doing and base our choice of browser on that?
I agree Google, Apple, etc. are absolutely entitled to kick people from their stores for whatever reason they want. But, we should also be informed of this especially when it seems to be based on self interest rather than protecting their users.
When the tone is more accusatory than informative, it invites plenty of criticism...