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> Is it possible that Google writes code to automate the moderation (for lack of better word) of the extensions in the Chrome Store because they are trying to avoid paying hundreds of people to do it manually?

Undoubtedly, for the Chrome Store as well as all of their other properties.

Ultimately, Google's business model is about earning fractions of a cent per view/download and making it up in volume. Their profit margin depends on relentless cost optimization, and humans are inevitably the most expensive part of their support/maintenance systems.

Google undoubtedly doesn't want to put extension writers out of business, but if they adjust their procedures to give cases like this real human attention then they will undoubtedly allow a few dozen spammers/scammers to also receive human attention.

(Note: I present the above without judgement. If I were to add my judgement, I'd say that I don't think that this state of affairs is a good thing, and in the long run we may need to reconsider whether algorithmic promotion of content without human oversight is viable.)

I'm still a bit surprised they're not offering a paid support tier. That'd still suck for non-commercial extensions, but at least help with the "extension filtering is killing our business!" cases.

I'm afraid is more complicated than that. If they were to add non-mandatory paid support, any time someone were at risk of losing its extension would feel/believe it's an extortion scheme to force him to pay for support (whether that's true or not).

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