Google decides Android users should not be able to block ads
Adblock Plus, an opensource app for the removal of unwanted mobile advertising, is up in arms over Google's radical move to remove all ad blocking apps for Android from the Google Play Store.
AdBlock Plus stated that the decision by Google threatens consumer choice, as the 'opensource' choice for consumers begins to look more like Apple's closed ecosystem.
'I realise that advertising revenue is important to Google, but understand that Adblock Plus does not automatically block all ads; we simply allow users the choice whether to block ads or whitelist them. We even encourage advertising that is done appropriately and conforms to an Acceptable Ads policy, which is debated and decided in an open public forum,' said Till Faida, co-founder of Adblock Plus.
'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,' said Faida.
Google's rationale behind removing Adblock Plus is that it violates Section 4.4 of its Developer Distribution Agreement. But today's action is the third in a string of actions that Google has taken against Adblock Plus, stated Faida.
Faida commented: 'In late February Google began forcing Android users to manually configure a proxy server in order to run Adblock Plus; in December 2012 Google recategorised Adblock Plus in the Chrome Web store and stopped showing it in search results when users specifically looked for the extension; and when Adblock Plus relisted as an app on 12 December, Google took it down again 12 hours later.'
Android users can still download and install Adblock Plus directly from the AdBlock Plus website. The app has been downloaded more than 200 million times worldwide. Adblock Plus plugs into any Chrome, Firefox, Opera or Android browser.