(CitizensOutpost) According to the Wall Street Journal, Google is preparing to introduce a new ad-blocking feature built into its popular Chrome web browser:
The ad-blocking feature, which could be switched on by default within Chrome, would filter out certain online ad types deemed to provide bad experiences for users as they move around the web.
Ad-blocking technology is nothing new. Innovations like the popular browser extension Ad Block Plus have been around since 2006 and have allowed users to surf the web all while stripping out ad images and videos. But now that the Alphabet, Inc. owned Google is attempting to put their hat in the rink, it may raise questions as to the motivations of entering this aspect of the relationship between advertising distribution and the web browser. This would potentially become a new layer of control between advertising content and the end user, all the while Google would become the minister of content similar to how Google already controls its search algorithms in raking web site content:
Unacceptable ad types would be those recently defined by the Coalition for Better Ads, an industry group that released a list of ad standards in March. According to those standards, ad formats such as pop-ups, auto-playing video ads with sound and “prestitial” ads with countdown timers are deemed to be “beneath a threshold of consumer acceptability.”
In one possible application Google is considering, it may choose to block all advertising that appears on sites with offending ads, instead of the individual offending ads themselves. In other words, site owners may be required to ensure all of their ads meet the standards, or could see all advertising across their sites blocked in Chrome.
By creating new standards and conformity in advertising delivery, this would essentially become a new hoop for ad content providers to jump through and may become a way for this mega power structure to further restrict content on whatever criteria they come up with as a basis for discrimination and to legitimize censorship.