Skip to Content
MIT Technology Review

Google Chrome now blocks ads—but it may be biased


While the search firm has built an ad blocker into its browser, some reports suggest that it’s a self-serving exercise.

What's blocked: As of today, Chrome blocks ads that don’t meet standards laid out by the Coalition for Better Ads. Think pop-ups and auto-play audio on your desktop, or flashing animations and countdowns on your mobile.

But: The Wall Street Journal reports that some industry experts are raising concerns about the blocks. “Google overly influenced the process that selected which ad types to block,” writes the newspaper; the company may have skewed things in a way that could help it turn even more of a profit from advertising.

Why it matters: The ad blocking is being billed by Google as a useful service, but if the reports are true, its motivations may be off. Regulators, especially anti-competition powers in the EU that are already out for Google’s blood, will be paying close attention.