Illustration for article titled Google Takes Aim at Abusive Ads With Chrome 71em/em
Photo: Mark Lennihan (AP)

Google is rolling out Chrome 71 today and with it, you can apparently expect to kiss abusive ads from “persistently offending sites” goodbye. The latest version of Chrome will also include billing warning screens to help prevent unwanted charges and subscriptions.


Google’s definition of abusive advertising falls under lots of different categories. Generally speaking, they’re described as experiences “designed to be misleading.” It includes fake messages, like chat apps or notifications that lead to ads when clicked, unexpected clickable areas on sites leading to ads, auto redirects to ads without user action, mouse pointers, and of course, phishing and malware. Google gives offending sites 30 days to get rid of the shitty ads once reported. Those that don’t comply will have all ads blocked.

Google estimates that only a small number of persistently bad sites will experience this kind of ad removal.


Also rolling out today are billing warning screens, which will pop up before pages with vague billing processes to protect against sites that dupe users into unwittingly forking over money.

The ad blocking features in Chrome 71 are an extension of earlier updates from 2017. Those efforts included muting autoplay videos, and limiting pop-ups and abusive link redirects. But in a blog last month, Google admitted that less than half of abusive experiences were not blocked by its efforts.

Chrome 71 is currently available on all Windows, Mac, and Linux desktops, while rollout to mobile devices expected in the coming weeks.



Consumer tech reporter by day, danger noodle by night. No, I'm not the K-Pop star.

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