Google has always been very strict for violation of its terms of service and today the search engine giant removed two of its Chrome extensions for the same reason.
Google today removed two Chrome extensions ‘Tweet this page’ and ‘Add to Feedly’ after they started displaying unwanted ads to users in browsing sessions, which clearly violates Google’s terms of service. Late back in December 2013 Google tweaked its policies which prevented the software developers to insert ads via extensions.
“I sold the extension to an unknown buyer for a four-figure sum, but a month later, the new owners updated the extension, adding that code that silently injected the unwanted ads” wrote Amit Agarwal, developer ‘Add to Feedly’.
Explaining the issue its developer Amit Agarwal further said that the ads injected by the extension were not the regular banner ads, but some invisible ads that replace links on every web page into affiliate links. Meanwhile, Ars Technica, the developer of ‘Tweet This Page’ also explained that the extension started injecting ads after it had been purchased and altered silently.
As Chrome allows extensions to be updated and pushed automatically, these two extensions were silently updated to include codes that serve ads on every web page browsed. The adware issue popped up this weekend and users posted on internet message boards’ describing about the undesirable ads served by the extensions on multiple spots of every web page viewed.
Thankfully both the extensions ‘Tweet this page’ and ‘Add to Feedly’ didn’t have many users , otherwise the situation could be more pervasive. As posted by WSJ, Google appreciatively noticed the issue and pulled down the extensions.
TWC advises users to flag extensions and plugins if they discover any rogue or spam activities, and suggests you use ExtShield to protect yourself from malicious Chrome extensions.