Google may be just as annoyed by some ads as you currently are, as the company announced that it has removed almost 600 “disruptive” Android apps from the Play Store and banned their developers in its latest effort to rein in mobile advertising fraud. The company defines disruptive adverts as “ads that are displayed to users in unexpected ways, including impairing or interfering with the usability of device functions,” like a full-screen ad that pops up during a phone call or when using navigation apps. Essentially any money-making pop-up that displays when said app is not in use.
According to Per Bjorke, Google’s senior product manager for ad traffic quality who wrote the company blog post, the company employed a machine-learning based approach to identify the out-of-context ads which led to the mass bans:
Malicious developers continue to become savvier in deploying and masking disruptive ads, but we’ve developed new technologies of our own to protect against this behaviour.
According to a BuzzFeed News report, the majority of apps found in violation were made by developers based in China, India, and Singapore, and aimed at English-speaking users. Google has made mass bans like this in the past, but apparently developers are getting smarter at evading detection which has led to Google to also up their game.
Last Updated: February 21, 2020