Connect with us

Apps

Google Play Store removes over 600 apps from Play Store for disruptive ads

Avatar

Published

on

Over the past few years, there have been some major issues related to apps on the Google Play Store that deliver disruptive ads. Although many of the apps serve a useful function for the user, the primary reason for these apps’ existence is to deliver as many ads as possible regardless of the user experience. Google Play Store has removed almost 600 Android apps due to serving “disruptive” ads.

Today, in a blog post, Google announced that it is finally putting the hammer down on this practice. It announced that it removed nearly 600 apps from the Play Store from its ad monetisation platforms Google AdMob and Google Ad Manager for violating its disruptive ad policy and disallowed interstitial policy. The increase of smartphone adoption is giving a push to mobile ad frauds in recent times. In a separate report from Buzzfeed News, we found out that Cheetah Mobile created about 45 of those banned apps.

According to Scott Spencer, VP, Product Management, Google Ads, one of the biggest threats to ad-supported content is ad fraud, a pervasive issue for users, developers, and advertisers alike. “Google blacklisted numerous bad actors that were found to be committing large scale invalid traffic and ad fraud, which violates Google policies,” said Spencer.

The apps that have been removed from Google Play Store were mainly made by developers based in China, Hong Kong, India, and Singapore, Bjorke told BuzzFeed News. However, the names of specific apps and developers remain a mystery.

Bjorke also specified BuzzFeed News that Google had started refunding the brands whose ads were displayed through disruptive ads.

In 2019, Google removed tens of thousands of apps and developers that were found to be in violation of its policies. “Taking corrective action was an imperative step in protecting advertiser dollars, leveling the playing field for legitimate publishers, and removing bad app experiences for users,” said the tech giant.

Google attempted to take similar protective measures in the past as well. In July last year, Google banned Chinese developer CooTek for using an adware plugin to send disruptive ads even when an app was not in use. The Android maker in the past also spotted hosting apps on Google Play Store with adware.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Apps

Facebook Repairs Bug That Prompted Brief iOS App Outages

Avatar

Published

on

By Agence France-Presse | Updated: 11 July 2020

Popular smartphone apps including Spotify and Pinterest suffered outages Friday for a few hours due to a bug in Facebook’s systems.

Facebook has resolved the problem, a spokesperson said.

“Earlier today, a code change triggered crashes for some iOS apps using the Facebook SDK,” or software development kit, the spokesperson said.

“We identified the issue quickly and resolved it. We apologise for any inconvenience.”

App users began reporting on Twitter early Friday that they were unable to open Spotify and other sites.

Downdetector, which monitors for internet problems in real time, showed a rise in problems for a number of applications, including Spotify, Pinterest, Waze, and The New York Times.

It reported a major spike in problems around 10:30am GMT (4pm IST), and a decline in user issues at around 1pm GMT (6:30pm IST).

Continue Reading

Apps

Amazon Bans, Then Un-Bans TikTok From Employee Mobile Devices

Avatar

Published

on

By Agence France-Presse | Updated: 11 July 2020

Amazon on Friday said it mistakenly sent workers an email telling them to dump the TikTok mobile application from their cell phones because of security concerns.

The internal message told workers they could still access the popular video-snippet sharing platform using laptop web browsers, but would lose access to company email on smartphones that have TikTok.

“This morning’s email to some of our employees was sent in error,” an Amazon spokesperson said in reply to an AFP inquiry without going into detail.

“There is no change to our policies right now with regard to TikTok.”

The concern expressed in the internal message appeared to be that the TikTok mobile app could access Amazon company email, according to a copy posted online.

“User security is of the utmost importance to TikTok -– we are fully committed to respecting the privacy of our users,” a spokeswoman for the company said in reply to an AFP inquiry.

She added that TikTok welcomed “a dialogue so we can address any issues they may have.”

The Democratic National Committee is advising campaign staff to avoid using TikTok on personal devices and, if they do, to keep the app on a smartphone separate from that used for work, given the amount of data it can track, a DNC official told AFP.

TikTok this week withdrew from Hong Kong in an exit seen partly as an effort to shake off the “label of it being a company that is controlled by China and shares data with the Chinese government,” Zhu Zhiqun, a political science professor at Bucknell University in the United States, told AFP.

TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, is based in China.

The app’s feeds of 15- to 60-second video clips are often fun and humorous, featuring everything from make-up tutorials to dance routines.

However, with its rising popularity in the United States, TikTok has also come under increasing scrutiny from the government here.

US President Donald Trump said this week he was considering banning it as a way to punish China over the coronavirus pandemic.

Top US lawmakers have raised concerns over the potential for TikTok to leak user data to the Chinese government.

India — where TikTok is also wildly popular — recently blocked the platform on national security grounds following a deadly border clash between its soldiers and Chinese forces.

TikTok staunchly denies snooping allegations.

“We have never provided user data to the Chinese government, nor would we do so if asked,” a spokesman said on Wednesday.

Continue Reading

Apps

TikTok Says Removed Over 49 Million Videos in Second Half of 2019

Avatar

Published

on

By Reuters | Updated: 10 July 2020

Social media app TikTok said on Thursday it removed more than 49 million videos from its platform in the second half of last year for violating its guidelines.

These videos accounted for less than 1 percent of the total posted on the platform and fell under categories such as “violent and graphic content, hate speech and adult nudity”, it said in a report released on its website.

About one-third of the videos were from India, followed by the United States, and Pakistan, it added.

The transparency report comes days after the company owned by China’s ByteDance was banned from India, one of its biggest markets, after a Sino-India border clash. The short-form video making app also decided to exit the Hong Kong market following China’s establishment of a sweeping new national security law for the semi-autonomous city.

TikTok launched a new platform to court small business advertisers on Wednesday. The platform, however, was fraught with challenges, especially after the Trump administration’s threat this week to impose a ban on China-based social media apps.


© Thomson Reuters 2020

Continue Reading

Trending