Google’s decision to ban AdNauseum was only the latest salvo in an ongoing war over online advertising. The industry and publishers have recently been fighting back against ad blockers, for instance, by requiring visitors to disable them if they want to view a page. In August, Facebook announced it was blocking anti-ad software across its platform. And while AdNauseum is the first desktop ad blocker Google has blocked, it has previously banned mobile apps like anti-tracking tool Disconnect and ad blocker AdBlock Fast from its Android Play Store, citing a rule that says one app can’t interfere with another.
The ad industry also knows that ads can be a nuisance, and it’s taking pre-emptive measures to make them more palatable—or, in Google’s case, to block the unpalatable ones. “We feel like there are a lot of challenges in advertising. There are a lot of wrong ways,” Darin Fisher, vice president of Chrome engineering, told CNet last year. But “if publishers and advertisers do ads the right way, it can be great for the users and for the ecosystem.”