In a shocking move, Google has recently deleted AdBlock Plus from the Android Play Store. This is hugely disappointing because it demonstrates that Google is willing to censor software and abandon its support for open platforms as soon as there’s an ad-related business reason for doing so.
Until now, the Internet and software development communities have relied on Google to be safely on their side when it comes to building open platforms, encouraging innovation, and giving users maximum choice about how their computers will function. But with today’s news, that commitment to openness suddenly looks much, much weaker.
Google clearly has a vested interest in preventing people from installing ad blocking software like AdBlock Plus.1 But until recently, the company did an admirable job of leaving that matter aside and letting users make their own choices about whether they wanted to hide ads on their phones and in their browsers. Google established a reputation for building tools that put the interests of their users first. This new form of censorship is the exact opposite. It is not only a betrayal of the principle of openness, but a betrayal of the trust that people put in Google when they decide to buy an Android phone.
For developers on the Android and other Google teams who are reading this, we urge you to rethink this terrible decision. Stand up for users. Don’t let Android take the dark path. Don’t be evil.— Google Takes the Dark Path, Censors AdBlock Plus on Android | Electronic Frontier Foundation (via wilwheaton)