Chrome Web Store cracks down on spam extensions and review ...

Google cracking down Chrome Spammy extensions with new policy changes. Effective Aug. 27, the restrictions intend to get rid of items like copycats and deceptive plugins with fake reviews on the Chrome Web Store.

Global tech company also revealed new steps to crack down on malicious actors uploading deceptive or fraudulent modifications to the Chrome Web Store, where users can access the Chrome Web browser’s add-on apps and themes.

“The rise in the adoption of the extension platform has also attracted spammers and fraudsters to implement low-quality, deceptive extensions in an effort to confuse and trick our users into downloading them to make a fast profit,” the company wrote in a blog post published Wednesday. “We want to make sure a user’s path of discovering a Chrome Web Store extension is clear and informative and not muddled with copycats, misleading functions or fake reviews.”

To this end, Google is making some changes to its Chrome Web Store spam policy. Here they are, verbatim: Developers or their affiliates do not post multiple extensions on the Chrome Web Store providing duplicate experiences or features.
Extensions should not contain deceptive, improperly formatted, non-descriptive, irrelevant, redundant, or inappropriate metadata, including but not limited to the definition, name of the creator, title, icon, screenshots, and promotional images of the extension. Developers must have a concise definition which is well-written. Unattributed or anonymous user testimonials are also not included in the app’s definition.

Developers do not try to control the placement of any Chrome Web Store plugins. This includes inflating user scores, feedback, or downloading counts by illegal means, such as fake or incentivized downloads, feedback and scores, but is not limited to.

Extensions with a specific intent to install or launch another program, theme, website, or extension are not permitted. Also, extensions that assault, or equate with assault, alerts by sending spam, advertisements, promotions, phishing attempts, or inappropriate messages that damage the browsing experience of the user are not allowed.

Furthermore, extensions that send messages on the user’s behalf without requiring the user to validate the content and intended recipients are also not allowed.

The adjustments take effect on Aug. 27, so developers who may be straddling the two lines will have time to adapt to the new guidelines. Google then reserves the right to yank violators completely out of the Web Store.

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