The maker of a popular ad-blocking tool has decided to remove their title from Apple’s App Store after experiencing a change of heart over its mission.
Marco Arment, who previously served as chief technology officer at Tumblr, Tweeted that he would be pulling his Peace ad-blocking tool after the programme soared to number one in Apple’s paid app listings just 36 hours after going live.
Peace is no longer available for download following action from the man who created it to “fix a big mistake”.
Blogging at marco.org, Arment said: “Achieving this much success with Peace just doesn’t feel good, which I didn’t anticipate, but probably should have.”
The statement adds that such tools hurt many who “don’t deserve the hit”, potentially sympathising with the publishers who use online ads to support their supply of free content.
Refunds are being offered to anyone who paid $2.99 for the app while it was available for download, but existing users will benefit from it remaining live on their devices.
‘Creepy and annoying’
Plenty of theories have reverberated around the web regarding Arment’s true intentions, but the man himself insists that his blog sets the record straight.
The presence of conspiracy theories around such a story has to be considered a given, especially when scrolling through Arment’s blog.
Only last Wednesday (September 16), a post celebrating the launch of Peace described web advertising as “creepy, bloated, annoying and insecure”. Arment said the problem was getting worse at an “alarming pace” and that publishers would find it hard to enforce required standards of decency and security.
Just two days later, Peace was made unavailable to download with a note describing how the war on web advertising was not enjoyable one to take part in, not even for the victor.
A grey area
Additional reasons for the app to be pulled came from Arment believing that Peace offered an “all-or-nothing enforcement” for blocking certain types of content, and that users should be given more of a say as to what they do and don’t receive.
The blog did however advocate the use of Ghostery, a tracker for the “invisible web” used to power Peace, as well two similar content and tracking blockers: Crystal and Purify.
These are tools that, according to Arment, are still “necessary today”.
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Join us next Monday (September 28) for the start of Ad-Blocker week – a five-day festival of content weighing up the pros, cons and debates surrounding one of the most disruptive and controversial technologies going.