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They are our modern day heroes.
There’s nothing more annoying than reading a compelling article on the Internet, only to have it be interrupted by an annoying ad that completely obstructs your view. If you’re particularly unlucky—and depending on the website you are on—you may even come across pop-ups that either carry malware or advertise products that don’t even exist. Don’t worry though, Google’s got you covered, and it’s got you covered by a lot.
According to a blog post, Google took down 780 million “bad” ads last year and were able to do so successfully, thanks to a staff of over a thousand people dedicated solely to extinguishing annoying advertisements from mobile apps and web browsers.
“Through a combination of computer algorithms and people at Google reviewing ads, we’re able to block the vast majority of these bad ads before they ever get shown,” wrote Sridhar Ramaswamy, Google SVP for ads and commerce.
Some examples of ads that were disabled include those peddling counterfeit merchandise, pharmaceuticals that have not been FDA-approved, weight loss scams, and unwanted software as well as those that lead to phishing sites and ones that are designed to look like legitimate system warnings that trick users into clicking them.
Additionally, the team has also worked on a few useful tools that lets Google users mute ads permanently and customize their ad experience through a newly improved Ads Settings page.
Given the massive amount of pop-ups littering the Internet, the number of people it takes to shut them all down is not that surprising. In fact, if Google can please hire more of these heroes, the better it would be for everyone.
H/T Google Official Blog | Illustration by Max Fleishman
Jam Kotenko is a technology reporter and graphic designer who specializes in coverage of Instagram, Facebook, and other social media apps. Her work has been published by Digital Trends, Bustle, and Gotta Be Mobile.