Two Chrome extensions were pulled by Google after complains about ads that allegedly violated the company’s terms of service.
Feedly and Tweet This Page were described by people in forums and on message boards as silently updating to include code that served undesirable ads, or spam.
Extensions are are small bits of code that alter a browser by adding new features or removing others, according to Wall Street Journal.
Google updated its policies in December to try to clean up the browser extensions, saying they must haev a single purpose and be easy to under stand.
Owners of some popular extensions have described being offered money to insert spam code into their extensions.
One of these was Amit Agrawal, the developer for “Feedly,” who described in a blog post how he sold the extension to an unknown buyer for a small amount of money. The buyer then added the spam code.
“The new owners of the Feedly extension pushed an update to the Chrome store,” he wrote. “No, the update didn’t bring any new features to the table nor contained any bug fixes. Instead, they incorporated advertising into the extension.”
“It was a bad decision,” Agrawal concluded.