Marco Arment, developer of popular ad blocker “Peace,” has pulled the product from Apple’s app store, citing concerns that its success could harm ad-supported publishers.
“As I write this, Peace has been the No. 1 paid app in the U.S. App Store for about 36 hours,” Arment posted on his personal blog -- adding, however, that the success "just doesn’t feel good."
“Ad blockers come with an important asterisk,” he continued, “while they do benefit a ton of people in major ways, they also hurt some, including many who don’t deserve the hit.”
While he didn’t disclose who was harmed, Arment presumably was talking about the ad-supported publishing community, which was being deprived of sellable ad impressions because the software blocks all advertising indiscriminately.
“Peace required that all ads be treated the same — all-or-nothing enforcement for decisions that aren’t black and white. This approach is too blunt,” he said, offering to refund users who purchased it and recommending they install Ghostery’s cookie deletion management software instead.
“Ad-blocking is a kind of war — a first-world, low-stakes, both-sides-are-fortunate-to-have-this-kind-of-problem war, but a war nonetheless, with damage hitting both sides,” he wrote, adding that even though his app appeared to be winning, “it's simply not worth it. I’m incredibly fortunate to be able to turn away an opportunity like this, and I don’t begrudge anyone else who wants to try it. I’m just not built for this business.”