I told Google about an app with the most disruptive ads I've ever seen and was told to fix it myself

The Google logo
(Image credit: Chris Wedel / Android Central)

I recently wrote about how I am so annoyed by abusive ads that have proliferated their way into so many free apps on the Play Store that I was done trying to dig through the crap to find the good apps out there. I found out I'm not alone, and a few folks have shared some of the biggest abusers they have found.

I wasn't ready for the very worst one, though. It was a seemingly endless loop of ads that all required interaction to dismiss, except instead of being pushed back to the game itself you end up seeing more ads. And more ads. And even more ads.

I was amazed (in a bad way) and decided to share just how horrible this experience was so I shared a quick screen capture on Twitter. I'm reluctant to name the app, but what the hell — if you are part of something bad you deserve it. We don't need these kinds of apps on our expensive phones. Ever.

I'm not a big social media guy and usually only use Twitter for ..erm...shitposting. But I figured I would let the fine people running the Google Play account know there was an app published that decided the ads policy portion of the developer agreement didn't matter. 

I didn't expect an answer, and I certainly didn't expect the answer I was given: "Please report this to the developer as these aren't managed by Google Play."

A tweet from @GooglePlay

(Image credit: Future)

OK, so this is almost certainly not a response from the highest authority at Google. Chances are it was someone dedicated to working through the mountain of social media questions and comments a company the size of Google must get. But still — I'm not the person that needs to clean up Google Play, even if it is just one app. I don't even want to interact with a company that would put ads like this in their game let alone explains that they need to fix things. That's Google's job.

It's a tone-deaf response and that's a problem. Google is a company that's tough to trust and it's nice to see it do a good job now and then. Google Play — a managed place where apps are vetted and supposedly free of things like endless ad loops — should be one of those times where the job is done well.

Twitter logo crossed out on an Android phone

(Image credit: Namerah Saud Fatmi / Android Central)

There is a reason why I do not man the Android Central Twitter account. Not that I would purposefully do something stupid (did I mention why I use Twitter?) but there is always that chance. Whoever is running the account is the face of Android Central at that very moment, and that's important work for a company that wants to make money.

To the person who runs the Google Play Twitter account, I'm not mad at you. I'm not even mad at Google over this one; I expect they do catch plenty of developers who just want to farm us like data-dairy cows through ads and unnecessary permissions. I'm just not the Play Store's janitor. 

Take out your own trash.

Jerry Hildenbrand
Senior Editor — Google Ecosystem

Jerry is an amateur woodworker and struggling shade tree mechanic. There's nothing he can't take apart, but many things he can't reassemble. You'll find him writing and speaking his loud opinion on Android Central and occasionally on Twitter.