Programmer and Instapaper creator Marco Arment just pulled his new app Peace, which skyrocketed to the #1 spot in Apple’s App Store after the latest iPhone update went live Wednesday.
Peace is an app that blocks ads from web pages in the mobile version of Safari. In a blog post, Arment says he pulled the app because it blocked all ads, not just the ones he believes go over the top by tracking user behaviour.
Here’s a portion of Arment’s blog post, entitled “Just doesn’t feel good”:
Achieving this much success with Peace just doesn’t feel good, which I didn’t anticipate, but probably should have. Ad blockers come with an important asterisk: while they do benefit a ton of people in major ways, they also hurt some, including many who don’t deserve the hit.
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, and Ghostery and I have both decided that it doesn’t serve our goals or beliefs well enough. If we’re going to effect positive change overall, a more nuanced, complex approach is required than what I can bring in a simple iOS app.
I still believe that ad blockers are necessary today, and I still think Ghosteryis the best one, but I’ve learned over the last few crazy days that I don’t feel good making one and being the arbiter of what’s blocked.
Controversial ad blockers besides Arment’s are still topping Apple’s App Store at the moment. Arment previously said his Peace app was purchased 12,000 times Wednesday at its $US2.99 price point. He has also offered to refund the money to users.
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