If we zoom out to the big picture, everyone, literally EVERYONE in the infosec community knows that ads are a huge security, privacy and performance risk, to the point that if you're an enterprise security person it's actively negligent not to roll out ad-blockers to corporate desktops.
Google has one of the best security teams in the world, they know this.
The bottom line is that ad-blocking would be something core Chrome provides under reasonable risk analysis.
So when Google backtracks on something due to outrage, then they turn around a few months later and ask, "what was the big deal? Why were you crying wolf? we said all along that those were changes under development!"
This is gaslighting and absolutely is a strategy to keep pushing Chrome in the direction that's favourable for Google.
It's throwing changes against a wall and seeing what sticks and what distinguishes it from true experimentation is how one-sided it is.
I especially hate the subtype of this gaslighting, the deliberate fuzziness.
Any criticism is met with "those changes are still under development/discussion, stop assuming a bad outcome!" but without ever committing to any clear and easy goals like "all ad-blocking extensions will continue to work as before".
It allows Google to float plans and see the amount of pushback. If little, they can just bulldoze ahead. If a lot, they can pretend to have arrived at a mild version.
I'm really getting quite tired of Google gaslighting people about the direction Chrome is going in the past years.
"You're hysterical if you abscribe any monopolistic intent to these changes! This is _clearly_ being done for security reasons! Those extensions are risky! Performance is a concern!"
Meanwhile Alphabet directly mentions the risk from ad-blockers to their revenue in their SEC filings.
It's one thing to be monopolistic and another to gaslight people about it.
Dear everyone, use @firstname.lastname@example.org - Monopolies aren't healthy and Google seems to have stopped pretending that they won't abuse it.
“People aren’t disabled,” Dollekens says. “The environment they live in is.”
Relatedly, I'm really proud to live in an accessible city like Vienna. When a very good friend of ours was visiting he almost cried, as he could literally visit most of the city and use public transport, something which is impossible in his home town or the closest major city (Budapest).
Go is Google's language, not ours https://utcc.utoronto.ca/~cks/space/blog/programming/GoIsGooglesLanguage
onwards the road towards leninism-stalinism comrades!
Seize the means of production!
sour take on slippery slopes
People who argue based on slippery slopes are effectively calling themselves spineless and incapable of internally realized ethical boundaries. Else they'd get that people can handle continua without having to force a binary categorization onto it. Real ethical boundaries operate in real ambiguity, and do so just fine thanks.