Apple’s support for building Safari ad blockers in iOS 9 was sure to be controversial as they negatively and directly impact writers/publications like us here at 9to5Mac and others that rely on advertising for revenue. And while a few ad blockers climbed the App Store’s top paid chart this week, the highest ranked Safari content blocker has been pulled after being sold for just 48 hours. Developer Marco Arment announced today that he decided to pull his ad blocker app Peace from sale, citing that it “just doesn’t feel good” to [profit from] the negative impact to “many who don’t deserve the hit.”
Notably, the Peace content blocking app was a paid utility, which in itself is controversial as it requires readers to pay for the ability to view already free content on the web while preventing writers from accessing a key revenue stream.
Quartz’s Dan Frommer wrote yesterday that the $2.99 app had already sold 12,000 copies in its short run, which amounts to over $35,000 in sales (with 30% going to Apple). Now as the ad blocker will no longer be actively supported (although it will continue to work), Arment is actively encouraging customers to request a refund through the App Store.
That process isn’t completely straightforward, however, as the App Store doesn’t encourage buyer refunds. Users that did purchase the now dead ad blocker can follow Apple’s support document for steps on how to request a refund for an App Store purchase. The process begins at reportaproblem.apple.com to start.
As ever, we actively encourage 9to5Mac readers to avoid using ad blockers when reading our work, whitelisting 9to5 channels if running one, and providing feedback when ads are presented in a distasteful way as we want to create a fair and positive experience. We’re working all the time to reduce the ads and scripts that our site uses and have recently begun sponsored partner posts which remove all house ads for the day.
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