Google is still trying to get notification abuse under control in Google Chrome

Martin Brinkmann
Oct 27, 2020
Google Chrome

Google announced an extension to its effort to get notification abuse under control in the company's Chrome web browser. Starting in Chrome 86, the company is expanding its efforts to limit the abuse of notifications for users of the browser.

Chrome, like most modern web browsers, supports web notifications. The main idea behind the notifications is simple: give sites and web apps a tool at hands to inform (notify) users. Notifications may inform users about site updates or news, but are also abused by sites for advertisement or, in the extreme case, malicious purposes. While it is true that users need to accept the notification request in first place, sites may use deception to get them to allow notifications.

Tip: you can disable notifications in Chrome easily.

Google introduced quieter notification permission requests in Chrome 80 and started to enroll sites with "abusive notification permission requests" automatically so that their permission requests would use the quite notification user interface instead of the default permissions prompt.

Starting in Chrome 86, Google is doing the same now for notification content. Sites that use notifications to send "messages containing abusive content" will have their notifications blocked automatically in the Chrome browser by default. The blocking is supported by desktop and mobile versions of the Google Chrome web browser.

chrome notifications blocked

Blocked does not mean that users are not informed about the notification attempt. Chrome will display the notification blocked icon in the browser's address bar and users may activate the icon to display a prompt with the following message.

Notifications blocked

This site may be trying to trick you into allowing intrusive notifications

Options are"allow" and "continue blocking"; the former allows notifications and bypasses Chrome's blocking, the latter does the same as a click on the x-icon, it keeps the blocking in place.

Google uses its web crawler to determine whether sites send out abusive notifications. The company notes that the web crawler will subscribe to website notifications and that its Safe Browsing technology is used to determine whether the content is abusive.  Sites are flagged if Safe Browsing determines that notification content is abusive, and webmasters will be informed about the fact in Google's Search Console. A grace period of 30 days is given to resolve the outstanding issue and request a review. Sites that fail to do so will have their notification content blocked in Google Chrome.

While not explicitly mentioned, it is very likely that the same blocking mechanism will find its way into other Chromium-based browsers.

Now You: do you make use of notifications?

Google is still trying to get notification abuse under control in Google Chrome
Article Name
Google is still trying to get notification abuse under control in Google Chrome
Google announced an extension to its effort to get notification abuse under control in the company's Chrome web browser.
Ghacks Technology News

Previous Post: «
Next Post: «


  1. satyam said on November 1, 2020 at 11:20 am

    Reminds me of when my teacher got **** pill pop notification from news website while teaching the class.

  2. Farmers said on October 28, 2020 at 2:05 pm

    In my experience, probably most home users have no idea what these prompts are in the first place, and certainly don’t know what they’re agreeing to. Then they come to someone like me wondering why their machine is plagued with ‘popups’ all the time, and I find their browser is letting notifications through from 20 or 30 sites. The browser should definitely make these default to ‘block’ somehow, although I admit that the way many sites work they seem to go out of their way to convince the user to agree to them. As for myself, I always configure the browser to block permanently and not even prompt, as I have no use for ‘notifications’. Easier that way, as I have no time for deciding that no, I don’t want them every time I visit a page.

  3. Anonymous said on October 27, 2020 at 10:32 pm

    Meanwhile they are abusing people on Youtube with “Would you like to sign in for a better experience?” prompts every few videos. This is after you block their “would you like to sign in?” popup.

    1. Anonymous said on October 28, 2020 at 2:49 pm

      It’s very annoying I agree, I think they should remove that and allow its usage only with an account.

      1. Steve said on November 1, 2020 at 2:04 am

        What you need for that is ViolentMonkey and a few lines of code that kills them.

        document.querySelector(“paper-button[aria-label=\”Got it\”]”).click();

        I did mine with a setTimeout inside the same function it calls and a counter with an if to skip the setTimeout after x number of seconds.

  4. Jim Crick said on October 27, 2020 at 7:49 pm

    who uses anything from google?

    1. Farmers said on October 28, 2020 at 2:12 pm

      These notification prompts are pretty much browser independent. I use Firefox myself, which will also present the prompts just like Chrome unless (like me) you just go into the preferences for Notifications and tell it to not even prompt (which effectively means ‘block all’). I have no time for them myself, but the real problem is a great many users have no idea what they are anyway.

    2. Jim Vanderbilt said on October 28, 2020 at 1:10 am

      I do.
      And a couple more: With over one billion active monthly users, is the most visited website on the planet.

    3. TOR said on October 28, 2020 at 12:11 am

      the whole world honey, are you drunk?

  5. seeprime said on October 27, 2020 at 6:39 pm

    I block all notifications. They’re too risky, besides being unneeded and annoying.

    1. Mothy said on October 27, 2020 at 8:06 pm

      Same here (but in Firefox), it’s one of the very first things I do after initial installation as I have no want/need for them.

  6. Bobby Phoenix said on October 27, 2020 at 6:16 pm

    Chrome is the spam king. I’ve received notifications from spammers through Drive, Doc/Slides, etc.

  7. Anonymous said on October 27, 2020 at 4:42 pm

    Notifications? Do you mean Popups?

  8. stickyfingers said on October 27, 2020 at 2:32 pm

    I suppose this isn’t the same thing but I dumped Chrome earlier today because of some stupid ‘doodle’ on the new Tab page (regarding some unknown person’s 142 birthday do you believe it). Couldn’t seem to get rid of it. So Vivaldi for me, no doodle.

  9. Anonymous said on October 27, 2020 at 2:26 pm

    Most of the work on chromium is probably going into developing algorithms to detect “abuse”. Which means that Google arbitrarily punishes sites that use Chrome’s own technology. All of this because google needs to make sure that users don’t get annoyed too much so that the ad money continues to flow – the annoyance needs to be just bearable enough.

    1. Anonymous said on October 27, 2020 at 3:19 pm

      No, Google should definitely address this. There are websites that use notifications to spam users with adware and even malicious links.

Leave a Reply

Check the box to consent to your data being stored in line with the guidelines set out in our privacy policy

We love comments and welcome thoughtful and civilized discussion. Rudeness and personal attacks will not be tolerated. Please stay on-topic.
Please note that your comment may not appear immediately after you post it.