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Google Chrome Will Block Tab-Under Behavior (bleepingcomputer.com) 66

An anonymous reader writes: Google is working on blocking tab-under behavior in Chrome, according to a document seen by Bleeping Computer. For users unfamiliar with the jargon, Google considers tab-under behavior when an unsuspecting user is scrolling or clicking on a page, but the site duplicates the current page in another tab and shows an ad or a new website in the page the user was initially reading. Countless of website owners and advertisers have abused tab-unders to show ads and redirect users to unwanted sites, all for the sake of ad impressions and redirection fees. This demo site created by Google engineers that shows how tab-unders work. Earlier today, Google published a document detailing three ways it's currently looking at for dealing with tab-unders in Chrome. The current approved proposal is for the browser maker to block websites before opening a new tab, similar to the pop-up blocking mechanism. According to Chrome engineer Charles Harrison, the tab-under blocking feature will be supported on five of the six Blink platforms -- Windows, Mac, Linux, Chrome OS, and Android, but not Android WebView. Once the feature is ready, it will ship with Chrome Canary under its own option on the chrome://flags settings page.

Google Chrome Will Block Tab-Under Behavior

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  • I've never seen this (Score:2, Informative)

    by JohnFen ( 1641097 )

    I've never seen "tab-unders". Thank you, NoScript!

  • by Anonymous Coward

    xhamster does it. how do I know? errr a friend told me. honest.

    • I heard redtube does it too.

    • I'm that friend.

    • I too have heard that. Word is that very many different porn sites do it, though I wouldn't know personally.
  • And to think... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by thevirtualcat ( 1071504 ) on Tuesday October 03, 2017 @03:44PM (#55303433)

    And to think that ad companies wonder why ad blockers are so prevalent.

    "Gosh, we are purveyors of annoying content that nobody wants and we use every dirty trick in the book, including exploiting browser bugs, to get our content in front of faces. Why do people hate us so much?"

    • by Anonymous Coward

      This post should be modded insightful not funny. Every time i have to browse the internet without an adblocker it is WORSE then i remember it. When slashdot had the outage and was only hosting the front page, i disabled ublock because i thought it was messing up the comments. Now slashdot has fucking hovering ads!?!? What the actual hell! It is not like 90% of the users already run adblock, make sure you punish people a bit more for disabling it. That is really going to incentivize people to whitelist the s

  • by ebyrob ( 165903 ) on Tuesday October 03, 2017 @04:04PM (#55303555)

    Like the ones I constantly run into here on slashdot. I try to scroll down the page away from the ad and it just stays there blocking the top-half of my screen. My vertical space is short enough already on a 16:9 monitor thank you!

    I've never seen these "tab-unders" in the wild but the "half page scroll" ads are very prevalent on slashdot and other sites paid by ad.doubleclick.net.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Sheesh, we have an absolutely fucking endless series of rude advertiser behavior enabled by javascript, constant behavioral surveillance, and another endless list of security exploits using javascript as an attack surface.

    95% of what pages use javascript for does not need it, and could use plain old HTML, or like in this case, simply should not be done at all. Anyone not disabling javascript by default by now (white list it in select cases) is a fool. Don't give control of your browser to random web pages

    • by tepples ( 727027 )

      Anyone not disabling javascript by default by now (white list it in select cases) is a fool.

      Agreed. So how would the operator of a web application prove that it is trustworthy enough to become one of these "select cases"?

  • by thegarbz ( 1787294 ) on Tuesday October 03, 2017 @04:28PM (#55303697)

    They fundamentally break the browser behaviour. The problem is as soon as you close the advert to get back to your page you have now low the history. If you ended up there as a result of a search, screw you, no back key for you, start from the beginning.

    This isn't just an advert.
    This isn't just a quirky way of getting attention.
    This is fundamentally screwing with the web browser and to me is as offensive as a HTML5 pop-over that can't be cleared.

    • by mark-t ( 151149 )

      Or you can always open search result clicks in a new tab or window, and never worry about what the destination site will do to your history.

      I don't contest that it's bad, but you can still mitigate it easily. Personally, I generally prefer opening things in a new window when I know i am going to another website.

      • by makomk ( 752139 )

        The more obnoxious tab-unders also break the usual ways of opening a link in a new tab or window too, just to make sure you're thoroughly annoyed.

      • Or you can always open search result clicks in a new tab or window

        You're making assumptions about which search engine is in use and where the pop-under sits. There are plenty of sites of questionable rapport which offer search and will happily then create a pop-under off a middle click.

        You just reminded me of what's even worse. By trapping the middle click it also breaks the open in new tab functionality.

  • Countless of website owners and advertisers

    I'd stay anonymous if I wrote like that.

  • Yes, Benson, yes.

    Yes. Just Yes.

  • I always wondered what that other tab was loading in the 0.4s it took me to spot and close it.

  • Great. Now start treating modals the same way you treat popups: if they're not triggered by user activity, block them. (I know it's a little trickier than a popup, but you can monitor for behavior that modifies visibility, z-index, position, and opacity values.) And mobile browsers should ignore position: fixed entirely.
  • I rarely see it on my Windows PC or my Linux Laptop. I do see it all the bloody time on my iPad and Android Phone.

    And it's not just that trick. I go to a site on my iPad and start reading an article and all of a sudden there's an ad taking up the entire screen and not giving me an option to close the ad short of closing the browser.

    I'd have to say that fully 2/3rds of the articles I want to read don't get read by me since I'm denied access to them thanks to the ads.

    And I'm just loving (sarcasm dripping) th

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