In 2010, when Apple added support for third-party extensions in Safari, Zeno, Popovici wrote my first app — blocker called Facebook Cleaner. “By modern standards it was written crooked, but nevertheless — it worked. A few weeks later I ported it to Google Chrome and made publicly available,” he recalls. Then, unexpectedly for the author, the extension became popular.
In 2014, it attracted four thousand subscribers, and a year later — a 24 thousand. “With each new update the audience grew. Several times I was offered to sell it to broadcast through the apps own advertising, but I refused. I thought it was unethical and I didnt want to betray its users. In addition, I used it every day and regularly updated” — says Popovich.
Extension received a five star rating and 85 reviews. However, at the end of may 2016 Google representatives blocked it. In the letter they explained that the author of the illegally used trademark Facebook.
In their appeal there was no information how to solve similar issues, no way to appeal. The company washes his hands and offers to send all complaints to the address that has sent auto-generated emails. For me it turned into a black hole. I never received a response to any message sent.
Google received a request that some of your materials are used under a trademark of. The reason for blocking the app are at the end of this message. Please note.
Repeated violations may result in the termination of your developer account in Chrome Web Store. If you still have objections, you can direct them to the representative of the injured party, specified in the Notice of trademark infringement. The developer decided to change the name of the blocker, calling it Cleaner is for Facebook and publish it again.
App got the status “moderated”. A few weeks later, the author found that the status has disappeared, but the expansion is still locked. I decided to learn the materials in the help center for Google developers. But even after half an hour of searching I didnt find any useful information.
There was nothing except his own documents of the company, there was contact information of people that could be contacted in case of emergency. The author decided to use a feedback form for users extensions Google Chrome. On 8 July, a week after the treatment he received the first response from Google. Developer it seemed formulaic and useless.
Thank you for contacting. It looks like your application (Cleaner — for Facebook) is currently being evaluated by the moderator manually.
. All applications are first pass automated moderation, and in most cases this process does not require manual evaluation. However, in some cases, described in the program rules, before publishing the extension must obtain the approval of the moderator. We are not able to prevent the labeling application and are unable to publicize its cause.
Depending on each extension, on manual evaluation of the moderator takes from several hours to days. If the application will not be published in the Chrome Web Store, in the next letter you will receive further instructions from our team. During July 8, the author tried to contact representatives of the company and to draw their attention to the problem.
He wrote several times to the address [email protected] but in response I got the standard message. On July 19 he found that the audience of the application is strongly reduced, but there was nothing he could do about it.
On August 3, the author decided to stop trying to get in touch and I sent the last message. He received a response that his case was open again. However, Popovich complains, since its been a month, but no changes.
I think I will never get back its expansion. Im not trying to play victim here and to solve my problem with this entry. I want to now you think twice before building your business with Google. The company has an excellent automated tools and services that help developers to rapidly publish applications. They almost always work perfectly, but when failures occur, problems arise.
Ive never felt such irritation and helplessness from working with products from other players. A similar problem with my extension for Safari has been solved with Apple for three days. User support is not in vain considered one of the weaknesses of the company. In most cases, if your problem is not the forum for Google products, you can be real. I would go broke if they had built the business together with store Chrome extensions.
Popovychi published this blog post on 4 September. To the surprise of the author, after four days it was viewed more than 100 thousand people, and the topic sparked heated debate in the community this hackernews and Reddit. He has published answers to readers questions.
Many people ask me why I dont want to release the app under a different name. First, the use of the word for Facebook is not a trademark infringement. Secondly, I dont want my users woke up this morning and saw an unfamiliar extension. In addition, it only works for Facebook.
The author noted that his claim is not blocking the extension, and the lack of solutions to this problem. Popovychi does not believe that the application has been blocked deliberately. “It seems I was just unlucky, and automated tools Google blocked my app. I dont think that the company specifically ignoring me. Probably my case is just not provided for in its instruments of support”.
On 9 September he received an official reply from the product Manager extensions Google Chrome James Wagner. He expressed regret about the situation and told the author that the extension was blocked at the request of a third party representing the interests of Facebook for breach of trademark and can be unlocked only if it abandons claims.
I would like to apologize for the difficulties you faced in trying to contact the technical support of the store extension Google Chrome. I can only guess how it put you out of balance and I want to thank you for your cooperation and patience. Rest assured, we will conduct a detailed analysis of your case and develop additional channels of communication. About your extension.
It was initially blocked after a complaint for infringement of trademark. The complaint was filed by a third party on behalf of the company Facebook. We could unblock your extension, but we cant do anything then as long as a Complainant will not abandon the claims. That is why we recommend that you directly contact the company Facebook or its representatives. In addition, you can create a new application page and publish it there.
We hope that it will be published relatively quickly. In addition, please note that in this case the extension will not be immune from complaints about violation of the use of trademarks. That is why we advise you to resolve the issue with Facebook or its representatives. However, the author believes that the application has been blocked by mistake.
“A company representative available to tell me about my opportunities. Currently I assess, how do. As I said, the application was not blocked intentionally, but it happened due to an error their support, they are trying to fix. September 12, the author finally gave up.
After my recording became viral, the company said. “Were sorry. But we cant help you”. Over the past three months I have tried everything and give up.
I dont think I will ever again to create products for the Google ecosystem. I say this not with malice, I just dont think its worth it. I dont want to spend more strength, especially if the platform was so unreliable.