UPDATE2: We now support Unblock-Us over anyone who uses these kinds of tactics, please send your business to a reputable company if you want to unlock US content (or other countries) on Netflix and other video services. We would appreciate if you let them know we sent you by following our link: [link]
UPDATE: While this is a big issue for Chrome extensions, Hola Unblocker does not use spammy ads injected into user’s browsers any more. After contacting the CEO, we’ve found that they tried out the ads, and didn’t like the reduction in user experience, so got rid of them. Feel free to use Hola to get around country restrictions, but watch your other extensions, as there are some bad guys buying them up for profit.
Reading /r/technology today, I see that lots of Chrome extensions have been bought by ad spammers who simply take the code and add adspam everywhere. Hola Unblocker, a Chrome extension which people use to access American Netflix from overseas/Canada,
is one of the culprits. (see update)
This is an issue I had myself with “Awesome New Tab Page”. Since iGoogle was stupidly discontinued, I set up a new tab page in Chrome with bookmarks, email, etc. to replace it. Unfortunately Chrome extensions automatically update and don’t typically present patch notes, so suddenly I had “Ad from Awesome New Tab Page” all over the place:
|Not so awesome, Awesome New Tab Page|
In the extension there is an option to turn them off, which everyone should do, but the whole fiasco still leaves me uneasy. First, I bet that the setting will revert occasionally when it updates and some spammer will make money, and second, someone who is willing to inject spam onto your browser is probably not above finding more ways to sell you out, including selling tracking data, emails, etc. “I just need to make money for developing this free extension” is not a valid excuse – when I installed this extension, the understanding was that it was free and didn’t include ads all over every site. If you need to monetize your content, do it from the beginning transparently, or hey, develop something good enough that people are willing to pay for.
I am watching this plugin very closely, and I recommend any users of Hola get rid of it. MediaHint is a valid alternative and should be supported over someone who sold out their users to make a quick buck.