Chrome 86 steps up the fight against notification abuse

One more noteworthy feature snuck its way into Chrome 86. It’s a small change, but it should help make a further dent in the growing problem of notification abuse. In this latest release, sites known for abusive notification content (things like distributing malware or falsely scaring users with fake system messages) will get the same silent treatment as sites that try to trick users into enabling notifications.

This uses the new “quieter” notification prompts Google rolled out in Chrome 80, which are less intrusive, and the UI itself further discourages users from enabling notifications on these sites if they select the prompt. This mirrors the feature rollout in Chrome 84, which enabled these new quieter notification sing-up prompts for sites that try to “mislead, trick, or force users into allowing notifications.”

Even without this sort of abuse, notifications like these are a blight on the internet. They can be handy in limited circumstances like keeping you abreast of changes to your web-based calendar, incoming emails, or document changes in your cloud storage provider, but they’re frankly just another dickbar most of the time. At least sites with particularly abusive notification content will have their enrollment prompts be silenced — though, frankly, it could be made even more silent on mobile, as it is on desktop.

Not everyone is as web-savvy as most of our readers are, and extra barriers like these should help folks from being prey to scams or malware courtesy of Chrome notifications.