Paid Chrome extensions are to be shut down by Google

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Google is shutting down paid Chrome extensions offered on the Chrome Web Store, the company announced. That means that developers who are trying to monetise their extensions will have to do so with other payment-handling systems. The developers can no longer make new paid extensions, according to Google – though that’s cementing a policy that has already been in place since March. And that policy follows a temporary suspension of publishing paid extensions in January after Google noticed an uptick in fraudulent transactions that “aimed to exploit users.” Google will gradually phase out other functionality over the coming months, and Google says that existing extensions can no longer charge customers using the Chrome Web Store’s payments system. These aren’t the only notable changes to extensions that Google has made this year. The company rolled out a number of policy updates in April earlier this year, intended to reduce spam extensions, including banning multiple extensions that do the same thing, not allowing developers to manipulate reviews to try to get better placement for their extension, and forbidding extensions that abuse notifications.

YouTube is about to age-restrict more videos to address global criticism

YouTube is rolling out more artificial intelligence-powered technology to catch more videos that may require age restrictions, meaning more viewers will be asked to sign into their accounts to verify their age before watching. Similar to how YouTube used machine learning techniques to try to better catch violent extremism and more of the platform’s most severe content beginning in 2017, and later to find videos that included hateful conduct, the same approach will be used in this case to automatically flag videos YouTube deems not age-appropriate. As a result, YouTube is expecting to see far more videos pop up with age-gated restrictions. The company is preparing for there to be some mistakes in labeling, as is the case with any rollout of AI moderation tech. And as part of the changes, people watching YouTube videos embedded on third-party sites will be redirected to YouTube to sign in and verify their age. Another concern creators have is that age-restricted videos won’t appear on the homepage. While age-restricted videos are less likely to appear on the homepage, age-restricting doesn’t automatically prohibit videos from appearing on the homepage, according to YouTube.