Douglas Adams wrote in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, "In the beginning, the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move." The same is true for notification prompts in web browsers — what was once used sparingly for email clients and other web applications turned into yet another thing to close when attempting to read almost any site on the internet. While Google has already taken steps to reduce the number of notification popups you see while browsing the web, the company is now cracking down on sites that actively trick people into enabling them.

Chrome began experimenting with a 'quieter' notification prompts in version 80, released earlier this year. For sites with low acceptance rates (e.g. almost everyone says no to notifications), notifications would be blocked by default, and a small message would appear at the bottom of the screen to un-block them. Even without this feature, Chrome already automatically blocks sites from requesting notifications until you interact with the site for a while.

Google revealed today that starting with Chrome 84, which is expected to come out in July of this year, it will enable the quieter notification prompts for all sites with "abusive permission requests." A blog post explained which sites will be affected:

Permission request issues are requests designed to mislead, trick, or force users into allowing notifications. One example of this is websites that require users to allow notifications in order to gain access to site content or that are preceded by misleading pre-prompts. [...] Abusive notification prompts are one of the top user complaints we receive about Chrome. A large percentage of notification requests and notifications come from a small number of abusive sites. Protecting users from these sites improves user safety & privacy on the web, and makes for a better browsing experience.

Google will notify websites through Search Console if the company detects abusive notification experiences, at which point the site will have 30 days to remove the behavior or the quieter interface will kick in.

Google Chrome: Fast & Secure
Google Chrome: Fast & Secure
Developer: Google LLC
Price: Free