Blacklist component

The goal of the blacklist component is to provide various blacklists that allow different policies for features to consume. Currently, the only implemented blacklist is the opt out blacklist.

Opt out blacklist

The opt out blacklist makes decisions based on user history actions. Each user action is evaluated based on action type, time of the evaluation, host name of the action (can be any string representation), and previous action history.

Expected feature behavior

When a feature action is allowed, the feature may perform said action. After performing the action, the user interaction should be determined to be an opt out (the user did not like the action) or a non-opt out (the user was not opposed to the action). The action, type, host name, and whether it was an opt out should be reported back to the blacklist to build user action history.

For example, a feature may wish to show an InfoBar (or different types of InfoBars) displaying information about the page a user is on. After querying the opt out blacklist for action eligibility, an InfoBar may be allowed to be shown. If it is shown, the user may interact with it in a number of ways. If the user dismisses the InfoBar, that could be considered an opt out; if the user does not dismiss the InfoBar that could be considered a non-opt out. All of the information related to that action should be reported to the blacklist.

Supported evaluation policies

In general, policies follow a specific form: the most recent n actions are evaluated, and if t or more of them are opt outs the action will not be allowed for a specified duration, d. For each policy, the feature specifies whether the policy is enabled, and, if it is, the feature specifies n (history), t (threshold), and d (duration) for each policy.

  • Session policy: This policy only applies across all types and host names, but is limited to actions that happened within the current session. The beginning of a session is defined as the creation of the blacklist object or when the blacklist is cleared (see below for details on clearing the blacklist).

  • Persistent policy: This policy applies across all sessions, types and host names.

  • Host policy: This policy applies across all session and types, but keeps a separate history for each host names. This rule allows specific host names to be prevented from having an action performed for the specific user. When this policy is enabled, the feature specifies a number of hosts that are stored in memory (to limit memory footprint, query time, etc.)

  • Type policy: This policy applies across all session and host names, but keeps a separate history for each type. This rule allows specific types to be prevented from having an action performed for the specific user. The feature specifies a set of enabled types and versions for each type. This allows removing past versions of types to be removed from the backing store.

Clearing the blacklist

Because many actions should be cleared when user clears history, the opt out blacklist allows clearing history in certain time ranges. All entries are cleared for the specified time range, and the data in memory is repopulated from the backing store.