AlyssaS - 2:15 pm on Nov 12, 2011 (gmt 0)
Well the following report of that Q&A session is a lot milder:
They’re looking at algos that try and figure out how much content is above the fold. If you have so much stuff (ads) obscuring content above the fold, you may want to think about that. What does the layout of your site look like when someone lands on your page? Do people see content or something else that’s distracting?
The above sounds like the reporter was taking notes verbatim.
My reading is that they haven't implemented anything regarding ads yet, it's just a warning (similar to how they warned a full year in advance about page speed before it got incorporated into their algo).