Thursday, September 23

GoogleAds, editorial policy, and censorship

Google has subjected itself to a lot of criticism, including from me, by not putting their ad policies in writing. Looks like they're going to do that now. One condensation is: 'Hate Ads Bad; Protest Ads OK'. Hmm. We'll see. Protesting homosexuality was deemed hate speech before by Google.

Google says they're trying to sell ads and services. But others want to drive traffic to their sites, and are willing to pay to do it. They say they want people to get views from the actual search results, not the paid ads. However, Google themselves have taken out position ads, like when the first site returned for 'Jewish' was anti-Semitic.
Why aren't we ranking first or even in the first page of results? That will be the question raised. And the Google response traditionally has been that if someone feels they must have representation, then they should buy an ad.

That response inevitably turns the ad space into more than a merchandising medium. It also remains a message delivery outlet. And when those messages are stifled, even though it's ad space involved and despite what may be showing in the editorial results, Google remains left open to accusations of censorship.
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