Thursday, August 10, 2006

Google's AdSense policies raise questions

Over at East Bay Express, writer Chris Thompson has a long story looking at how Google is pulling AdSense ads when it detects "sensitive" content. But it sounds as if a lot of basic journalism content in a world of war and terror would fall into Google's "sensitive" area.

Thompson writes, qhoting Shuman Ghosemajumder, Google's business product manager for trust and safety:
Unfortunately, when Google withholds advertising it also withholds the accompanying revenue, cutting off money whenever Web sites publish stories it deems too violent or tragic. Regardless of how important a story may be, the company's algorithm pulls its advertising whenever it detects too much carnage. Asked if Google would display ads next to stories about the recent Israeli massacre of Lebanese children, for example, Ghosemajumder says, "That's an example of something that is very difficult to find sensitive advertising [for]." The larger Google gets, and the more indispensable it becomes to news-related Web sites, the bigger this problem will become.
It's worth reading the whole thing.

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