Google shut me down - 1st amendment violation?
This is a discussion on Google shut me down - 1st amendment violation? within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; So I'm trying to start a general gun discussion board and thought a great way to build traffic would be to buy ad space on ...
June 30th, 2008 10:23 AM
Google shut me down - 1st amendment violation?
So I'm trying to start a general gun discussion board and thought a great way to build traffic would be to buy ad space on their search engine. I mean my site is harmless and legal. I don't sell guns, I don't sell gun ads, I'm not affiliated with any gun manufacturers but Google decided they didn't like the word firearm and I violated their editorial policy? I've seen more questionable ads on their site.
Below is the email they sent me. I'm quite troubled by this. -------------------------------------------------------------------------\\Your Your ad is no longer running for apartment211.com:
Your ad has been disapproved for the reasons listed below. Please rewrite and resubmit your ad, following the Editorial Guidelines. Your new ad will begin running shortly after it is approved.
Reason 1: Unacceptable Content
Google believes strongly in freedom of expression and therefore offers broad access to content across the web without censoring search results. Please note that the decisions we make concerning advertising in no way affect the search results we deliver. Please note that both your ad and keywords have been suspended at this time. [?]
Violation -"firearms and ammunition",
I refuse to rewrite my ad and quite honestly I am thinking about contacting the NRA and seeing if a good ole boycott might be in the future. These hyper-liberals and their left wing agenda seek to limit Constitutional rights because some Mom in San Francisco is scared her son will see the word "firearm" online. Kinda peeved about this whole deal. :)
June 30th, 2008 10:34 AM
You don't have any special right(1st amendment or otherwise) to advertise on somebody else's server. As much as everybody wants to believe the internet belongs to everybody, it most certainly does not.
If you don't like it, don't give them your money. You have lots of choices. As far as getting a boycott of google, good luck. Google provides one of the best search engines available and I doubt people will stop using it just because they refused to sell you ad space regarding a firearm website.
June 30th, 2008 10:37 AM
As a private company, Google is under no obligation to accept content from anyone. No 1A violation in this layman's opinion.....
My normal response in a situation like that is to vote with my checkbook and simply stop using the company in question. Unfortunately, Google pretty much defines internet search these days.......so good luck with that.
June 30th, 2008 10:37 AM
You have the right to do it, and they have the right to not participate and when you do it.
June 30th, 2008 10:42 AM
This is simple, a firearm is simply a metal delivery chamber and the ammunition is SRMP (Small Rounded Metal Projectiles).
Originally Posted by mrgreentie
Surely they can't complain about that
But Kerb is right, you are buying space on their servers. I agree that they have had much more questionable ads and banners than yours, but it is their server space.
"Don't hit a man if you can possibly avoid it; but if you do hit him, put him to sleep." - Theodore Roosevelt
June 30th, 2008 10:45 AM
Based on the e-mail you received, it appears that your add was flagged by some sort of automated keyword search. With that in mind, you might try contacting them to see if you can get a real person to review it for you.
Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't hold out a whole lot of hope that Google will reinstate you, even if you can get some human help. But it might be worth a try.
June 30th, 2008 10:53 AM
Unfortunately, Google is correct. They are not protected by 1st amendment rights, and can publish (or not) anything they want to.
You can always start your own server, and post anything (legal) that you want!
"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch; Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote."
-- Benjamin Franklin
June 30th, 2008 10:56 AM
Just for the heck of it, I just did a quick Google search for firearms and ammunition and it returned hundreds of listings.
May very well be worth a quick phone call if having access to the search engine is important to you.
June 30th, 2008 10:56 AM
If you agree to their terms in the TOS, the content you post is bound by those limitations.
June 30th, 2008 11:33 AM
As has been said, the 1st Amendment applies to the government, not to private companies. I would take the advice and try to talk to an individual, rather than deal with automated responses.
"We're paratroopers. We're supposed to be surrounded!" Dick Winters
June 30th, 2008 11:53 AM
As his response indicates, google does not censor it's search results...the OP was trying to get a paid advertisement for preferential searching. Google turned him down.
Originally Posted by David in FL
Yes, google will return many, many hits for searches involving firearms, but they are not sponsored links. The sponsored links are on the right side of a google search.
For instance, if you search for 'guns', nothing comes up on the right side. If you search for 'shopping', there are tons of sponsor links on the right.
This is google's prerogative.
Yahoo does not have that limitation, and if you search for a firearm related item, yahoo will have sponsor links on the right. Google is not the end all to search engines...it just happens to be one of the most commonly used.
The OP's site would still turn up in a google search, it just won't be a featured link.
June 30th, 2008 11:58 AM
It's the underlying message not the actual message.
I honestly do not think a boycott of Google is a valid option, it is the spirit of the proposal.
I understand private versus public, it is the their reason for denying my post that irritates.
I am aware it is their server, it is their choice of filtering that bothers me.
Google on one hand promotes democracy but on the other they filter content delivered to China. It's hard to respect a company who would deny freely open knowledge to a billion Chinese and proudly proclaim by their own corporate motto "don't be evil". I understand it is business and I do understand business but you nor I have to stand for this.
Just as Google denies a billion Chinese openly free knowledge they are slowly but surely denying us content here at home.I am by no means an extremist but the writing is slowly being written on the wall. Our ability to express ourselves is being limited more and more, day-by-day.
Why do we stand for this? Why do we allow a small portion of the citizenry to tell us what is ok to say or not say? Are we not adults? Do we not have the capacity to make informed decisions on our own? Do we need the politically correct police muzzling us? Sure, there are words that a child shouldn't read but is it Google's job or the parents job to meter content?
We accept the new truths of reality to readily. We are allowing ourselves to be consumed by a new wave of tree hugging, politically correct socialist that will surely bankrupt this country both financially and morally.Sure, it's Google servers and they can say or do what they want but whats next? Google is diversifying their offerings. Soon they will own a band of RF to issue mobile phones. They already have created a mobile phone operating system. They also are pushing Wi-Fi for entire communities. We use their maps daily. Their reach and ideology is spreading like cancer. Soon, they can tell you what to say on your phone, what you can have on your phone, what you can have on their map.
See where I'm going with this? They and a handfull of other software companes will own the information infrastructure and thereby policing content. And this will be justified right? One of you said "it's their server..." I say to you my friend, it may be their server but it is my God given, constitutional rights that they are buying lot and parcel.
It all starts with a simple "Unacceptable Content" email and before you know it we are dependent on this socialist monopoly who delivers all of our content and we do what they say. Not me my friend. You follow the wolf to the den. As for me, I'll use another search engine and another online map.
"Either you stand for something or you fall for anything"
Last edited by mrgreentie; June 30th, 2008 at 11:59 AM.
--- Learning to reload.
June 30th, 2008 12:19 PM
I just did a google search with the terms handgun and ammunition.
There were sponsored links to places that sold ammunition.
I think the OP needs to contact google and politely ask what differentiated his proposed ad from the one I just saw for 9 mm ammunition.
It sounds to me like one of those things that happens in a large organization where sometimes decisions are made in inconsistent ways by different low level
folk who interface with customers/ citizens.
June 30th, 2008 03:37 PM
Businesses make all kinds of compromises in order to get their businesses into new markets (countries). I'm not sure why any of us should care about Google filtering content in China, but as almost everyone has said, Google is a private business allowed to make it's own business decisions. I would be happy if they would simply not have any advertisers on the right side of the page.
Instead of advertising, build content on your site that people want and the search engines will pick it up. Running a forum is a lot of work and costs a lot of money. Do the work and you'll get noticed and don't have to worry about advertising....
Coimhéad fearg fhear na foighde; Beware the anger of a patient man.
June 30th, 2008 05:13 PM
Why can I get porn on Google but not gun discussions???
They who give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.
Previously known as "cjm5874"
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