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Taking Money From Google Without Being Evil

Posted by Ungodly , in The Google, Proposition H8, Evil, Uncategorized 25 February 2010 · 725 views

Google evil don't be evil H8 proposition 8
If you were to visit every single one of the approximately 130 websites I own you would see a grand total of zero Google Ads. It's arguably true that a majority of sites on the web do publish Google Ads, at one time they appeared on most of my sites, but there will never be another Google ad on a site I own while I am still alive. Here is why.

It was back in November of 2008 that I had a very dramatic falling out with the behemoth that says "Don't be evil" in their corporate policy. There was a lot of talk around that time about evil, what was evil, and what was not. On the day before the Presidential election in 2008 I discovered that over 100 of my websites, seemingly 100% of them, were showing Google Ads urging people to vote in favor of California's infamous Proposition H8.

Sites about celiac disease were showing ads promoting H8. Sites about Apple Mac computers were showing ads promoting H8. Sites about photography were showing ads promoting H8.

Google co-founder Sergio Brin stated before the election that the official corporate position of Google was to oppose Proposition H8.

it is the chilling and discriminatory effect of the proposition on many of our employees that brings Google to publicly oppose Proposition 8. While we respect the strongly-held beliefs that people have on both sides of this argument, we see this fundamentally as an issue of equality. We hope that California voters will vote no on Proposition 8 -- we should not eliminate anyone's fundamental rights, whatever their sexuality, to marry the person they love.


In addition to the public statement of corporate opposition to H8, the advertising policy of their Google Ads division clearly and unambiguously forbids political advertising that advocates against "an individual's personal life" or a protected group.

Political advertising is allowed.

We allow political ads regardless of the political views they represent. Stating disagreement with, or campaigning against, a candidate for public office, a political party, or a public administration is generally allowed. However, political ads cannot include accusations or attacks relating to an individual's personal life, nor can they advocate against a protected group.

Google's own definition of a protected group specifically includes sexual orientation minorities.

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Therefore Google Ads was acting against the policy of their corporation as stated by one of the company founders, and they were also violating their own advertising policies when they accepted millions of dollars from the Jeebustard alliance to promote H8 in one of the largest Google Ad blitz campaigns ever run for a political issue.

Back again to that fateful day in November. I very much did not appreciate having a corporation making money by selling my civil rights down the river. I very, very, very much did not appreciate it. I cancelled my Google AdSense account and removed the Google JavaScript code from 100 websites in the longest marathon web editing session of my life. As far as I am concerned, in the way they have interacted with me and my rights as a citizen, Google *is*Evil.

In addition to publishing Google Ads years ago I would occasionally pay Google to advertise one of my sites through their Google AdWords program. It took almost two years, but eventually Google did notice that I was no longer their customer. They sent me an email with a coupon good for $100 of free advertising if I would please come back to the fold.

While I have no intention of ever giving Google any money for an ad, and it will be a cold day in hell when I publish another Google ad on one of my sites (since Hell does not exist this rules it out completely), I am willing to let them promote one of my sites using their money.
So I did finally log in to Google Ads and redeem their coupon. I decided to try promoting this atheist community using my $100 credit.

Please buckle your seat belt, because here comes the irony. Last night I tried to setup 3 Google Ads to promote this site. But Google is not running them because they require manual review, it seems that my ads may violate Google's policy because they contain the word "atheist".

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Now is Google evil? You decide.

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