homepage Welcome to WebmasterWorld Guest from 54.235.16.159
register, free tools, login, search, pro membership, help, library, announcements, recent posts, open posts,
Become a Pro Member
Home / Forums Index / Google / Google AdWords
Forum Library, Charter, Moderators: buckworks & eWhisper & skibum

Google AdWords Forum

    
Google bias reported (and to whom they make political contributions)
"Pro-site-only" AW policy only for Google's favored controversial KWs?
MultiMan




msg:1110856
 2:03 pm on May 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

I have discovered something this morning that has me quite up in arms. The actual discovery itself is not so much the issue here as is the larger implication it yields.

This morning, I learned that

Google money engine for Democrats only
Execs, employees gave $463,500 to party, $5,000 to Republicans
[worldnetdaily.com...]

I am not trying to get into a political discussion about that here, though. I repeat, I am bringing an even larger issue for discussion here, the larger implication that comes out of that news.

Upon reading that news, and then following the other-related news links at the bottom, I discovered that some select controversial topics have obtained a very special treatment from G$ in AW.

I made the next step after reading the articles of doing some searches in G$ myself. I wanted to see what the AW ads brought up.

What I found was AW ads for only one-side of the KW issue, the pro-side of those "hot potato" issues. All possible anti-side ads were simply not there.

WebmasterWorld is for discussing web issues, not political ones. So, I repeat that none of my post here should be used as an opening here to debate those issues specifically.

Rather, my concern is why only one-side is being allowed for AW ads.

As most know, topics such as "abortion" and "gay marriage" (or "same sex marriage") are very controversial topics. (I repeat once again, we are NOT here to debate those here at WebmasterWorld.) There are clearly differing sides to those issues, pro and anti.

Yet, when I search G$ for those specific KWs, I only see AW ads that are either for the pro-side of those issues or are completely generic (with little real information either way).

In the above news article and subsequent news links it provided, I discovered that G$ officials claimed to disallow AW ads that have what G$ calls "hate speech" or say anything negative about individuals or groups.

But neutral parties can realize that not every anti-site is really a site with "hate speech." Only one who is openly embracing the pro-side of those debates, would suggest that "all" such anti-sites are "hate speech."

This is even more concerning for us neutral webmasters (or any webmasters, for that matter), when considering that those pro-sides of those above "hot potato" issues are more representative of the political party the above news article reported that G$'s people overwhelmingly donate to.

So, that leaves the argument that G$'s defense of that policy is that AW ads may not speak AGAINST a topic or individuals.

However, I follow a controversial KW and G$ openly allows false advertisers to make outrageous claims about individuals in hysterical anti-site ads that use ad-text that even endangers the lives of pro-KW individuals from such AW ads' falsehoods. When notified about that, though, G$ responds with irrelevant form-letter responses, ignoring the requests. Yet, such false ads could not be more unfactual "hate speech" railings against the KW and those involved. There is absolutely no excuse for G$ to allow such obvious "hate speech" if they have a policy against "hate speech." G$ cannot have their cake and eat it too. If they oppose "hate speech" or speaking negatively against groups, they must do so uniformly. But G$ does not.

So, clearly, the "pro-site-only" AW ad policy for controversial KWs seems to based only on G$'s bias. G$ picks and chooses which topics they fancy to "qualify" for that "pro-site-only" policy in AW.

Worst of all, since the above news report shows where G$ people spend their money politically, it further exposes how deeply that G$ absolutely is NOT the supposedly "impartial" SE they claim to be.

 

walkman




msg:1110857
 2:45 pm on May 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

Google is made of mostly young and smart people so it makes sense ;).

On a serious note:
Freedom of speech is a two way street, and if they allow one ad they have to allow the other side's too. As far as contributions, it's a free country but the adwords people have to learn (if that's the case) to separate their beliefs from the business.

Brett_Tabke




msg:1110858
 3:02 pm on May 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

We get one of the above stories atleast weekly. About once a month, someone goes as far as yours does above.

Last year they were pro Scientologistics and then they flipped and were supposidly anti that, and then anti gun, but pro tobbaco, and then you could find a way to make an anpho device, and then they were antistarWars...

YOu can take the above story, change the names, the topics, and the situations and clain/prove anything via Google.

...**it happens.

MultiMan




msg:1110859
 5:06 pm on May 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

This is the first time I ever heard of this news, so what then, if others have seen it before? That does not negate the reality.

If "hate speech" is not allowed and is used to justify limiting controversial topics to one-side, then logically G$ has to copy that policy to all controversial sites if true impartiality is the goal and the marketing claim.

Otherwise, once G$ has been informed of a similar "hate speech" ad and yet they still choose not to correct it with a uniform application of the same supposed "hate speech" policy, then it is indeed proof of deliberate bias - in both, the controversial KWs they choose to be "pro-side-only" and in other controversial KWs in which they choose to still allow true "hate speech" ads. Non-uniformity shows a deliberately non-impartial "side" being taken by G$ in both cases.

Plus, which "side" they spend their money does become even more important to realize too.

walkman




msg:1110860
 5:20 pm on May 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

who's they? $400k is nothing in GooglePlex. Maybe the left side feels more pasionately, and we don't know who made the decision to turn down the conservative ads. Maybe it was someone who started a week before and thought it was wrong. Either way, it's one or a few individuals. If it's in the company policy to favor ads from one side, then you have a case. The source you just posted, is not exactly something we should rely on.

"Plus, which "side" they spend their money does become even more important to realize too."

AWildman




msg:1110861
 5:27 pm on May 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

"Freedom of speech is a two way street, and if they allow one ad they have to allow the other side's too"

I'm all about freedom of speech, but why should they have to allow the other side's ads? I mean, is there a law stating that a business HAS to present both sides of an issue? I'd say that if Google wants to only allow ads from Democrats, or only from Republicans, or only from [insert any other political/religious organization], more power to them. They only shoot themselves in the foot by excluding revenue streams from certain groups of people.

Its kind of like the discussion in AdWords today about the ability to blacklist certain sites. I'm all for blacklisting scraper sites on my campaigns, whether or not they bring me conversions. I simply don't want to support those types of sites. If Google doesn't want to take money from Republicans, or whomever, so be it.

walkman




msg:1110862
 5:45 pm on May 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

AWildman,
I know the difference between the Govt and a private business, and although Google is not legally obligated, they have to in a sense. Why would you want to upset 50% of your customer base? Do you see Pepsi upsetting 45-55% of their customer base? Nope. Google is the same, a public company looking to make money and make investors who truested them happy. Google doesn't have to index liberal or conservative sites either if they choose. They have don't have to do a lot of things, and I thought that was clear to those reading this.

"blacklisting scraper sites"...it's totally different because it harms their business model and search results.

We aren't talking about "Hitler was right" type ads here, but some views are shared by about half of the population give or take a few %.
Pro choice - pro life
pro gun - pro gun control
democrat - republican
etc. etc.

europeforvisitors




msg:1110863
 5:49 pm on May 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

Worst of all, since the above news report shows where G$ people spend their money politically, it further exposes how deeply that G$ absolutely is NOT the supposedly "impartial" SE they claim to be.

Gee, maybe they should be required to have hiring quotas, with a person from one end of the political spectrum for each employee of the opposite persuasion. Of course, the same rule would have to apply to other media such as Fox News. :-)

bcolflesh




msg:1110864
 5:56 pm on May 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

I have to agree with MultiMan here, hypocrisy is unamerican and must be exposed:

[hardware.slashdot.org...]

AWildman




msg:1110865
 6:06 pm on May 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

Its not about Google wanting to or not wanting to upset anyone...I'm just saying that they can. Further, if this conflicts with the image that Google tries to portray of being impartial, or treating advertisers fairly, etc., it only has its own policies to blame when people stop using Google and/or advertisers stop spending money on AdWords.
Google in the end is a business run by humans that have certain views that may or may not conflict with those who come across it. That it is a biased, flawed entity should not be a revelation.

None of this is meant to come across as harsh. I'm just a realist. I sympathize with and understand where Multiman is coming from. I just also understand that Google is what it is.

walkman




msg:1110866
 6:14 pm on May 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

and I think it's shortsighted for Google (as a business) to do that too. No hard feelings at all. My comments were more on a "what they should do" form, not on what "they have to"....

digitalv




msg:1110867
 7:04 pm on May 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

Google has also decided to allow anti-Tom DeLay ads while has suspended an ad with the EXACT SAME TEXT but with Nancy Pelosi's name in place of DeLay's.

Google claims the reason for that ad being suspended is due to a policy that prohibits ad text that advocates against an individual, group, or organization.

So why are the DeLay ads still running? I called my account rep a few minutes ago and got a voice mail and I've paused my AdWords campaigns until I get an answer.

ebound




msg:1110868
 7:12 pm on May 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

I read about the Tom Delay issue recently. Here is a link to more info on that with some actual screenshots.

[google.blognewschannel.com...]

digitalv




msg:1110869
 7:29 pm on May 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

Yeah, this is garbage.

I should point out that I fully support Google's right to do this - it's their system, they have the right to run or cancel whatever ads they want for any reason.

But I also have the right to stop spending my money there because of it :)

In the last hour I've talked to a couple friends who are also large AdWords advertisers - if this isn't addressed, Google is going to be out at least $100,000 a month just between me and the people I know.

Who knows how many more will follow. There was even some talk on another board about a group of right-wingers organizing a boycott against AdWords advertisers... while I don't personally support this action, and doubt it would have much of an impact anyway, if it did it could be a pretty bad thing for some unsuspecting advertisers.

Steve6




msg:1110870
 8:08 pm on May 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

Google is based in California, in the San Francisco Bay Area. Its political leanings should be no surprise.

europeforvisitors




msg:1110871
 8:09 pm on May 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

There was even some talk on another board about a group of right-wingers organizing a boycott against AdWords advertisers...

Secondary boycotts raise ethical questions, and in some cases they're illegal. They also invite retaliatory secondary boycotts, so that people on both sides get hurt.

Since the right wing is in favor of free enterprise and freedom from regulation, maybe they should try to carve out their own niche in the search and PPC marketplace. Who knows--there could be a market for a Example.com or a example.com, just as there is for so-called Christian products and services.

[edited by: eWhisper at 10:19 pm (utc) on May 6, 2005]
[edit reason] Please don't drop links. [/edit]

walkman




msg:1110872
 8:21 pm on May 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

europeforvisitors,
that would a great idea. Google will not accept the ads for my book: "Earth - The first 6000 years". :)

digitalv




msg:1110873
 8:24 pm on May 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

Yeah, like I said I don't agree with the boycott - I support Google's right to do whatever they want with their system, I just want it to be out in the open. They need to come out and say that this was an error/oversight/whatever and both ads will be approved or banned, or they need to come out and say "Yeah, we support the Democrats, deal with it."

I would never support an action that would take away Google's right to accept/reject ads for any reason - it's a free country, they're free to do what they want. But I'm also free to choose whether I'm going to do business with a company that has a political bias.

AdWordsAdvisor




msg:1110874
 8:40 pm on May 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

Hi all,

I've just arrived at WebmasterWorld for the first time today, to find this thread at the top of the page. I 'm a little uncomfortable with the amount of supposition being taken as fact, and wanted to clarify where Google stands on this, if I may.

Although I've never done so before, in this case, I'd like to simply post our official response.

Mods, I hope that's OK. It's just that this doc says it better than I can.

With that, here it is:

We'd like to clarify a few assertions that have been posted about Google. We have rejected *both* anti-Pelosi and anti-DeLay ads because of violations of our ad policies. Any assertion to the contrary is false.

We apply our policies equally, regardless of the political views represented by the ads submitted to Google. We welcome political ads and run many. We allow ads that urge voting against a particular politician, for example, but are likely to reject ads that allege someone is unethical.

Our guidelines are posted here:

https://adwords.google.com/select/contentpolicy.html

Ads may run a short time before they are reviewed. In this instance, we did show both ads when they were initially submitted, and they were subsequently disapproved per our policy.

We welcome feedback and input from users when they see ads that they believe are showing in violation of our policies.

Thanks very much for listening.

AWA

Tropical Island




msg:1110875
 8:54 pm on May 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

Thank you AWA for responding.

In the last hour I've talked to a couple friends who are also large AdWords advertisers - if this isn't addressed, Google is going to be out at least $100,000 a month just between me and the people I know.

I assume that this $100,000 monthly is being spent on programs that are returning profits.

Can anyone really believe that any company is going to forsake profits on investments like this because some individual feels that Google has erred in some way. Not likely!

Sorry but the political fervor that exists in the divided US gets a little intense. Everyone take a deep breath and look at this issue with some sense of reality. There is no way Google can satisfy everyone. Until some evidence appears that they are totally biased then stop the rhetoric.

By the way I'm a Canadian not an American.

jk3210




msg:1110876
 9:01 pm on May 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

<<I should point out that I fully support Google's right to do this - it's their system...>>

In theoretical terms, if a message otherwise met decency standards, I'm wondering if the "it's OUR system and we'll accept/reject what we want to" defense would still be valid once an organization begins collecting money across state lines.

digitalv




msg:1110877
 9:13 pm on May 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

We'd like to clarify a few assertions that have been posted about Google. We have rejected *both* anti-Pelosi and anti-DeLay ads because of violations of our ad policies. Any assertion to the contrary is false.

We apply our policies equally, regardless of the political views represented by the ads submitted to Google. We welcome political ads and run many. We allow ads that urge voting against a particular politician, for example, but are likely to reject ads that allege someone is unethical.

Our guidelines are posted here:

https://adwords.google.com/select/contentpolicy.html

Ads may run a short time before they are reviewed. In this instance, we did show both ads when they were initially submitted, and they were subsequently disapproved per our policy.

We welcome feedback and input from users when they see ads that they believe are showing in violation of our policies.

That's a nice policy, but I don't see that it's being at all enforced - I just did a search for "Tom DeLay" right now and these were the ads that came up on the first page:

<ads removed>
--------

I'm sure this has nothing to do with you personally, so don't take what's being said here as an attack on you ... but dude, that policy is a load of crap. You work there, perhaps you can figure out why your policy only seems to apply to Democrats.

[edited by: eWhisper at 10:17 pm (utc) on May 6, 2005]
[edit reason] Please don't copy ads. [/edit]

walkman




msg:1110878
 9:16 pm on May 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

digitalv,
none of them say that he's a crook or unethical. The second one even asks people to pray for him. Feel free to buy an extra one...he asked for prayers yesterday on a speech.

<ads removed>

[edited by: eWhisper at 10:18 pm (utc) on May 6, 2005]
[edit reason] Please don't copy ads. [/edit]

digitalv




msg:1110879
 9:21 pm on May 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

Yeah, an Ad about the New York Times? Come on man, that has nothing to do with Kennedy. Keep trying Democrats names, you won't find much ... Republicans on the other hand, well, it's obvious there is some political bias - if not with Google itself than with one or more individuals who monitor the ad content.

And to the person who asked me about ROI, yeah, I have to admit that ROI from AdWords is pretty good. But so are principles - and until I get an answer I'm satisfied with, there are plenty of other places to spend the same money.

martinibuster




msg:1110880
 11:07 pm on May 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

Yet, when I search G$ for those specific KWs, I only see AW ads that are either for the pro-side of those issues or are completely generic...

MultiMan you can do your homework a little better than that, I know you can. I just did a search for pro life and found a bunch of pro life ads. No bias.

Google's policy is applied equally. I've seen news reports from newbs on the left who'd had their ads pulled because they were anti-Right. Nothing new, just another advertiser who doesn't understand the tos.

Google money engine for Democrats only
Execs, employees gave $463,500 to party, $5,000 to Republicans

No news there either. Why? Well, duh, Google is in the San Francisco Bay Area, the most leftist area of California, and likely more left than any other part of the United States. No brainer.

The results would certainly be different if Google were located in one of the Southern states.

Google has done an exemplary job.

MultiMan




msg:1110881
 1:59 am on May 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

I think there have been some misconceptions about my initial post.

1. I never implied that a free enterprise business does not have the "right" to choose which ads it allows. I am are not debating free capitalism (which I support) or using government regulation for so-called "helping the right wing."

2. I never implied that G$ and its people did not have a "right" to be as Democrat-oriented as the donations reveal.

3. The news link I posted did refer to the anti-Tom Delay issue, but I took that information and then did some research on my own, as I indicated. I also used the news link's reference-links at the bottom of the news link's page to discover about some anti-"same sex marriage" sites had been banned by AW. That motivated to search the exact terms I mentioned for myself: "abortion," "gay marriage," and "same sex marriage." In all of those examples, the ads are just as I said: "pro-site ads only" (or useless neutral sites).

4. In my post, I never said that all searches would result in a uniform "pro-sites only" system. If anything, when I explained about a situation with a KW I follow (see my next point #5), that itself proved that the system is NOT uniform, which was my concern being mentioned. (So, yes, I DID do my homework, martinibuster! ;))

5. For months in a specific KW I follow, I have exactly seen a direct contradiction to G$'s purported "hate speech" defense of removing anti-sites. In this particular KW, G$ still deceitfully allows a known "hate speech" site in this particular KW that is so virulent in its ad-text that it puts pro-side people's lives in danger, but G$ could care less. They still look the other way when it gets reported to them. Clearly, their purported "hate speech" defense is NOT uniform and their claims that it is are blatant propaganda the G$ corporation forces its employees to regurgitate. Asa free market capitalist, I fully accept thate G$ has that "right" to do that, but doing so completely debunks their marketing claims of being unbiased and "applying their policy fairly." Instead, it reveals that G$ is actually committing false advertising marketing by putting that on their web-site when they clearly are not so unbiased. Such open false advertising that way by G$ (to represent it does something it does not) might be even possibly be a statutory crime or even the basis of potentially valid (false-advertising) lawsuits against G$.

To AWA, I very much appreciate your taking the time to reply. I know you are just passing on information, such as when you posted,

We apply our policies equally, regardless of the political views represented by the ads submitted to Google. We welcome political ads and run many. We allow ads that urge voting against a particular politician, for example, but are likely to reject ads that allege someone is unethical.

As I understand how much you have to present that for your company, the facts simply prove that that is not true. If your employer is going to apply a "hate speech" defense to prevent anti-site AW ads in some KWs, and if G$ really "appl(ies) (your) policies equally," then there would be no more life-threatening "hate speech" ads sites allowed in any KWs.

In the end, the overwhelming amount of donations to Democrats over those made to Republicans, combined with what particular KWs receive your company's willingness to root out "hate speech," does tend to further implicate that G$'s policies (such as "hate speech" defenses for disallowing ads in certain KWs) are indeed restricted only to your company's one favored political party's agendas, not equally in all KWs.

If G$ wants us to believe it is unbiased, fair and treats everyone and all KWs "equally," then G$ has to BE fair. But from what I know firsthand, that simpy is not true.

AWA, again, I very much appreicate your time and input. I have nothing against you as a person doing your job for your employer. I do very much appreciate being able to engage conversation with you, and I want you to know that. Thanks for replying. I hope you will continue to do so - maybe we can get G$'s problematic issues resolved once and for all.

ElizabethReynolds




msg:1110882
 7:47 pm on May 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

Sigh, this is to everyone posting here no matter what side you are on, so please listen.

have you ever done a search, gotten a SERP, and then 3 seconds later done the same search again and get a totally different SERP? gee, i wonder if you hit 'Search' enough times if you would find exactly what you wanted...

This is the internet a la google, where ads are posted in real time to keep everone from going on and on about how slow it is. if you want your utopian 'everyone is equal' world make your own engine and see how much crap you get for how slow you are to read every single post. have you ever looked at the Overture PPC forums and how often you get a 'is OV incredibly slow today or is it just me' or 'my ads havent been approved for 3 months'.

Relax people, Google is not trying to violate your first amendment rights, but trying to appease your nead for instant results in displaying your ads.

Global Options:
 top home search open messages active posts  
 

Home / Forums Index / Google / Google AdWords
rss feed

All trademarks and copyrights held by respective owners. Member comments are owned by the poster.
Home ¦ Free Tools ¦ Terms of Service ¦ Privacy Policy ¦ Report Problem ¦ About ¦ Library ¦ Newsletter
WebmasterWorld is a Developer Shed Community owned by Jim Boykin.
© Webmaster World 1996-2014 all rights reserved