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What is "Adult" or "Mature" Content?
Is there a definition or a guideline?
ccDan




msg:3180954
 5:56 am on Dec 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

A couple months ago, one of my sites was disabled from AdSense due to a content violation. One of the pages was considered adult or mature, so that was in violation of the TOS and Google disabled serving ads to that site.

I removed the AdSense code from the site, and thought about making changes and asking to get the site back in, but after some success with monetizing the site in other ways, I didn't pursue that route.

Now, I am thinking about retooling the site, and am thinking about trying to get back into AdSense.

The question is, what is considered adult or mature content?

The article Google cited in their message to me, well, I definitely see where that can be considered mature. That was the only page they specifically pointed out.

What I am trying to figure out is which of my other articles might be considered adult or mature. I can easily code my site to not show AdSense ads on specific pages, so that's not the issue. The issue is determining which pages might be considered mature or adult.

And, different people have different opinions on that.

There is no nudity or porn on the site. I don't even allow links or ads for adult or pornographic sites. "Porn" and "adult" seem almost interchangeable. When someone says "adult," I assume they are talking about a porn site.

Mature is the tougher one. It is too subjective. Extremely conservative people may think most of my articles are mature, but extremely liberal people may think most of my articles are very, very tame.

Is there any kind of definition of what constitutes "mature" content?

 

rigi




msg:3181089
 9:34 am on Dec 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

When I asked google what adult content is by their criteria, this is what they answered:

"Our policy prohibiting mature content may include any material not appropriate for all audiences. This includes, but is not necessarily limited to, images of real or cartoon nude people, in provocative or lewd poses, or in see-through clothing."

If that is any help.

P.S. I dropped everything that could have been recognised as adult in a second and am still doing ok since then. Oh, and the ads at that specific site returned within 12 hours.

pmkpmk




msg:3181090
 9:36 am on Dec 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

Everything you have no problem with when your mother knows you watch it is NOT mature/adult.

Hobbs




msg:3181099
 9:46 am on Dec 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

when your mother knows you watch it

Used to think that too PMK2, until I learned about certain cultures and lifestyles, this can't be a rule anymore.

Conclusion: Draw the line at what Google defines as immoral not what you / your mother / your priest/religious services provider see as immoral.

ccDan




msg:3181355
 2:26 pm on Dec 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

When I asked google what adult content is by their criteria, this is what they answered:

"Our policy prohibiting mature content may include any material not appropriate for all audiences. This includes, but is not necessarily limited to, images of real or cartoon nude people, in provocative or lewd poses, or in see-through clothing."

If that is any help.

That would be helpful, were I to have any pictures on my site. ;-)

I'll have to eMail Google and see if I can get a response as to what textual content constitutes adult or mature content.

ccDan




msg:3181356
 2:27 pm on Dec 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

when your mother knows you watch it

Used to think that too PMK2, until I learned about certain cultures and lifestyles, this can't be a rule anymore.

Doesn't help me either. My mother forwards me eMails that are more mature than all but the one article on my site.

netmeg




msg:3181612
 6:22 pm on Dec 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

Doesn't help me either. My mother forwards me eMails that are more mature than all but the one article on my site.

Yea really; my 76 year old mother reads her porn spam out loud to me at the top of her lungs. YMMV (Your Mother May Vary)

jhood




msg:3181698
 7:46 pm on Dec 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

The question of what constitutes lewd, pornographic, adult, etc. content has been around forever and is very difficult to answer objectively. Probably the most famous definition is that of Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart, who in 1964 said pornography was hard to define but added: "I know it when I see it."

Pictures and images aside, there are any number of words that are generally considered obscene and, when used in a sexual context, could set off alarm bells at the Googleplex and elsewhere.

Hobbs




msg:3181700
 7:50 pm on Dec 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

You're all one funny bunch!

My 65 y/o mother is obsessed with documenting Windows vulnerabilities and fixes, she spends night investigating, testing, printing, writing about it, and refuses to put in all in a web site!
I think I win in the weirdness contest!

ccDan




msg:3181796
 9:10 pm on Dec 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

Pictures and images aside, there are any number of words that are generally considered obscene and, when used in a sexual context, could set off alarm bells at the Googleplex and elsewhere.

Like the George Carlin list, and similar words?

Yeah, don't have any of those words on my site. And, the one definitely mature article I have is very clinical in terminology. No slang or anything.

ccDan




msg:3181811
 9:17 pm on Dec 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

The question of what constitutes lewd, pornographic, adult, etc. content has been around forever and is very difficult to answer objectively. Probably the most famous definition is that of Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart, who in 1964 said pornography was hard to define but added: "I know it when I see it."

And, therein lies the rub, doesn't it? According to Google AdSense, I am responsible for making sure that the pages I place AdSense ads on are compliant to the TOS. However, if my definition of "mature" is different from Google's, it's not my definition they will go by, is it?

bts111




msg:3181844
 9:39 pm on Dec 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

I have seen many shopping directory type sites with adult sections that are offering $ex toys, adult dvds and other goodies that adult shops sell. Although there aren't any Adsense ads on these pages, I find it hard to understand why they haven't been banned. Does anyone know if this is allowed?

BigDave




msg:3181872
 10:18 pm on Dec 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

Yeah, Google is following the supreme court precedents on this one.

ccDan




msg:3182077
 3:02 am on Dec 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

Although there aren't any Adsense ads on these pages, I find it hard to understand why they haven't been banned. Does anyone know if this is allowed?

The TOS says that a site may not include porn, adult or mature content. The would seem to indicate that the site cannot have any such pages. But, in another recent thread, a poster indicated that Google had told him/her it was okay to have adult or mature content in a separate section, so long as there were no AdSense ads there.

But, the TOS seems to clearly distinguish between the "site" and "web pages" which suggests whoever told the poster that he could have mature content but not run AdSense on those pages is wrong (or the poster misunderstood).

Which, for me, means I would have to remove the mature article in order to get back in, but still means I'll need to try to get an answer out of them regarding what they consider to be adult or mature content.

Jordo needs a drink




msg:3182188
 6:15 am on Dec 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

I still think to understand what Google considers mature or adult, you just need to look at what ads may be shown. Not necessarily, what ads are being shown, but look at the keywords and make an educated guess at what ads could be shown.

IMO, the adult and mature thing boils down to PR. Google doesn't want to be in the adult ad business. As I've said in a previous post, they could block the ads, but they haven't been as successful at that as they want.

The other thing to think about is complaints. If people find a TV show objectionable, what's one of the things they do? They boycott the advertisers. Google doesn't want to be in this position, so they write the TOS to protect them.

You know what adult content is, and you ask what mature content is... There is no mature content definition (not even from the Supreme Court). You unfortunately need to use common/learned sense for that. That's not a jab, just a statement saying there are no bold faced rules, you just need to think about the variables and determine the risks.

In other words, figure out what Google is wanting to protect, and then don't do anything that would make them feel like what they're protecting is at risk

[edited by: Jordo_needs_a_drink at 6:22 am (utc) on Dec. 8, 2006]

ccDan




msg:3182208
 7:03 am on Dec 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

IMO, the adult and mature thing boils down to PR. Google doesn't want to be in the adult ad business. As I've said in a previous post, they could block the ads, but they haven't been as successful at that as they want.

And I'm sure they're crying all the way to the bank over it. I'd find your opinion more believeable, if not for all the adult and mature ads that run during a Google search.

The other thing to think about is complaints. If people find a TV show objectionable, what's one of the things they do? They boycott the advertisers. Google doesn't want to be in this position, so they write the TOS to protect them.

AdWords advertisers have the option to exclude their ads from sites on which they don't want their ads appearing.

Besides which, there are other areas more likely to face a boycott or complaints than the sites/pages that AdSense is prohibited on. For example, I see no rule against having AdSense on a political site. Perhaps I don't like your position on global warming--I'm gonna boycott your site and all its advertisers! Google's AdSense TOS does not provide any protection there, does it?

You can have AdSense on blogs too, no? Many blogs are contentious and would certainly attract those of a mindset to hold a boycott.

In other words, figure out what Google is wanting to protect, and then don't do anything that would make them feel like what they're protecting is at risk

Frankly, I'm not sure if Google knows what they are wanting to protect. While the TOS says that AdSense cannot be used on web sites with adult or mature content, the eMail they sent to me says that it cannot be used on web pages with adult or mature content.

Jordo needs a drink




msg:3182232
 7:50 am on Dec 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

Ok, have fun...

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