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Adult content question

Is this disallowed on the whole site, or just on adsense pages?

     
2:19 pm on Nov 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Hi,

I've run into a problem with adsense & adult content. As in, they complained about a thread on my forum.

Since I quite like being able to allow people to discuss mature matters on my forum, I am wondering if anyone knows whether it would be okay to create a subforum for adult topics and keep the ads off this forum, or whether the whole website has to be free of adult content?

I have tried to get a sensible response out of Google, but so far I am just getting the standard response about reading the policy, which doesn't really make that distinction.

I am also really uncertain about what they class as adult content. Pornography is obvious, but on a discussion forum, you can get people talking about all sorts of things that I personally don't see as adult-only. Its not made easier by the fact that I imagine Google follows American standards for such things, and they're rather tighter than what I am used to.

3:50 pm on Nov 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

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The wording of the TOS says that the SITE may not contain prohibited material, but I've specifically been told that if I don't run ads on certain pages of my own that are borderline, I'll be fine. A good rule of thumb is probably that the more salacious and exploitative the material, the worse your position would be. Also the more integral to your site it is, the more that you rely on this subject matter to draw traffic, the worse your position would be.

But ultimately these are questions for Google. Since they have already contacted you about the content, I wouldn't do anything without specific permission.

5:23 pm on Nov 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

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How about making an "anything goes" forum, without adsense, that you have to be logged in to even read?

You could even put it on it's own subdomain so it isn't officially the same site.

12:13 am on Nov 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

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jomaxx,

From my own perspective, I found it incredible that they'd complain about that particular thread, so I find it extremely difficult to judge what sort of content they consider a problem. I find it infuriating that they say that they have found problematic content on the site, and then give the link to a specific thread but they call it an example. I have no clue whether that means there's more that is a problem, or if 'an example of such content' is just a standard phrasing of theirs.

Possibly problematic content is certainly not a big part of the forum as such, as the on-topic sections are for discussing a series of fantasy books, but in the general chat section anything goes, essentially. So from time to time, people chat about what I'd perhaps call somewhat risque topics.

BigDave,

Not really an option, because the point of the general chat section is that the members of the board like to have a subforum where they can be off-topic and discuss whatever they like; movies, politics, sex, etc. They'd not be interested in registering for a second forum just for the off-topic chat, and they'd be less interested in the main forum without it. Its what builds the community, after all. :)

12:48 am on Nov 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

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sex

Hint, take AdSense off forums about SEX.

I'm assuming you read the AdSense Terms and Conditions when you signed up that stated no adult content yet you now rail against Google complaining about said content when you already agreed to not place ads on that content.

Is there something I'm missing?

[edited by: incrediBILL at 12:48 am (utc) on Nov. 8, 2006]

1:02 am on Nov 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

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incrediBILL,

I appreciate the effort to help, but maybe you should read my posts first? How is a _subforum_ called 'general chat' a forum about sex? People discuss all sorts of things that go on in their lives there, and occasionally a topic may have some sexually-related content. Its not like people are writing explicit stories or posting pornographic pictures. Plus, the terms do not say you cannot talk about sex, they say you cannot have 'Pornography, adult, or mature content'.

My annoyance with Google is based on a) the fact that they won't clarify whether the thread they pointed out is the only problem they found or not and b) that their definition of what falls under 'Pornography, adult, or mature content' strikes me as extremely odd.

[edited by: Linda_A at 1:05 am (utc) on Nov. 8, 2006]

1:31 am on Nov 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

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How is a _subforum_ called 'general chat' a forum about sex?

If you have questionable discussions on it, I didn't mention SEX, you did, and it's against the T&Cs.

How simple is that?

1:53 am on Nov 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

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incrediBILL,

It does not say in the terms that discussing sexual matters is against the policy. You can discuss a lot of sexual matters without having the discussion be pornographic or otherwise 'mature content'.

Its anything but simple when Google does not clearly define what is and isn't okay. Can people discuss breast/prostate cancer? Sexually transmitted diseases? Teenage pregnancy? Given the thread they had an issue with, I could see Google having an issue with all these topics, and that is just insane in my mind.

Either way, I'd have to say I am not interested in your opinion on the matter any longer. For one thing, what you're saying has nothing to do with my question, which was whether or not you can have this so called 'mature' content on some pages of the site, without showing google ads on these specific pages, but still have google ads on other pages of the site.

2:31 am on Nov 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Don't know what to tell you except I *LOVE* my AdSense account and when Google says "JUMP!" I simply ask "HOW HIGH?"

From the Google policy page is plainly says:

Site may not include:

* Pornography, adult, or mature content

Discussions about any type of sex are adult and mature content

Either way, I'd have to say I am not interested in your opinion on the matter any longer.

I had this problem once and was merely trying to be helpful but it appears you don't want opinions from people that have experienced almost every aspect of AdSense, and it doesn't sound like you're interested in Google's opinions either.

I'll send my condolences when you post your "I'VE BEEN BANNED" thread.

Good luck, you'll need it.

6:40 am on Nov 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Not really an option, because the point of the general chat section is that the members of the board like to have a subforum where they can be off-topic and discuss whatever they like; movies, politics, sex, etc. They'd not be interested in registering for a second forum just for the off-topic chat, and they'd be less interested in the main forum without it. Its what builds the community, after all.

Neither of the options that I mentioned should require registering for a second forum, unless you are running some software with very limited configuration options.

Most of the forum software that I have considered will either include, or have available as a plugin, some way to make a forum "members only".

It takes a little more work and knowledge to put a sub-forum on a subdomain, but it should not require them to reregister or log in a second time. Hell, I think it could probably all be set up with a change to a few lines of code and some mod-rewrites in your .htaccess file.

9:24 am on Nov 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

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BigDave,

Okay, misunderstood your suggestion to some degree. Making a separate subforum without adsense for any potentially troublesome topics was my first thought and one of the things I asked about in my first post. However, I am not sure that is enough, since that subforum will still be part of a larger forum that shows adsense ads, even if they don't show up right on those pages.

I imagine that I could easily make a subforum members only for reading & posting, yes, but putting it on a separate subdomain isn't an option as I don't actually have access to more subdomains than the one the forum is already running on (the forum is one part of a larger site).

2:40 pm on Nov 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Well, after a long while, finally got a response out of Google that a forum readable only by members and without the ads would be okay. But it sure took a lot of mailing back and forth to clarify. :)
4:26 pm on Nov 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I was about to say that in my experience, if there is content that may be deemed adult, the best way is to not show ads on that page. My site is health related, and there are some images of body-bits that are shown in a technical, illustrative context. I did have a discussion with Google and they simply weren't very helpful so I do sympathise with you! The answer in my case was also to not show ads on that page.
4:36 pm on Nov 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

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i have seen yahoo adult ads in a site.But google prohibits it.Any way I f you are getting a nice amount from adsense why you want to have problems with them.If you feel your forum is important to you then quit adsense .If you think adsense has a slight edge over your site(revenue)quit or ban adult content in your site.Its that simple.
5:17 pm on Nov 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Its anything but simple when Google does not clearly define what is and isn't okay. Can people discuss breast/prostate cancer? Sexually transmitted diseases? Teenage pregnancy? Given the thread they had an issue with, I could see Google having an issue with all these topics, and that is just insane in my mind.

IMO, and definitely just a guess on my part, but I believe it has to do more with their algorithms and what ads will show, and not about how a human will interpret the content.

Take this very thread, for example... If there were adsense ads on it, what ads do you think the not so intelligent adsense bot would try to display? There's a lot of key words on it that would probably result in some very adult ads.

Google doesn't want to display adult ads. I know Google should prevent advertisers from generating them on the adwords side of the house, but just how successful have they been? I say that sarcastically.

5:52 pm on Nov 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Take this very thread, for example... If there were adsense ads on it, what ads do you think the not so intelligent adsense bot would try to display? There's a lot of key words on it that would probably result in some very adult ads.

Quite right - I know from experience that "adult language" on forum sites showing Adsense results in AdSense Ads for porn sites.

Surely G's focus should be on preventing the offending ads from showing in their programme rather than being brutally restrictive of legitimate content that could appear on a page with AdSense space.

Nevertheless - if you like the income the AdSense can provide you do what incrediBill advises and play by whatever rules G decides on.

6:08 pm on Nov 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

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The whole attitude of Google on this subject absolutely sucks ( pardon the sexual innunedo and don't ban me! )

On this particular point Google seems to want to head back to the 18th century ( or at least hide under right-wing republican skirts )
We can't discuss or show adult content? What do they want us to do? Talk about the Teletubbies and Sesame Street?

It might be a little clearer if they just said that pornography was not allowed but even then there is difficulty in defining what is porn.

I find it quite ironic that they are concentrating on this and picking on forum discussions whilst they quite happily accept accounts from and show adsense ads trying to con people into buying free p2p clients to download illegal copyright infringing material ( bit torrent and edonkey network ads )

6:18 pm on Nov 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

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miguelito,

I quite agree. I have no problems with them not wanting ads together with outright pornograpic content, but this wasn't anything like that.

Still, they can have whatever policies they like. My issue was that

a) at first they wouldn't say if the page they had complained about was the only one they had an issue with (after many mails, they finally said that yes, that was the only issue)

and

b) it also took many mails to get a clarification about whether a members-only subforum with no ads could have more 'adult' discussions (to which they finally said yes).

So, communication, really, is the main issue. And now that is solved. :)

6:18 pm on Nov 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I can understand that they choose not to allow any content that could be considered to be adult - I don't agree, but it's their ball and they set the rules.

What I don't understand - given their position - is how they allow AdWords ads promoting far worse! How do you spell hypocracy? Does it have a G in it?

6:55 pm on Nov 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

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It's actually easy: if you have a section that contains "mature content" (which is prohibited by the ToS] and GOOG complains about it:

  • Get rid of the content
  • Remove ads from it and hide it from the non-members
  • Create a second site that uses the same membership and serve it from there
  • Ignore the warning you got and suffer the consequences

    Personally I ban any mature content on my site's forum, but that does not leave me comfortable as my site discusses places in the US that have names that might not be so clean if seen by a bot. e.g. in Missouri: Hooker, Devil's elbow, all might get connotations -for a bot- way past the place name that it really is.

    To proof they are towns, I'm ready to point to things like:
    [maps.google.com...]
    but I'm never sure I'll get a chance.

  • 7:17 pm on Nov 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

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    swa66,

    I still argue the ToS does not make it clear what it defines as adult (not mature) content, which is one of the issues.

    Furthermore, as I have noted several times, initially Google would not say whether a members-only subforum with no ads was okay or not in terms of having ads on the rest of the forum. Now that they finally have said that yes, this is okay, I have a viable solution.

    I still think the limitations are pretty darn silly, but that opinion doesn't mean I don't try to make sure the forum follows policy.

    8:01 pm on Nov 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

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    If you're in any doubt, why not ask Google?

    From what you say there should be a problem with asking them for a manual review.

    6:03 am on Nov 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

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    If you're in any doubt, why not ask Google?

    Because Google won't tell you the specific words that trigger AdSense issues.

    I had this problem once upon a time but Linda said "I am not interested in your opinion on the matter" so I didn't share what I know ;)

    6:10 am on Nov 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

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    My advice is that you make the changes - put the adult stuff in a sub forum without ads and send the details to Google explaining the change and ask if the changes are okay with the policy - that is a more direct and specific question. That way you will get a manual review and an email saying whether or not it's okay. That is how I did it every time I had to implement changes I wasn't sure about. This way your account has a record of what was allowed.

    Regards,
    R

    10:54 am on Nov 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

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    If you're in any doubt, why not ask Google?


    Because Google won't tell you the specific words that trigger AdSense issues.

    I'm sure you're right Bill - but what I had in mind was asking G to look at a particular page and indicate whether or not is would be acceptable to put Adsence on it.

    8:50 pm on Nov 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

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    Linda:
    I still argue the ToS does not make it clear what it defines as adult (not mature) content, which is one of the issues.

    Google: [google.com...]

    Site may not include:
  • [...]
  • Pornography, adult, or mature content
  • [...]
  • Emphasis is mine

    The definition is not there, agreed, but you call it mature content and Google says you cannot put their ads on a site that includes such content.

    A definition of what mature audiences are might be sought in e.g. the MPAA ratings (the old for Mature audiences "M" rating is nowadays PG and PG-13) ... So one could argue mature content is anything not suitable for a "G" rating.

    See also: [en.wikipedia.org...]

    9:21 pm on Nov 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

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    There are some interesting differences between the English-language and the Swedish-language ToS. The Swedish version says pornography or 'content for Adults', which doesn't really match at all with what I understand a G-rating to be.

    However, looking at the content on my forum that they don't seem to have an issue with, a G-rating is not what they're looking for either. The series of books discussed contains a fair amount of what I suppose might qualify as R-rated content, and the forum is full of threads discussing that content in detail.

    In any case, as I noted, they did finally answer and said yes to a members-only forum where any threads that might possibly be too adult can be placed.

    11:50 pm on Nov 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

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    I think it's done on a case by case basis, the smaller you are and the less you bring in for them, the stricter they are on such policies.
    9:59 am on Nov 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

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    I think it's done on a case by case basis, the smaller you are and the less you bring in for them, the stricter they are on such policies.

    Or perhaps the less likely they'll consider you worth a real review.
    5:38 pm on Nov 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

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    Example of the PG-13 movie is

    [en.wikipedia.org...]

    "Big" with Tom Hanks.

    Guys, I really dont understand how American people still survive and give birth for their kids. ROFL.

    This 39 message thread spans 2 pages: 39
     

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