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Google to Ban Ads for Legal Gun Accessories & "Dangerous" Knives: Threatens

Mark Sauter (3692653) writes | about 2 months ago

1

Mark Sauter (3692653) writes "This morning we received an email from Google with the following title: "Google AdWords Policy Update — Weapons policy restriction."

The email, from the "Google AdWords Team," announces a new policy starting in September for those who advertise on Google Adwords, a service used to attract traffic to Web sites. It bans Adwords advertising for products such as knives "that can be used to injure an opponent in sport, self-defense, or combat" plus "Any part or component that's necessary to the function of a gun or intended for attachment to a gun
Examples: Gun scopes, ammunition, ammunition clips or belts" [and even bb guns!]
We certainly have no problem with Google prohibiting ads involving weapons such as nail bombs and grenades, as it does. But we see a big difference in banning ads for legal products used by many millions of Americans. The ban specifically includes sport and recreational guns and their components.

And it's not just ads that are being threatened. The email (see excepts below) includes the following: "When we make this change, any ads or sites that are identified as violating our revised policy won't be able to run."

In other words, Google is not just threatening to shut down advertising accounts, but also to disable Web sites with content about legal products (or topics?) that it finds politically incorrect. The email did not provide additional detail on the issue of the Web sites. Presumably, Google would shut down sites running on Google's Blogger service, but one could certainly worry the company might use its dominant search engine to make offending sites "disappear" from search results."

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Direct link to the policy page (1)

warm_warmer (3029441) | about 2 months ago | (#47253339)

It's buried in the "original source" page (a ranting blog post).
https://support.google.com/adw... [google.com]

While Google has every right to make this change, it seems overly broad, and I can understand why vendors of these types of parts would be upset. This doesn't take effect until September, so I hope the affected customers are able to make their voices heard before then.
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