Unknown News ad refused by Google

Posted by Pierre Igot in: Technology
March 21st, 2003 • 11:02 pm

Disturbing news from the online front [via </hope>]:

Google refuses our ad

Of course, Google is entitled to refusing ads for whatever reason they please and to exercise their “editorial discretion”. It is still disturbing that the current trend is that the question of whether a site is a “hate site” is solved by unqualified people. This kind of issue is supposed to be arbitrated and solve by legal entities. Obviously, someone who thinks that the following text:

Who would Jesus bomb?
anti-war bumper stickers
from Unknown News

contains “language that advocates against an individual, group, or organization” (sic) is not qualified to make such decisions.

In the same vein, a US web hosting provider once refused to host my site because it contained some nudity. The reason given? As far as we are concerned, any nudity is pornography.

Scary words, uh?

Rather than institutional censorship, what we have today is de facto censorship by private corporations. Of course, unknownnews.net is always free to advertise elsewhere (maybe) and I was able to find a provider which didn’t mind hosting my “pornographic” web site. But that doesn’t address the core issue, which is ethical/legal decisions are being made by unqualified people, at the expense of freedom of speech online and beyond.

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