In my post, Get off Google, now!, I remark that one of the reasons why I switched from hosting my blog was my growing skepticism of Google. I was simply concerned that they would shut down my blog without warning. I’ve backed up the blog, so the content is safe.
As an experiment, I placed Google AdWords on my blog. With the current climate of oppression, though, it is maybe no surprise that it was only a matter of time before Google would combat free speech even among less mainstream writers. Google sent me a warning (in bold letters), telling me to take down AdSense on a particular page, but also writing that offenses may have committed on other pages too. However, it is not possible to remove AdSense from individual blog posts, only from the entire site.
Their email to me is reproduced in its entirety below, with formatting kept intact.
Let me make a few remarks:
1) I thankfully don’t depend on ad revenue, so their attempt to force me to toe the party line is in vain.
2) It is impossible to comply with Google’s policy without taking down virtually every post of mine. If not that, then I’d have to rewrite almost all my posts on that site, which would simply be infeasible, apart from the fact that my choice of language would be severely restricted. Thus, Google clearly attempts to strong arm writers into submission, based on the assumption that they depend on advertising revenue.
3) Google doesn’t specify what the offense consisted of as their guidelines are very vague. Thus, they could easily play a game according to which, no matter what you do, you still break their rules. Also note that Google demands from me to “make changes”, without specifying what exactly should be changed.
4) On a more concrete note, the article in question simply refers to how some other people use “fag”. In addition, it it is not used as a slur against homosexuals.
If you want to support my work — my current blog is ad-free —, then please make a donation. Thank you!
Lastly, if you aren’t using it yet, install the browser plug in AdNauseam. It would be interesting to know whether Google now targeted my blog after detecting suspicious behavior in my secondary browser, which has been running AdNauseam for two days now. I shouldn’t get too paranoid, but I wouldn’t be surprised as Google obviously knows which accounts you use, and they can easily detect suspicious behavior, such as your system clicking on every (non-rendered) ad on screen.
Here is the email from Google:
This is a warning message to alert you that there is action required to bring your AdSense account into compliance with our AdSense program policies. We’ve provided additional details below, along with the actions to be taken on your part.
Affected website: aaronsleazy.blogspot.nl
Example page where violation occurred: http://aaronsleazy.blogspot.
Action required: Please make changes immediately to your site to follow AdSense program policies.
Current account status: Active
As stated in our program policies, Google ads may not be placed on pages that contain content that:
Threatens or advocates for harm on oneself or others;
Harasses, intimidates or bullies an individual or group of individuals;
Incites hatred against, promotes discrimination of, or disparages an individual or group on the basis of their race or ethnic origin, religion, disability, age, nationality, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, or other characteristic that is associated with systemic discrimination or marginalization.
How to resolve:
- If you received a notification in regard to page content, we request that you immediately remove Google ads from the violating pages. If you are unable to, or unsure of how to remove the ads from these pages, or would like to continue monetizing the page with Google ads, please modify or remove the violating content to meet our AdSense policies.
- If you received a notification in regards to the way ads are implemented on your site, please make the necessary changes to your implementation.
You do not need to contact us if you make changes. Please be aware that if additional violations are accrued, ad serving may be disabled to the website listed above. You should immediately take time to review your pages with Google ads to ensure that they comply with our policies.
Additionally, please be aware that the URL above is just an example and that the same violations may exist on other pages of this website or other sites that you own. To reduce the likelihood of future warnings from us, we suggest that you review all your sites for compliance. Here are some useful resources you might be interested in.
- AdSense policy FAQs
- Using site: search to find violations
- Recommended solutions for policing your content
- Content filtering
For more information regarding our policy warning notifications, visit our Help Center.
We thank you in advance for your cooperation.
The Google AdSense Team