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October 18, 2006

Censored by Google

posted by MR WAVETHEORY at 10/18/2006 08:09:00 AM
In case you are wondering why there are big blank squares on this page, it's because Google (Nasdaq GOOG) disabled my Adsense account after I wrote an article on Tuesday about Google's upcoming earnings, "Is Google Slowing?" The post was made around 10 am on Tuesday morning and by 1 pm Tuesday afternoon, Google had sent an email saying Google AdSense Account Disabled. Is this a coincidence? I think not. Here is the email:
Your AdSense account was found to be related to an account previously
disabled for invalid click activity and we have therefore disabled your
account. Publishers disabled for invalid click activity are not allowed
further participation in AdSense and do not receive any further
payment. The earnings on your account will be properly returned to the
affected advertisers.

As outlined in our program Terms and Conditions, Google reserves the
right to terminate any publisher's participation at any time.


The Google AdSense Team
First off, I never click on my ads and I never generate invalid clicks so this is a very poor excuse for censoring me for writing about their earnings. Nobody makes a fortune blogging and why would I want to engage in clicking for a few pennies? Journalists write about company earnings all the time and by singling me out, Google is setting an awful precedent for the Internet.

What this event brings to light is the power of Google to strong arm their partners by withholding revenues from them. If I were a very large publisher and had a run in with Google, imagine what Google could do if it controlled my ad revenues. Imagine what could happen if Google decided that it didn't like a certain media company anymore? Turn off the Adsense - kill their stock. I can think of several companies, very big media companies, that rely on Google for alot of ad dollars. This could happen to anyone, not just me. Don't think about just one single blogger. Think about the world.

Small time bloggers have to entrust their advertising sales force to with Y!, G, of M, because they don't have the resources to go it alone, but big media companies can. Several large media companies are making the decision today to entrust Google with their video content in return for video advertising return. Is this a good idea? As Mark Cuban points out, "
Giving up your core asset to someone who is probably smarter and better prepared than you to exploit the rights of your assets isnt usually a good move. It violates my negotiations rule."

Censorship is a very controversial issue and it is only possible for large corporations to do that, because they have so much power. Hitler censored minorities to stop them from expressing their views because he could. He was so powerful that he could stop people from expressing their views.

And here I am, just a small time blogger facing Google. By censoring me, Google is merely stopping one voice in the market place of ideas from discussing varioius views on its earnings. I am sure there are many others who have views one way or another on Google who will continue promoting their views in the marketplace of ideas.

Regarding the Google earnings, I couldn't care less whether the numbers are good or bad, but censoring me for expressing my view is very wrong. It is so authoritarian, I think it goes against everything the liberals at Google are taught in school. It is very immature and childish and goes to show that Google is not run by grownups but by very fickle people who make decisions not based on rules but based on whims.

I have written back to Adsense Team and hope they respond. However, proving that there is no cost of substitution but a few lines of code, I will be trying out Yahoo! Publisher which has just upgraded to Panama.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

For your information, I saw your post on Google Finance, which redirected me on your blog hosted by Blogger (owned by Google).
If Google was really trying to censure you, wouldn't they use more radical ways ?
Moreover you are doing them very bad advertising now, definitively worst than your last post "Google slowing down", so what would be their interest to censure you this way, taking into account that they take care a lot of their neutrality and integrity image ?

I am just trying to rationalise a little bit, but believe me your story is scaring...

10:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Check yourself... You never addressed the part of Google's statement saying that you have been previously banned. If you were, you would then be violating the rules and Google's actions would be more than just.

6:54 PM  

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