How Google makes money off human trafficking and piracy
You might think I'm way out of line with the headline. "Human trafficking!? Piracy?" Yes, and while I'm not imagining Google execs armed to their teeth on boats outside of Somalia, or driving trucks full of humans across borders in the dark of night, I think the people of Google are a far cry away from the pocket-protector wearing engineer most people imagine is thinking up nifty algorithms all day.
Google is officially a family friendly company. They want to protect us all, so when adland was banned from Adsense due to a Sloggi ad, and Google mistook lingerie for mature content again a year later, I had to point out their obvious double standard in being harder on the publication where they run ads, than on the ads they run. I did that by pointing at the Evony ads that evolved to have more boobtastic cleavage shots as the campaign evolved, and pointed out that there are many many bare bottoms and nipples in advertising: You know what they say. "Sex sells". This isn't actually true but there's a new generation of suckers who will try every day. (Suckers. See what I did there?).
This is far more serious than a few close-ups of bras to sell a sad online game, however. Check MusicTechPolicy : "Isohunt: Bringing People Together on the Wall of Shame" where MTP points out that Google and Torrent sites are similar in more ways than one.
So in addition to page after page of the kind of infringing content for which Isohunt has been found liable, you have videogame companies and mail order brides sites supporting Isohunt’s “Eighth Anniversary”, all from the copyright infringement Temporary Autonomous Zone, happily stealing from artists and benefiting from human misery around the planet in the name of “free expression” and “search neutrality”.
Just like Google, right? We all know that Google is the primary search tool for finding infringing content on the Internet if the carefully crafted Google “Transparancy Report” is any guide. And Google is also a leader in profiting from human trafficking ads, too, just like baby brother Isohunt. Even the search term “women” brings up paid ads for “Single Ukraine Ladies”:
Two Members of the U.S. Congress wrote a bipartisan but still-unanswered letter to Google CEO Larry Page earlier this year asking for Google’s help in stopping Google’s lucrative human trafficking advertising. (This is along the lines of the letter that 19 U.S. Senators signed to the Village Voice to encourage them to stop carrying lucrative human trafficking ads in Backpages.com.)
I've complained for a long time about those ads that make me feel like the lone straight woman on the internet, as I'm not interested in marriage with a beautiful Indian lady via a dating service, nor do I want to meet my beautiful Russian bride. These ads are sometimes served here on this site even. Yes. This one. Us! We who were adsense-banned for snapping back at sexist Sloggi ads. Was this all part of an elaborate plan so I'd have to sell myself off as a sexy Swedish bride just to support myself? Sarcasm aside, this should be interesting.....
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