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alex
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06 Mar 2008, 9:50 am

Google is displaying quite offensive (and misleading) ads when you search for the term "Autism". Here is just one example of the sponsored listings google displays for its adwords program. Notice that the last ad links to a site with the term "birth defects" in its domain:


Some of the ads are misleading as well.

Image

Do you think it's Google's responsibility to police its adwords program to prevent advertisers from using derogatory language? How about advertisers them from running factually inaccurate ads?


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Kalister1
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06 Mar 2008, 11:17 am

They paid for them. Hell if I care.



CockneyRebel
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06 Mar 2008, 11:21 am

I also find them offensive.


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Pepperfire
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06 Mar 2008, 11:44 am

CockneyRebel wrote:
I also find them offensive.


I find the Ikea ad offensive. You know, the one where the woman runs screaming out of the store "start the car, start the car" because she believes she got away with "stealing" her actual savings from the store.



iceb
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06 Mar 2008, 11:50 am

Advertising is by definition offensive, but if it pays the rent, what the hell.

I find that flash stuff that brings my machine to a screaming halt really offensive!


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Fayed
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06 Mar 2008, 12:29 pm

If Google starts policing its ads they lose rev.

Google is providing a service and has not announced its stance on Autism (causes, etc) so they should be objective.

*playing devil's advocate*

I'm interested in what exactly about the ads shown is "offensive" or "misleading". Remember Google should be objective and as such should show as many sides of the debate as possible, not just the side that says "I'm autistic, embrace me."

The "Embrace Autism" ideology could be construed as offensive and misleading to someone on the other side of the aisle. Not everyone has the same perspective on autism. To someone who’s seen mainly LFA cases autism it can seem like a horrible debilitating condition. Is it offensive to want to cure that?

Just because one reader is on the EA side doesn't mean all that should be shown is the EA side. To do that is to censor it and in many cases censorship is a detriment.

To me this looks like one party of the debate wanting its ideals held above the rest of the people.

If a site pays Google (and Google accepts payment) for an ad, then Google has to post that ad.

*stops playing devil's advocate*

That being said, I think they could easily be construed as offensive and as such people with problems with them should talk with the ad's owners and leave Google out of it. Besides Google is a business, not some altruistic information spreading for-the-good-of-humanity fairy. Google's first focus is to make money, only when something infringes on that will you see any response. Don't like the birth defect ad? Talk to birthdefects.org.

DISCLAIMER: I do not mean to offend anyone with this post. I simply try to make a point. If you are offended, I'm am very sorry. This post should not be construed as a personal attack on anyone.



AngelUndercover
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06 Mar 2008, 1:24 pm

I don't like them, but I don't think Google should ban them.



Pepperfire
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06 Mar 2008, 4:05 pm

Fayed wrote:
DISCLAIMER: I do not mean to offend anyone with this post. I simply try to make a point. If you are offended, I'm am very sorry. This post should not be construed as a personal attack on anyone.


I'm offended by the idea that you think I might be offended. :lol:



sarahstilettos
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06 Mar 2008, 4:14 pm

I mostly agree with Fayed. I don't know if the ads are so much offensive as not in alignment with your personal opinions.



Roxas_XIII
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06 Mar 2008, 7:21 pm

Some of them i find offensive, but I guess it's a necessary evil, since Google pays us to show them on our site. Cyberspatial real estate isn't free, especially when you're talking about something as big as WP. (Yes, people, WP is a big site. I mean, we have 17,170 members, and 356 of them are online right now.... and that's just for today!)


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Dracula
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07 Mar 2008, 4:56 am

I see nothing offensive there.

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dean
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07 Mar 2008, 8:08 am

To call autism a defect is offensive. People with autism ARE NOT DEFECTIVE, we/ they MAY have 'things' in life to deal with, but almost everyone thas something in life to deal with. Flat tires and broken bottles are defective, not people with autism!



alex
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07 Mar 2008, 8:09 am

Fayed wrote:
If Google starts policing its ads they lose rev.


Google already heavily polices their ads so they obviously see the need to control the quality.


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olle
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07 Mar 2008, 8:24 am

I agree that many of these ads are offensive, and also misleading.
It's misleading with an ad that sells homeopathic treatment for Asperger's... 8O

Alex, i think you should consider talking to Google about the ads they display on WP dot net. Also, one doesn't have to rely on third party advertising programmes. Wouldn't it be possible to sell ad space directly to advertisers instead of using Google Adwords?

But i think it's more important that the content of WP is accurate, and tolerant, like it is now. So, the ads may be a pain, but WP is great in so many other ways so it outweighs the ads. Alex, thanks for creating such a great web site! :P



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07 Mar 2008, 9:16 am

Google provides me with an extremely highly-valued service (namely the best online search engine available) at zero cost. They are a corporation, and they need to make a profit. So I have no real issue with them accepting money for advertisements if that helps them to continue offering their services for free. However, I also am pretty offended at the specific examples shown on this thread, as they clearly go over the line. Alex, you said Google already heavily polices their ads. Do you know where any information can b e found on their policies in this area? Or any examples of ads that they have censored?


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07 Mar 2008, 4:07 pm

I also believe that the more they are clicked on, the more money the people make, and the more often you will see those particular ads. Well, 99percent sure that is how the yahoo ones work so google is probably similar. So if you think one of the ads might be offensive copy and paste the link, don't just click to open.

I do believe that there are lines to draw, but what one person finds offensive another doesn't. Make a list of the ones that people do find offensive, and definitely bring it up with someone on their support site. (don't know how that works specifically.)