: Pedram Moallemian, a very talented Iranian expat blogger, is having a proper fit about Google’s Adsense program dropping him.
He passed all the tests to run the ads; he was running them; then they suddenly stopped. He asked Google and got an automated reply about possibly inappropriate content. He pressed and got this:
“Although the nature of your content really may not fit into any of these categories, at times, emphasis of a some subject matters on a page can flag our servers to deliver public service ads to a page. Some examples of content that may be considered negative are: death, terrorism, car accident, injury accident, heart attack, diseases, weapons of mass destruction, nuclear etc.”
This is absurd on its face but this is what happens when a system is so simplistic and is so totally automated.
It’s absurd because, well, newspapers have plenty of stories about “death, terrorism, car accident, injury accident, heart attack, diseases, weapons of mass destruction, nuclear etc.” and they get lots of ads. Ditto Time and Newsweek. They follow a few rules (e.g., airline ads are usually pulled when planes crash). But that’s life in this new medium.
Google is trying to automate that process and thus absurdity ensues.
Google is not only missing an opportunity advertise with a fine purveyor of content but is also hurting its image with him and its audience. That’s a problem.
I assume this is a computerized mistake of an automated program. I prefer not to think that this is in any way judgmental against Pedram’s site. But he does make a good point: Andrew Sullivan gets Google Adsense ads and writes about war and destruction; why can’t Pedram.
I would argue that Google is not built for this new world… but that’s the subject of another post another day.
In the meantime, go to Pedram’s site; he has a favor to ask you.