"Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored." -Aldous Huxley

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wTuesday, August 26, 2003

WHY I WON'T ADD GOOGLE ADS: Google has this really nifty AdSense Program where you put a strip of adds on the left or right side of your blog and then get paid for every clickthrough. I'm pro-money but I likely won't add the ads to this humble piece of e-real estate.

The problem is, the ad people apparently stay up late at night worrying that the content of one of the blogs might...offend someone. Kathy Shaidle put ads on her website only to have them yanked when she started talking aboot gay marriage. Now she has ads back but they're all lame public service ads (e.g., Peace Corps, Habitat for Humanity) that noone in their right mind would want to click on, except to send a few cents her way. She's asking readers to ask Google to reinstate the old ads for all things Catholic and religious ("But please," she says, "keep your sticks on the ice" Heh.).

Meanwhile, Mark Shea entered the game a bit late. He recently sent a letter to the Googleistas asking to be part of the program, and was brushed off with this mealy mouthed form letter. Mark's reply: "Evidently my readers don't buy things, so advertising to them would be a waste of time." He accused Google of "corporate cowardice" and insinuated anti-Catholic bigotry.

I don't know about the bigotry part but I did a story on Google in my waning days at the Report. I was shocked -- genuinely shocked; not shocked, shocked! -- to learn that the world's biggest search engine doesn't have a policy on free speech. They're not wildly censorious but everything is decided on a case by case basis. If a local government, for instance, says "Yo, take that down," they do so without too much protest. Not sure that adds that much to the debate but there it is.

posted by Jeremy at 1:18 AM