Open Letter to Google Criticizes Censorship

Last week, Todd Glider of the mature-content website Badoink wrote an open letter to Google about the latter’s sudden decision to ban adult advertising at the behest of the purity league “Morality in Media.” His detailed, insightful letter addresses many of the recent problems between Google and legal adult businesses, and I highly recommend reading it.

Although the AdWords ban has been well publicized, Glider also notes that MIM claims that Google additionally “will also no longer link to sites that contain [adult] materials, no matter how benign their advertising,” meaning that adult content would be completely de-indexed from Google search results. He indicates that even though his company has spent millions of dollars on Google ads, he couldn’t get a Google rep to answer his questions about exactly what would be considered a “graphic depiction,” and therefore prohibited.

Glider reiterates that Google holds a near-monopoly on Internet content indexing and points out the hypocrisy of a company that claims it doesn’t want to “do evil” censoring legal content. He notes that hate sites, for example, are now easier to find on Google than many legal adult sites like Badoink.

http://www.badoink.com/lifestyle/opinion-pieces/an-open-letter-to-google/

I would add that if Google does strip adult content out of its organic search results, services that are powered by Google, such as StartPage.com (which I have recommended), would also be affected. At this time, it may be prudent for customers to begin migrating to alternative search engines such as DuckDuckGo or Ixquick, which do not depend on Google search results. Webmasters may wish to consider focusing SEO efforts on Bing and Yahoo instead of Google until the organic search situation becomes more clear.

4 thoughts on “Open Letter to Google Criticizes Censorship

  1. TT is down again. Same DB error thing as last time.

    To Google’s credit, they finally capitulated on the nymwars thing and are finally allowing pseudonyms on Google+, instead of forcing real names.

    That doesn’t impact their position on porn, but it does repeal one of the more evil and less safe things they’ve been doing with their graveyard of a social network. I guess it makes it more likely that adult stars could have presence on G+ without using their real names.

    • Perhaps Google hopes to capitalize on recent privacy concerns with Facebook by offering G+ as, ironically, a more privacy-conscious alternative.

  2. I’m not sure whether it was in response to that or some other bid for good will. My inner pessimist tells me it probably wasn’t just some luck involving a PM at Google finally getting their head dislodged from their ass, though.

    After PRISM implicating GMail, Google’s privacy track record isn’t spotless, either. Lord knows what they’ve been doing with searchm but it won’t be pretty. May be worth considering using a search proxy for Google’s results like https://startpage.com/ (from the IxQuick guys), or a different engine like https://duckduckgo.com/ instead.

  3. Personally, I switched from Google to Scroogle a few years ago when privacy and ethics concerns about Google came into mainstream discussion, then I moved on to Startpage.com after Scroogle bit the dust. I’m liking DuckDuckGo.com even more, though, since they recently added Google-like features such as weather, images, calculator, and maps. I avoid G-mail and, because of ISP peering problems, can only use YouTube through a proxy (which is probably a blessing in disguise). I’m also in the market for a non-Google-powered Android device for an additional layer of privacy.

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