Ron Strom is commentary editor of WND, a post he took after serving as a news editor since 2000. Prior to coming on board with WND, Strom worked in politics in California. Married and the father of two homeschool graduates, he has served in leadership positions in his church, local nonprofit boards and in county government.More ↓Less ↑
Though Google, the popular Internet search site, claims to uphold its corporate motto, “Don’t be evil,” it allows advertising for what many would consider blatant evil: Homosexual videos featuring anal sex.
As WorldNetDaily reported, Google recently banned an advertisement from a Christian organization, Stand to Reason, because the group’s website contains articles opposing homosexuality that were determined by Google to be “hate speech.”
Said an e-mail addressed to Stand to Reason: “Google AdWords policy never permits ads or keywords promoting hate, violence, or crimes toward any organization, person or group protected by law,” including those distinguished by their “sexual orientation/gender identity.”
AdWord is a program on Google in which ads are listed in the right-hand margin of search results when key words an advertiser submits match those put in by a Net user. The company says it does not restrict actual search results that come up, only the advertisements that accompany them.
After reading the WND story about Google’s policy regarding the Christian site, a reader forwarded the newssite a letter he wrote to the search-engine firm:
“You will not allow ads that lead to websites advocating against homosexuality, but typing ‘a– f—ing sex’ in Google leads to sidebar ads for ‘awesome anal videos,’ et al. The incredible double standard displayed by you and the left in general is at the root of the rot in this country. Of course, the right to free speech protects [anal sex], but not the belief that homosexuality is a sin. That is truly amazing, don’t you agree?”
Indeed, ads that pop up using the readers’ criteria yield several ads for videos and pornographic websites. When the word “gay” is added, the theme of the ads switches to homosexual porn.
Images offered by Google are no less obscene, another reader claimed: “I often go to Google images, looking for pictures to use. Almost without fail you will find porn mixed in with innocent requests. Using the word ‘Clinton,’ by page 2 I had a nude woman. … Google is not a safe search engine for children to use.”
More Google bans
Other readers also pointed out problems they have had or observed with Google.
For example, Ted Dickinson says Google banned an AdWord advertisement he had submitted for his site FlushHanoiJohn.com because it was said to be too inflammatory.
Michael Herman, who works for Christianity Today, says his employer had a similar experience to Stand to Reason’s.
“I went back and forth with Google for a few months,” he told WND. “They’ll allow some ads, but not anything to do with same-sex articles or homosexuality. They called it hate as well, in our case. …
“They just kept rewording their letters to me, hoping I’d give up,” Herman said.
Bias in search results?
Another reader pointed out that when the word “Jew” is put into Google, the second site listed is JewWatch, “a venomous anti-Semitic website,” the reader stated.
“Google, despite it’s professed concern about promoting hate, which led them to oh-so-nobly turn down advertising from a Christian group, does a fantastic job of promoting hate itself. I don’t buy their line that their policies on advertising does not apply to listings – if you are against hate, you should be against hate. After all, who is forcing them to put JewWatch virtually at the top of their list, for free, without even the excuse of advertising revenue to justify this choice?”
While some are critical of the site’s placement on Google, defenders of the search engine say it is simply the result of the creators of JewWatch putting in the effort to better optimize their site for search-engine success and that Google management has nothing to do with search rankings.
Yet another reader noted when one enters “WMD” in the search engine, the first result is a page ridiculing President Bush about the lack of weapons the U.S. has found in Iraq. The page is disguised as a “Page Cannot be Displayed” error message but instead is titled “These Weapons of Mass Destruction cannot be displayed.”
The WMD joke is not the first time a perceived anti-Bush bias has been discovered on Google. As WorldNetDaily reported, the first entry to come up when the words “miserable failure” is put into Google is the White House biography of the president.
Computer users utilize a technique called “Google bombing” to rig results by posting the phrase “miserable failure” on webpages and linking it to the Bush biography.
The same technique has wedded the term “waffles” with John Kerry. When “waffles” is put into Google, the first result to pop up is Kerry’s campaign site.