Allow me to be clear: Google will still index your site, but you may not advertise using AdWords if your site has anything negative to say about George Bush. In response to my question about why I was “disapproved” I received the following:
I have reviewed your website and would like to explain the reason for this
disapproval. As an example of language that advocates against an
individual, group, or organization, in the entry entitled ‘NOT-SO-GLAD
TIDINGS’ all the excerpts from the letter you received would be fall under
this category advocating against women, liberals and homosexuals.
Additionally, you go on in your commentary to use language that advocates
against President Bush. All of this sort of material would need to be
removed before we would approve the ad to run on Google.
It seems you are allowed to “advocate against” poverty. And you can advocate for bush in interesting ways. You can even run pretty clear political ads in favor of George Bush and get AdWords for those. But if you speak against Bush, or quote someone who speaks in a particular way, you are no longer acceptable to Google. Am I the only one who sees this as a problem?
My emailed response is below.
Thank you for your response.
I am troubled not so much by the lines you have drawn, but by an unequal application of those lines. For example, you accept direct links to campaign ads in *favor* of the president (i.e., “republicangear.com”), but are discontinuing my advertisement. You note that I “use language that advocates against president Bush.” I’m not sure how you gathered this from the entry. At no point do I specifically say anything about George Bush, except to note that a following excerpt is in regards to his election.
Allowing some political speech while not allowing other speech would suggest that your company has taken an editorial position on the topic. Censorship is a strange business to get into. Naturally, as a consultant, I would like to avail myself of Google’s advertising. But if that advertising is specifically in favor of a particular political party, I–along with many other advertisers, I assume–am not interested.
Please refund my my AdWords payment. The contracted service was not delivered. Nowhere in the application did it suggest that speech against George Bush was against the rules.