Some interesting news came out today related to a lawsuit I heard about several months ago and then forgot about. Back in March of this year, a pro-life group called The Christian Institute attempted to post an advertisement on Google's AdWords system. Google AdWords is a very popular advertising method used to get links to your site out on the Internet. It is administrated fully by Google.
The group's advertisement read:
Now, I'll admit that I guess I'm pro-life so it's not a surprise that I don't find the above advertisement offensive. However, I don't think that many people on the fence would find it too "out there' either. But Google did.
The ad was denied because, according to Google's policy, Google won't allow "abortion and religion-related content." Though they had no problem granting AdWords entries to Mary Stopes International or Planned Parenthood; both organizations that provide and advocate for abortion.
I'm not anti-Google. In fact I don't remember the last time I used another search engine, but I do feel it note-worthy when an organization that is in the position to determine what millions of people do, and don't, see each day decides to give priority to one side of an argument. That would be like forcing teachers to only discuss evolution in science classes and no other theory on the beginning of life or like only talking about the signs supporting global warming and none of the ones that don't support it. Oh, wait...
Anyway, as a happy development in the story, Google settled out of court with The Christian Institute yesterday and has agreed to change its policy for AdWords to allow for religious advertising in the abortion realm. A Google spokesman said, "The issue of abortion is an emotive subject and Google does not take a particular side. Over the last few months we have been reviewing our abortion ads policy in order to make sure it was fair, up to date and consistent with local customs and practices,"
In other words, you win, we were wrong. It's not our place to force our views on you.
So feel free to use Google all you want. It only took one lawsuit to get them to admit that their policies were one-sided. Oh, that it would always be so easy!