Friday, October 24, 2008

Adios, Ad Sense

Most visitors here probably never noticed or cared, but for a while there I had an Ad Sense widget on my blog. It's okay if you didn't notice. Or care. I mean, Ad Sense allegedly posts ads that have some connection, however tenuous, with one's blog's content. It does indeed work this way on occasion, but more often than not the operative word is indeed "tenuous." It's also been an occasional source of humor: for example, the ad for "Dog Helmets" that popped up this morning made me laugh out loud. There have been times in the past when Scruffy would indeed have benefited had he been wearing a helmet . . . each of them, alas for him, having been a time when all four of his paws were on the floor of the apartment.

At any rate, it's gone now.

I'd like to state why, here from my admittedly stumpy little virtual soapbox: It had just posted on my site an ad that I found tasteless in the extreme, an ad linking to a site that has posted salacious allegations about John McCain's personal life. Proud Obama supporter though I am, I refuse to be party, however innocent, to such things--as should all people of good will. Offal is offal, no matter who its target is.

Such sites should have as little exposure as possible. Thus, it's a mystery to me why Ad Sense is selling them more exposure. Money, you say. Protected speech, you say. Well, Ad Sense is a business and not a public entity: true, a business's chief goals are to provide a good or service and to make money, but it otherwise is under no obligation to accept this or any other ad if it doesn't want to. The ad's text made it clear that it was not seeking to present an explicit argument either for McCain as a candidate for President; thus, it was not political speech--which, even if it was, Ad Sense is still under no obligation to accept.

Back to money, then, as the only business-centric reason for accepting an ad from such a place. In this case, it's also the most crass reason.


R. Sherman said...

I thought about doing the ad thing, but eschewed it for the reasons you cite here: I have no control over what gets posted.

Bobby Rozzell said...

Google likes to make its "do no evil" claim but then it dallys with this stuff constantly.
I appreciate your stance, but then I appreciate your thoughts on a number of issues.
Press on.