Yes, it is a slippery slope. And I don’t have an answer. But I have become a casualty.
Since 2008, I have used Google Ads to promote my alternative system of democratic governance. Last month, I tried to start a new Google campaign to promote my new novel “Diary of a Future Politician”. It should have easy. But my campaign was deemed “too political” and my ad campaign was denied. But it really was not that much different than my six or so other campaigns of the previous 12 years. I am promoting a book, not a particular political party, candidate, or ideology.
I tried several workarounds to fool the Google censors, who probably gave my campaign a look no longer than 30 seconds. But each time my campaign was refused. I tried to appeal, but my experience is that Google does not respond to small advertisers like me.
And I understand where Google is coming from. They don’t want to be labelled as the internet force that took foreign agent’s money to decide the November election. I am just caught in a vortex I cannot control.
So I went to Google’s competitors. Taboola also refused political advertisers — and refused to see I was not supporting any political faction. Facebook was vague about such advertising, but in the end, my Canadian address meant that I could not advertise politics on FB. Bing seemed to have only a few restrictions. So that is where I am. But I will still prefer to be advertising on Google.
But I feel sorry for these companies trying to do the right thing by not providing a platform for nefarious forces. But by censuring, they risk losing freedom of speech for good things as well.
Well actually I do have a little solution. For about four years, I did try to earn revenue from Google Adsense. But I was not happy with the kinds of ads showing on website(s). I would have liked to have more control. So I thought, “why not let the publisher decided on the advertising, not the ad broker.” So I invented DVO Advertising. The broker just puts the advertiser and publisher together to workout a deal.
I have put this invention on the shelf, but I still think it still has merit. The publishers should be the censors, not the brokers.