It is sometimes fascinating how certain purposeful intentions and actions can align themselves to the point of convergence. Case in point. I had come to the personal conclusion that Google has and is becoming much too large, too diffuse, too intrusive and much too much part of the problem of loss of privacy on the internet. As a consequence, I decided to move my internet research activities over to Yahoo. I have used Yahoo in the past – in fact Yahoo was the go to search engine back when I first started using the internet in around 1997.
Yahoo, in my opinion and experience (as a search engine), is in no way inferior to Google. Their business model, as we all know, has been kind of left in the dust by all the other bells and whistles that Google has developed over the last decade – but I’m not much of a bells and whistles kind of guy anyway.
Oddly enough, shortly after I make the decision to move away from Google, the sexy, trashy girl with all the ‘flair’ and glitz, long fingernails and scads of makeup (think Lady Gaga) – to the wholesome, hometown girl with clean good looks, tasteful style, dependability and decorum (think Zooey Deschanel), which is Yahoo – I come to discover that Google has decided to declare itself a combatant in the culture war.
Yes, I am basking in the wisdom of my decision, having found out that Google has come out on the side of the anti-gun, anti-2nd Amendment freedoms faction. According to a blogger whose report has been detailed on Prison Planet, Google sent out an email to Google Adwords customers saying that they are going to pull all Google Shopping results for guns, ammunition, gun optics and gun accessories. To be precise, Google hasn’t gone to the extent of censoring general search results, but even targeting a legitimate consumer interest in their virtual shopping environment is a moral judgment and a implicit defamation of gun owners and gun hobbyists.
Here’s the insulting policy declaration presented in patronizing parental pastel tones:
We’re writing to let you know about some upcoming changes to the product listings you submit to Google. As we recently announced, we are starting to transition our shopping experience to a commercial model that builds on Product Listing Ads. This new shopping experience is called Google Shopping. As part of this transition, we’ll begin to enforce a set of new policies for Google Shopping in the coming weeks. A new list of the allowed, restricted, and prohibited products on Google Shopping is available on our new policy page – http://www.google.com/appserve/mkt/ApI7UWRj6OCZpd.
Based on a review of the products you’re currently submitting, it appears that some of the content in your Merchant Center account, Ham Lund Tactical, will be affected by these policy changes. In particular we found that your products may violate the following policies:
When we make this change, Google will disapprove all of the products identified as being in violation of policies. We ask that you make any necessary changes to your feeds and/or site to comply, so that your products can continue to appear on Google Shopping.
To help you through this new set of policies and how to comply with them, we would like to give you some specific suggestions regarding the changes needed to keep your offers running on Google Shopping.
As highlighted on our new policy page http://www.google.com/appserve/mkt/ApI7UWRj6OCZpd, in order to comply with the Google Shopping policies you need to comply first with the AdWords policies http://www.google.com/appserve/mkt/StQ08jAzM4fVtG.We do not allow the promotion or sale of weapons and any related products such as ammunitions or accessory kits on Google Shopping. In order to comply with our new policies, please remove any weapon-related products from your data feed and then re-submit your feed in the Merchant Center. For more information on this policy please visit http://www.google.com/appserve/mkt/GbBNIGHOribLzf.
We’re constantly reviewing our policies, and updating them when necessary, to ensure we’re offering the best experience possible to our users. We’ve identified a set of policy principles to govern our policy efforts on Google Shopping in the U.S. These principles are:
1) Google Shopping should provide a positive experience to users. Showing users the right products at the right time can truly enhance a user’s experience. When people trust us to deliver them to a destination that’s relevant, original, and easy to navigate this creates a positive online experience to the benefit of both users and merchants.
2 ) Google Shopping should be safe for all users. User safety is everyone’s business, and we can’t do business with those who don’t agree. Scams, phishing, viruses, and other malicious activities on the Internet damage the value of the Internet for everyone. Trying to get around policies or “game the system” is unfair to our users, and we can’t allow that.
3) Google Shopping should comply with local laws and regulations. Many products and services are regulated by law, which can vary from country to country. All advertising, as well as the products and services being advertised, must clearly comply with all applicable laws and regulations. For the most part, our policies aren’t designed to describe every law in every country. All advertisers bear their own responsibility for understanding the laws applicable to their business. Our policies are often more restrictive than the law, because we need to be sure we can offer services that are legal and safe for all users.
4) Google Shopping should be compatible with Google’s brand decisions. Google Shopping must be compatible with company brand decisions. Our company has a strong culture and values, and we’ve chosen not to allow ads that promote products and services that are incompatible with these values. In addition, like all companies, Google sometimes makes decisions based on technical limitations, resource constraints, or requirements from our business partners. Our policies reflect these realities.
We’ve given much thought to our stance on this content, as well as the potential effect our policy decision could have on our Merchants, and we apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you.
The Google Shopping Team
Guess what Google? My readers and I have a set of values as well. They are known as American Tribal Values and they include respect for the rights and responsibilities afforded to us by God and by our Constitution and those who have paid the price to protect, defend and preserve them. They include the 2nd and the 1st Amendments. So – hey, no muss, no fuss, I’ll just be moving along and leave you to your conceits about political correctness. Buh-bye.