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Tuesday, 24 August 2010 01:49

Google censors Sex Party political ads


The Australian Sex Party has charged that anti-filter corporate campaigner Google censored its lampoon advertisement "Jerk Choices," reclassifying it as Adult Only despite the parody already having been played in prime time on free to air television.

The "Jerk Choices" campaign, which effectively shone a spotlight on wowsers in Australian society, had already been seen on The 7pm Project, as well as Gruen Nation and was used in an AdWords campaign through Google.

But Sex Party president Fiona Patten says two days before the election, what had been considered to be a political advertisement suitable for general release was suddenly reclassified as Adults Only - a change that hurt its viewing numbers.

"Given the number of times Google has spoken out against censorship over the past year in the wake of the government's internet filtering plans, this is the last thing we would expect from them," Ms Patten said.

She was not a happy woman. The reclassification is thought to have taken the ad out of play for a day during the heaviest advertising period of the campaign.

Google gave the Sex Party no warning that the reclassification was to occur and did not tell the newly-formed political party what recourse it had to have the original rating restated.

To make matters worse, when she phoned Google a recorded message said Google now only take complains by email. After emailing the address, an automated response said this method of complaint was no longer valid and that all enquiries needed to go through the Help Centre, Ms Patten said.

The Sex Party punches above its weight in the technology sector, having been one of the driving forces behind the grassroots campaign against the mandatory internet filter, and in the fight for and R18+  'Adult' classification for computer games.

Though the party has a serious libertarian policy agenda, it mainly seems they don't like wowsers and have campaigned against them.

And it's a policy plan that polled very well. In the Northern Territory, the Sex Party won more than five per cent of the primary vote in the senate - giving it official party status and all of the Federal funding that means.

In Victoria, where Ms Patten was running for a Senate seat, it secured 54,744 first preference votes. This compares to just 11,774 for the Australian Democrats and less than 9,000 for One Nation.

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