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Thursday, 23 August 2018 11:12

Google: mediocre software, low-IQ practices

Google: mediocre software, low-IQ practices Pixabay

The level of mediocrity at Google does not only extend to its software, but also its management practices. Which company, when asked to review an article that had been blacklisted by software for supposed violation of the AdSense policy, would again use the same software to do a review?

Well, Google did, and not surprisingly the same action resulted in the same result! Surprise, surprise!

This episode revolves around an innocuous story in iTWIre a few days ago, regarding the passing of a bill in Parliament to offer some measures to prevent the phenomenon of revenge porn.

An accompanying picture, from the free provider Pixabay, showed someone viewing an image where nothing was exposed. If that picture was objectionable, then I am Barack Obama.

This is not the first time that Google has acted in this manner. Back in July 2016, Google issued a similar notice about an article that was published the same year, regarding an adult shop that was using mobile technology. No links to any porn sites or adult sites or anything of the kind. No links of any kind in fact! On that occasion, the search behemoth backed down.

The recent stupidity on display does not end there. iTWire has disabled Google ads on the site for more than a year, so this so-called violation of the AdSense policy means nothing. Why would you monitor pages that do not use your ads? Ah. I'm sure that Google has an intelligent response to that one.

iTWire editor Stan Beer said: "We have always used Doubleclick For Publishers – which Google purchased many years ago and recently renamed Google Adserver. I load our ads on that server and they are loaded based on the parameters I set. Most publishers like us would use Google Adserver to serve their ads."

So, Google is blacklisting a publisher who is not even using that service. Chalk up another win for Google.

Beer said use of the ad server was free. "A lot of small publishers just serve 100% Google Ads – that's how it's funded. Google rips them off big-time. They pay them a minuscule portion of the funds that the ads generate. You will note that the page of your 'offending' story is still running all of our ads. So a pox on them."

As far as its official reaction went, a Google spokesperson said: "We have strict policies prohibiting the placement of ads on pages with adult or mature content.

"We don’t comment publicly on policy violations or enforcement actions for individual sites, but regularly review sites and content on their domains to ensure compliance.”

It's not surprising that the company is so secretive – after all, it was funds from the CIA's investment arm In-Q-Tel that paid for Google co-founder Sergey Brin to carry out the research that helped to set up the company.

That kind of culture tends to grow on you. All the talk of transparency and openness is for the birds.


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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.



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