Is This Our Beloved Google? Ads and Consumer Scams?

March 20, 2017

I admit it. I want to believe everything I read on the Internet. I take this approach to be more in tune with today’s talking heads on US cable TV and the millennials who seem to cross my path like deer unfamiliar with four lane highways.

I read what must be an early April Fool’s joke. The write up’s headline struck me as orthogonal to my perception of the company I know, love, and trust: “Google to Revamp Ad Policies after U.K., Big Brands Boycott.”

The main idea is that someone believes that Google has been indexing terror-related content and placing ads next to those result pages and videos. I learned:

The U.S. company said in a blog post Friday it would give clients more control over where their ads appear on both YouTube, the video-sharing service it owns, and the Google Display Network, which posts advertising to third-party websites. The announcement came after the U.K. government and the Guardian newspaper pulled ads from the video site, stepping up pressure on YouTube to police content on its platform.

Interesting. I thought Google / DeepMind had the hate speech, fake news, and offensive content issue killed, cooked, and eaten.

The notion that Google would buckle under to mere advertisers strikes me as ludicrous. For years, Google has pointed out that confused individuals at Foundem, the government of France, and other information sites misunderstand Google’s squeaky clean approach to figuring out what’s important.

The other item which suggests that the Google in my mind is not the Google in the real world is “Facebook, Twitter, and Google Must Remove Scams or Risk Legal Action, Says EU.”

What’s up? Smart software understands content in context. Algorithms developed by the wizards at Google and other outfits chug along without the silly errors humans make. Google and other companies have to become net nannies. (Hey, that software worked great, didn’t it?)

I learned:

The EU also ordered these social networks to remove fraudulent posts that can mislead consumers.

If these write ups are indeed accurate, I will take down my “Do no evil” poster. Is there a “We do evil” version available? I will check those advertisements on Google.

Stephen E Arnold, March 20, 2017

Comments

One Response to “Is This Our Beloved Google? Ads and Consumer Scams?”

  1. Jeff Harris on March 22nd, 2017 10:05 pm

    Sorry to break it to you. Google’s quest for profit growth has resulted in these odious practices.

    AI and machine algorithms are no substitute for human curation of the videos and data. But filtering millions of hours of video content with human eyes is costly. Despite Google’s whole-hearted embracement of AI and machine learning, the technology is ill-equipped to handle such filtering. They knew it all along also. But doing something about it would cost substantially. It’s still going to cost although now in the millions of dollars of lost business.

    The result is over $300,000 paid out to terror and hate groups who have posted such videos on YouTube.

    Sending even one red cent to such groups is too much. And Google sent more, much more than that. To make matters worse, they attempt to trivialize the issue and won’t provide any hard numbers of how much has been to the individuals and groups. They have all of that information also but won’t disclose it.

    Google still feels their motto of “do no evil” still holds. They just need to convince all of us to embrace a new definition of the word “evil.”

    I had negative feelings toward Microsoft, but they wouldn’t allow this to happen. I have already switched to Bing and have no plans on ever returning to Google.

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