What’s Wrong with Google?

Quartz Hill School of Theology received the following notice from Google:

This is a warning message to alert you that there is action required to bring your AdSense account into compliance with our AdSense program policies. We’ve provided additional details below, along with the actions to be taken on your part.

Affected website: theology.edu
Example page where violation occurred: http://www.theology.edu/antisemitism.htm
Action required: Please make changes to your site within 3 business days.
Current account status: Active

Violation explanation

Google does not allow the monetization of content that may be sensitive, tragic, or hurtful. While we believe strongly in the freedom of expression and offer broad access to content across the Web without censoring search results, we reserve the right to exercise discretion when reviewing sites and determining whether or not we are able to provide a positive user experience delivering contextually targeted ads to a site with this type of content.

For more information, please review Google’s program policies.

My guess is that this communication from Google is an example of the words attributed to Napoleon:

“Never ascribe to malice that which is adequately explained by incompetence.”

It seems unlikely, therefore, that Google has become antisemitic and is upset that we trashed antisemitism, though it is entirely possible that antisemites wrote to Google to “alert” them to our page with a claim that it was “offensive.” I suspect Google’s response to claims of offensive content is to assume guilt. I could be wrong, but it is hard for me to understand otherwise–besides the possibility that whoever reviewed the claim against us is an idiot. It is far less likely that Google has an evil antisemitic whackjob working for them. If an antisemite found our site “hurtful” then good. Maybe they’ll repent of their evil ways.

In any case, Eric G Miller removed the Google ads from that page. Perhaps that will be enough to satisfy the stupid autoprogram or bureaucrat at Google.

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About R.P. Nettelhorst

I'm married with three daughters. I live in southern California and I'm the interim pastor at Quartz Hill Community Church. I have written several books. I spent a couple of summers while I was in college working on a kibbutz in Israel. In 2004, I was a volunteer with the Ansari X-Prize at the winning launches of SpaceShipOne. Member of Society of Biblical Literature, American Academy of Religion, and The Authors Guild
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