Monday, September 17, 2007

Google Disables Axis of Evil Geotargeting


Iranian's love their satellite dishes that connect them to external news sources



Iranian President Ahmadinejad does not...

While trolling Digital Point Forums I learned today that it appears Google as of very recently is no longer allowing people to advertise via AdWords in Iran, North Korea, Sudan and Syria from outside of those countries. What's interesting, though, is that they're not saying anything about this recent change. Google says specifically:

"Thank you for your email. I understand your concern that you are not able to target Iran as one of your targeting countries while setting up a new campaign. This is because Google routinely reviews its policies regarding advertising, including its policies regarding the geographical targeting of ads. Based on our most recent review of these policies and consistent with the Terms and Conditions of our AdWords service, we have decided to no longer offer geographical targeting of ads to Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan and Syria.

We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause. Please keep in mind that this decision only concerns our advertising and in no way affects the search results we deliver. Google offers broad access to content across the web without censoring results."


While a person in Iran can still advertise via AdWords in Iran, an American who wants to, say, expose Iranians to Wafa Sultan's revolutionary message, can no longer do so.

Why is Google doing this, you ask? Wouldn't Google want to support U.S. advertisers' ability to target international markets?

I'm not sure why they've made this decision, but I'm pissed they've taken a great tool out of the hands of people wanting to spread viewpoints into the countries whose people most need to hear them.

Someone from Google, please correct me if I'm off base here, but I think this is BAD, right up there with their decision to censor their search results in China. What kind of message does this send to Ahmadinejad, Bashar and Kim when we prevent our own people from targeting messages to their people???

Priuses are great, caving to foreign despots is not.

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