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Mark McCaw ~ twitter's @bigpicguy

Author of "Insights Inside a Mind" ~ blogging the big picture

Monday, 23 May 2011

Google: Judge, Jury & Executioner

     I suppose if I'm critical of Google, maybe their next step will be deleting my blog. Not that I care at this point, I'll find a new forum to write. I hadn't anticipated writing a second post today, however, sometimes fate has a funny way of doing things.


     For the past several years, I'd been too busy caring for my ailing, aging mother to be able to find time to write, something I very much enjoy doing. After she passed away in November, after a period of time, I realized I now had time to persue some personal interests.

     While talking with a friend one day, I was encouraged to visit this site and set up a blog. I thought about it somewhat, then decided I would do so. Events leading up to the recent election in Canada gave me plenty of fodder as I've always been a news/politics/geopolitics fanatic, so I decided I'd set up my own site, whether anyone actually read it or not I knew I'd enjoy the reading, reasearch, and writing. I always have.

     Sometime after setting up my blog, some of the readers had suggested I should create a website, which, of course, costs money. At this point, someone said I might be able to help finance the hosting of my own site by joining Google's AdSense program. I figured it couldn't hurt, so I dutifully set up the account, placed the ads on my page and did what anyone trying to promote something would do, I encouraged friends, co workers, relatives, readers, in fact anyone at all to support my efforts by clicking on the ads. I was happy to see I seemed to being doing pretty well, approaching the payout threshold for the month, apparently, so I'd been checking my progress a couple of times a day. Then came the events of this afternoon.

     My Big Surprise

     Since I had created a new post, and a new post generally creates new traffic, I thought I'd check in and see if there had been any rise in my earnings from the previous day. I click on the tab to check and was greeted by the notice below:

AdSense for ContentThe account associated with publisher ID ca-pub-XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX has been disabled. Learn more

     Of course, I was confused. Who wouldn't be? I read the rules and I've worked in the advertising industry so I understand why they don't want you to log in and click on your own ads, I get that, so I made it a point not to do this. I've even had to catch myself several times when I almost clicked on something on my own page that interested me. To the best of my knowledge, I never did.

     I figured, by clicking the "learn more" link I would get an explanation why my account had been, without any type of warning, disabled. Imagine my surprise when the link took me to nothing but a FAQ page with a variety of links to reasons why they may have disabled the account and/or how I might beg them to allow me to put their sponsored ads back on my page.

    Perhaps at that point I got pissed off. I realized I had just been subject to some kind of prehistoric justice system run by the all-powerful Google. I was both convicted and sentenced in secret with absolutely no indication of any reason why they disabled an account that was about to pay out. Being reasonably sure I hadn't contravened any of the rules and regulations therewith, I clicked on the link to see about reinstatement.

     I realized I received an email from them so, before filing said appeal, I figured I'd read the email to find out what possibly could have caused them to disable my account without any prior warning, sure that it was some kind of error that would be corrected quite simply.

     Text of the "Official Notification" email from Google AdSense:

     Below is the complete text of the email I received from Google, notifying me they had disabled my adsense account.

This message was sent from a notification-only email address that does not
accept incoming email. Please do not reply to this message.
After reviewing our records, we've determined that your AdSense account
poses a risk of generating invalid activity. Because we have a
responsibility to protect our AdWords advertisers from inflated costs due
to invalid activity, we've found it necessary to disable your AdSense
account. Your outstanding balance and Google's share of the revenue will
both be fully refunded back to the affected advertisers.
Please understand that we need to take such steps to maintain the
effectiveness of Google's advertising system, particularly the
advertiser-publisher relationship. We understand the inconvenience that
this may cause you, and we thank you in advance for your understanding and
If you have any questions or concerns about the actions we've taken, how
you can appeal this decision, or invalid activity in general, you can find
more information by visiting
The Google AdSense Team
     So What Next?
     I figured, good, I'll click the link and find out what horrendous crime I committed by clicking on the link. I did, and to my surprise it took me directly to the same, useless, FAQ page. I won't begin to tell you some of the replies I gave to the absolutely astoundingly stupid questions on the appeal form, which you can see for yourself by clicking here.
     I've now removed any of the adsense crap on my page. As I told them, I don't care if they reinstate the account. No further google ads will appear on any page I own until such point as they explain why, in the middle of a holiday afternoon, they disabled my account without either warning or explanation. I did tell them I was glad they weren't running the justice system.
     At the risk of being deleted, I will say a hearty "Fuck You Google, self-appointed judge, jury and executioner in a system with no sensible due process".
     Below is the laughable text of the email I received in response to my "appeal". Thanks to everyone who took the time to try to support free speech by clicking my ads. Free speech apparently isn't something Google cares about, unless they happen to control it
     The foolishness continues: 
This message confirms that we've received your appeal submission.
We'll get to your appeal as soon as we can, though due to the high volume
of emails we receive, it may take us up to a week or more to process it.
If you've previously submitted an appeal for this account, you might not
receive a response to this or future appeals.
Also, please be aware that appealing the disabling of your AdSense account
does not guarantee that it will be reinstated.
If you have any questions or concerns about accounts disabled for invalid
activity, please visit
Thanks for your patience and understanding.
The Google AdSense Team

     In Closing:

     Google proves you don't need to have brains to have a multi-billion dollar company.

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