Friday, July 3, 2009

Google Disallows Ads for Abortion Services in Over 12 Countries

What I'm filling you in on is just what the title says. If you click the title, you will be directed to the article on from which I got the information from, as well as more information about the topic.

If you are feeling lazy, I'll fill you in:

"AdWords now prohibits ads for abortion services of any kind in over a dozen countries, including Brazil, France, Mexico, Poland, and Taiwan. " (AdWords is the google advertising network that allows advertisers to place ads in relevant search results.)

Google's defense was that they had tailored their search services to the laws of the different countries. While I haven't read much on globalisation and new media, I think this brings up an important question: how, why, and when can such services like google censor their information? Is this ever okay?

Obviously, I think not. Witholding reproductive health information from women is a violation of their rights, no matter what the law is.

Last thing to ponder: what to do with situations where service providers like google have the opportunity to make political and social decisions? On one hand, I see googles motivation: they don't want to lose customers. At the same time, every act matters; google's actions are a move against all women. Companies like google should be held accountable for such actions.

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