9.09.2009

I Got Punched In the Face


So, I'm walking down the street, minding my own business, doing my own thing, being a cliche, when a big man in a suit walks (or should I say lumbers) towards me.

"Apologize now or I punch you in the face."

"For what?"

The man stands there silently, glaring, getting ready to punch me in the face.

"Ok, Ok, I'm sorry. I'll never do it again. I promise. Now, can I get on with my life?"

"Hmm...let me think. No"

And then I was punched in the face.

As I lay on the asphalt writhing in painful agony, I begged my assailant for some answers.

"Please, just tell me what I did, I promise I won't do it again!! I really didn't mean any harm!"

"It's too late. You've been punched in the face. I can't really take that back. But I will tell you this. You see this book here?" He threw a tome of vast humongitude full of legalese down on the ground right in front of my face. "You definitely broke one of these rules. I can't tell you which one, but it doesn't make a difference. They're all cardinal sins, and honestly, you should be happy I didn't stab you. In the face. You're such a horrible person, that's probably what you deserved."

As he walked away from me into the sun, he stopped and turned his head towards my limp and lifeless body.

"Oh, by the way, don't try to contact me or anyone I work for about this incident. It is futile. Nobody has answers for you. You must understand that we have everybody's interests in mind. If you do try and circumvent the system, we will hunt you and your family to the edges of the Earth and we will kill you."

"In the face."

Ok, so maybe it didn't happen exactly that way. It's pretty close though. If you replace "me" with "my blog", "my face" with "Google Adsense", and "Big Suit man" with "Google", the story is still true.

Yes, I've been permanently banned from Google Adsense. No, I have no idea why. No, they gave me no warning or explanation other than "your account poses a significant risk to our advertisers' financial interests." If you are one of the 2.5 readers that frequent my site every day, then you know this to be quite ridiculous. So, when Google gave me a chance to appeal the ban, I thought Ok, maybe they have a soul after all. Alas, they have no soul. A week and a half after I sent in the appeal, I got a polite little email from Google saying "we got your appeal, and frankly, we don't care. Cry about it."

You know, normally, when a website is doing something wrong, the offended party sends some kind of cease and desist letter which says something along the lines of "Stop or we'll be forced to take action." Because sometimes people really do make mistakes. They don't mean anything by it, and if reminded, they will stop. Google decided to go the evil route. They disable your account, and then make you cry to get it back. Maybe. If they're in a good mood.

And it's not like the things you can do wrong are all that cardinal. If you post a picture that someone gave permission for you to use, but it turns out that person stole the picture, banned. If a stranger clicks on an ad on your site too many times, and you don't report it, banned. If you even reference the idea of influencing users to click on ads, banned. If you change the color of the Adsense box on your own, banned. If you change the font, banned. I'm not saying these things are OK to do. But at least give me a warning before you destroy my blog's income. The Terms and Conditions are very broad, sometimes vague, and are often changed without warning.

I don't know what Google has against me. I honestly don't want to break the rules, and it's not like I'm a big enough site to actually be able to abuse anything. All they've done is put a bad taste in my mouth. My views of Google have certainly been tarnished because of this. It's not because my account was disabled (It wasn't like I was making big bucks or anything). It just seems like an evil policy. It goes against Google's image of being fair, being for the people, and being human. It instead puts Google in the corporate light it tries so hard to shy away from. All they are is a huge data farm with huge profits. Maybe they really are no different than any corporation in that they care only about the bottom line. It's sad, but I'm afraid it's true. I'm losing faith in the human face of Google. It's inspiring me to make a search engine that gives legal information on how to sue evil corporations. I'll call it Soooogle. I'll show them. (That had nothing to do with my point, but I thought it was funny. There, it makes sense now.)

So that's it. No more Google Ads for me. I still don't know why. And my face still hurts.

3 comments:

Benjamin said...

I'm still waiting for the response to my cancellation. I think I got banned for being friends with you. Is that in the rule book? Can I not fraternize with blocked AdSensers?

I actually have traffic to my blog :( We truly live in sad and unfair times. I don't think Google had actual people checking out our sites. I think they have a super computer that thinks on its own and decided we were too smart and therefore a threat to its existence.

Namaps said...

As far as big ol' corporations go, Google generally still seems to be among the most benign, but maybe I've just fallen into a PR trap. Either way though, even a relatively benign corporation is still a corporation.

Ruth said...

I must point out that google's way is still better in most respects than the other ways. Hotmail drives me to distraction, for instance...

But that's not to say I haven't had my own troubles with Adsense. For months I've been waiting for my 'one week waiting period' on connecting my main email account to adsense, but I can't even get so much as a 'resend validation' button to try and fix it. There doesn't seem to be any way to contact them directly. I've tried round about through the gmail feedback system to no avail.

So I have to use my other account for adsense. That one worked, for some reason...maybe they just spelled my name wrong, like everybody else...

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