Google Disables All Ads on Antiwar.com (Updated)

– because we have a page showing the Abu Ghraib abuses.

Update: After channels of communication were opened as a result of this article on Gawker, Google contacted us and said they would be restoring our ads.

However, Friday morning I received another demand to remove content from our site. Google has decided this page must be removed.

We have no intention of letting Google dictate our editorial policies.

Original post:

On 3/18/15 we received a note from Google Adsense informing us that all ads for our site had been disabled. Why? Because of this page showing the horrific abuses committed by U.S. troops in Iraq at Abu Ghraib.

This page has been up for 11 years. During all that time Google Adsense has been running ads on our site – but as Washington gets ready to re-invade Iraq, and in bombing, killing, and abusing more civilians, they suddenly decide that their "anti-violence" policy, which prohibits "disturbing material," prohibits any depiction of violence committed by the U.S. government and paid for with your tax dollars. This page is the third-most-visited page in our history, getting over 2 million page views since it was posted.

To say this is an utter outrage would be an understatement: it is quite simply the kind of situation one might expect to encounter in an authoritarian country where state-owned or state-connected companies routinely censor material that displeases the government.

Is Google now an arm of the U.S. State Department?

This is a big hit on our funding. You can bet the boys in Washington don’t like us and would just love to shut us down.

Don’t let them get away with it! We need your help today, and you can do that in two ways:

  1. Make a donation to help us recover the lost revenue. We run this web site on a shoestring, and the money we fully expected to bring in from Google ads now puts a big hole our budget. We simply can’t afford to lose this income – but we’re not taking down the Abu Ghraib page. No way, no how! Please make your tax-deductible donation today.
  2. Contact Google ads and give them a piece of your mind. Tell them that you don’t appreciate their efforts on behalf of the Washington censors and demand that they reinstate us immediately.
    Google Inc.
    1600 Amphitheater Parkway
    Mountain View, CA 94043
    Telephone: 650-253-0000
    You can also interact with Google at their forum

Thank you to all our supporters.

You can confirm that Antiwar.com is being blocked by going to Adsenseblockchecker.

Here is the text of the email received from Google Adsense:

Date: Wed, 18 Mar 2015 05:43:39 +0000
Subject: Google AdSense ad serving has been disabled to your site
From: adsense-noreply@google.com
To: adsense-noreply@google.com

Hello,
This message is to alert you that one of your websites is not currently in compliance with our AdSense program policies and as a result, ad serving has been disabled to your website.

Issue ID#: 33539611

Ad serving has been disabled to: antiwar.com

Example page where violation occurred: http://www.antiwar.com/news/?articleid=8560

Action required: Check all other remaining sites in your account for compliance.

Current account status: Active

Violation explanation

VIOLENCE/GORE: As stated in our program policies, AdSense publishers are not permitted to place Google ads on pages with violent or disturbing content, including sites with gory text or images. More information about this policy can be found in our help center ( https://support.google.com/adsense/answer/1348688?utm_source=crs&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=notificationhl=en&answer=105954 ).

VIOLENCE: As stated in our program policies, AdSense publishers are not permitted to place Google ads on pages with violent content. This includes sites with content related to breaking bones, getting hit by trains or cars, or people receiving serious injuries. More information about this policy can be found in our help center ( https://support.google.com/adsense/answer/1348688?utm_source=crs&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=notificationhl=en&answer=105954 ).

Action required: Check account for compliance
While ad serving has been disabled to the above site, your AdSense account remains active. Please be aware that the URL above is just an example and that the same violations may exist on other pages of this website or other sites you own. Therefore, we suggest that you take the time to review the rest of your sites to ensure that theyâ ™re in compliance with our policies, and to monitor your sites accordingly to reduce the likelihood of future policy emails from us. Additionally, please note that our team reserves the right to disable accounts at any time if we continue to see violations occurring.

Appeals
If you wish to appeal this disabling then you can do so by using the Issue ID listed above to contact us via our Help Center: https://support.google.com/adsense/answer/113061?utm_source=crs&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=notificationhl=en&answer=113061.

Thank you for your cooperation.

Sincerely,

The Google AdSense Team

240 thoughts on “Google Disables All Ads on Antiwar.com (Updated)”

  1. People need to dump Google and go for Meta Search Engines Ixquick.com or Startpage.com instead. These later do not track your data like Google does

  2. Google is simply responding to the demands of their customers in the "market place". Is antiwar.com going to repackage itself as "anticapitalism.com"?

  3. What about context? AntiWar is a legitimate current events website, not some site showing little animals being crushed by big feet for sexual gratification, for Pete's sake!

    1. Ah, another problem. See, legitimate and accurate depiction and analysis of current events start people thinking. My own blog does this too, but has a smaller audience and I never make a cent on it. Capitalism is pretty tricky. Crushing animals for sex doesn't call into question imperialism and bombing people, either.

  4. Ah, another problem. See, legitimate and accurate depiction and analysis of current events start people thinking. My own blog does this too, but has a smaller audience and I never make a cent on it. Capitalism is pretty tricky. Crushing animals for sex doesn't call into question imperialism and bombing people, either.

  5. If your complaint were legitimate then you could show a site that supports the great evil conspiracy which you are against and that has content” with violent or disturbing content, including sites with gory text or images.”

    If you can not deliver information to your audience without relying on gore then you are little more than a fear monger relying on an audience that responds more the emotion than to information and logic.

    Of course, I have been aware of that for quite a while.

  6. “If you can not deliver information to your audience without relying on gore then you are little more than a fear monger relying on an audience that responds more the emotion than to information and logic.”

    Uh, no. Fear mongers rely on deception. Posting visual depictions of the accounts described in an article is thorough journalism. See, the people who are subjected to this violence don’t have the option of avoiding the visual. It is their reality. And by sharing in those images, one can only hope it humanizes those the *true* fear mongers try to dehumanize. That’s reality.

  7. Idea:

    Ever think of taking down the offensive photos from this site, posting them on another shadow site, and then on this site provide a link to the shadow site? That ought satisfy Google's requirements, (at least not give them an excuse), and solve your funding stream problem.

  8. I’m sorry, but I disagree with you. If you are violating Google Adsense policy, then they have every right to take down their ads. I understand your anger towards them, but you have a lot of balls asking us to donate to your site when you are in clear violation of Google Adsense policy.

    Just thought I would put my two sense in.

  9. Adsense has done the same with our site the Russian Ukrainian Adventures discussion forums (RUA). They decided we were an "adult" site as members had posted a couple of photos of girls at Femen protests. Despite some content they identified being removed, they refused to reinstate Adsense for reasons they refused to specify.

    Despite two appeals, they refused to provide us with further links to supposedly offending content. I suspect the real reason for this is that we carry a lot of pro-Russian content and a lot of links to material concerning the civil war in Ukraine that some in the US administration may find inconvenient.

Comments are closed.