Anyone have any idea what I’m doing that bugs Google?

The cartoon that started the fuss back in 2010. In case you forget, it was about Nikki Haley calling for transparency for everyone but herself...

The cartoon that started the fuss back in 2010. In case you forget, it was about Nikki Haley calling for transparency for everyone but herself…

Google Adsense — the folks who place the more random-seeming ads on this blog — sent me this warning recently. I just wish I knew what it was I did that they don’t like — because while the money I get from Google for those ads is a tiny trickle, it’s better than nothing, so I’d hate to see them pull the ads altogether.

Here’s what they said:

Dear Publisher,

This Google Publisher Policy Report gives you an overview of recent activity related to violations found on specific pages of your websites. As enforcement statuses may change over time, please refer to the “Page-level enforcements” section of the AdSense Policy Center for the current list of active violations.

Please note this report doesn’t cover violations that may happen on an overall site or account level. You may be notified by a separate email if site or account level violations are found. Ads will continue to serve where no policy violations have been found, either at the page- or site-level.

In the last 24 hours:

  • New violations were detected. As a result, ad serving has been restricted or disabled on pages where these violations of the AdSense Program Policies were found. To resolve the issues, you can either remove the violating content and request a review, or remove the ad code from the violating pages.

Further details on enforcements can be found in the AdSense Help Center. To learn more about our program policies, please view the AdSense Program Policies.

Kind regards,
Google Publisher Policy

The particular post that is seen as being in violation was this one from 2010, in which I rebutted people who were offended by a Robert Ariail cartoon. All Google tells me is that it contains “Dangerous or derogatory content.” Google further defines that this way:

As stated in our program policies, Google ads may not be placed on pages that contain content that:

  • Threatens or advocates for harm on oneself or others;

  • Harasses, intimidates or bullies an individual or group of individuals;

  • Incites hatred against, promotes discrimination of, or disparages an individual or group on the basis of their race or ethnic origin, religion, disability, age, nationality, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, or other characteristic that is associated with systemic discrimination or marginalization.

Of course, neither my post nor Robert’s cartoon did any of those things, although there were people who managed to twist logic enough to be offended. Perhaps one of them complained to Google. Well, sorry, folks, but this is a political commentary blog, and that cartoon was legitimate commentary that made a highly relevant political point at the time.

Even if you do find a way to be offended, it completely escapes me how this seven-year-old post constitutes a “new violation.” This post was old and moldy before I ever started running Google ads. And the last comment on it was posted on Aug. 14, 2010. There’s nothing new there. In fact, reading over it just now I found some glaring typos, but I’m not going to touch them in case that makes the post more current to some algorithm out there.

The only way Google offers me to question this ruling is to “request review,” which I have done. I don’t get to offer a defense or anything; I just click on “request review,” and they say this:

What’s happening

You’ve requested a review for this page and we’re currently looking into it. Reviews typically take 1 week but sometimes can take longer. We’ll let you know when the review is complete.

We’ll see.

4 thoughts on “Anyone have any idea what I’m doing that bugs Google?

  1. Brad Warthen Post author

    This reminds me of something that happened last night, which provides further proof that there’s no need to worry about the Robot Overlords taking over any time soon…

    I wanted to watch Netflix, as I do pretty much daily, and I got an error message saying I was cut off because there had been a problem processing my latest payment. I was told where to go online to address it.

    I got to a page that claimed the card I was using expired in 11/16. Which it did not. The card in question is good until 12/19.

    So, if Netflix thinks it expired in 11/19, how come it processed the last 13 payments? How come my wife had been able to watch Netflix just that afternoon?

    I had to go in and retype in all my payment information, including the correct expiration date that had ALWAYS been the expiration date.

    It was stupid.

    Anyway, I’m reminded of that when Google complains of a “new violation” and points to a post from 2010…

  2. Mark Stewart

    All the algorithm saw was a Burka … and a swimsuit…

    There is no danger of bots taking over the world anytime soon.

  3. Robert

    Brad, that cartoon did raise somewhat of a stink as I recall. Mostly driven, it appeared to me, by an editor from Jezebel , an online women’s magazine. I remember I had just been hired by the Herald Journal in Spartanburg ( I was to begin employment about a week later) and I worried it might cause a problem. In order to fend off TV stations’ invitations to go on air, I ended up having to put out a comment on the cartoon, explaining that the burka was just a burka- the most concealing example of women’s wear I could think of- and in no way suggested that Nikki Haley was a muslim. Or a ” secret muslim whore” as the Jezebel editor proclaimed. It’s likely that editor flagged the cartoon for Google.

    1. Richard

      “Jezebel”… isn’t that a snake handling religious men’s magazine out of West Virginia?

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