I don’t know what to do to please you, Google…

They’re back at it.

Again, I’m getting these notifications from Google Adsense:

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

Of course, none of those links will take you to a page that says, here’s the problem with have with this post. No, each time I get one I have to remember the roundabout, counterintuitive way I had figured out earlier.

After I do (remember it), I find myself once more at a notification that tells me they have a problem with this post — again — which of course is ridiculous. Here’s what they say about it:



Dangerous or derogatory content


Restricted ad serving help_outline

Enforcement date

Mar 11, 2018

Past review outcome

Policy non-compliant (Mar 6, 2018)

How to resolve this

Click on the violation name to learn more about it. You have two resolution options:

  • Fix the violations and request a review 
    After you make adjustments to your page so that it’s compliant with AdSense policies, you can request a review.
  • Remove the AdSense ad code from the page 
    Pages without any AdSense ad code will be automatically removed from the Policy center within 7-10 days. No other action on your part is needed.

If you think that these policy violations do not apply to this page, you can also request a review. Reviews typically take 1 week but sometimes can take longer.

So again, I request a review from Google. The next day, they say my appeal has been denied, and absurdly, my post continues to be “dangerous or derogatory.” Which, of course, it is not. It is a post about something that someone, somewhere, thought was derogatory, and my post patiently explains why anyone who thinks that is mistaken. Which is the kind of thing you talk about on an opinion blog.

So I click on the “Request Review” again, my theory being that if I keep asking, an actual human will review the situation and realize that yes, this is the kind of thing one discusses on an opinion blog, and therefore there is nothing inappropriate about it.

But I get another robo-answer that I remain in violation.Google-favicon-2015

So the status of that post will continue to be “Restricted ad serving.”

All right, fine. Who cares if Adsense ads don’t show up on that one post from more than seven years ago? I’m willing to leave it at that.

But Google isn’t. They keep sending me the notifications.

My next step — my only ethical option I can see — will be to see if I can “Remove the AdSense ad code from the page” without blowing up my blog or something. Something I do not know how to do. But I’ll try. And then see if they’ll leave me alone.

But if I can’t figure that out, what then? The notifications, of course, come from a “noreply” email address. So I can’t have a conversation with a person. Of course…

22 thoughts on “I don’t know what to do to please you, Google…

  1. Brad Warthen Post author


    You don’t suppose the problem is that the word “whore” appears in that 2010 post, do you? It was part of the headline of the post I was arguing with — a post that no longer exists, by the way.

    Surely that’s not it, seeing the kind of language that is routine on the web, outside this blog, which of course is an oasis of propriety in the great waste…

    1. Norm Ivey

      I don’t think it’s the word “whore.” It’s the entire sentence that contains that word. An investigative bot that comes across that isn’t going to pick up on the context.

      1. Brad Warthen Post author

        But the whole point of my post is to dispute what is asserted in that sentence. And a “review,” if it is a real review, even a half-baked one, should reveal that…

  2. Juan Caruso

    Brad, why are you making a simple concept so complex and confusing? If for partsan humor, it limits audience loyalty. Otherwise it is just confusing without offsetting merit.

    As you well know, AdSense brands your blog’s readers as potential customers Google’s paying advertisers. Location is always important and Nikki’s SC favorability has hardly diminished with her coveted U.N. assignment. Lampooning Haley is offensive to a key gender-based demographic.

    Remember, “You Go, Girl!! ”


      1. Juan Caruso

        Excuse me, I thought you worked in advertising and understood “the situation”.

        Google is trying to censor your offensive criticism of a popularly successful, ethnic woman.
        Facebook’s chief’ feminazi’, Sheryl Sandberg, spent six years at Google where she built and managed Google’s online sales channels for both AdWords and AdSense. Have a clue yet?

        Wait until Amazon asks you to write a review for an unsatisfactory purchase from a third-party vendor. Whatever one writes, it cannot mention the only alternative source: Ebay.

        1. Mark Stewart

          Wow, that’s some tin hat stuff, Juan.

          Make me wonder how you view Palantir and it’s demolition of the very idea of privacy?

          1. Juan Caruso

            Mark, the huge financial success of privately held Palantir Technologies (valued at $9 billion just 10 years after founded) is due largely to contracts with our U.S. government, including agencies like the CIA, DHS, NSA, FBI, and CDC.

            Don’t worry, Mark, my concerns about government invasions of privacy after public disclosures about political misuses of FISA warrants obtained by Hillary’s Dept of State and Comey’s FBI are without doubt much greater than yours.

          2. Brad Warthen Post author

            I’m not up on that. I thought you meant the globe that hobbits shouldn’t look into because they’re not strong enough.

            Saruman wasn’t strong enough, either, come to think of it…

        2. Norm Ivey

          Google is trying to censor your offensive criticism of a popularly successful, ethnic woman.

          Not just trying to protect their own reputation from being associated with hate speech?

          Whatever one writes, it cannot mention the only alternative source: Ebay.

          Perfectly understandable that they don’t want to advertise for a competitor on the forum they own.

          Nothing more sinister than the profit motive in play.

          1. Brad Warthen Post author

            “associated with hate speech”

            I was made slightly uneasy that you didn’t put that in quotes, or otherwise indicate that you were saying it ironically…

            1. Norm Ivey

              The algorithm doesn’t distinguish between hate speech and “hate speech.” They’re one and the same. That’s why you keep getting the warnings, I think. AI lacks context.

  3. Bart

    More than likely a combination of things in the cartoon. The image of Haley in a two-piece bathing suit is not the primary problem. The problem is that she is also depicted in a burqa which would be a perceived insult to Muslim females who wear burqas and then add in the word “whore”. Combining everything comes up with a violation of new standards and they are applied retroactively. At least that is my take on the “violation” you so blatantly committed and is considered an act of sexist aggression toward females in general. In the new world we live in, this cartoon probably wouldn’t be published.

    So, a crime that wasn’t a crime against society in 2010 is one today and taking into consideration the current retroactive criminalization mindset, you are guilty as charged.

    You cannot hide from algorithms. They will seek you out, find you, expose you and punish you for your crimes of the past. They can also reroute you to what the algorithms determine is best for you depending on your activity on the internet and sites you visit.

      1. Bart

        Actually with the exception of the hallucinations created and implanted in the brain in the Matrix series, yes, it is close to the depiction if you consider it symbolic of an algorithm. The pop-ups and advertisements you get without asking are the result of your internet activity. But of course you already knew that so no need to expound on the subject.

        The last paragraph was a little bit of sarcasm but not far off from being accurate at the same time. And a little play on Liam Neeson’s line in “Taken”. “I will find you and I will kill you!”

  4. Mr. Smith

    Ah, don’t you just love the beauty of the free market!

    ALWAYS so responsive, transparent and free of bureaucratic hurdles!

    Let’s let Google run America!


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