If you’ve seen Google ads for a book called Queers In History, then count yourself lucky. According to author Keith Stern, Google is about to suspend ads for the book – a collection of 900 biographies of gay and lesbian historical figures – claiming that it isn’t “family safe” despite the book containing no graphic sexual content. Is Google just being homophobic?
Stern contends that the first he heard of any problem with the ads was at the beginning of this month, when Google emailed a “final warning” that an ad submitted to the company violated its adult and sexual content policies, because it contained one of the following violations:
*Any material intended for persons over 18.
*Mature sexual themes, nudity, and/or sexual activity.
*Crude or indecent language.
*Offensive or inappropriate content
The ad in question:
Further discussions with Google seem to have failed to ascertain exactly what the problem is with the ad, leaving Stern to fear the worst:
Google refuses to be specific, but apparently it’s because the book identifies those people as queer. It’s entirely possible that Google also would ban books called “Homosexuals in History” or “Gays in History.”
Now that Stern has gone public with the story, it’ll be interesting to see how – or if – Google responds.
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