Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Pro-life groups finally able to buy ads on Google after Google policy changes

From the Times (U.K.):

Christian and other religious groups opposed to abortion were allowed to advertise on Google for the first time from today, after the search engine capitulated in the face of a legal challenge.

Google had banned pro-life religious groups from buying adverts against search terms such as “abortion” and “abortion help” but was forced to abandon its policy after it was accused of breaching equalities legislation.

The challenge was brought by the Christian Institute, a cross-denominational pressure group, who said that Google’s change of heart was an acknowledgement of the rights of everybody to hold an opinion on the subject.

Mike Judge from the Christian Institute said: “Google were taking adverts from pro-abortion groups, and our view is that was a free speech issue. What we want to do is set out the acts in a pretty factual and pretty sensible way”.

Google had been taken to court by the Christian Institute earlier in the year, arguing that its policy was in breach of the Equalities Act of 2006. Initially, Google said it would fight in the courts, but changed its mind over the summer. Its new policy applies globally.

Acknowledging that the issue of abortion was “an emotive subject”, Google said that it reconsidered its policy following the Christian Institute’s challenge, and said it would be “creating a level playing field and enabling religious associations to place ads on abortion in a factual way”.

However, it was unclear how Google would define the introduction of factual advertising. . .

Read it all. This is very scary to me, as Google grows to control more and more of the content available.

Remember, Google's motto is (the very 1984) "Do no evil." They can say it, but if they don't do it, it means nothing. (And don't forget their capitulation to the Chinese Communist government in banning certain search words in China, for instance "Tiananmen.") Never forget, Google is a business with a decided secular corporate leadership.

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