[Comment from a member who can't post yet - es el queso]
Worst of all, if you try to edit your AdSense competitive filters, the damned Yes on 8 ads were still coming thru, as they seemed to be on my dinner blog... so I pulled the AdSense code from my site entirely, and replaced it with hand coded No on Prop 8 banners.
You can get your own here, if you'd prefer to see No on 8 banners on your site, too.
You know, having grown up in California, I can't understand why this absurd proposition is so close. It's like all the thinking people are leaving the state to bring enlightenment to the rest of the country, but the vacuum they created when they left sucks in morons.
Yep, and it's not just google -- I've heard that lots of ad-serving sites are getting good $ to run these ads.
As a member of the tech economy, let me say that I'm deeply ashamed we'd take money from the devil. But then, we've helped the Chinese government censor the web and hunt down dissident bloggers, so I can't say I'm all that surprised.
How confused am I about this.
I wrote most of the following a couple of times -
And I changed my mind twice.
And I'm no clearer as to whether Google should be allowed to push these adverts.
I'll try and clean it up so it makes a modicum of sense.
Thought 1 - My default libertarian stance.
The "Yes on Prop 08" people, however disgustingly morally bankrupt they may be, have a right to promote their message. It's annoying, but I wonder if it's more democratic that they be allowed to advertise in this way.
I always wonder how I'd feel in this situation if the shoe were on the other foot. If people were lobbying google to remove "No on prop 08" adverts.
The right of the blog owner to remove all advertising is a great thing and I'm really happy that people are taking that option. But I firmly believe that stopping a company as huge as google showing certain results or displaying certain adverts is akin to censorship & I'm mostly against that.
Thought 2 - Civil liberties and the personal vs the political
Of course - this particular issue is complicated by the fact that although the protectmarriage people see it as a political & moral fight, for a lot of No on Prop 8 people , it's a personal issue. It's hard to watch Google pushing an advert which advocates denying individual rights.
Google already have rules in place protecting people in terms of race or religion. Maybe gay rights should be included.
Thought 3 - Can we censor the things we must vote on.
But saying that - this is something which is going out to be chosen by an electorate. There's a part of me now wondering if an issue which has been opened up in this way should (for the sake of the discussion) have the rules on hate speech relaxed so people can discuss openly and freely.
seanyboy - if there happened to be an initiative to deny gay people the right to vote, would the issue be any clearer to you? Like it or not, marriage is a civil right in the US, and it's perfectly understandable to me why people who not want their webspace to endorse such a position.
In my opinion, instead of banning such ads, Google should change the way adsense advertisements are pushed out - they should be opt-in (i.e. explicit approval) rather than opt-out (ie, explicit disapproval). I don't see why site owners should be forced to deal with contentious ads if they happen to be afk for a few days.
muddgirl: The issue of Gay marriage is completely clear to me. If this were about denying 39 year old white males the right to vote or denying people from Yorkshire the right to get married, I'd have the same stance. Categorically, unequivocally, your sexuality should not be an impediment to your right to marry.
Outside the context of this issue, opt-in advertising is something Google could offer, but If I were Google, I'd be hesitant to implement it. I think it'd allow site owners to game Google.
The main issues for me at this juncture are the issues of hate speech & the freedom of speech within government.
So, 1 - Should hate speech be allowed in Googles advertising?
If not, then 2 - does the "Yes to Prop 8" stuff count as hate speech?
If so then 3 - If something classifies as hate speech, but is an electoral issue, *then* should it be allowed in Googles advertising?
At this point, I'm answering no, yes and YES to these questions.
If people can vote on it, then the proponents / opponents of the thing being voted on should be allowed to discuss that using whatever media is available to them. Although Google is a company, and has no free speech requirements, I'd argue that it's big enough to have a higher responsibility to allow the publication of controversial material through all its publishing (paying or otherwise) outlets.
As for blog owners getting all pissy about the fact that they had adverts on their sites that they don't like... This has been happening for ever, and if the blog owners don't like it, there are plenty of other options for generating revenue.
You know - If some Mormon church had allowed (for a small amount of time), someone to put an advert on a church noticeboard for gay marriages, we'd all be laughing now. Although Prop 8 is a big deal, the advertisements are not.