Feeds

Google kills Anonymous AdSense account

How Scientology funded the anti-Scientology movement

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Exclusive Google has murdered the AdSense account run by one of the web's most influential anti-Scientology sites.

Yesterday, the search giant cut off all ads served to Enturbulation, a fledgling site dedicated to promoting activism against the Church of Scientology and all its related organizations. This could have something do with the nature of the ads Google was serving. Many of the Google-driven ads funding the anti-Scientology site were paid for by the Church of Scientology.

"While going through our records recently, we found that your AdSense account has posed a significant risk to our AdWords advertisers," read Google's letter to Enturbulation, a kind of home base for the now famous Anonymous movement. "Since keeping your account in our publisher network may financially damage our advertisers in the future, we've decided to disable your account."

Of course, it's not Enturbulation's fault that Google was serving the site pro-Scientology ads. AdSense automatically chooses ads based on a site's content. And like any AdSense advertiser, the Church of Scientology has the power to ban its ads from individual domains.

Google did not respond to our requests for comment. But it should be noted that the company's new AdSense policies say that partner sites may not include "advocacy against any individual, group, or organization."

That said, Google's terms and conditions also prohibit "any action or practice that reflects poorly on Google or otherwise disparages or devalues Google’s reputation or goodwill." And this isn't always enforced. The Register, for instance, is an AdSense user, and it doesn't always champion Google's every move.

It should also be noted that the Church of Scientology wouldn't actually pay for ads posted to Enturbulation unless someone clicked on them. The question is whether the site's users would be interested in doing so. We leave that question to you.

Meanwhile, Enturbulation may lose between $400 and $500 a month in ad revenue.

Google's crackdown on Enturbulation's AdSense account follows similar actions by its YouTube subsidiary. Last month, the world's most popular video site vaporized an account run by Mark Bunker, a well-known TV journalist/anti-Scientology activist.

YouTube said it destroyed Bunker's video channel because he'd already had an account suspended for violations of site policy. But it seems this rule does not apply to the Church of Scientology. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Apple promises to lift Curse of the Drained iPhone 5 Battery
Have you tried turning it off and...? Never mind, here's a replacement
Mozilla's 'Tiles' ads debut in new Firefox nightlies
You can try turning them off and on again
Linux turns 23 and Linus Torvalds celebrates as only he can
No, not with swearing, but by controlling the release cycle
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
This is how I set about making a fortune with my own startup
Would you leave your well-paid job to chase your dream?
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.