Daily Dispatches
Associated Press/Photo by Jens Meyer

Google shuns porn in ads, apps

Internet

Google is cracking down on sexually graphic content with two recent policy changes, one implemented in March and one that started last week. The new rules take steps to eliminate explicit material in Google’s advertisements and apps.

Google will no longer accept advertisements through Google AdWords that promote graphic depictions of sexual acts, according to an email the company sent to advertising accounts last week. Morality in Media, a national organization opposing pornography, published the letter. The new policy will restrict ads containing or linking to explicit content.

The policy revision came after a May meeting in Washington, D.C., between Google and anti-pornography advocates including Morality in Media, Concerned Women for America, the Family Research Council, and Focus on the Family. “We are grateful that they are realizing that their profits from porn are not worth the devastation to children and families,” Morality in Media said in a statement released last week. The group said other organizations, like Facebook and Comcast, have also taken steps to clean up explicit content on the internet. 

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Google’s advertising approval process includes three status labels: approved; approved (non-family); and approved (adult). Non-family and adult ads don’t appear if someone has the Google SafeSearch filter activated. Under Google’s new policies, more ads will be given a non-family or adult label or be disapproved. Google says the change will affect all countries.

In March, Google also beefed up its policies for apps sold through Google Play, prohibiting those containing or promoting sexually explicit or erotic content, icons, titles, or descriptions. Since the announcement, Google has taken down several apps that violate the new policies.

Anti-pornography activists still encourage Google to eliminate graphic content from Google Search, Google Images, and YouTube.

PornHarms.com, an offshoot of Morality in Media, named Google one of its 2013 and 2014 Dirty Dozen organizations for contributing to sexual exploitation in the nation. When the site announced the 2014 list prior to Google’s recent policy changes, Morality in Media said, “Google’s empire thrives on porn. … We encourage Google to improve their efforts to protect children and all who wish to be porn-free.”

Other organizations on the 2014 Dirty Dozen list include Verizon, Barnes & Noble, and Cosmopolitan magazine. 

Kiley Crossland
Kiley Crossland

Kiley works for an international student and missions organization. She and her husband live on a farm in Boulder, Colo.

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