Thursday, December 03, 2009

Google/Squidoo Censorship?

Hey, get this: there's this service called Squidoo that allows a person to create a web page for free - it provides a lot of modules for adding functionality, liking listing out content from ebay, amazon, having lists of links and stuff. They call them a lens - a collection of links that you think related to a particular set of content. Pretty cool concept.

So I create this lense called buying 22 ammo - it has information about where to buy the ammo, what the costs are, what the different policies are, etc. I found out all this information when I was trying to buy ammo on line and had a difficult time figuring out the various places and policies. Figured other people would benefit. Squidoo has around 900,000 of these lenses and my lense was ranked around 5,000 - not bad. Definitely interest in the topic.

Then I get an email today, saying that they've shut my lens down because it violates the google ad policy and Squidoo makes money off the google ads. They say they can't have ads with firearms related content. here's the email:

Google has contacted Squidoo with the request that your lens be changed or
deleted, because the content on the page violates our advertising agreement with

The lens:

The Google AdSense program policies don't allow publishers (that's us, Squidoo,
and by extension, our lensmasters) to place Google ads on pages with content
related to weapons or weapon accessories, including firearms, fighting knives,
or stun guns.

To respect our partnership with Google, and as per our own Squidoo Terms of
Service, we're locking your lens from view.

The rest of your Squidoo account has not been locked or deleted, but chances are
this lens will remain so.

You can read more about Squidoo lens locking policies on the links below:

If you dispute this locking decision and would like to request a second review
of your lens and the chance to re-publish the lens with better content, please
forward this note to with a written request.
We'll review your request within 1 month.

The SquidTeam

I scanned through all the links above, but couldn't find any statement of policy against creating a lens with firearms related material. I'm going to have to read these again (read: lots of boring lawyer mumbo jumbo).

Wonder what else these guys don't like? It's interesting that Squidoo allows a user to flag their lens as adult content - that seems to be okay?

More to research on this one...