How does Google profit from advertising phony offers targeting seniors without facing any consequence?
Google’s code of conduct used to be ‘Do no evil‘. Google has dropped that slogan and now anything goes, as long as it makes money.
There’s something wrong when seniors can be scammed and the guilty walk away free. Thanks to HuffPost for highlighting the issue.
- How does Google violate its own advertising policies and allow scam ads?
- How does the CEO of a firm guilty of engaging in deceptive marketing and fined $15 million advertise on Google?
- How Google is protected by Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.
- How are contact lists of seniors are collected through ads and resold to spread political misinfo.
- How Truth In Advertising and Accountable Tech are fighting for corporate accountability.
Understand the scam
Google’s lucrative hypocrisy
What Google says about phony ads: “We want users to trust the ads on our platform, so we strive to ensure ads are clear and honest, and provide the information that users need to make informed decisions. We don’t allow ads or destinations that deceive users by excluding relevant product information or providing misleading information about products, services, or businesses.” – Google
How scammers make money from Google: With the platforms themselves protected by Section 230, and advertisers free to pay for content promotion from the shadows, there’s often no one to be held responsible for potential damage caused by their ads… Google can be selectively micro-targeted and are therefore less likely to catch the attention of advertising watchdogs. Furthermore, in the case of 1111 LLC’s video ads promoting fake government handouts, consumers may not even realize they’ve been duped, so they’re less likely to report the ads to state attorneys general or federal agencies.”
How Google gets away with deceptive ads: “Google and other online intermediaries are shielded from legal responsibility for user-generated content, including ads, by Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. Critics argue that the 1996 law has led many of these platforms to take a lax approach to vetting and moderating the ads they host, at the expense of their users. In turn, this has fostered a powerful sense of impunity among scammers, whose business models rely upon the platforms’ unwillingness or inability to enforce their own policies.”
Building lists to spread disinfo: “List building, has played a substantial but under-acknowledged role in the spread of online disinformation, driven by marketers using clickbait falsehoods to lure people into handing over their personal details. The return on investment from list building can be huge, especially in the political space; a list of emails can go for millions of dollars.”
A Lack Of Accountability
“In the U.K., lawmakers are pushing for tech platforms that carry scam ads to bear financial responsibility and to reimburse victims… In the U.S., without any solid framework for platform accountability in this space, Big Tech ad networks will remain a haven for bad actors, said Lehrich, who called Google and Facebook “a massive gift to scammers.”
Google and other online intermediaries are shielded from legal responsibility for user-generated content, including ads, by Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act… This has fostered a powerful sense of impunity among scammers, whose business models rely upon the platforms’ unwillingness or inability to enforce their own policies.” – HuffPost
Accountable Tech – Democracy depends on common truths. Social media giants are eroding our consensus reality and pushing democracy to the brink. Accountable Tech is fighting back.
Truth In Advertising – Fights back against deceptive marketing.
Federal Trade Commission – The FTCs is the nation’s consumer protection agency. It takes reports about scammers that cheat people out of money and businesses that don’t make good on their promises. It shares these reports with our law enforcement partners and use them to investigate fraud and eliminate unfair business practices.
TakeAway: Hold scamsters accountable – especially those duping seniors.
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