The de facto search engine to the world, Google, is quite popular among scamsters & illegal drug sellers too. Hence multiple states in the United States of America have evidently intensified their crusade to limit & eventually eradicate this menace.
The state of Mississippi who had first initiated the action against Google, who seems to be indirectly harboring or condoning such activities, has now been joined by Nebraska and Oklahoma too. Jointly they are openly pressuring Google to put a stop on internet advertisements for drugs, including powerful painkillers that are sold without a prescription, and other counterfeit products.
Some of the most prominent & blatant promotion of these illegal & many a times harmful & addictive drugs, is found on multiple Google products including video hosting & sharing site YouTube. In an official correspondence dispatched to Google, Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning and Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt voiced their concern about Google’s practice of placing advertisements for pharmacies willing to sell Percocet and Oxycontin without a prescription, before, during or after some YouTube videos. The official complaint reads:
“Not only are the activities depicted or promoted in the above-described videos illegal in and of themselves but in the case of document forgery, the how-to guide could be instrumental in the commission of other crimes ranging from under-age drinking to acts of terrorism”.
In other words, the lawmakers have expressed fear that if such techniques exists that easily bend the rules, these could easily be deployed for more sinister applications in the future.
Is Google to blame?
Google’s advertising related products, namely Ad-sense & other visually aligned products, are often dependent on automated filtration techniques to weed out such nefarious advertisers. However, it is an openly acknowledged fact that the system isn’t foolproof & can be manipulated to slip advertising, which does not strictly adhere to the policies laid out by Google.
Incidentally, Google has admitted to bearing the brunt of these chronic issues & is working to limit them. But more interestingly, the Internet Giant had forfeited US$ 500 Million in 2011, for allowing Canadian pharmacies to place advertisements to illegally sell prescription drugs to US customers. Does this mean Google wouldn’t mind allowing such advertisements as long as money is rolling in?
Image Courtesy | techgyd