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Peter Kuthan / AZFA
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« on: October 05 2009 »

Google Inc.’s recent restrictions on ads for abortion services in fifteen countries raises questions about the influence of search engine provider policies on freedom of information. In withholding access to this kind of information, are women’s rights being violated?

by Masum Momaya

On September 17, 2008, internet-giant Google Inc. issued an AdWords advertising policy update stating it would no longer accept ads that promote abortion services in fifteen countries: Argentina, Brazil, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Italy, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Singapore, Spain and Taiwan. When a user searches for keywords in a search engine, AdWords show up alongside search results as “sponsored links” and are a source of revenue for the search engine company.

At the time of this writing, when searching for the relevant translation of “abortion” in each of the fifteen localized Google search engines, no sponsored links appeared in any of the countries – for abortion-related services or otherwise. Incidentally, no AdWords come up either in China - a country that heavily restricts search results for many topics – Greece or South Korea. Meanwhile, AdWords featuring abortion service providers do appear in localized searches in Japan, the Netherlands, Switzerland, the UK and the US.

source / read more: http://www.awid.org/eng/Issues-and-Analysis/Issues-and-Analysis/Is-Google-violating-women-s-rights
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