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Google sued for refusing ad

Google has been sued for allegedly refusing an anti-China ad. According to the complaint, activist Christopher Langdon submitted a three-line ad through Google's AdWords program on Thursday, March 29. The ad read simply: "Communist China Has Murdered Millions - Boycott China"

Langdon also attempted to advertise his website with Google. That site accuses N.C. Attorney General Roy Cooper of lying to the U.S. Supreme Court and perpetrating other fraud on the Court. The proposed ad read: "Roy Coopers Fraud--Cooper's fraud on the Supreme Court--Corruption within the N.C.D.O.J."

That ad was rejected, purportedly because: "At this time, Google policy does not permit ad text that advocates against an individual, group or organization.  In addition, this policy does not permit the advertisement of websites that advocate against a group protected by law."

Langdon claims that Google's reticence violates his constitutional right to free speech. In his opinion private property owners can be bound by the First Amendment if the property becomes a public space.

"There is a great deal of inconsistency and hypocrisy in the application of Google's Content Policy.  Google's Content policy  requires that the ads, and the associated website, conform to the Content Policy.  However, Google routinely allows large budget advertisers to evade Google's Content Policy.  For example, if you Google Search "Impeach Bush," or, "Anti-Hillary Clinton," there are a large number of ads (sponsored links) next to the search results. One of those sites sells material that calls Senators Clinton, Kenendy and Kerry, Communists. They also sell material accusing President Bush, and members of his administration, of murder, treason, election fraud, lying and of being Nazis.  It seems to me that if those sites can make those statements, then I should be allowed to accuse Roy Cooper of lying to the U.S. Supreme Court."

Langdon v. Google, 1:06-cv-00319-JJF (D. Delaware complaint filed May 17, 2006)

Also see: Goldman, Eric: "Must Carry" Lawsuit Against Search Engines--Langdon v. Google, Technology & Marketing Law Blog




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