It would seem both something and nothing is going on at Google about our alleged violation. Looking at how long it took before for Google to act, we have already gone well into overtime, yet not a word from Google.
In a way this is a bit discouraging as deep down inside we always enjoy a good ‘fair’ fight. So to show what is going on we must show some behavior history. The very first time Google went after us on this they gave us 72 hours to comply and promptly pulled the AdSense ad a few hours after the 72 hours had passed. The second time a similar time frame was encountered and in under a week the AdSense ads once again were pulled by Google.
So now here we sit well over two weeks from our July 29 violation notification, and we are still in limbo. We do not know if Google has dropped the issue and has not bothered to tell us. We do not know if suddenly Google became aware of the history of this alleged violation. We do not know if some rogue employee at Google is being reprimanded for applying personal standards over Google standards. All we know is nothing has happened and the other shoe should have dropped by now.
There were some things we at Connecting the Dots did and perhaps they had a bit of an impact as well. As this is now dipping deep into the realm of sexual discrimination and does impact the LGBT community as being a victim, we took the step of contacting Stickman who is a popular Bangkok nightlife columnist who has significant readership and has been cited as a nightlife source more than once by Lonely Planet. Stickman saw fit to do a short paragraph on this ongoing issue and it is mentioned here in his August 7 weekly.
In 2011 a Bangkok blogger wrote an article about how you don’t see aged ladyboys out and about. The post included photos of ladyboys out and about in public. In Thailand, the sight of ladyboys going about their lives like everyone else is a daily occurrence and no-one thinks twice about it. However, apparently someone in Google’s AdSense department has decided that no matter whether ladyboys are in public or not, photos of them posted on websites using the Google AdSense program violate its policy. Twice before, Google suspended AdSense ads on that site simply because the site ran innocuous posts about ladyboys, and then twice relented and allowed the ads to be reinstated on appeal. A third cycle of suspension is underway and it would seem that someone at Google is applying their own personal standards. Has someone in Google’s AdSense department gone rogue? The writer of the blog who contacted me about it is of the opinion that the decision by Google is most likely in violation of US laws in that it discriminates against the LGBT sector of society. The people behind the blog have opened the door to any lawyer who wants to run with this and possibly make a name for themselves by going up against the big boys.
So now seeing that this was published by Stickman 9 days after our July 29 notification (but only 5 working days) we do not know if this has had an impact as well. We certainly can add to the list of possibilities that someone who works for Google in Bangkok has read the Stickman column and blasted off an email to the AdSense people to warn them about the brown organic stuff they were about to step in.
The second thing we did was we took the time to investigate one of the root causes of sexual discrimination and posted on it here. We even took the time to post even more photos of Ladyboys in that entry as well to be sure the pot has been properly seasoned.
But for whatever the reason for the delay, Google seems to be dealing with some internal issues, and we will just have to continue to sit and wait to see what happens. As far as we are concerned the last email from Google says we are in violation, so the burner under the pot is still lit.