Ethereum Developers Accuse Google Ads of Censorship, Blacklist

Ethereum Developers Accuse Google Ads of Censorship, Blacklist

Google Ads is reportedly blacklisting and censoring ad campaigns with the word Ethereum, according to Ethereum developers from a startup called Decenter. The team has been in touch with the online giant, but nothing seems to change. 

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Ethereum Blacklisted From Google Ads?

Google Ads is reportedly blocking listings with Ethereum as the keyword. “We’ve been using Google Ads for the past 6 months to help us get more visibility for our smart contract auditing services and we’ve noticed a strange change in the last few days,” developers claim. “It seems that Google completely blacklisted Ethereum as a keyword. Any of the keywords that contain ‘ethereum’ in our campaigns are no longer showing ads as of January 9th and are now reporting the following error: ‘An ad isn’t showing now’ [and] ‘This candidate is not permitted to show ads in your targeted location.'”

Google Ads Blacklist Ethereum Campaigns

Decenter happens to be a company focused on the development and auditing of Ethereum smart contracts, and they were using Google Ads campaigns to bolster their visibility among the myriad of companies out there. But something happened and their campaign started to not show ads some days ago.

As a consequence, they tried to communicate with the Google Ads team via Twitter to get a plausible explanation about the change for a campaign that had been running for more than half a year.

Taking to Twitter

“Hi there,” came the response from Google Ads by someone called Chetan, “thanks for reaching out. Advertisers may promote cryptocurrency exchanges that target the United States and Japan. Hence, you may not be able to run ads which target other countries. Hope this helps. Do let us know if you have any additional questions.”

Ethereum devs clarified, noting, “We’re actually a developers team doing smart contract security audits so we’re seeing this error for keywords such as ‘ethereum security audits’ and ‘ethereum development services.’ Would you say that this is expected behaviour or can we fix it some way?”

Chetan again responded, “Although we wouldn’t be able to preemptively confirm if your keyword is eligible to trigger ads, we’d recommend that you refer to the ‘Cryptocurrencies’ section of our policy on Financial products and services,” and essentially sent the team to its Terms of Service (ToS) page.

After a deeper investigation, Ethereum devs explained, “Google Ads team claims there have been no changes to their policies, you can try searches such as ‘ethereum smart contract audits’ and ‘eos smart contract audits’ – only the latter will show Ads in results. We could not find any news about recent policy updates anywhere.”

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