Google bans pornographic ads and apps

Complies with requests from Morality in Media.

Published 24 June 2014  |  

In a groundbreaking decision, Google recently announced that it will no longer allow sexually explicit ads on Google AdWords, or sexually explicit websites to advertise using the program.

Google told AdWords users that they will roll out changes this month prohibiting the content, and will further limit ads that fall under its "adult" family status. Google Play will also remove sexually explicit apps from its store.

The tech giant sent the following e-mail to targeted users, according to Charisma News:

We're writing to remind you about a change to Google's advertising policies we announced in our Policy Change Log that may affect your AdWords account: https://support.google.com/adwordspolicy/answer/4271759

Beginning in the coming weeks, we'll no longer accept ads that promote graphic depictions of sexual acts including, but not limited to, hardcore pornography; graphic sexual acts including sex acts such as masturbation; genital, anal, and oral sexual activity.

When we make this change, Google will disapprove all ads and sites that are identified as being in violation of our revised policy. Our system identified your account as potentially affected by this policy change. We ask that you make any necessary changes to your ads and sites to comply so that your campaigns can continue to run.

Faith-based non-profit Morality in Media called Google to the table last month to discuss potential changes to their adult sexual services, family status, and other policies regarding adult content.

The pornography watchdog put Google on their 2013 and 2014 "Dirty Dozen List" – a compilation of the biggest offenders in pornography distribution. The group took issue with pornography being allowed by default, and with the company profiting from sexually explicit content on YouTube, Google Play, Google Images, Google Search, and other products.

After Google's announcement, Morality in Media and PornHarms.com thanked the company and encouraged Google to expand its pornography ban across all content types. In the meantime, the groups recommended that Safe Search be turned on in Google Search and Google Image, and Safety Mode activated on YouTube. They also urged parents to talk to their children about inappropriate content they may encounter on the internet.

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