Monday, July 02, 2012

"Don't be evil" turns out not to mean what one would think.

Google famously has as its unofficial motto: "Don't be evil". Key word being "evil", there is a quote from The Princess Bride which applies here. Inigo Montoya: "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."

Dear Merchant,

We're writing to let you know about some upcoming changes to the product listings you submit to Google. As we recently announced, we are starting to transition our shopping experience to a commercial model that builds on Product Listing Ads. This new shopping experience is called Google Shopping. As part of this transition, we'll begin to enforce a set of new policies for Google Shopping in the coming weeks. A new list of the allowed, restricted, and prohibited products on Google Shopping is available on our new policy page –

Based on a review of the products you're currently submitting, it appears that some of the content in your Merchant Center account, HamLund Tactical, will be affected by these policy changes. In particular we found that your products may violate the following policies:


When we make this change, Google will disapprove all of the products identified as being in violation of policies. We ask that you make any necessary changes to your feeds and/or site to comply, so that your products can continue to appear on Google Shopping.

"Weapons" of course means "guns" and any/all accoutrements there of. Comments to the article indicate things like swords and knives are also banned. Presently one can still search for information and web pages about weapons, guns etc. but the Google Shopping deal is closed off. Please note, the most important word in that sentence is "presently", Google having essentially served us all notice that they can and are happy to censor anything they like whenever they like. So tomorrow you might want to search "Mauser 98" on Google and come up with "no match found".

No word if restaurant equipment like chef's knives are also banned. I guess it depends on this week's definition of "evil" .

The "I'm using Bing now" Phantom.


WiFi Lunchbox Guy said...

"Don't be evil" means "won't make faces at the DOJ".
And that's all it means.

If you're interested in more...private forms of search, try DuckDuckGo and ixquick. Both of these can be set as default search engine choices in major browsers...including Google Chrome. ;-)

The Phantom said...

Won't help. Remember Carnivore? NSA don't need Google, they're just handy.

I just assume Big Brother is watching and keep giving him the finger. I'm not very important, so I'll be way down the list and have plenty plenty warning if they start in rounding people up.