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Addiction-Related Ads Unbanned by Google After Nearly a Year-Long Ban

Rehab centre ads banned by Google for a year for a reason of not showcasing Addiction-related content; now unbanned

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Google removed ban from addiction-related ads. Pixabay
Google removed ban from addiction-related ads. Pixabay
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Google has allowed advertisements with addiction-related keywords and phrases to run on its platform US after nearly a year-long ban.

The ban was put in place to crack down on shady providers cashing in on vulnerable patients.

“A small group of providers vetted by a third party have been approved by the company to appear in results for searches like ‘help quitting pills’ or ‘meth addiction’,” TechCrunch reported late on Friday.

The ban on these advertisements was rolled out in phases in September 2017 and gradually went global in January this year.

Google objected showing addiction-related ads, so it Banned it, now unbanned. Pixabay
Google objected showing addiction-related ads, so it Banned it, now unbanned. Pixabay

The search engine giant had pledged to keep the ban in place until it could find a way to reintroduce the ads safely and ethically.

“It was provoked by a series of reports showing that people looking for help were being essentially traded like commodities and sent to incredibly expensive ‘addiction centres’ that often provided little recovery help at all,” the report added.

Also Read: Location Sharing in Google Maps Now Includes Battery Percentage

The tech giant partnered with a Portland-based company named LegitScript that specialises in verifying medicine-related businesses online.

It also decided to run rehab centre ads that were verified by LegitScript against addiction-related queries. (IANS)

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Google Planning to Introduce Smart Speakers with Display

Other technology players, including JBL, Lenovo, LG and Sony have also signed up to make screen-equipped smart speakers

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Google preparing to launch display-equipped smart speakers. Pixabay

Google is reportedly preparing to launch a display-equipped smart speaker in a direct competition with Amazon and Alibaba Group Holding in the voice-activated gadgets category.

“Google targets to ship some three million units for the first batch of the new model of smart speaker that comes with a screen. It’s an aggressive plan,” Nikkei Asian Review quoted an industry source as saying on Thursday.

The new product would be part of the Google Home range of smart speakers, running on Artificial Intelligence (AI)-based Google Assistant, similar to Amazon’s “Echo Show”, which is a pair of two-inch speakers with a 7-inch touchscreen that displays visual output for Alexa’s responses.

Google’s upcoming model with the display is still likely to rely on voice commands, but users should be able to play YouTube videos, check their calendars and view maps, the report added.

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Other technology players, including JBL, Lenovo, LG and Sony have also signed up to make screen-equipped smart speakers. Pixabay

The Android developer’s AI speaker lineup currently features the standard Google Home, the cost-effective Home Mini and the high-end Home Max.

The first two options are positioned against Amazon’s regular Echo and Echo Dot, while the top-of-the-line model competes with Apple’s HomePod, which comes with the Siri voice assistant.

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The search engine giant accounted for 36 per cent of over 9 million smart speakers units shipped in the January-March period of 2018 with Amazon acquiring a 28 per cent market share.

Other technology players, including JBL, Lenovo, LG and Sony have also signed up to make screen-equipped smart speakers. (IANS)