- Global Voices - https://globalvoices.org -

Pakistan: Bloggers Dismayed at Google Adsense Ban

Categories: South Asia, Pakistan, Citizen Media, Protest, Technology

A recent ban on Google Adsense accounts [1] has left many Pakistani bloggers dismayed. Scores of genuine publishers have fallen prey to a move aimed as a crackdown on fraudulent websites and blogs.

Call to stop using Google products in protest. Image by Yasir Imran. [2]

Call to stop using Google products in protest. Image by Yasir Imran.

This has resulted in a outburst from bloggers across the country — their anger is also rooted deeply in the fact that the crackdown occurred without prior warning, which is a protocol usually followed by Google.

Some are going as far as protesting against Google and suggesting that it is a result of an earlier comment by the Interior Minister Rehman Malik. Speaking to the media Mr. Malik made a ludicrous remark claiming possible action on ‘Google administration’ if the company refused to comply to requests for data by Federal Investigative Agency (FIA).

Here is a video of the comment made by the Interior Minister.

Blogger Yasir Imran [3] reacts to the video:

The reason behind the blocking of Adsense account is not confirmed yet but after watching this video I think Rehman Malik is the responsible for banning of Adsense.

So is the crackdown on adsense accounts really a result of warnings issued by the Interior Minister?  Saad Hamid [4], a technology blogging guru in Pakistan, puts an end to these theories:

As I saw others, it was sad to see that most of them were inspired to blog because they had a passion for money and money only and that's where I differentiate myself from all of them. Sadly it's the same school which now opposes me, because all of this time, I have been a supporter of ‘originality’, I have guided and trained people not to copy ideas, not to copy others rather believe in what they can do for themselves. But such people lack originality and sadly they always will.

In the quest to make ‘easy’ money, a considerable number of websites had set up instructions on ways in which Adsense could be exploited, while a significant number of blogs and websites were plagiarizing data to attract traffic.  Here's a video tutorial offering help in opening an Adsense account for Rs. 500; this is but one example of a plethora of online content that triggered the blockade from Google.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QmQR4UT3l4c&feature=related [5]

Google's country consultant Badar Khushnood has been engaging with angry bloggers via Twitter in an attempt to help bloggers with original content to reclaim their accounts.

@badar76 [6]: Back to work; not sure how much I'd be able to help but looking into recent #Pakistan [7]#AdSense [8] issue! #AdSensePK [9]

@badar76 [10]#Pakistan [7]#Bloggers [11] – plz continue w/ ur own homework – review compliance to #AdSense [8] T&C, file appeals, etc. #AdSensePK [9]

Meanwhile, bloggers continue to tweet their updates using the hash tag #AdsensePK:

@noumaan_ [9]: banning Pakistani Adsense accounts continues, many new disabled accounts reported last night, so far no appeal is accepted. # adsensepk [12]

@taalz [13]: Google Adsense say “Unacceptable site content” to http://www.PickMore.com [14] ? Why? Because we have genuinely self written content? #AdsensePK [15]

@harisn [16]: Okay, so Google Adsense is still disabling accounts. A new victim among friends ->@fariZafar [17]#adsensepk [12]

@atharpk [18]: Series of #Adsensepk [19] Bans Continue. No Warnings no Chances. Google Goes Totally wild against Pakistani Publishers.

While some bloggers have started suggesting an alternative to Google Adsense:

@shafiq [20]: Are you looking for adsense alternatives due to mass blockage of adsense in Pakistan Follow the linkhttp://bit.ly/oulpW4 [21]#adsensepk [12]

Claims from bloggers suggest that over 90% of blogs and websites were affected by the ban; bloggers hope that Google will soon reevaluate the decision. Saad Hamid [4] leaves us with a thoughtful note:

Honestly! I don't feel bad about it. AdSense was once banned on Sizlopedia.com [22] and that was when I realized that things move on, all you need to do is a have a passion for what you are doing. I can proudly say that my knowledge has made much greater of an impact on lives of people than AdSense has made on me. To sum it up with the least of it, some of my posts are now part of student dissertations from Stanford and MIT, I founded, funded, sponsored PehliMadad – a charity iniative, I curated and sponsored TEDxMargalla – the only TEDx conference to have held in Islamabad so far and the journey goes on…

My two cents: The day you will find your real passion, AdSense won't matter anymore :) Good luck!
- From your average ever-narcissistic internet hero
Here's hoping that the rest of the blogosphere reflects on Saad's words, while Google continues the process of reevaluating and hopefully reinstating the accounts of bloggers who respect originality and are driven by passion.