Google’s War on Guns

Selwyn Duke

While its corporate motto is “Don’t be evil,” its critics might say “Don’t be Google.” And this is especially true now that Google is saying “Don’t buy guns.”

The search giant has announced that, starting in September, it will ban advertising of firearms, ammunition, and gun paraphernalia. As Google Support writes on its “Dangerous Products or Services” page, “Our policy: We want to help keep people safe both online and offline, so we don’t allow the promotion of some products or services that cause damage, harm, or injury.” Consequently, the ad ban will include, explains the company:

Functional devices that appear to discharge a projectile at high velocity, whether for sport, self-defense, or combat
(Note that we err on the side of caution and apply this policy to sporting or recreational guns that can cause serious harm if misused, or that appear to be real guns.)

Examples: Handguns, rifles, shotguns, hunting guns, functioning antique guns, airsoft guns, paintball guns, bb guns

Any part or component that’s necessary to the function of a gun or intended for attachment to a gun

Examples: Gun scopes, ammunition, ammunition clips or belts

But it isn’t just that, to Google, love is not a warm gun. It will also ban ads relating to other weapons, such as tactical, fighting, and military knives; throwing axes; throwing stars; brass knuckles; and crossbows. So we can now all rest assured that the next throwing-star massacre will be averted.

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