Google’s advertising platform is in kind of a strange place. On one hand, it’s meant to make a lot of money for the company; but on the other it’s trying to make surfing the internet a nice place to visit. As part of the latter goal, Google has announced that it has updated its advertising policies to touch on cryptocurrencies, foreign exchange markets, and sites that deal with in-game skin gambling.
It’s not easy to vet every single advertisement that goes through the Adsense network; and Google has come under fire for allowing numerous problematic ads through. These include those that are laden with malware, phishing scams, and even clickbait.
Despite the criticism, the company has taken the effort to take down offending ads when they are noticed. According to the Google Blog, it has removed 320,000 publishers from its ad network and taken down 3.2 billion ads that violated its policies in 2017.
This year, the policy is being expanded to ban the advertising of “unregulated or speculative financial products like binary options, cryptocurrency, foreign exchange markets and contracts for difference (or CFDs). We also updated our gambling ads policies to address new methods of gambling with items that have real-world value (e.g., skins gambling)”.
Updating gambling ads to include skins gambling is likely a fallout from the Counter Strike Global Offensive saga; where people were found to be using in-game skins as collateral. An interesting twist to say the least.