In a recent decision, Google decided to limit the number of advertisements it allows from substance abuse treatment facilities for addiction. In this decision, Google says that it believes it’s the safest thing to do, releasing the following statement.
“Prosecutors and health advocates have warned that many online searches are leading addicts to click on ads for rehab centers that are unfit to help them or, in some cases, endangering their lives.”
Is this the “safe” thing to do?
While Google’s attempt to keep its users safe is admirable, it’s hard to know if it’s really the right thing to do.
Yes, there are some advertisements that are misleading and there are some treatment centers that aren’t doing a great job, but for each of these, there are dozens of others that are truly changing people’s lives.
The main concern is that treatment centers, considering the opioid crisis this country is going through, are becoming big business, a very lucrative endeavor for investors and businessmen. This of course completely overlooks the treatment centers with caring, professional staff who are dedicated to helping people overcome substance abuse.
Will Google lift the restriction?
Are other businesses restricted because they are lucrative or in demand?
According to a NY Times article, Google intends to lift the restriction, which has made it impossible for centers to buy ads that are related to drug treatment searches,
“if it can find a way to weed out misleading advertisements.”
The risky part of this decision revolves around this question:
How many people will be unable to find the care they need while this massive restriction is in place?
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Conquer the disease of addiction!