Has Google’s version of Edward Snowden stepped forward slightly? An anonymous post on Pastebin has made some pretty jarring accusations towards the tech company that strives to not “be evil.” That post, which is long and disjointed, can be boiled down to this phrase: “To sum it up for everyone, I took part in what I (and many others) would consider theft of money from the publishers by Google, and from direct orders of management.”
The whistleblower, who claims to have worked for Google since 2009, claims that Google’s higher ups felt they were making payments that were too big and too frequent to some users of Adsense, so they came up with a method of banning several users just before their payout period — and, essentially, Google got to keep their money. Hmm, shady, shady, shady … if it’s true, that is …
Of course, Google denies the whole thing in a comment they dropped off for us via Tech Crunch:
“This description of our AdSense policy enforcement process is a complete fiction. The color-coding and ‘extreme quality control’ programs the author describes don’t exist. Our teams and automated systems work around the clock to stop bad actors and protect our publishers, advertisers and users.
All publishers that sign up for AdSense agree to the Terms and Conditions of the service and a set of policies designed to ensure the quality of the network for users, advertisers and other publishers. When we discover violations of these policies, we take quick action, which in some cases includes disabling the publisher’s account and refunding affected advertisers.”
So now we are at a bit of a stalemate. Google has refuted the whistleblower’s claims. Likely, the only way anything is going to come of this is if this person steps into the light. Look, shadow figure, what’s the worst that can happen if you’re telling the truth? It’s not as if Google is going to blow up your car while you’re driving in it — you’ll only be sued into the ground for breaking your non-disclosure agreement. And I’ll bet there’s some way you can get out of that with some honesty and a one-way plane ticket to Russia. A lot of deserving creators and publishers have gotten screwed if there is any truth to your claims, so if you can do more than drop hints — if you can provide some damn evidence, this could be a HUGE. ‘Til then though, we’re giving Google the benefit of the doubt.
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