The age old controversy remains. Who is responsible for showing banned advertisements? Is it the Ad platform or the person who is advertising on that platform? In my book it is the latter, however Indian Supreme court thinks otherwise. They have slapped notices to Google, Yahoo and Microsoft for displaying gender selection advertisements targeted at Indian users.
The advertisement of products and techniques to aid in the selection of an unborn child’s sex is an offense under India’s “The Pre-conception and Pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection) Act”.
According to the petitioner, Sabu Matthew George, search engines, video sharing sites and social networking sites, including Google’s Orkut and YouTube have been displaying these objectionable ads. [CW]
The law books hold network service providers liable unless they can prove that the offense or contravention was committed without their knowledge or that they had exercised all due diligence to prevent the commission of such offense or contravention.
Now the question is, can Google scrape through each and every advertisement to find out whether it is displaying objectionable content? Absolutely not !
Although, the advertiser has to accept and abide by the terms and conditions during signing up with these ad platforms, it is extremely difficult for giant like Google to find out who is breaching the terms.
This is an interesting debate and I would love to hear what readers feel about it.