back to article Google pushes fake abortion clinic ads to lower-income women, report says

Google is more likely to push ads for fake abortion clinics toward lower-income women in two major US cities in states that ban the procedure after six weeks, such as in the contested case in Georgia, and 15 weeks for Arizona, according to research by the Tech Transparency Project (TTP) . "Our investigation found that when a …

  1. Gene Cash Silver badge

    "We don't allow advertisers to specifically target a 'low income' bracket with ads"

    The why the f--- do you ask for income information?

    I can't think of any other reason to ask for it.

    Though I have had department stores show up on Google Maps when I was looking for restaurants with cuisine = pizza, and more crap unrelated to my search, so obviously their search is starting to go to shit.

    1. A. Coatsworth Silver badge

      Re: "We don't allow advertisers to specifically target a 'low income' bracket with ads"

      "their search is starting to go to shit."

      You are extremely generous! It wen on a nosedive years and years ago, when serving ads became more important than providing results. Nowadays depending on the search, the first 1 - 3 results are ads, and the first page is littered with useless "related" searchs terms.

      1. Snake Silver badge

        Re: "We don't allow advertisers to specifically target a 'low income' bracket with ads"

        Google results "went to shit" when they first implemented Personalized Search what, 2004?!. That's when an inherent bias was intentionally introduced into the system to both appease simple-minded users, who only wanted to view results that challenged their participation in the search process the least, as well as advertisers who could now game the system better with greater ad hit percentages.

        But the average Joe has *no* idea that their wonderful lord Google Up High is doing this to them. They think that their general 'web search' is actually that, not the prearranged rabbit holes the search has actually become.

        And media is too involved in keeping themselves in the graces of good ratings and web hit rates to maintain even a single moment of attention to the topic.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Puritan America

    The American Taliban rises.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Puritan America

      "Crisis pregnancy centers are anti-abortion centers that masquerade as legit healthcare providers."

      Can we just re-define the US police as healthcare providers? Canada seems to be leading the way in 'quick fix' healthcare but you have to go to the clinic. In the US the police could come to you to provide healthcare.

      On a more serious note we in Eurp do like to be all high and mightly about the thicky 'muricans but do remember several countries in the EU still ban abortion outright and the majority of the rest limit to about 12-14 weeks. So what is happening in the US is they are moving more towards the 'civilised Europe' model.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Puritan America

        Shooting you is not healthcare.

    2. Snake Silver badge

      Re: Puritan America

      Always remember as an American (which I am), when they claim that Islam is trying to force women into having the babies of their rapists after marrying same, it is "evil Shara law!"

      When a Christian tells you the same, it is "God protecting life".

    3. jake Silver badge

      Re: Puritan America

      It cracks me up every time you Brits claim the US was founded by the Puritans. In reality, the Puritans were a fairly unimportant sub-culture by 1776, when we took over over here. If you look at facts, not a single one of our Founding Fathers was a Puritan. In fact, many of them spoke out against organized religion partially because of the Puritans ... If anything, the American Revolution happened in part to rid ourselves of such bullshit (sadly, we're not done yet).

      On the other hand, most of the Puritan set returned to England, where they were re-grouping (after their exile in Europe and The Colonies) and taking over the British Government. You lot know that the Puritans were hard-core Church of England, right? Last time I checked, the CofE was conspicuous by its absence around here. Even Canada cast off their CofE shackles in the 1950s ... The Puritans never ran the United States, but they DID run England for many years. The effects are still visible. For example, and apropos of ElReg's science oriented crowd, seven of the ten initial core group that became The Royal Society were Puritans.

      1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Re: Puritan America

        Don't know what the downvotes are for – perhaps taking issue with the claim that some sort of Puritanism held sway in England.1 I don't know of a reputable historian of the USA or its colonial predecessors who thinks the Puritans lasted in importance for any significant length of time. jake's completely correct that their influence was negligible by the middle of the 18th century.

        Modern US cultural conservatism is much more rooted in later movements, including the aspirational class-marking repressions of the mid-19th century, the Christian revivalist movements, and the Agrarian movement and ongoing culture war between urban and rural US which really came into its own around the time of the Gilded Age.

        1Which, y'know, Cromwell; though of course the Civil War and Protectorate are roughly contemporaneous with the establishment of Puritans in the proto-US, so that doesn't fit with the thesis of Puritans or some sort of neo-Puritans "taking over the British Government" after their US settlements. I'm not going to try to argue either side of that.

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: Puritan America

          "Don't know what the downvotes are for"

          I didn't even notice ... most ad-blockers work quite nicely on more than just adverts.

          However, as I'm sure you've noticed, people hate it when what they thought was reality gets challenged. The British doubly so.

          It's Friday, this round's on me. Brits welcome, too.

    4. Missing Semicolon Silver badge

      Re: Puritan America

      You see, the odd bit is that if the USA had a federal law that enabled and regulated abortion, this would not be an issue. Nothing about striking down Roe v Wade prevents it. But Biden's Democrats decided not to, despite holding both houses.

      Maybe they thought the blowback would be too great?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Puritan America

        How about instead of blaming the Democrats who tried to codify the right to abortion you instead place the blame where it belong on the senate Rethuglicans who blocked that bill?

        1. Missing Semicolon Silver badge

          Re: Puritan America

          But what about all the time that the Senate Repubs weren't in the majority? The Dems had 2 years to fix this, and they didn't. Successive Democratic administrations over the years didn't.

          The fudge that was Roe v Wade (I had no idea what a mess is was till I read it up) was always going to come undone the next time the colour of the Supremes changed.

          The current situation is wrong - but it was coming, and it's now here because the electoral calculus was such that the can got kicked down the road.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Puritan America

            And the current situation is a direct result of extreme feminists rocking the boat because any reasonable limits on abortion (like you have 4 months to get one) were ideologically unacceptable to them.

            Now they have gotten unreasonable limits - and poor women are just collateral damage for both sides nutjobs.

  3. martinusher Silver badge

    Google is just a service

    Google is just selling/renting a service, a service that allows a customer to target adverts to a particular demographic in specified marke4ts. It could be cosmetics, it could be pizza, its all the same. This particular product is ethically dubious but then the only requirement for the company is to obey the letter of the law.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Google is just a service

      I pity Google's management, they are apparently bereft of initiative on how to make a profit without being morally bankrupt.

    2. Filippo Silver badge

      Re: Google is just a service

      Speaking of obeying the law, "false advertising" is still a crime, isn't it?

      1. trindflo Bronze badge

        "false advertising" is still a crime?

        A good question. If the enforcement of the criminal statutes are in the hands of an institution that is underfunded and understaffed, is it still a crime? Obviously, it is still technically a crime, but if there are no consequences what is there to stop anyone from doing it? The FTC, which is responsible for such things, tries to prioritize cases where they know they can make a difference and going after non-profit church-based groups tends to be an ineffective game of whack a mole.

  4. Potemkine! Silver badge

    US, The Land of the Free*

    * exceptions may apply, for instance if you are a woman

    1. My-Handle Silver badge

      * or poor

      * or black, non-christian, LGBTQ+, sick etc...

  5. Neil Barnes Silver badge

    For curiousity,

    Did they say whether the actual search results were different per demographic and if so, did they match the adverts?

  6. jake Silver badge

    One more reason to shun go ogle and the rest of the alphanuts at all costs.

    Seriously, they should be ashamed of themselves.


    1. Steve Button Silver badge

      Re: One more reason to shun go ogle and the rest of the alphanuts at all costs.

      I'm trying to avoid Google search because of their obvious bias and monopoly. (and frankly "woke mind virus")

      So, instead I'm currently trying

      "No Tracking. No Bias.

      Search Free From Corporate Influence."

      Seems pretty good so far.

      1. Sora2566

        Re: One more reason to shun go ogle and the rest of the alphanuts at all costs.

        DuckDuckGo for me.

        1. gandalfcn Silver badge

          Re: One more reason to shun go ogle and the rest of the alphanuts at all costs.

          Or Ecosia

  7. Scott Broukell

    M - Make

    A - America

    G - Gestate

    A - Again (and again)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Inching towards making The Handmaid's Tale jump from book to reality...

      Gilead is coming (for your womb)!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        MAGA are not the ones suggesting you use brain dead corpses kept alive to gestate babies.

        The handmaids tail is the utopia the ruling elite want, it has no basis in traditional left/right politics.

        Just remember that these very progressive companies that will pay for a 'uterus owner' to receive 'healthcare' in another state are doing so purely to save them money.

    2. jake Silver badge


      MAGA stands for Muppets Annoying Genuine Americans.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So commentors so far seem as stats illterate as the liberal arts majors who made the "study"?

    Here are the people who did the study..

    Now read the numbers carefully. What is the sample size. What is the sample methodology. What are the conclusions. And how strong are the caveats?

    Hands up all those who know why the "study" is complete and total bollocks.

    1. gandalfcn Silver badge

      Re: So commentors so far seem as stats illterate as the liberal arts majors who made the "study"?

      So why not do a similar study yourself using identical criteria Otherwise you come across as a shill.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: So another person who failed stats at school

        So you dont know the maths either.

        Looks at the sample size. See the problem? So whats the margin or error / confidence interval for that sample size?

        Now look at how the experiment was structured. See the problems? The fundamental flaws.

        Now look at the conclusion. Is the validity of the statements made any more defendable than just making up numbers. Which is what they basically did. Mathematically speaking.

        These people made a statement based on a "scientific study". The "study" is garbage. Political propaganda. Nothing more.

        So you must be one of those not very bright people who never worked out that Google is an advertising company that uses search as its delivery media So the ads delivered for a particular search term will be base purely on those willing to *PAY* for those search terms. And guess who has placed ad buys with the brokers at the moment. Not Planned Parenthood it seems.

        The story is really - Bunch of Stupid Affluent Middle Class Do Gooders create a garbage study that tries to hide political propaganda as "science". When the actual story is Advertising Company Sells Ads to those Willing to Buy them. Dont like this then set up you own advertising supported search engine.

        Its total bollocks like this that gives Right To Chose a bad name. Proving just as bad as the "Right To Life" loons. Whose fatuous "morality" I have zero time for.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: So another person who failed stats at school

          "Bunch of Stupid Affluent Middle Class Do Gooders"

          Par for the course. Probably the same bunch who think black people can't find the DMV or get ID.

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