Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Would-Be 'Roiders Turn To Yahoo!

I can't put my finger on why I have a problem with this, but it doesn't feel right for some reason:
The young athlete interested in using steroids to enhance his performance isn't likely to talk to his coach about it. It is much easier, and more confidential, to click on Google and type this into the search box: "Where can I get steroids?"

One of the prominent answers, as of today, will be titled "The Truth About Steroids" and will link to a website produced by the Partnership for a Drug-Free America.

With funding from Major League Baseball, PDFA will pay Google so that anyone searching about steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs will find a link to a site that provides information on the illegal abuse of those substances and the health risks of using them.
Seriously, this is really smart. And it's not as if Google is some kind of common carrier or anything, but it just, I dunno, feels weird.

5 comments:

JRJ said...

I think it's great. I don't feel weird about it all. It's no different that what other companies do to buy sponsored ad space. Although it looks like they are only paying for the 4th position down.

RabbiRosenberg said...

Really? Seems brilliant to me! Google regularly sells adds like this - search for X and company "WeMakeX" gets the first few links (marked as "sponsored," or some such). Sounds like they're just putting that feature to good use!

Amos said...

I agree that this feels wrong. I'm a lowly civil litigator, not an IP genius, but I would think that Google should eventually become a new type of common carrier.

This process would easily get out of hand. Could I pay for a porn site to pop up when someone types in my rival's name? And who at Google makes such decisions. Few would argue that the steroids one is a bad decision, but what about when the issue is less clear.

Tim Dierkes said...

Advertising on Google is the same as buying billboard or radio space for your PSA.

RoyceTheBaseballHack said...

I too am bothered by this, but can't put my finger on it. It might be your uvula....