Specifically, it seems the social networking site has something in particular against AshleyMadison.com, the site that helps married people have affairs. They've never accepted ads for the site, but more recently, the founder of Ashley Madison discovered that Facebook messages containing the URL AshleyMadison.com were blocked.
According to a story on the subject in The Atlantic:
Facebook says it temporarily blocked messages containing AshleyMadison.com because the URL was distributed in a spam campaign on the site, although it would not confirm whether the company had been involved. Messages containing the address were blocked as of Monday afternoon but re-enabled the following night after this reporter contacted Facebook for comment.
But Facebook isn't the only site on the Internet giving the adultery site the cold shoulder. Google has banned Ashley Madison from advertising on the katrillion sites in Google's Content Network. Then, strangely, they decided to ban ads from sites containing the word "cougar," which seemed like a direct attack on AshleyMadison.com sister site CougarLife.com.
So, I know they pretty much run all of our lives these days, but where the heck do Facebook and Google get off? Yeah, the concept of AshleyMadison.com and a brief undercover stint that I did on the site for research purposes really gave me the willies. Most people who are happy in a committed relationship would probably feel the same way. But that doesn't mean the site is just as entitled to advertise or be discussed online as much as any other dating site.
For one thing, there are plenty of skeezy things that go on at tons of sites that aren't necessarily aimed at cheaters, so why Ashley Madison? And then, it's not even like the site is filled with raunchy content. It's just the premise that seems to turn off Facebook and Google morally. Ahem. MORALLY! That's the problem -- sites we use to share information or look up information don't have a moral obligation to "protect" us from ANY site that is neither hateful or vulgar.
I never really thought in a million years I'd defend a site that helps cheaters be cheaters, but this, to me, is more about our right as users of the Internet to freely communicate and AshleyMadison.com's right to free enterprise. After all, just by advertising or being discussed through Facebook messages, the site is not FORCING anyone have an affair. It's just a resource for consenting adults who are going to do it anyway. So ... what are Facebook and Google worried about?
Do you think AshleyMadison.com should be banned on Google and Facebook?
Image via AshleyMadison.com