Google has announced a ban on firearms, ammunition, and other items its censors deem to be unsafe from its new Google Shopping site, initiated in early June. While most major U.S. news organs appeared to have missed or ignored the announcement, which Google made in late May, foreign newspapers were all over it. “Our company has a strong culture and values, and we’ve chosen not to allow ads that promote products and services that are incompatible with these values,” the U.K.’s Telegraph news site quoted Google as explaining of its new “family safe” policy. Google added that it would no longer allow “the promotion of weapons or devices designed to cause serious harm or injury,” including “guns, gun parts or hardware, ammunition, bombs, knives, throwing stars, and brass knuckles,” the French news service AFP reported.
The Telegraph noted that “American firearms enthusiasts have already raised a petition on Change.org asking Google to reconsider and citing rights under the Second Amendment. The petition’s organizers claim, ‘This has started to severely affect many people’s ability to find good prices on things ranging from knives to swords to hunting rifles and ammo, to axes. Why does Google feel the need to tell people they cannot shop online for legal items?’”
The petition notes that “if you wish to purchase a gun, you are required to do a back ground check…. The new policy will only effectively disable many law abiding citizens from acquiring legal weapons for legitimate purposes at reasonable prices, and hurt many small business’s income.”
According to AFP, the National Rifle Association weighed in on the move by Google, calling it a “discriminatory policy” that “appears to be a calculated political statement by Google at a time when most other large online retailers and search services are increasing the level of information they provide and the number of gun-related products they offer for sale.”
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