Google has redefined our civilization. With more than 3,500 million daily searches and a 92% global share, the search engine has completely changed the way we access information.
We all assume that Google Search results are trustworthy but many people don’t know that the top positions of the results page are paid advertisements, from which Google makes most of its income. Every day, thousands of people worldwide fall prey to cybercriminals and unscrupulous companies who use Google Search’s opaque advertising system to promote their scams. The tech giant doesn’t monitor the veracity of the ads and victims are powerless as there are no laws that can apply.
Andrea Hall lost her savings after investing in unregulated mini-bonds that came up in a “low-risk investment” google search. BP spent billions of dollars on google advertising after the Deepwater Horizon environmental disaster to secure top positions in searches for “oil spill” or “gulf disaster” and direct people to their own PR. Other people have been targeted by casinos after google searches for help with their additions. According to one study, 80% of the pharmacies that advertise on Google are illegal and many sell products that can be potentially harmful to users.
Is it time to regulate online advertising?
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