Rick Summers, principal, global publisher policies at Google, is paid to get offended.
Summers oversees the development and implementation of global publisher policies for both AdSense and Doubleclick Ad Exchange. He is, in essence, the platform’s fake news top cop. Summers and his team keep an eye out for threats that often start small, but can potentially emerge into larger, damaging affairs for Google.
How do you get to be the guy who decides what’s offensive?
We aren’t the single deciders of what’s allowed or disallowed on our products and platforms. Decisions aren’t made in isolation. They are informed by the shared perspectives and viewpoints from everyone involved in the advertising ecosystem, including advertisers, publishers, users and our own internal teams.
The offensiveness of a thing is kind of subjective. How do you set your barometer?
Our policies are built on principles, so they are not based upon whether a particular author of content sought to “offend” someone, but instead focus on the substance of that content. Through this method, our policy actions are more accurate and our messaging to publishers is clearer.
(Editor’s note: the initial image used with this piece included a screen grab of Natural News. This demonstrates conclusively, if ever I needed proof, that the entire fake news meme is an exercise in Orwellian censorship and nothing else)