Dear Kent,Your work in keeping counterfeits out of ads should be commended. I wonder what is Google view on the sale of degrees by diploma mills. Do you see them as a type of counterfeits or classify them differently?Technically speaking, diploma mills are not selling fake degrees as if they were issued by a genuine university. They claim to be recognised and accredited and therefore genuine themselves. However, anyone that follows this industry knows how to distinguish between genuine education providers and diploma mills. So I’d be very interested to learn more about your views and policies (if they exist) to fight diploma mills. At the moment it seems that they advertise freely on your network.As a company we have invested thousands of man hours over the past 3 years researching diploma mills and their activities. We maintain the only global database of such “institutions” and we make it available to law enforcement agencies, background screening providers, investigators and others. Currently we have almost 6,000 institutions on our global database of mills. The database does not just cover names but URLs, addresses, IP addresses, telephone numbers, names of individuals and companies involved in the scams and much more. We would love to see how we could work with Google to fight these diploma mills and ban them from your advertising network.Thank you,Eyal Ben CohenManaging DirectorAccredibase Limitedwww.accredibase.com
Ads for counterfeits aren't just bad for the real brand holder - they're bad for users who can end up unknowingly buying sub-standard products, and they're bad for Google too.And they are bad for AdSense publishers, whose sites are tainted by association. It's interesting that you have failed to mention that aspect.
Dear Kent,I would make two short considerations here.The first is very practical. I think your initiative could be a powerful tool to address a wide-spread fear amongst internet users, not only "light" internet users, but even those using the internet with quite some confidence already. The fear is really whether one can always "trust" his/her counter-party in a transaction when there is no first-hand precedent business experience/trust with that subject, as well as little "social-feedback" that can be of help. In a way, what Google does is something like eBay, just on much larger scale. This would deserve the appropriate level publicity, I think. Otherwise the risk is that users would not perceive the increased safety of the internet environment.The second consideration, is more legal (as I am also a lawyer..). In brief, I would be interested to know whether you have a feedback from the European antitrust watchdog or other as regards the effectiveness of this measure as a response to what the EC Courts have recently established in this field. I trust you know exactly what the point is and would not bother you repeating the Courts' holding. Look forward a comment from you.Best regards,GabrieleGabriele AccardoAvvocato/Lawyer - EU Competition LawResearch FellowTransatlantic Technology Law ForumStanford Law Schoolhttp://firstname.lastname@example.org@tin.it
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