Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Google Bans Bail Bond Ads

From Google:
Today, we’re announcing a new policy to prohibit ads that promote bail bond services from our platforms. Studies show that for-profit bail bond providers make most of their revenue from communities of color and low income neighborhoods when they are at their most vulnerable, including through opaque financing offers that can keep people in debt for months or years.
We made this decision based on our commitment to protect our users from deceptive or harmful products, but the issue of bail bond reform has drawn support from a wide range of groups and organizations who have shared their work and perspectives with us, including the Essie Justice Group, Koch Industries, Color of Change and many civil and human rights organizations who have worked on the reform of our criminal justice system for many years.
I am really scratching my head on this one.

Bail bond providers do not set bail,
they simply provide the bail that the courts require. To eliminate advertising by bail bond providers simply makes it more difficult for those who desire to bail someone out. Indeed, by limiting advertising opportunities, it makes bail bond financing even more opaque.

And Alex Tabarrok argues:
The bail agents are not purely altruistic, they are in a competitive, service business and it pays to help their clients with kindness and care. When I asked one bail agent why he was so polite to his clients and their relations–even when they had jumped bail–he told me, “we rely a lot on repeat business.”
-Robert Wenzel  


  1. The diversity/ political correctness issue is more burdensome than the State's violations of the NAP, unfortunately.

  2. That’ll learn them not to do business with vulnerable people.

  3. "We made this decision based on our commitment to protect our users from deceptive or harmful products"

    So are they going to ban pharmaceutical advertisements or political campaign adds? I can't think of more harmful ads than pharmaceutical ads or more deceptive than political ads.

    1. Nope, those kinds of harm and deception are "A-OK" for the folks at Google.