One of the many tweets flying around in the last hour or so has been a story about Google Screwing over one of their clients to the tune of Thousands of $$$ because of some obscure contract violations.
From a cold email:
"After reviewing our records, we've determined that your AdSense account poses a risk of generating invalid activity. Because we have a responsibility to protect our AdWords advertisers from inflated costs due to invalid activity, we've found it necessary to disable your AdSense account. Your outstanding balance and Google's share of the revenue will both be fully refunded to the affected advertisers."
... through to no real explanation as to what 'invalid activity' is ...
... through to a crazy analysis of the legal situation:
"The Adsense contract is a beautiful piece of work. One of my subscribers is a lawyer. She looked at the contract and said “wow – this is a beautiful and incredibly expensive piece of work. These guys employ the best.” Her advice? Don’t bother fighting Google.
The contract is designed so that it is almost impossible not to break the Google rules. If you disclose site data then you are in breach. YouTube discloses just the sort of site data that would have me thrown out – but YouTube is Google which is Adsense."
Seriously. Click through and read it. And think about the impact that this has had on the guy, who had absolutely no idea he was doing anything wrong. Is in fact possible not to do wrong? Does this mean that everyone using AdSense is ultimately operating thanks to the good will of Google? And that Google can screw them over, without warning, and quite happily claim it's within their rights?
The entire situation makes a mockery of Google's 'Do no Evil' stance, and I for one am even more put off. The risk of the "cloud" is the amount of dependency you wind up having on it. There's a very good reason I keep the majority of my stuff, under my own direct control, this includes my income.... but notwithstanding this position, Google needs a rocket for screwing over an innocent, loyal customer.
Example of stupidity: An AdSense customer (someone using AdSense for advertising and thus revenue) is in breach of their contract if folks click on the links provided via AdSense and then don't purchase anything from the advertiser? REALLY? I see a run of DoS against AdSense users coming...