Google and Facebook, the two politically-connected high-tech companies that have a stranglehold on internet advertising announced that they will ban ads from the legal, long-established bail bonds services industry.
As news site Axios.com reported:
• Google said it would prohibit ads for bail bonds services as of July, with Global Product Policy Director David Graff citing research that shows “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.”
• Facebook said later in the day that it would ban the ads but that details were still being worked out. “Advertising that is predatory doesn’t have a place on Facebook,” said Vice President of Global Policy Management Monika Bickert in a statement.
Beth Chapman, a reality-TV star from the hit show Dog and Beth: On the Hunt and the President of the Professional Bail Agents of the United States™ (PBUS™) said:
“This move by Facebook and Google to shut down advertising from a legal, legitimate, established industry that’s helped keep Americans safe from dangerous criminals since the country was founded should scare the hell out of every business owner. If they can shut down ads from the bail bonds industry, they can shut you down if they decide your product or service doesn’t meet their standard for what is politically correct.”
Chapman said that PBUS ™ has retained highly respected attorney Harmeet Dhillon the look into the legal ramifications of the maneuver by Facebook and Google.
Both Facebook and Google have come under increased scrutiny from the public and many politicians recently amid charges of misusing private data, censoring users, political bias, government connections, and their outsized influence. As Fortune reported in 2017 in an article titled Why Google and Facebook Prove the Digital Ad Market Is a Duopoly:
This year, the Big Two in internet advertising are expected to take half of all revenue worldwide, and more than 60% in the United States, according to research firm eMarketer.
In the U.S. market, no other digital ad platform has a market share above 5%.
Both Google and Facebook, which had connections to the Obama administration and Hillary Clinton’s failed 2016 presidential bid, have used their power to shut down advertisers for legal products before.
Recently, they banned ads for a device that made guns safer. As The National Review said about that gun lock ban:
The gun lock, the first of its kind, has received good reviews from the gun community. A representative for ZORE said gun owners have embraced the lock because it is effective at preventing unauthorized use of firearms while remaining quickly and easily accessible to authorized users.
Professional Bail Agents of the United States ™ (PBUS ™ ) is the professional association representing the 15,500 bail agents nationwide as the National Voice of the Bail Agent ™.
Since its founding in 1981, PBUS and its alliance with state associations have advanced the profession through legislative advocacy, professional networking, continuing education, support of bail agent certification, liability insurance and development of a code of ethics.