Google’s latest policy change covering its online shopping center has Second Amendment groups up in arms, and has stirred up the historically tense relationship between Google and the political right.
The search engine giant announced at the end of May that it would change how it lists certain items in search results through Google Shopping. The policy change included a prohibition on listing sites that promote and facilitate weapons sales — a move Google said it made in order to “comply with local laws and regulations.”
Google is undertaking a broader effort to transition its Shopping engine into a commercial site akin to Amazon and eBay, by bringing the service in line with policies it already enforces for its AdWords paid advertising program.
AdWords publishers are not allowed to place Google advertisements on sites that “sell, facilitate or advocate the sales of weapons and weapon accessories.” Google ads are, however, allowed to appear on sites which discuss “the sport of hunting.”