According to Google Adsense Terms of Service (TOS) simply linking to pornography (legal or not) is a violation, that is unless a website has enough traffic to make it worthwhile.
Manga & anime (Japanese comics and cartoons) frequently involve characters of questionable age in sexual situations but there’s nothing ambiguous about the genres known as Lolicon and Shotacon, in which clearly prepubescent girls and boys are blatantly sexualized. While no actual children are involved, these images are still considered illegal under the United States’ Protect Act and the UK’s Coroners and Justice Act.
Nevertheless Google ads can be found on websites with lolicon titles such as:
Dance in the Vampire Bund, about a prepubescent vampire in love with a 17-year-old werewolf (child nudity in both manga & anime)
Kodomo No Jikan, about a 3rd grader whose stepfather wants to marry her but she wants to be with her teacher (child nudity, masturbation, molestation in both manga & anime).
Omamori Himari, about a demon hunter with a harem of female demons, including a prepubescent girl who takes her clothes off and dry humps the main character to heal him in episode 5 (nudity is censored but the orgasmic moaning is not)
Chu-Bra!!, about middle school children that start an underwear club (child nudity and fondling in both manga & anime)
But it’s not really surprising that Google is advertising on these sites considering they themselves are showing Dance in the Vampire Bund (albeit a somewhat censored version) on Youtube, which is owned by Google.
While Google certainly isn’t the only company helping to sponsor lolicon, it is the largest and supposedly the most respected. And it’s not as if these sites are under the radar. Many of them are in the Top 1000 Adsense sites (http://serversiders.com/toplist/adsense) and include: Animextremist.com (#237), Mangaupdates.com (#549), Mangatoshokan.com (#833), and Foroanime.com (#900). Nor is the content hidden. In fact, it’s often openly advertised under the aforementioned Lolicon and Shotacon genres. These sites even advertise themselves with Google Adwords using specific lolicon titles like “Kodomo No Jikan” as keywords. In other words, there’s no plausible deniability here. I confronted Google about this 2 weeks ago, but none of these sites have been banned so I’ve contacted the companies being advertised on them directly and will post their responses here.
Below are some examples with the companies sponsoring them in bold. Most of the ads are from the University of San Francisco Online (usanfranonline.com) & PRweb.com which don’t seem to care where their ads appear in general, but there are many more established organizations that you’d think would keep better track of where their advertising dollars are going such as: AT&T, Verizon, Disney, All State, Ace, Circuit City, Gillette, Frito Lay, American Express, ESPN and even the NATIONAL GUARD!
Example links were Not Safe for Work (NSFW) and have since been take so they will no longer be listed here.
We appreciate you bringing this to our attention. Whether it’s websites or television programs, if it doesn’t fit our criteria for family-friendly viewing, we’re not sure why our ad would appear. We specifically request ads for our products not be aired during controversial programs, and I’m sharing your message with our sponsorship team. You can be sure we’ll continue to examine our sponsorship principles and actions.
Thanks again for letting us know.
Thank you for letting us know of this situation. We are writing back to
let you know that your message has been sent to the following
Management (Because we want them to know about a problem this serious)
Marketing (So that they can look into ways to resolve this)
Network Operations (So that they can look into ways that we can block
this on our end)
We can not know how this will be resolved, but from past experience, we
can say that it will most likely be complicated.
We here at Aeria Games would like to maintain a family friendly
enviornmment, and despite allowing some adult (18+) content, we do not
support, condone, or want to be assocaited in any way with child
pornography. We would like to thank you for doing your part in make our
site (and the world in general) a better place.
Thank you for writing to us. We appreciate your email regarding this sensitive concern. We have forwarded your note to our legal and advertising groups for further review/investigation. Frito-Lay is a family friendly company and would never intentionally advertise in conjunction with such inappropriate businesses. We will be taking steps to ensure similar actions do not take place in the future.
Frito-Lay Consumer Affairs
Thank you for your recent inquiry. We have escalated this issue to the proper department for investigation. Thank you for bringing our attention to this matter.
Cablevision – Shared Services
First of all, I don’t have a problem with opposing opinions so long as they more than just curse words with fake emails. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to moderate them sooner because I’ve been sick (which I sure some of you will be glad to here).
Secondly, the point of the article is not that lolicon should be banned or that anyone who reads it should be put in jail. The point (which I stated in the beginning) is the hypocrisy in allowing sites with material that clearly violates Google’s TOS (or worse) simply because they’re profitable. I could have written the same article about Google partnering with websites like Gawker.com & PerezHilton.com, which have adult pornographic material, but that has already been pointed out by many already to no avail. But I bet I got their attention now.
I’ve closed comments as many are unfit to post and the rest are mostly about censorship and manga being banned, which isn’t the case. No manga, certainly not the adult variety, have been banned. Some websites have voluntarily taken down content to comply with Google’s TOS. All these manga are and will continue to get scanlated, they just won’t be hosted on websites with adsense. And for that I’m not sorry.