We need your help! Last summer, google blocked JWed ads in their display network because our ads said ‘Exclusively Jewish’. In a follow-up phone call, they advised us we need to remove the word ‘exclusively’ from not just our ads, but also from everywhere on our website!
We obviously did not comply because the whole reason for the existence of JWed is that we are Jewish-only and we promote Jewish marriage in order to reduce intermarriage. At the time, we spoke with some attorneys and decided against taking any action.
However, the situation with them just escalated in this past week, so it’s time for us to take action.
What Happened Next?
Last summer, advertising was not our top priority which is one reason why we chose not to fight Google at the time. However, in recent weeks, we have made plans to increase our advertising efforts to give you faces of more Jewish singles to choose from. Google Advertising remains one of the most effective ways to advertise so we looked for ways to work around their block. We determined we were willing to remove the word “exclusively” from our ads and landing page if we re-targeted our ads to people who we know already clicked on previous JWed ads (on Facebook, JPost.com, etc). This was our audience after all so how could Google object?
Boy were we shocked with their response! Last year they said the problem was “exclusively” but this time, they told us on the phone that we must also remove the word “JEWISH” from our ads AND everywhere on our website. They said our dating site would only be acceptable to them if it was a plain vanilla dating site for ALL people.
Why Are They Doing This?
Clearly, the reason for their policy is that they believe any service which exclusively serves one religion or ethnicity is somehow discriminatory. However, the Jewish religion demands that Jews marry only other Jews. This makes Google’s actions religious discrimination. Google can claim we are also religiously discriminating but there is one large difference. CHOICE. Consumers have the option to use any number of THOUSANDS of dating sites – many of which are far larger than JWed. If JWed does not serve their needs, they may try another dating site. However, Google has a MONOPOLY. There are no other cost-effective choices, particularly in display ads and retargeting.
Aren’t They Violating Their Own Policy?
You will note in their rejection message above and in their own written policies, they say advertising to specific ethnicities or races is prohibited but nothing is said about religion. Does google really want a fight to decide if Judaism is a religion or an ethnicity? After all, ANYONE can convert to Judaism. Last we checked, that makes us a religion.
Aren’t Their Actions Clearly Illegal? How Can this Happen!
Religious discrimination, violation of their own policies, abuse of monopoly power… take your pick. There is plenty here which seems illegal but the government has done nothing about this. Google is powerful so action will not be taken unless we band together and take action.
What Will JWed Do About It?
Honestly, we don’t know yet. If we make too much noise, Google could retaliate. We rely on their company for many critical business services including search advertising for which we have not been banned from yet; but we believe the time has come to do something.
Our next step is to raise awareness of this issue, and network with people within the Jewish community and beyond who care about religious freedom. Will that lead to Google dropping their ban, will it lead to us suing Google? We don’t know yet how that will play out.
In the meantime we need allies.
How Can I Help JWed?
Today all we are asking is for one simple thing. FOLLOW US ON TWITTER and FORWARD THIS EMAIL TO ALL OF YOUR FRIENDS.
We have revived our Twitter account and we plan to raise awareness of what has happened here. We need you to retweet our posts to influential organizations, politicians, and other individuals who you think can help.
Through these efforts, we hope to gain free legal representation, public relations services, and other advocates who can help us traverse the terrain ahead. Ultimately, we would be happy if our efforts placed public pressure on Google to change their policy and lift the ban against JWed.
WE BELIEVE THIS IS POSSIBLE WITH YOUR HELP. After all, does Google really want to be accused of HINDERING an organization dedicated to reducing intermarriage 70 years after the Nazis tried to wipe us off the face of the earth?
Let’s make sure this is a battle that Google cannot win.
See you on Twitter! – https://twitter.com/JWed
Founder & President, JWed.com