As many have noticed Side-Line is no longer offering adverts from Google Adsense. Although we have been working with Google Adsense since the early days, the ethical stretch we had to do in order to continue doing this was getting a bit too extreme.
The reasons for taking this measure are explained in detail below.
Censorship, poor ads, malware, …
On various occasions in the past Google forced us to remove content. The reason: it was considered to be too explicit, too offensive, etc.. 100% of the cases involved artwork of CDs we reviewed. That is, until now when we refused to remove the following articles from the website which Google wanted us to censor (this article, this article, this article, this article, this article, …). A huge list actually.
Truth to be told, we also were getting pretty fed up with the very poor user experience offered by the Google Adsense ads. Despite continuous complaints and technical interventions from our side, the network kept on advertising services on Side-Line which are illegal: Mac and PC malware, prostitution, fake brides, counterfeit goods, … The list is huge and actually pretty alarming, you have to wonder if Google is actually checking what kind of garbage is appearing on their network.
So, bye bye to the clutter Google Adsense has become. Good riddance.
How will Side-Line continue to survive?
The team behind Side-Line has been investing a lot of its own finances in the website since day 1, back in 1997 that is. And if you look back, that’s indeed a lot of money to keep Side-Line.com up for the past 22 years (hosting, dev, a botched iOS app, mastering, …). But we were never in it for the $$$ anyhow as we have a good daytime job. All advertising was sent towards charities worldwide since we started with Side-Line online. And that’s a good thing which will not change.
Over the years we indeed focused on supporting various charities (including donations to artists in medical need – you all know who you are) and we also collaborate with various labels who have been so generous to help finance those charity endeavours since day 1 via our sponsorship program. Thousands of readers are also helping out via the donations we receive via our popular “Face The Beat” download compilation series and via the donations made right here (which also help us covering some of our other costs to keep the site up and running).
So, if you want to help out, then support our Bandcamp page releases, you get a lot of good music in return too!
Since you’re here … … we have a small favour to ask. More people are reading Side-Line Magazine than ever but advertising revenues across the media are falling fast. And unlike many news organisations, we haven’t put up a paywall – we want to keep our journalism as open as we can. So you can see why we need to ask for your help. Side-Line’s independent journalism takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. But we do it because we want to push the artists we like and who are equally fighting to survive. If everyone who reads our reporting, who likes it, helps fund it, our future would be much more secure. For as little as 2 US$, you can support Side-Line Magazine – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. The donations are safely powered by Paypal.