The company Google bans online ads for things that “could explode and cause damage to nearby people or property.”
They also ban ads for “cocaine, crystal meth, heroin, and marijuana.”
In similar fashion, they ban ads offering “sexual acts in exchange for compensation.”
And thank goodness, they ban ads for accident photos and execution videos.
And now they are about to ban ads for payday loans.
On a web page explaining their policy for screening ads, they write that good ads connect people to useful products or services, but “unfortunately [some] ads are for fake or harmful products, or seek to mislead users about the businesses they represent.”
It’s this concern about misleading and harming customers that led the company to ban certain ads. People shouldn’t be enticed to buy things that explode, to use drugs, to buy sex, or order a new set of execution videos.
Nor should they be enticed to take out a payday loan.
And as of July 13, 2016 Google will also ban ads for payday lending. They won't advertise loans that are due in less that 60 days, or charge over 36% interest. Google said, “When reviewing our policies, research has shown that these loans can result in unaffordable payment and high default rates for users so we will be updating our policies globally to reflect that.” They note that the change is designed to protect users from harmful products.
Wade Henderson, Google’s president and CEO said, “These companies have long used slick advertising and aggressive marketing to trap consumers into outrageously high interest loans - often those least able to afford it."
Congress knows that these are bad products. In 2006, with bipartisan support, they passed the Military Lending Act (MLA).
The Military Lending Act:
Like Google, Congress should seek limit access to these products and restrict their most harmful practices.
The Consumer Finance Protection Bureau is poised to pass down regulations that would reign in the most egregious practices of predatory lenders. Though not as comprehensive as the Military Lending Act, these new regulations would be a very positive step in the right direction.
So trust the folks at Google, and those who passed the Military Lending Act. Don’t buy things that explode. Don’t use drugs or buy sex. And definitely don’t buy execution videos or do business with predatory lenders.
Voice your support for the soon to be announced CFPB regulations and don’t let Congress be bought by the huge conglomerates that own most payday lending centers.
In a previous post I provided a Biblical perspective on payday lending, a practice called usury and banned in the Old Testament. God said that he would crush those who oppress the poor and he told us to protect the poor from those who malign them.
At Central Christian Church we are committed to addressing issues of justice and standing with those in need. Jesus didn't put us in Springfield so that we could worship comfortably in a beautiful sanctuary. He put us in springfield so that give our most vulnerable neighbors a taste of heaven and a relationship with Jesus. Join us for worship at 10:30 Sunday Mornings. Join us in community service the rest of the week.
"This blog is my way of connecting with people at Central and beyond to encourage them to make their space in the world more like Heaven."
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this blog reflect my thoughts and opinions as an individual, not the formal positions of our church. Central includes people with a wide range of opinions on important issues like those addressed in my posts. It is also a place where we can discuss these issues with civility and grace.