Monday, April 16, 2012

Adsense is a scam

I probably should have seen this coming. But it was still a shock when my Google Adsense account was disabled Saturday evening, and all the money I had earned from my site was taken away.

At the point when the account was disabled, I had earned just over $90 from ad clicks. I'm not sure if this is usual for a site with the amount of traffic I've had, but it ended up being about 9% of my visitors clicking on an ad.

My site does not violate any of Adsense's policies. I was not forcing people to click on my ads, nor was I promising a service in exchange for them doing so. It was completely voluntary on the part of my visitors. However, I was getting close to the payment threshold when they would send me my first check. And according to some other bloggers, my problem is far from isolated. Once you earn enough that you'd get a check from them, they cancel your account and keep all your money.

Of course I appealed. I explained that while people may click on my ads in order to support me and my goals, I did not coerce them or otherwise violate the terms of the Adsense agreement. I explained that it is common knowledge that an Adsense account can be disabled maliciously through repeated clicking of ads, and that some people may have issues with the things that I post. I explained that my site is a real site, and not an ad-revenue-generating scam site. And so I anticipated my reinstatement and the return of the money I earned.

And after just two days, I got an email response to my appeal! So awesome! Wait, no.

Thank you for your appeal. We appreciate the additional information you'veprovided, as well as your continued interest in the AdSense program.However, after thoroughly re-reviewing your account data and taking yourfeedback into consideration, our specialists have confirmed that we'reunable to reinstate your AdSense account.
Please know that, once we've reached a decision on your appeal, furtherappeals may not be considered, and you might not receive any furthercommunication from us. Note that AdSense publishers whose accounts aredisabled for violations of our Terms and Conditions are not eligible forfurther participation in AdSense. For this reason, you may not open newaccounts.
Also, accounts disabled for invalid click activity will receive no furtherpayment nor any reissue of previous payment. Your outstanding balance andGoogle's share of the revenue will both be fully refunded back to theaffected advertisers. Thank you for your understanding in this matter.
We understand that you may want more information about your accountactivity. However, because we have a need to protect our proprietarydetection systems, we're unable to provide our publishers with any detailsabout their account activity.

So that's that. The money I earned is gone, no recourse, no more appeals.

I would like to thank everyone who clicked on my ads. I really appreciate your support, and although Google decided to steal it from me it still means a lot that you did that for me. I would also like to deliver a heartfelt middle finger to the people who run Adsense. Congratulations, you just ripped off an unemployed trans girl, I hope you feel good about yourselves.

I'm going to be looking into other forms of monetization for the blog. There's other ad sites out there, and maybe I'll start up a kickstarter or something (though I have no clue how that'd work for something like SRS... what kind of incentive would I provide?). In any case, I'm going to keep writing, ads or no.


  1. There are places like the Jim Collins Foundation (, who award need-based grants to trans people for SRS.

    1. Yeah, I know about those... but they grant like a couple a year. I feel like I'd be taking that opportunity away from someone else who needs it more than I do.

  2. That's ridiculous, and you are definitely not alone. I've heard the comments about that before. When I read your blog, I googled and people with thousands of dollars worth of clicks got locked out. It's disgusting.

    1. Ayup. I actually read about this kind of thing before this happened, but I figured it'd never happen to me... I'm starting to think this kind of behavior is more the norm than isolated incidents.

  3. Quite a few people use to raise money for SRS...

    1. Ooh, really? Must check that out, thanks! :)