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Religious Contextual Ads

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Religious Contextual AdsSometimes contextual ads can reveal interesting facts about a site and its visitors. For some time I have noticed that Google Adsense has been displaying a certain banner for a site targeting Muslims seeking marriage partners.

Personally I don't mind religious ads on my site. It's all about business. I consider myself an agnostic (as in, I can not with certainty prove or disprove the existence of god or the validity of any religion,) but I have a liberal view towards faith. People should be free to choose whatever creed works for them as long as they don't force it on others.

I don't know what algorithm Google employs in targeting Adsense ads, but I must assume they strive to maximize click-through rates. It's possible that many of my site's visitors are Muslims (or Moslems, as Persians pronounce it), or perhaps my middle-eastern last name, Hashemian, triggers these banners. My bet is on the latter. To the algorithm, I'm just an unknown visitor from the U.S. who happens to be visiting the site.

At any rate, there must be some religious profiling at work here. I haven't seen any Christian or Jewish or Hindu-oriented ads on my site. Certainly I haven't seen anything for matching Agnostics or Atheists.

If the site helps two Muslims find each other and become a couple, that's cool with me. But if the marriage produces a male child (or female, for that matter,) I only hope they resist the temptation to have their child genitally mutilated, or in euphemistic term, circumcised.


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