If The AFA Boycotts Google Over Gay Rights, Will It Remove Itself From Google?

The American Family Association doesn’t like Google’s new Legalize Love effort to promote gay rights worldwide. Doesn’t like it so much that it’s planning a Google boycott. If AFA is really serious about that, I expect it will be removing itself from Google shortly.

I wasn’t familiar with the AFA until today, when I caught a tweet about how it plans to boycott Google, as covered by Right Wing Watch. AFA has boycotts against other companies like Home Depot or products like Oreo cookies (seriously).

Buster Wilson, general manager of AFA’s radio network and host of the AFA Today show, suggested yesterday that Google is next on the list. Right Wing Watch has the video, which is also posted at the AFA site here:

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Wilson remarked how difficult a Google boycott will be:

This going to be hard for a lot of us. A lot of us are so integrated into Google and Google products. This is going to be a tough one. It’s more than just a search engine.

Wilson goes on to mention Google products like Android phones, Google Calendar and YouTube, then says abandoning these and other Google products will “test the meat of our convictions.”

Indeed. AFA’s blogs allow you to search them using Google’s custom search. That will have to go. The group has a YouTube channel. Goodbye. But the real test — the one I suspect AFA will fail — will be dropping out of Google itself.

All it takes is adding a line to the AFA web site’s robots.txt file, and all the pages current listed from that site in Google, over 16,000 of them right now, would be gone:

So far, the file hasn’t been changed.

Over the years, I’ve seen all types of companies, groups and people say they were done with Google. None of them ever seem to back this up by removing themselves from Google’s search engine. Not Viacom, which sued Google over YouTube copyright issues. Not book publishers who sued Google over Google Book Search copyright issues. Nor do I expect the AFA will do the same. But we’ll see. I’m checking for a response.

Consumers can, of course, quit Google. The BBC just had an article today about Tom Henderson, who has been living a mostly Google-free life for the past four months. But he was able to search using an alternative search engine. AFA members who want to avoid gay-friendly search engines will find that tough.

As Right Wing Watch points out, Microsoft backs marriage equality for gays. That potentially prevents Bing from being a search alternative. That potentially means using a service like Duck Duck Go, which depends on Bing, is also out.

Full disclosure. I support gay rights, because those are at their core also human rights. And gays are human. Denying gays human rights? Not so human.

Related Topics: Channel: Industry | Features & Analysis | Google: Critics | Top News

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About The Author: is Founding Editor of Marketing Land. He’s a widely cited authority on search marketing and internet marketing issues, who has covered the space since 1996. Danny also serves as Chief Content Officer for Third Door Media, which publishes Search Engine Land and produces the SMX: Search Marketing Expo conference series. He has a personal blog called Daggle (and keeps his disclosures page there). He can be found on Facebook, Google + and microblogs on Twitter as @dannysullivan.

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Read before commenting! We welcome constructive comments and allow any that meet our common sense criteria. This means being respectful and polite to others. It means providing helpful information that contributes to a story or discussion. It means leaving links only that substantially add further to a discussion. Comments using foul language, being disrespectful to others or otherwise violating what we believe are common sense standards of discussion will be deleted. You can read more about our comments policy here.
  • http://www.future-shape-of-church.org/ Edward Green

    I wonder if they also boycott companies that flout biblical labour rules?

  • http://www.facebook.com/nathan.sinclair.5268 Nathan Sinclair

    I didn’t know what the AFA was until I googled them.
     

  • daposter

    so let’s see: they did not follow through with their announcement (robots.txt)
    if they are to big, then iPhones should see a sharp uptick, and Android phones should show the same downtick, a little more probably for those who will go to RIM

    or are they just words, agitators, propagandists?

    are they making sure that all AFA workers, interns, contracted services have abslutely no homosexual persons in their family trees?

    there is a fraction of tax money that does stem from gay people, and a small fraction actually (how horrible for the AFA) stems from same sex couples, married ones:

    when they drove on a road, used a bus, get gas: do they pay back that tax part since they are using subventioned fuel, and lots of things paid for with tax money? would be only just if they would pay themselves for that gay tax money part so they are sure no gay tax money is used in things they consume, buy, use, enjoy….

    oh, they can’t watch PBS either, there’s gays contributing…..

    actually, the only real thing for them to do is to pack up and move somewhere into the jungle, founding an AFA gay free settlement for themselves. pack the coolaid…..

  • Aa7on

    Danny, stick to writing about online marketing instead of using Marketing Land as a medium to rant about your political beliefs.

  • Petter Joe

    People has rights to chose to be gay or straight.AFA shouldn’t interfere this.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/D6ELMEZZKHFVA7HEKA3U4EYRQA newenergydude

    Joe, you can’t choose to be gay or straight…you either are or you aren’t.  Why would anyone actually choose a life where they have to deal with idiots like the AFA never mind all of the adversity they have to deal with outside of this article?  Also, what moment did you actually choose and say “Hey, I think I’ll be straight”? 

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/WLWU7P6JJDOLFNQ3GBLFZDIIAI Liz

    Really?  This has to do with marketing?  Very disappointing. 

    Danny perhaps you need a refresher in your company’s own words:

    “Read before commenting! We welcome constructive comments and allow any that meet our common sense criteria. This means being respectful and polite to others. It means providing helpful information that contributes to a story or discussion. It means leaving links only that substantially add further to a discussion. Comments using foul language, being disrespectful to others or otherwise violating what we believe are common sense standards of discussion will be deleted. ”

    Deciding it’s okay to keep comments that are calling people idiots and say things like pass the cool aid seems to be okay when it’s against people you disagree with.   

     

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