Google Revokes Adsense Revenue for Nerdly Over “American Guinea Pig” Post
It’s late, and I should be sleeping. But a casual, pre-bed scroll through my Instagram feed sent me in a tailspin. I stumbled upon a post by Stephen Biro, filmmaker and founder of Unearthed Films. He was expressing extremely justified outrage about a recent incident that forced the wonderful UK-based website, Nerdly.co.uk, to close up shop. Founded in 2009, Nerdly (formerly Blogomatic 3000), has had a long and successful run as one of the leading geek-culture blogs.
It’s the kind of site we aspire to be, rich in original content and boasting a diverse and passionate writing staff. Nerdly is a veritable wonderland for comic geeks, movie nerds, and gamers. From cool videos to awesome artwork, news on fantastic events, plus a whole heap of reviews — Nerdly has been committed to delivering the best in nerd (and geek) culture.
Like us, they focused on providing fresh and creative content, rather than recycling news from other sites and generic press releases. Readers could look forward to daily posts, as well as 3 or more daily reviews. Obviously, this is no small feat. But Editor Phil Weat was able to maintain such a robust and content-rich site thanks in very large part to revenue generated from Google Adsense.
While Nerdly is not entirely focused on horror, they do regularly provide great genre reviews and content. Recently, one of their reviews caused Google to take notice — and not in a good way. Weat was contacted by Google regarding a 2014 post his site did for Biro’s American Guinea Pig: Bouquet of Blood and Guts, a film we happen to love. Nerdly posted some images from the film, featuring makeup and special effects, which Google claimed were offensive.
According to Weat, Google requested that he remove significant content from his site or be completely cut off from adsense funding.
“We’ve made numerous appeals to them [Google],” said Weat. “But what they are asking us to remove from the site is tantamount to censorship, taking not only images but ENTIRE REVIEWS AND ARTICLES from the site!”
So, after a great 7 year run, Nerdly said goodbye to its legion of fans and contributors. My sincere hope is that something changes in the very immediate future and Nerdly is able to return to delivering great content and maintaining its unique voice the genre. I know Biro himself reached out to see what could be done.
But, regardless of how this turns out, this is a travesty that affects all horror fans. In a great article on the subject by the website Brutal as Hell — a site dedicated to the horrific, extreme, and bizarre — Editor Ben Bussey expresses reasonable concern about the possible impact on other horror sites. He references another site, Jonny’s Cult Films, which recently received some complaints over a Cannibal Holocaust post.
Brutal as Hell, like Morbidly Beautiful, is an entirely nonprofit site. Thus, we don’t share the same financial concerns of other sites, like our friends at Nerdly. However, the concerns over unwarranted genre censorship are quite serious and deeply troubling.