Yesterday a reader pointed out that you can no longer leave comments on the Lululemon Athletica Facebook page. I didn’t think much of it until later that night I remembered to take a look. I assume that the heavy handed moderation was due to comments being left by people against the use of down, which happens each year at this time when down products are released. Those posts are prolific on the page and really sidetrack the content. I was actually more surprised by a new ‘house rules’ post lululemon has made. Something that struck me in that list of rules was the ‘Keep it PG. Make sure images you share are appropriate‘. At face value this seems like a harmless rule, but then I remembered that last week my blog was flagged by somebody for ‘lewd content’.
Google ads contacted me and had me immediately remove any images that contained bent over sheer pants pictures, or have my google ads account terminated. I use google ads to monetize my blog which offsets the amount of time I spend working on my blog. The amount I get monthly is pretty small, but it’s enough to justify to my family the amount of time and resources I spend creating this space. In the seven years of maintaining this blog I have never been contacted by google ads before over any of the sheer pant photos I’ve posted over the years (informative photos) but suddenly these posts are being flagged as ‘sexual content’ and ‘lewd images’. This occurred immediately after I posted the photo of the sheer Speed Wunder Tights in Florence print in which a reader shared her fitting room try on. I wonder if this new rule about PG content on the Facebook page is more about justifying deleting sheer pant try on images than it is about removing animal rights comments.
I complied with Google ads and removed that image as well as all the other sheer pant photos from 2013, and I will no longer share those photos with you here. I fully intend to comply with Google Ads policy. I hope this was a random coincidence that this happened and not punitive action taken against my blog. I have always had a great relationship with Lululemon and they have let me exist without interference.
The spirit of my posts was never about circulating lewd sexual content or click bait, it was meant to inform my readers of pants that may not be opaque enough for fitness activities. This space is about sharing information, and celebrating a brand we all love. It’s very unfortunate that this is all happening at the same time that Lululemon is heavily censoring and deleting product reviews, and after they’ve eliminated the Hey Lululemon forum where they allowed product reviews and conversation.
**I’d like to add here a comment that a reader left in regards to the Google Adsense violation:
I used to work for Google AdSense, and I can tell you that this was very likely an automated flag based on an image-scanning algorithm they developed to help scale AdSense and protect a lot of our smaller advertisers who are very sensitive to even content that most people would not consider offensive. We NEVER would flag specific sites just because an advertiser had a problem with it – there’s a strong separation of church and state between the AdWords side and the AdSense side.
This is what my flagged content looked like. It required immediate action in order to maintain my standing in the google ad sense program.