Internet giant Google has adopted a new and discriminatory policy with respect to the advertising of firearms, ammunition and related products. The change affects the firm's "Google Shopping" function.
For years, Google has refused to sell preferred advertising to sellers of these goods. That means Google search results don't show those products in featured positions, such as at the top of the page or on the right side of the screen. The products do show up among the regular search results.
Until now, gun-related items also appeared in Google Shopping results, which allow easy comparison of prices and shipping charges. Google has now changed its policy so that "guns, ammunition and knives" do not show up in Google Shopping results.
This appears to be a calculated political statement by Google at a time when most other large online retailers and search services are increasing the level of information they provide and the number of gun-related products they offer for sale. Fortunately, with so many other options available to consumers, Google's attempt to limit information about legal and constitutionally protected products will likely prove futile.