Google’s unofficial motto of “don’t be evil” is being heavily scrutinized by firearms enthusiasts following the release of a letter the company sent out to merchants using its Google Shopping service. The email informs sellers that the service is becoming a commercial operation; this means that merchants can pay money to have their products show up first in Google Shopping search results.
Along with this change came an announcement which informed merchants that “weapons” and “weapon accessories” (including things like hunting rifles and ammunition) would no longer show up in Google Shopping results. Officially, Google has said that “Our Company has a strong culture and values, and we’ve chosen not to allow ads that promote products and services that are incompatible with these values.”
Now many in the firearms community are questioning exactly what these values are. There is an online petition asking Google to amend their policy started by change.org user Michael T which can be found here.