Why isn't Google fake pharmaceutical ads?

Azen Jason Ng

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About the need


The article is not mainly about Google, but Baidu, as well as medical qualification audits, and who to trust.

Wei Zexi in Baidu search "slip membrane sarcoma" to find false medical network ads, cheated when the final death of the matter, in this May Day holiday boiling. There have even been rumors that people in the Putian family are already asking who is putting this matter on.It's fried.」。

Perhaps they have long been unconvinced, some things do not spend money, do not operate, but also can win the national eyeball.

Wei Zexi's death, if we want to be held accountable, proportional lying, should be:3 : 3 : 3 : 1

Let me slow down.



Google also has fake pharmaceutical ads.

We have been sick of Baidu's pharmaceutical advertising, or false pharmaceutical advertising. I'm not stingy and have always been proud to preemptBaidu is a non-festival companyBaidu has done too many bad things. However, there is nothing wrong with search engines advertising, this is their best business model, Google's search results also have ads, there are medical ads, and even fake pharmaceutical ads.

In countries with stronger enforcement, however, Google has faced a different treatment than Baidu.



Whitaker incident

According to a 2012 Wall Street Journal report, such a story can be found.

David Anthony Whitaker, a U.S. counterfeit drug dealer who has long sold counterfeit drugs online, faces up to 65 years in prison after being extradited from Mexico to the U.S. in 2008. He was able to sell counterfeit drugs successfully and earn millions of dollars,Google helped him a lot.and, more clearly, he pointed out thatGoogle Advertising Sales is his biggest accomplice.These salespeople proactively help him avoid filtering to run fake drug ads in search results.

So the FBI conducted a fishing law enforcement.

Whitaker, disguised as the CEO of a pharmaceutical company, ran $20,000 a month in ads on Google, and the Justice Department prepared $200,000 for him to make him look like a big customer. Eventually, Google's sales staff convinced him that he was a big customer and contacted him.

Sales people are very active in helping Whittaker, optimizing his site, helping him analyze, select keywords, and even redesigning the site, removing the site's buy button safters as a medical information portal to avoid Google's automated review mechanism, which they know they can avoid.

Finally, of course, the fishing was a success,Google fined $500 million

For more details about this story, you can search google for a more detailed version, but that's not the focus of this article.



The three core synr of the Whitaker affair

The above story has three cores:

  1. Google, which claims not to be evil, has shown false medical ads

  2. Google knows it should block ads for certain keywords, but salespeople avoid censorship, driven by benefits

  3. U.S. government doesn't have a soft hand on corporate infractions, even by (tax) owner Google

With these three cores, let's take a look at the story's follow-up.



Later, Google was cautious about medical ads.

In 2015, Google blocked more than 12.5 million fake medical ads and blocked more than 30,000 websites that misled weight loss.

How do these work?



Government severely punishes false advertising of medicine

Since 2009, the U.S. government has stepped up investigations into illegal online medical advertising.

In the same year, the agency, in collaboration with other government agencies, conducted a week-long joint investigation that found 136 websites involving the illegal sale of unapproved or mislabeled drugs to consumers. The regulator then sent warning letters to the operators of these websites and asked Internet service providers and domain name registrars to terminate the services.

In June 2012, the regulator asked Google to stop advertising detox health products to the U.S. public, and Google said that all over-the-counter detox products were found to be non-approved drugs that were "dangerously misleading" and could cause serious physical harm to consumers. All "heavy metal detox" drug advertisements were ordered to be placed on the shelves.

(This paragraph is referenced from Sina Technology's "How does the United States crack down on false pharmaceutical advertising?" 》)



Google slams former non-reform after being fined $500 million

After being fined $500 million, Google plans to overhaul its pharmaceutical advertising, knowing that pharmaceutical and health-care advertising is an important source of revenue for Google. But without a strict audit mechanism, the next penalty may not be $500 million.

You know, Volkswagen could face fines of up to $18 billion in fraud in Volkswagen's emissions monitoring data last year.

To avoid fines, Google has issued tens of thousands of words of its Health and Drug Advertising Policy, which focuses on Google's restrictions on promoting the following health care-related content:

  1. Over-the-counter drugs

  2. Prescription drugs and information about prescription drugs

  3. Online and offline pharmacies

  4. Pregnancy and fertility-related products and services

  5. Medical services and procedures

  6. Medical equipment and inspection

  7. Recruitment of clinical trial subjects

  8. Sexual enhancement therapy

Restrictions on such content may vary depending on the product or service advertised and the country in which it is located. Some content, such as unapproved drug supplements, is not allowed to be promoted in any country. You may need to request pre-authorization from Google before you can run your ads for healthcare-related content, depending on what you're advertising and the country in which you're running your ads.

In the U.S., for example, starting in 2010, all Internet pharmacies that run drug search ads on Google will have to obtain a U.S. government-issued Internet Pharmacy Practice Certification (VIPPS) and internet advertisers of prescription drugs must be certified by the Nabp Network Advertising.

With these certifications, advertisers can submit materials for Google certification before they can start running ads.



Four cores

From Google's attitude to pharmaceutical advertising and policy changes, we can draw four conclusions from this story:

  1. Internet companies can filter illegal keywords through technology, but can't automatically identify fake ads that are well-disguised

  2. But Internet companies can pass on verification to a trusted institution.

  3. This institution cannot be profitable, it is most likely a government department.

  4. Companies are profit-seeking, in the face of small fines, they would rather break the law, in the face of large fines, they may "pain before the reform"



What happened to Baidu's display of fake medicine compared to Google?

Compared to Google's $500 million fine, Baidu's false advertising appears to have not been punished by the government or the judiciary.

In 2008, CCTV broadcast Baidu's black screen showing fake pharmaceutical advertisements through the midday news column "News 30 Minutes", which gave two examples (excerpted from Wikipedia):

  1. Mr. Li searched baidu for a "General Counsel Management and Security Department Hospital" to treat the disease, spending more than 10,000 yuan but did not treat a hundred yuan can cure a minor disease.

  2. Baidu's "tumor" search ranked first is the "China Anti-Cancer Network", the website Baixi and the Chinese Academy of Traditional Chinese Medicine and the Chinese Medical Association and other organizations of the title, but the Chinese Academy of Traditional Chinese Medicine and the Chinese Medical Association denied that their organizations included this person.

Since 2010, there have been media criticism of Baidu's search results in the false pharmaceutical ads.

Over the years, Baidu has only been criticized by CCTV, only by the net letter office named criticism, only by public opinion criticism, only in the Wei Zexi incident fermentation, Li Yanhong by the net letter office about to talk about, these two days, valuation fluctuations too much

It has never been subject to judicial sanctions, nor has it paid a fine, if CCTV exposure is a kind of sanction, then, in 2009, Baidu was fined 40 million yuan. However, the fine was also paid in return for CEO Robin Li, who was featured eight times on the Spring Festival Evening program.

Where does the problem occur? I believe that a man with a good IQ will accept that Baidu has more fake medical ads than Google, and much more, but why is this company still so rampant display of harmful ads?



So, what's the problem?

This year I have written two articles about Baidu, I really did not expect to write a third, online all said that cursing Baidu is a kind of political correctness, just like scolding Fang Binxing certainly no mistake. Do you think that these people who scold Baidu and Scold Fang Binxing do not know who they really want to scold? Is Baidu and Fang Binxing really have no choice?



Baidu lacks basic human nature

Taobao on the fake, may affect our experience of use, Baidu on the fake medicine, may be ready for our life.

If you ask those around you who work in Baidu friends, to query information about a disease, should not use Baidu, I believe 90% of them will advise you not to use.

There's nothing wrong with search engine display ads, it's an excellent business model. But what ads to show should be chosen. A gentleman has done something, Baidu does everything he wants.

The false medical advertisement, which was exposed by CCTV in 2008, appears to be seen by the company as a ransom protection fee, and he paid 40 million dollars, and then CCTV really didn't find Baidu much trouble.

Even if Mr. Li knew in 2008 that baidu showed a lot of fake medical ads, now, eight years later, why hasn't the situation improved a bit?

Even if Mr. Li Yanhong you reclusive mountain forest, nothing to play with an ice bucket challenge, in 2013 only to know that the Yantian system each year in Baidu more than 12 billion yuan advertising, accounting for half of your Baidu advertising revenue, now, 3 years have passed, why those exaggerated, forged, false Yantian department department ads, but also on Baidu a large number of appearance?

Even if Mr. Li Yanhong you have not had any pain, I believe that as a graduate student you also know, to provide the theme of disease paste bar, sold to commercial companies is a dangerous thing, if the incident has not been exposed, did not cause public anger, I really do not believe Baidu will stop selling paste bar.

Whether a business has basic humanity is inextricably linked to the CEO. Otherwise, you can't explain why Larry Page, Google's CEO, thought "opaque and unbridled censorship" was wrong and pulled Google Search out of China.

I dare not use the """Mr. Li is inhuman.Say that to you, I know your public relations department is strong. Besides, I say, the owner of California beef noodles is not expected to be happy.

What I'm trying to say is that entrepreneurs determine the human nature of a business, andBaidu, lack of basic human nature, only cannibals of wolf nature



Salespeople are in a bad relationship with advertisers

You don't find an advertisement for a gun on Baidu because it's illegal. If you want to run this type of ads in Baidu, you will immediately trigger a keyword review mechanism, your ads will not be able to advertise.

Like Google, Baidu has a keyword filtering mechanism for ads. The setting of these keywords is related to Chinese laws and regulations.

The Measures for the Administration of Medical Advertising provide that the form of medical advertising shall not contain the following circumstances:

  1. Involved in medical technology, diagnosis and treatment methods, disease names, drugs;

  2. Guaranteed cure or implied guarantee of cure;

  3. publicize the cure rate, efficiency and other diagnostic effects;

  4. Obscene, superstitious, absurd;

  5. belittling others;

  6. Using the names and images of patients, health and technical personnel, medical education and scientific research institutions and personnel, as well as other social associations and organizations;

  7. using the name of the PLA and the Armed Police Force;

  8. Other circumstances prohibited by laws and administrative regulations.

After the Wei Zhexi incident, a well-known user, "The Ranger", searched Baidu for "cross-sectional muscle tumor" and obtained a screenshot of the following search results, which violated at least the above 3 rules according to the area circled in the image.

Unfortunately, now go to Baidu search this keyword, has not seen the ads.

I believe Baidu is complying with the law, otherwise, anyone can put in the search results selling guns, prostitution ads. I also believe that Baidu's advertising system is a key word review mechanism, then, why there is a fish missing the net?

The reason is easy to guess, and it's exactly the same as Google did then.Salesmen and advertisers are complicit in helping to commit crimes。 Perhaps unlike Google, it's not just the salespeople who are in the game, it's probably the wolves of the whole wolf factory.

As mentioned earlier, Google, in order not to be fined by the U.S. government, has strict rules for the delivery of medical advertising, and requires advertisers to have U.S. government-approved qualifications, and Google's further approval of the approval of the ads before they can run ads.

After the Wei Zhexi incident, Baidu issued a statement:

Baidu promotion process, including medical, aerospace and other categories, Baidu's pre-screening will be very strict. Take the hospital sought in this case as an example, the pre-examination will require legal business qualifications, will require the relevant qualifications in the national industry. For example, there must be the approval of the health authorities, there must be organizational code, whether the place of operation and the registration location in line with, there is no impersonation of the situation. Baidu is and the second hospital of the Beijing Military Police signed a promotion contract, and did not sign with other companies. At the time of the review, the hospital's formalities were also complete, and it was also the state's triple-A hospital. In the qualification audit, no problems with the hospital's qualification were found.

In fact, Baidu took advantage of a loophole, the armed police hospital and the army hospital, the local health department has no direct jurisdiction, these hospitals will outsource some departments to the yutian department of the tour doctor, because it can get a substantial income. When the Department of Putian went to Baidu to run advertising, the use of the armed police hospital qualifications, these qualifications are of course no problem, there are organizational code, the location of operations and registration location in line. However, the department used to run the advertisement is not a doctor of the Armed Police Hospital, but an outsourced doctor in the Yantian department. So, in fact, although the hospital is a triple-A hospital, the doctor is not a good doctor to save the dead and wounded. (In 2004, after the State Council banned hospital soutsourcing departments, the Department of Putian changed to co-operate with Sanjia Hospital to co-operate with doctors or mergers, the mode of advertising and the outsourcing department. )

Again to the time of doubt, Baidu's advertising department does not know this situation? I don't believe it.

When the pharmaceutical advertising of the Yantian department accounts for half of the advertising department's revenue, everyone pretends to know nothing.

You might say, so many ads, which people to identify one after another? First of all, no one lets you identify it entirely by hand. Secondly, you have a strong audit team, every day you can delete Baidu online disk, Baidu paste bar all you think does not comply with Baidu's rules and national laws and regulations content, do you do not have the ability to audit the number of less than the post of medical advertising?

If you don't have the ability, isn't it farting? Isn't this a way of giving up the judgment of the facts and the facts in the pursuit of profit?

The wolf is an adulterous one. That word is not at all.



Full-screen ads give users no choice

As mentioned earlier, advertising is the best business model for search engines. There is nothing wrong with search ads, and it must be wrong to interfere with normal search results and harm the public interest.

Some companies, which believe that advertising is something that consumers may need, have the potential to harm the user experience, and have clearly distinguished natural search and advertising on search results pages, limiting the number of ads to no more than three.

And some companies, think that advertising is what consumers need, bid ranking will not harm the user experience. So it fills your search results with ads.

At Google, searching for Health Insurance sees two ads that occupy about 1/5 of the height of my Chrome browser (15 inch MBP) and appear in front of normal search results, and Google marks the ads at the beginning of the ad with a striking yellow. I can see normal search results on the first screen.

At Baidu, searchford for "Big Sick Insurance" and saw nine ads that took up two screens in my Chrome browser, which means I needed to scroll twice to see normal search results. Baidu used a very light gray, in the end of the advertisement, marked these 9 content is promoted. I can't see normal search results on the first screen.

These two distinct approaches, which mirror two distinct values, who have a better user experience and who make it easier for users to be cheated, are very visible.

To quote a quote from Mr. Lee:

The final ranking of search results should be the result of the calculation of the overall contribution to the Internet community, not human intervention and change, to the detriment of the public interest of the Internet community.



Qualification review and judicial system

Starting in 2010, all Internet pharmacies that run drug search ads on Google are required to obtain a U.S. government-issued Internet Pharmacy Practice Certification (VIPPS) and online advertisers of prescription drugs must be certified by the NabP Network Advertising Board.

China also implemented the Measures for the Administration of Medical Advertising on January 1, 2007, and in theory, China's management of online medical advertising is no later than in the United States, so why are fake medical ads on Google almost extinct today, and Baidu is still so rampant?

To be honest, that $500 million is really useful.

To tell you the truth, hospitals are not innocent.

To tell you the truth, a no-cat-and-no qualification review body is necessary.

To tell you the truth, I can't send out 2000 words if I don't save 2000 words here.



Putian, it's a big bug.

Multiple media have confirmed that Wei Zexi " The death of the armed police Beijing General Team Second Hospital Biological Clinic Center, and Kangxin Hospital Investment Management Co. , Ltd. is a family, their partner behind is Shanghai Koleson Biotechnology Co., Ltd., the company not only provides technical support, but also on the Internet to help the armed police second hospital to recruit nurses, behind the two companies, is the Yantian people Chen Xinxian, Brother Chen Xinxi.

Through Wikipedia can be found, the brothers cooperate din (gong) hospital (si) also: Chengdu Kangxin Gynaecology Hospital, Hangzhou Harmony Hospital, Shanghai Kangxin Hospital, Chengdu Kangxin Gynaecology Hospital, PLA Obstetrics and Gynaecology Center, Armed Police Sichuan General Hospital (PLA 372 Hospital), Armed Police Hainan General Hospital Gynaecology Center, Xinyi Uygur Autonomous Region People's Hospital Oncology Center, Heilongjiang Provincial Armed Police Golden Hospital Gynaecology, PLA Shenyang 463 Hospital, Armed Police Beijing General Team Second Hospital, Ximei Plastic and Aesthetics, Hangzhou Harmony Hospital, Hangzhou True Love Hospital.

Yantian system is actually divided into four families, they have mastered 80% of China's private medical share, you see the side door left road disease, sexually transmitted diseases, sexually transmitted diseases, psoriasis, tumor, plastic surgery, men's department, infertility and other publicity, almost all from the Yantian system, they almost become synonymous with fake drugs, fake hospitals, can cheat one is one.

You know Baidu's medical advertising is very bad, you know that Baidu's advertising revenue half of the system, then, you should know:

Going to a hospital in the Putian department is a very likely joke about life.

Langhua9527 on Github has compiled a list of more than 500 hospitals in the Udina Department, limited to space issues and not pasted into the article. You can search for "Blackhearted Hospital" on Github or reply to "Tian Tian" on the possible public number to get the list.



Don't trust medical information from the non-professional community

The beginning of the article said that Wei Zexi's death, if we want to be held accountable, proportional lying, should be:3 : 3 : 3 : 1

The first 3 is the judicial system and the medical qualification examination system, that is, the Government needs to improve in this respect, this matter is not (can) to say in detail.

The second 3 is the Yantian system, which falsely and exaggerated the medical effect sought financial damage.

The third 3, is Baidu, Baidu lack of basic human nature, sales staff and even the entire company and Yantian department of the gang, there is no sense of social responsibility. Turn a blind eye to life and safety when it is clear that there are ways to reduce false medical advertisements.

The last 1 is Wei Zhexi, or, rather, the patient.

Enquiry on disease information, this matter really can not be carried out on non-professional websites, not to mention those described quite effective folk secret recipes or old Chinese medicine or PROFESSOR XX.

If you're going to buy a camera, you're being cheated or misled, and the worst is just losing tens of millions of dollars. And if Baidu knows, Baidu, know such non-professional sites to seek medicine, the worst possible outcome is the loss of life, but also let the living family on the back of a major debt.



Search engine results don't necessarily make sense.

Search results are not necessarily reliable even without spot rankings and search ads. Because search results can be targeted to optimize.

For example, you searched Google today for "lumbar disc protrusion", the first result is good doctor, the second result is 39 health network, the third result is Baidu Encyclopedia.

The next day, you search again, and perhaps the first result will turn into a hospital in the Putian department, because the search engine results can be artificially influenced. The technical term is search engine optimization (SEO).

Worse, you ordered a third result, entered Baidu Encyclopedia's entry on "lumbar disc protrusion", and at the end, you saw the page's "Guess you like" prompt you could click on "Where to see the lumbar disc protruding":

So you click, and what you see is that the full screen is a bid ranking ad:



Community website seven mouths, who should the letter?

Or take the lumbar disc protrusion as an example, search the word on the knowledge, you can find this question and answer: "What good treatment is the lumbar disc protrusion", a total of 233 answers.

In Baidu know the search, some people say can be cured, some people say they have not heard can be cured, and some people recommend cream.

In the face of 233 answers, in the face of some people say that can cure some people say no, who should you trust?



Domestic authoritative medical websites are few and far between

So, where should I look for authoritative, reliable disease information?

There is no particularly complete medical database in China, relatively speaking, lilac garden, good doctor is two good websites.

Although Dahui says the lilac garden (not the adult site) data will take a long time to perfect, but from the current situation, it may be the country's largest and most authoritative database.

Just like I recommend you to use Google, not Baidu, you can think I'm advertising google for free, but I really think that you can use Google to find really reliable content. Similarly, you can think that I am giving free advertising to lilac garden, but I think that at this stage, more lilac garden, less use of Baidu to search for disease information, can live at least 10 years. Both products, i sincerely recommend.



I've been very restrained.

This article was originally drafted on May 1st, two days later, my mood has been calmed up a lot, otherwise, I must have scolded that I used to scold a lot of objects: silly, brain into two ice buckets of shit.