Dear Google,

We need to have a little chat about this whole personalization thing. You should know, I have never given you a hard time or tried to buck your authorta.  I never doubted your supreme powers to give me exactly what I wanted, when I wanted it. In truth, even when you failed to supply me with the search results I had wanted, I blamed myself for not being specific enough to you when I typed in my query. It was never, you , oh Google. You were always in my heart. You had me at “enter”.

Ah, Google…when the social search results, let me hanging; I figure it was still in development and blamed others for not having Google Profiles so you could more easily tell me exactly what all my online friends were up to. When Buzz was introduced, I saw it as a hearty attempt at a real time interface all your own. And even at SMX in the fall of 2009, when that keynote speaker on a panel went off about how much he hated your search personalization; I thought him over dramatic and understood that your only desire was to serve our never ending searches better.

Google, I have never said one word against you all these years when anytime I did any kind of adoption research, I was peppered with paid search results that were from my mortal enemies; the agencies, lawyers and facilitators that profited from adoption. I never blamed you for not understanding that I would be angered by such ads. I didn’t expect you to know my intentions.

But, Today,  You Went Too Far Google

I saw today, for the first time, that there was a subtle ad in my Gmail inbox. Maybe you have been doing this for years and I never bothered to notice until now, but notice I did. I am not too happy, Goggle, I am not too happy.

This is what it said:

“Affordable Surrogacy – – Need a surrogate mother? Most affordable agency fee on-line”

I wanted to understand what the heck you thought you were doing putting this awful ad so close and in such a personal space. So I followed the tiny little link by the ad that said ” about these ads” and found myself on one of your handy dandy help pages:

Until now, the ads you’ve seen next to a message were picked based on the content of that message only. For example, if you’re looking at a confirmation email from a hotel in Chicago, you might see ads about flights, restaurants or other things relevant to your trip to Chicago.

But sometimes, the ads related to a particular message aren’t good enough. Rather than show less relevant ads, Gmail can now instantaneously serve ads based on another recent message on the same page of your inbox, helping make the ads more relevant to you. For example, if your friend sends you a message to say happy birthday, but there aren’t any good ads to show related to birthdays, you might see ads related to another message in your inbox instead — like flights to Chicago.

Like Surrogacy, when there are no good ads for adoption.

Shall we make this perfectly clear?

Just because I get tons of email from places with “adoption” someplace in the URL, or you deliver to me alerts everyday about ” birthmothers, adoption and adoptees”; does NOT mean that in my MAILBOX I want to see ads promoting reproductive exploitation! I do not want to be asked if I would like to violate another human being  and make then sacrifice their own genetic lineage to fulfill my own needs.  I would never use my ability to fork over large sums of cash to a someone younger, underprivileged and more venerable person than I in order to unfairly influence them to do my bidding.  I find surrogacy to be even more frightening than adoption.

So Google, You Don’t Know Me

If you knew me then you would know that I feel violated having that kind of message thrown at me in my private area. You would know that I don’t really enjoy seeing the blatant messages that all I work gains still  from the needless separations of mothers and children. If you really knew me, Google, you would not hurt me so.

What Goggle Thinks I care About

Half the help page is you reassuring people that you have not read out mail. I almost wish you had! Then at least you would have had more of a clue! You know, Google, if you respected me like I do you, then you would have some understanding about who the heck I really am. So I wonder: who do you think I am? What do you think I am interested in Google? I decide to look into that and you give me these ad:

There was also something else about learning Korean, and another book publisher, cute hairstyles, and of course, surrogacy.  Ok, so you think I am somewhat vain and over 50 want to be book publisher,  into children and  desperate for a another baby so thinking about adopting from Korea?

I say again;  Google, you don’t know me.

I would like the opportunity, Oh mighty Google, to let you know a little bit more about my personal interests and opt out of some of those ads. The book publishing, yogurt and cute hairstyles can stay, but the rest are just insulting when you think about how long we have been together. Don’t pretend that you know me.

You can’t say that you are getting personal unless you also allow me to do the same. There is already so much inequality in our relationship Google. I never completely understand what makes you tick. You are always so aloof and secretive. You keep me guessing, but still I am hanging on.

And then, you hurt me like this.

If you are going to give me those ads in my Gmail box, then you had better either give me choice to opt out of some that I just hate or you better learn who I am and what I want and my intent much better. I hate to say it, but Facebook already does that for me. Facebook cares when I find an ad offensive. I am not trying to be cruel, but you have to wonder what is up when some young thing like Facebook gets it and you, Google, do not.

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