Web

Google bans payday loan ads on its search engine

google bans payday loan ads on its search engine cashmoney
Wikimedia
For anyone who bothers to read the small print, payday loans have always seemed like a terrible idea — but that hasn’t stopped people taking out these short-term loans, which impose very high interest rates on the cash strapped and the needy. As governments continue to crack down on the practice of super-spiked loan rates, Google too is taking a stance.

Beginning on July 13 of this year, Google will no longer allow adverts for loans that with 60-day repayment periods or less, nor will it give the go ahead for anything with more than a 36-percent annual percentage rate (APR). Any companies attempting to take out adverts on Google in breach of those terms will be blacklisted and will never be able to use Google’s advertising services again.

This is quite a bold move by Google, as the payday loan industry is said to be worth around $9 billion, so the firm is alienating a lot of potential custom. Clearly it feels that taking the moral high ground is important though, as it sees the practice as “deceptive or harmful,” to consumers, and as one that often puts them in a position where repayments become unaffordable.

Related: How to finance your new or used car purchase

This puts payday loans in the same banned category as tobacco, weapons, and recreational drugs, regardless of their legality in different jurisdictions.

While many people would agree with all of these bans, not everyone would, and some may regard Google’s stance in one or more of these instances as moral grandstanding.

It seems hard to imagine a scenario where people other than those who stand to profit, would have a problem with Google blocking exploitative loan firms from pushing their products on consumers. Google is also within its rights as a company to refuse service to some firms. But if we play Devil’s advocate, is Google’s influence too big for it to make these sorts of sweeping decisions?

Gaming

These are the best video games you shouldn't leave 2018 without

Developers showed up with a number of amazing games this year. Each capitalized on something unique but there's always one that outdoes them all. Here are our picks for the best video games of 2018 and game of the year.
Home Theater

Google Chromecast returns to Amazon just in time for the holiday shopping crunch

It's been a chilly few years between Google and Amazon, but things may be improving. You can now buy two versions of Google's Chromecast on Amazon, something that hasn't be possible since 2015.
Computing

New rumors say the Pixelbook 2 could show up at CES 2019

What will the Pixelbook 2 be like? Google hasn't announced it, but thanks to rumors and leaks, we think we have a pretty good idea of what the potential new flagship Chromebook will be like.
Smart Home

Google Store sale is on now through December 24!

Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2018 may be history, but fans of Google hardware including the popular Google Home Hub, Pixel 3 and 3XL mobile phones still have lots of deals in store -- the Google Store, that is.
Computing

From beautiful to downright weird, check out these great dual monitor wallpapers

Multitasking with two monitors doesn't necessarily mean you need to split your screens with two separate wallpapers. From beautiful to downright weird, here are our top sites for finding the best dual monitor wallpapers for you.
Web

Google Translate updated to reduce gender bias in its translations

Google is changing how Google Translate offers translations. Previously when you entered a word like doctor, Translate would offer a masculine interpretation of the word. Now, Translate will offer both masculine and feminine versions.
Web

Encryption-busting law passed in Australia may have global privacy implications

Controversial laws have been passed in Australia which oblige tech companies to allow the police to access encrypted messages, undermining the privacy of encryption with potentially global effects.
Web

Can Microsoft’s Airband Initiative close broadband gap for 25M Americans?

A new report from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) says that 25 million Americans do not have access to broadband internet. Of these, more than 19 million are living in rural communities. Can Microsoft help out?
Computing

Microsoft’s Chromium Edge browser may be adding your Chrome extensions

Fans sticking to Google Chrome because due to its vast extension library might be able to switch over to Microsoft's latest iteration of Edge, as a project manager confirms that the company has its eyes on Chrome extensions.
Computing

If you've lost a software key, these handy tools can find it for you

Missing product keys getting you down? We've chosen some of the best software license and product key finders in existence, so you can locate and document your precious keys on your Windows or MacOS machine.
Computing

Google+ continues to sink with a second massive data breach. Abandon ship now

Google+ was scheduled to shut its doors in August 2019, but the second security breach in only a few months has caused the company to move its plan forward a few months. It might be a good idea to delete your account sooner than later.
Social Media

‘YouTube Rewind 2018’ is about to become its most disliked video ever

YouTube is about to achieve a record it really doesn't want — that of "most-disliked video." Yes, its annual recap of featuring popular YouTubers has gone down really badly this year.
Computing

Want to save a webpage as a PDF? Just follow these steps

Need to quickly save and share a webpage? The best way is to learn how to save a webpage as a PDF file, as they're fully featured and can handle images and text with ease. Here's how.
Mobile

5G: Why everything is about to change

Curious about the many ways 5G will change and enrich your life? Here’s our guide to all things 5G.