Self-Proclaimed “Facebook Era” Founder Wins Google Suit

    March 6, 2009
    Chris Crum

Aaron GreenspanAaron Greenspan, a man known mostly for his legal issues with Facebook, recently sued Google when his account was shut down and payment of $721 he was due from pubslishing Google Ads was halted. One day Greenspan received an email from Google saying:

While going through our records recently, we found that your AdSense account has posed a significant risk to our AdWords advertisers. Since keeping your account in our publisher network may financially damage our advertisers in the future, we’ve decided to disable your AdSense account.

Ah, the old click fraud treatment. "If an AdSense publisher’s account is disabled for invalid clicks, he is not entitled to any further payment from Google and all the current earnings are returned to the corresponding AdWords advertisers," explains Amit Agarwal at Digital Inspiration. "The same happened to Aaron as he had made around $721 from AdSense but the payment was stopped after the account was disabled."

A judge in Palo Alto Small Claims Court sided with Greenspan and got Google to pay him his money, but said he didn’t have the power to make the company reinstate Greenspan’s account. And they have not done so.

Meanwhile Greenspan is being unsurprisingly vocal about the case and raising awareness so that other publishers who feel wronged by Google can think about similar action. Google must be thrilled about this.

At the Huffington Post, Greenspan quotes Google’s paralegal as saying "What if everyone whose account was canceled sued Google?" He then answers the question, "Maybe everyone whose account was canceled should." This has ugliness written all over it.

For a better idea of who Greenspan is, take a look at the site for his book "Authoritas: One Student’s Harvard Admissions and the Founding of the Facebook Era." Wikipedia has more.