Google’s social network Orkut pulled ads from their site after getting complaints about questionable content on the site. A Wall Street Journal article last week said Google ran ads on just 1 percent of Orkut pages and they ran the ads as a test. The ads haven’t been running since August. A nonprofit group in Brazil named SaferNet says Orkut that some people using the service have child pornography and other illegal content on their pages.
Google says they remove offensive or illegal content. Google is not the only social network facing this issue. There has been a lot of negative press about pedophiles on MySpace and Facebook. Advertisers, especially big brands, are rightly concerned about the content of the ads. They’re afraid of offending their mainstream users. Plus, their advertising often doesn’t perform well.
Social networks are a challenge to advertisers on other sites as well. User-generated content itself is dicey for advertisers. Users often think of advertisements as spam and blatant advertising is a tough sell.
The site is popular in Brazil and other countries outside of the U.S. In August the number of people on Orkut totaled over 67 million. comScore says Orkut’s traffic in China and Japan is growing to about 11 million visitors a month.