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Coronavirus Google Searches Could Save Lives

Buying ads in a pandemic

A photo of a finger touching a line of code on a screen. There is a loading ring around the word that has been touched.
Photo: Francesco Carta fotografo/Getty Images

InIn 2019, I served ads to people in crisis to try to help them. This included people who told Google they were going to shoot up a school, commit suicide, use heroin, or join ISIS. From what I’ve seen, just as ads can get someone to buy a shoe or insurance, they can also convince someone to not carry out a violent or self-destructive act.

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Patrick Berlinquette

Patrick Berlinquette

Founder of a NY search ad agency (like we need another). Finding humor in ad tech’s depravity. Writings @ NY Times. newsletter: berlinquette.substack.com