Loren Baker at Search Engine Journal wrote a post about an investigation into allegations that Google is displaying ads on web sites of individuals belonging to or associated with Al qaeda, Hezbollah and other terrorist groups. This means that, by extension, these groups are receiving some funds from Google and Google’s advertisers are ultimately paying for it.
Now, I will not associate Google with terrorists. I can pretty much guarantee that if Osama bin laden had a website and he applied for a Google Adsense account, they would reject him, but it does show that Google probably should do a better job of monitoring their Adsense program.
For an individual to receive an Adsense account to start displaying ads, they only have to get ONE website approved by Google. They then get an account that allows them to display ads on ALL of their websites. This is something Greg Boser comments on also:
Just take a look at all the MFA garbage that pollutes the web. The only reason it exists is because you only need to get a single site approved by a human Googler…Crap like this wouldn’t happen if you had to get each site you wanted Adsense on approved. But that of course would require a much greater commitment in terms of human resources. It would also slow things up quite a bit, and that in turn would mean less revenue.
Maybe Google should spend some of its money on tackling that problem (ie. hiring people specifically for controlling this). At any rate, I am sure they will address these allegations, especially now that everything is public.