Bail-bond industry suffers another blow as Facebook and Google ban ads

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NBC News on 05/08/2018 by Jon Schuppe

Google and Facebook, the world’s most dominant online-advertising companies, will no longer take money from America’s for-profit bail bond agencies, siding with a growing national movement to eliminate cash bail from the criminal justice system.

The two tech giants said this week that their decisions to block bail-bond ads were part of a broader effort to protect users from damaging or hurtful content. Typically, that strategy has focused on scams and deception. But that list has recently expanded to include guns, marijuana, payday loans, cryptocurrencies and, now, bail bonds.

David Graff, Google’s senior director of global product policy, said in a statement on Monday that the company was persuaded by studies showing that bail bond agencies profited off poor and minority communities, where people who are arrested often must go into debt in order to post court-ordered bonds that guarantee their return for trial.

“We made this decision based on our commitment to protect our users from deceptive or harmful products, but the issue of bail bond reform has drawn support from a wide range of groups and organizations who have shared their work and perspectives with us,” Graff wrote in a blog post.