Shortly afterward, a civilian on a Google help board suggested I use Google's appeals process to re-appeal my case: to try again to prove I am innocent of charges I never even understood. (There's a book on this topic.)
So I did. Unlike my first appeal in 2010, after Google declared me a "risk of generating invalid activity," I mentioned some of the awards I have won from blogging. I also wrote that I was re-appealing after learning about the fake news peddlers who Google is paying tens of thousands of dollars. "I tell the truth at The Gray Report. Go and look," I wrote.
I don't know if anyone at Google actually read my blog, but a few days later, I did get an email from Google AdSense that opened,
"Hello,Hurray! There was no apology for declaring me a fraud and no mention of the $133 check I was sent six years ago, which Google stopped payment on. The information reward structure created by Google AdSense that considers fact-based reporting to be without value is not changed by small decisions like this.
Thank you for clarifying your situation. We have reviewed your appeal and have reinstated your account, effective immediately."
But at least, in the eyes of the most powerful company in the world, The Gray Report is now as valid a website as the sites where you can read about the secret United Nations plot to make men sterile using Starbucks!
I haven't had Google AdSense on my blog in six years and I don't plan to bring it back immediately. For one thing, Google ran ads on my blog for a year and ultimately paid me $0. Currently I use the Palate Press Ad Network, which pays me actual money in checks that don't bounce, unlike Google. I highly recommend the Palate Press Ad Network; contact info is here.
But I also need to keep my Google AdSense status clean in case I ever decide to make money blogging by writing posts that it rewards, like Barack Obama Stole The White House Silverware. I can't afford to muck up my potential financial future by putting Google AdSense ads next to the type of fact-based reporting that I intend to continue running here on The Gray Report.
Thanks to my readers for your support. Don't let Google fool you -- your activity was always valid.