News and Commentary

Google Removes 300 Trump Ads For ‘Violating Company Policy,’ Won’t Explain What Policies Were Violated
Google logos are seen in this photo illustration together with images of Donald Trump on September 5, 2018.
Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images

A report released over the weekend alleges that YouTube and parent company Google have removed hundreds of political ads from President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign for “violating company policy,” but won’t give any details on what policies were violated.

An investigation by CBS News’ “60 Minutes” found that “over 300 video ads were taken down by Google and YouTube, mostly over the summer, for violating company policy.”

“But the archive doesn’t detail what policy was violated,” CBS News continued. “Was it copyright violation? A lie or extreme inaccuracy? Faulty grammar? Bad punctuation? It’s unclear. The ads determined to be offending are not available to be screened. We found very little transparency in the transparency report.”

“As you know, conservatives think that you discriminate against them,” Lesley Stahl told YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki. “How do you answer that?”

“Well, first of all there are lots of very successful conservative creators on YouTube,” Wojcicki said. “Our systems, our algorithms, they don’t have any concept of understanding what’s a Democrat, what’s a Republican.”

Wojcicki claimed that the company faces the same criticism from the Left and that YouTube’s goal is to enforce the rules equally.

“They don’t have any concept of political bias built into them in any way,” Wojcicki continued. “And we do hear this criticism from all sides. We also have people who come from more liberal backgrounds who complain about discrimination. And so I think that no matter who you are, we are trying to enforce our policies in a consistent way for everybody.”

Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale slammed Google late last month, accusing the tech giant of blatantly attempting to suppress “voter information, knowledge, and engagement in the 2020 election” by “severely restricting political advertising.”

Notable sections from Parscale’s statement hitting Google:

This is most true when we talk about the use of first party (1p) data. Voters voluntarily provide information about themselves – 1p data – and specifically provide insight into what issues and candidates they care about. By doing this, voters are digitally raising their hand and saying, “Please communicate with me.”  This ensures they can be reached and informed as they have directly requested.  Voters can also learn about ways to volunteer on campaigns, about key campaign events and fundraising efforts, and of course, about where and when to vote.  Google is now arbitrarily saying this is not allowed.  There is no other description for this than the muzzling of political speech. Google is clamping down on voter engagement and suppressing voter turnout. …

…Much has been made of Twitter’s equally concerning decision to ban political ads and suppress speech, but because advertising on that platform is ineffective and only a tiny percentage of Americans use Twitter, their impact is insignificant. Google, however, is a serious platform with very deep reach across the entire country.

A report from Bloomberg News — which lost its credentials with the Trump campaign and the RNC this week after its announced that it would not investigate its owner, Democrat presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg, and other 2020 Democrats but would continue to investigate Trump — highlighted the new changes made by Google.

“Because of the changes outlined last month, campaigns that use Google to place election ads on Google Search, YouTube and other websites can no longer target them to a particular audience based on political affiliation,” Bloomberg News reported.

Trump has repeatedly slammed Google on Twitter over allegations of bias towards conservatives and over concerns that the company was assisting communist China.

“Facebook, Google and Twitter, not to mention the Corrupt Media, are sooo on the side of the Radical Left Democrats. But fear not, we will win anyway, just like we did before! #MAGA”

“Google is helping China and their military, but not the U.S. Terrible! The good news is that they helped Crooked Hillary Clinton, and not Trump….and how did that turn out?”

“Wow, Report Just Out! Google manipulated from 2.6 million to 16 million votes for Hillary Clinton in 2016 Election! This was put out by a Clinton supporter, not a Trump Supporter! Google should be sued. My victory was even bigger than thought! @JudicialWatch”

“Google search results for ‘Trump News’ shows only the viewing/reporting of Fake News Media. In other words, they have it RIGGED, for me & others, so that almost all stories & news is BAD. Fake CNN is prominent. Republican/Conservative & Fair Media is shut out. Illegal? 96% of results on ‘Trump News’ are from National Left-Wing Media, very dangerous. Google & others are suppressing voices of Conservatives and hiding information and news that is good. They are controlling what we can & cannot see. This is a very serious situation-will be addressed!”