Google has threatened to ban the conservative news and opinion site The Federalist from profiting off online advertising through Google Ads for violating the tech giant’s conditions against “inappropriate content.”
Google is disputing an NBC News report claiming that Google barred The Federalist and Zerohedge from Google’s ad platform over allegations that the sites spread false or racist information. Google has deplatformed Zerohedge, but only warned The Federalist and has given the site time to correct the violations.
“To be clear, The Federalist is not currently demonetized. We do have strict publisher policies that govern the content ads can run on, which includes comments on the site. This is a longstanding policy,” a Google spokesperson told The Daily Wire in a statement. The violations apply only to The Federalist’s comment section where the site’s readers are allowed comment on individual articles. Google did not cite any violations having to do with content by The Federalist’s writers or contributors.
Google is apparently walking back a statement given by a company spokesperson to NBC News. A spokesperson had initially claimed The Federalist was barred from profiting off advertisements run through Google Ads. Requests for clarification made to Google and NBC News were not immediately returned.
“We have strict publisher policies that govern the content ads can run on and explicitly prohibit derogatory content that promotes hatred, intolerance, violence or discrimination based on race from monetizing,” a Google spokesperson said, according to NBC. “When a page or site violates our policies, we take action. In this case, we’ve removed both sites’ ability to monetize with Google.”
In another detail of the NBC News story now denied by Google, the outlet says that the tech giant deplatformed The Federalist after the British nonprofit Center For Countering Digital Hate published a report of 10 websites, which included The Federalist and ZeroHedge, that allegedly traffic in “Fake News and racist narratives” that “can cause real-world harms.”
NBC News brought the report to Google’s attention. According to the NBC article:
Google blocked The Federalist from its advertising platform after the NBC News Verification Unit brought the project to its attention. ZeroHedge had already been demonetized prior to NBC News’ enquiry, Google said. ZeroHedge and The Federalist did not respond to requests for comment.
Countering Digital Hate is spearheading a push to get all 10 sites in its report “defunded.” The campaign, called the Stop Funding Fake News project, is pressuring for advertisers, financial supporters, and platforms to drop the sites.
The Federalist was placed on Countering Digital Hate’s report for two alleged infractions recorded by Countering Digital Hate: publishing a June 3 article accusing journalists and media outlets of making false claims about white supremacists sparking violence at recent protests, and of creating a “black crime” tag for categorizing articles. The tag was last used and deleted from The Federalist site over three years ago.
The Federalist declined a request to comment.
ZeroHedge, a financial and political news and commentary site that publishes articles under pseudonymous authors, was placed on the list for claiming in a May 30 article that “Black Lives Matter is practically a revolutionary operative of the CIA via Soros,” citing a claim made by Former Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke. Countering Digital Hate also cited a Sept. 8, 2016 article that says:
While claiming to be a grassroots organization formed in response to the prevalence of police violence, Black Lives Matter (BLM) is actually 100-percent pure Astroturf. With coffers bulging with millions of dollars from George Soros, the Ford Foundation, and other deep-pocketed leftist individuals and groups, BLM is little more than a front organization for these leftists and their agenda to reshape the very fabric of American society, culture, and law.
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