Google, the dominant advertising service on the internet, stopped serving its ads on WND’s homepage, apparently because the tech giant deemed many of the news site’s stories and opinion columns to contain “unreliable and harmful claims.”
Google has an “autocrawler” that searches for violations of its “community standards” and disables its ad server on offending websites.
After having blocked ads to individual stories for the past several years, Google stopped serving ads to WND’s homepage altogether earlier this month under a new policy that assesses a site’s general content.
Google has not specified the content that triggered the move, but in the past it has flagged WND articles that countered the media narrative on the COVID-19 pandemic.
Among the offending articles was an Aug. 2 opinion column by Wayne Allyn Root titled “The vaccine isn’t working, but the gravy train is.” In it, Root backs his claim by citing a Bloomberg report that there were more than 110,000 cases of “breakthrough COVID-19,” meaning cases in which people tested positive for COVID after having been vaccinated.
Google no longer is flagging WND’s homepage, but the news site’s advertising team has decided to move on from Google and rely instead on supportive advertisers.
WND founder and CEO Joseph Farah commented on Google’s “community standards.”
“I don’t accept Google’s parameters, because they do violence to the First Amendment. Period. End of the story,” he said. “We live in America where the First Amendment is still the law of the land.”
More than 80% of the revenue of Google’s parent, Alphabet, comes from Google Ads, which generated $147 billion in revenue last year.
Google states on its policy page under “Unreliable and harmful claims”:
We do not allow content that:
- makes claims that are demonstrably false and could significantly undermine participation or trust in an electoral or democratic process.
Examples: information about public voting procedures, political candidate eligibility based on age or birthplace, election results, or census participation that contradicts official government records
- promotes harmful health claims, or relates to a current, major health crisis and contradicts authoritative scientific consensus.
Examples: Anti-vaccine advocacy, denial of the existence of medical conditions such as AIDS or Covid-19, gay conversion therapy
Google, which for years has set its algorithm to push WND way down in its search results, has suppressed, de-monetized and branded many of WND’s biggest news stories as “dangerous, derogatory or shocking content.”
The far-left Southern Poverty Law Center, which advises all the major tech platforms as to who is “hateful and extremist,” characterizes WND – which is Christian and conservative in worldview – as an “extremist group.”
In 2014, Google accused WND of using “hate speech” and threatened to block ads over its use of the term “black mobs” in news stories and columns reporting on a two-year epidemic of racial attacks in the U.S.
Farah said at the time that the Google policy was flawed because it “attempts to censor words and phrases that are truthful and accurate from First Amendment-protected media on the basis of political correctness and faulty algorithmic methodology.”
Two years prior, WND began investigating and reporting on a spree of unprovoked attacks by groups of blacks on non-black victims, spearheaded by accounts compiled by journalist Colin Flaherty, author of “White Girl Bleed A Lot.” The book had been endorsed prominently and repeatedly by celebrated black scholar Thomas Sowell for connecting the dots between hundreds of incidents taking place in cities across the country. Flaherty’s reporting also first identified the phenomenon known as “the knockout game,” in which groups or individual black people targeted non-black victims for unprovoked attacks designed to knock them unconscious with a surprise blow to the head.
“The answer to violence, whether motivated by race or some other rationalization, is not to turn away from it and hide it from the public, but to expose it to the light of day,” Farah said.
“WND made a determination to do that after examining the overwhelming evidence presented by Flaherty in his research. In response to that kind of reporting, police departments and public officials – both black and white – across the country have acknowledged the pernicious ramifications of what’s happening and taken action to prevent others from being hurt. What Google is doing, after the fact, is ignoring hard facts and assigning insidious racial motivations for this kind of courageous reporting.”
As Sowell wrote: “Most of the media see no evil, hear no evil and speak no evil. In such an atmosphere, the evil not only persists but grows.”
A Google representative in 2014 explained that its policy protects against statements based on race or ethnic origin, religion, disability, gender, age, sexual orientation, gender identity or veteran status.
More recent incidents include:
- YouTube, which is owned by Google, de-monetized WND after it posted a single video defending “MyPillow guy” and Trump supporter Mike Lindell.
- Facebook last September put WND in “Facebook Jail,” massively suppressing WND’s traffic on their platform by up to 90%.
- Three major online ad companies – TripleLift, AppNexus/Xander and Teads – all recently canceled WND, complaining of “hate speech,” with one company citing an opinion article critical of allowing same-sex couples to adopt children.
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This article was originally published by the WND News Center.