Elected officials reacted to Google’s threat of demonetization of the Federalist, which would restrict ad revenues to the news media outlet. Sean Davis, co-founder of the Federalist, spoke with Fox News’s Tucker Carlson on Tuesday’s edition of the latter’s eponymous TV program, describing coordination between NBC, Google, and a foreign left-wing organization in Europe.
NBC worked with the Center for Countering Digital Hate, an organization that smears conservative websites — including Breitbart News — while advocating digital boycotts and blacklists against them.
Rep. Josh Hawley (R-MO) noted Google’s application of a standard to the Federalist that it does not apply to itself.
“Wait, wait – you want to treat the @FDRLST comment section, which they don’t curate, as THEIR speech but simultaneously say the content you directly host and modify IS NOT your speech under Section 230? Wow, this is getting really interesting.”
Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN) noted Google’s opposition to the Federalist’s characterization of protests, riots, and unrest following the death of George Floyd.
“Google @FDRLST from its ad platform for writing the media had lied about violence & rioting at “largely peaceful” protests.
Donald Trump Jr., President Donald Trump’s eldest son, called for Republicans to investigate Google as an “out of control monopoly” using its monopoly of the flow of information to advance left-wing politics.
“The GOP Senate needs to wake up & IMMEDIATELY subpoena & haul in the CEO of @Google for questioning.
Google is an out of control monopoly, with a leftwing political agenda, engaging in a clear campaign to silence dissent. It’s election interference, full stop.
TIME TO STEP UP!”
Also, The Verge:
Which is it, Google, comments or content?
COMMENTS – A Google spokesperson told The Verge that the outlets weren’t being demonetized because of these articles, and The Federalist wasn’t formally banned yet. Instead, they sites were supposedly being blocked because of endemic racist commenters across their articles. Google says Zero Hedge was warned last week and failed to address the problem.
“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,” the company said in a statement to NBC News before the reversal. “When a page or site violates our policies, we take action. In this case, we’ve removed both sites’ ability to monetize with Google.”
CONTENT – Google says it’s banning the site Zero Hedge from its Google Ads program for racist content — but it reversed plans to ban a second site, The Federalist, after the site removed comments from its articles.
NBC News reported the change earlier today, and it followed a report from the Center for Countering Digital Hate, which called out a number of companies for hosting ads on sites promoting unsubstantiated or false claims about recent Black Lives Matter protests.
It cited a Zero Hedge article calling Black Lives Matter “practically a revolutionary operative of the CIA via [George] Soros,” as well as a Federalist story blaming violence and looting at protests on “left-wing anarchists and antifa groups.” The Federalist has previously been criticized after organizing posts with the tag “black crime” and promoting “chickenpox parties” for catching the novel coronavirus.