Google demonetized conservative news site The Federalist on Tuesday, after being notified that a far-left United Kingdom media watchdog accused the outlet of publishing “racist articles” about Black Lives Matter protests, according to NBC News.
Amid outrage over Google’s actions, the search giant delivered a different story, claiming “The Federalist was never demonetized” and saying the issue has been settled because the conservative outlet removed its comments section in response to their threat.
What are the details?
NBC News reported that “two far-right sites,” ZeroHedge and The Federalist, “will no longer be able to generate revenue from any advertisements served by Google Ads” because “research revealed [Google] was profiting from articles pushing unsubstantiated claims about the Black Lives Matter protests.”
A Google spokesperson wrote in an email to NBC News, “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. When a page or site violates our policies, we take action. In this case, we’ve removed both sites’ ability to monetize with Google.”
NBC News went on to report that it had informed Google that The Federalist made the “blacklist” of a U.K. nonprofit called the Center for Countering Digital Hate, which now boasts about having The Federalist defunded — along with numerous other conservative American sites.
NBC News bragged, “Google blocked The Federalist from its advertising platform after the NBC News Verification Unit brought the (Center for Countering Digital Hate) project to its attention.”
After NBC News published its story, conservatives condemned Google’s actions against The Federalist. Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) tweeted, “@Google dominates the search business, they dominate the ad business, and now they want to dominate what you’re allowed to think. Who’s next after banning @FDRLST and Zero Hedge? @BreitbartNews? @NRO? #stopthebias”
Breitbart, another conservative site mentioned by Blackburn, actually is on the same Center for Countering Digital Hate blacklist.
Amid the pushback, Google denied the claims its own spokesperson had emailed to NBC.
Google tweeted, “The Federalist was never demonetized. We worked with them to address issues on their site related to the comments section. Our policies do not allow ads to run against dangerous or derogatory content, which includes comments on sites, and we offer guidance and best practices to publishers on how to comply.”
Google added, “As the comment section has now been removed [by The Federalist], we consider this matter resolved and no action will be taken.”