‘Working to get websites you don’t like demonetized by Google isn’t journalism, it’s activism…’
(Ben Sellers, Liberty Headlines) Conservative leaders reacted swiftly and sharply to Google‘s threat to demonetize two major conservative websites based on pressure from a campaign waged by left-wing radicals.
The tech goliath—which is able to manipulate and control much of the flow of internet traffic to and from information sites—sought to blacklist The Federalist and Zero Hedge after NBC News flagged the sites in coordination with a British activist group.
A leftwing activist masquerading as a NBC journalist helped bully @Google into pulling ad revenue from The Federalist because they criticized a political movement they disagree with.
Big Tech & the MSM are working together to shutdown all dissent pic.twitter.com/a6ziAN84lq
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) June 16, 2020.
Rooted in Radicalism
The effort was apparently led by NBC activist–reporter Adele Momoko–Fraser, a London-based correspondent working with the Center for Countering Digital Hate, which claims to be funded largely by British television personality Rachel Riley.
The CCDH waged an ostensibly crowd-funded campaign called “Stop Funding Fake News” that targeted 10 U.S.-based right-leaning sites using flimsy, subjective evidence to claim the sites were promoting racism.
They claimed to be standing in “solidarity” with demonstrations led by the leftist group Black Lives Matter to protest “systemic” racism in America.
— Jim Banks (@RepJimBanks) June 16, 2020
Many conservative news sites have questioned BLM’s true motives in promoting the often violent and lawless demonstrations. Some have noted its links to well-funded globalist organizations and groups with ulterior agendas that seem intent on destablizing and undermining America’s democratic institutions and electoral process.
BLM was criticized after secretly rerouting donations it had received following George Floyd‘s death while in police custody—not to causes that directly addressed the concerns raised but rather to the Democratic Party and the campaign of its presumptive nominee, Joe Biden.
While liberal outlets have laid cover for the so-called demonstrations, recasting inherently partisan activities—and even terrorist-style tactics—with a rosy filter of “social justice,” leftist operations like the CCDH have made clear their interest is only in suppressing alleged misinformation that runs counter to their agenda.
“Fake News and racist narratives can cause real-world harms: dehumanising black people and whipping up fear,” shrieked the group’s website. “Stop Funding Fake News is fighting back: we’re calling on advertisers to blacklist these 10, U.S-based, racist Fake News sites.”
A History of Censorship
Using the pretense of media-driven “crises” engineered by the Left, including the overblown coronavirus panic and recent pro-anarchy race-riots, the sites have tried to suppress conservative speech using a variety of techniques.
- fake fact-checks to delegitimize right-wing arguments with specious counter-claims
- use of algorithms for blacklisting conservatives and granting preferential promotion to far-left sites
- the deletion or shadow-banning of accounts under the phony pretense of enforcing arbitrary “community guidelines” or terms of service
Ben Domenech, the publisher of The Federalist, said Wednesday on Fox and Friends that attacking advertising platforms was yet another dishonest tactic the radicals could use to disrupt the flow of ideas in favor of their political outcomes.
“We are really learning the degree to which Big Tech can be weaponized by woke mobs, or woke journalists in this case, to try to shut down places who disagree with their leftist agenda,” Domenech said.
Facing backlash, Google appeared to downplay the Federalist threat, claiming it had sought merely to address a specific concern over the website’s comments sections.
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. https://t.co/zPO669Yd0p
— Google Communications (@Google_Comms) June 16, 2020
However, the company—which also includes YouTube in its stable of communications platforms—has a long and troubled history of persecuting ideas with which it disagreed.
It has been known to use arbitrary conditions to de-index smaller sites in order to prevent them from appearing in its search-engine results altogether.
Calls for Accountability
Following Twitter’s recent attempts to fact-check Trump, the president responded with an executive order invoking Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act.
That would re-define platforms that unreasonably censor speech as “editors” rather than content-creators and publishers, subjecting them to stricter standards including culpability for libel and defamation lawsuits.
The president’s son, Donald Trump Jr., suggested that Google also needed to have its role as a self-declared conduit of the First Amendment scrutinized more deeply.
As usual big tech wants to have it both ways where they can censor one side and not face any consequences on the other. https://t.co/zwiKWQoOzU
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) June 16, 2020
He called on GOP senators to “wake up” and force Google to answer for colluding with the radical activists in their extortion campaign.
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!
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) June 16, 2020
Several lawmakers responded, noting the hypocrisy, yet again, in the mainstream media’s blatant effort to push a leftist narrative.
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, who sits on several committees that provide oversight and regulation of Google, said he planned to send a letter to company CEO Sundar Pichai to address the latest abuse of power.
“These individuals demand that people with different views lose their livelihoods if they step out of line,” Cruz wrote, according to Fox News.
“Companies like Google must—to use a most Orwellian term—‘demonetize’ them,” he continued. “As evidence by its actions yesterday, Google seems more than happy to play this censorship role by trying to break the financial back of a media publication it disagrees with.”
Cruz noted that taking issue with content from a media site’s comments section was ironic given the fact that YouTube has a particularly unwieldy one which likely violates many of the same purported guidelines.
NBC, likewise, was dinged from several directions for its duplicity in the censorship scandal.
President Trump himself offered indirect criticism by retweeting post that highlighted the double-standards in NBC’s coverage.
Why the double standard? https://t.co/PynjNI1RKr
— Rep. Jim Jordan (@Jim_Jordan) June 15, 2020
Surprisingly, even Trump’s longtime nemesis, CNN, came to the Right’s defense in condemning the underhanded, non-journalistic means that NBC had used to inject itself into the story.
Working to get websites you don’t like demonetized by Google isn’t journalism, it’s activism.
— Kyle Feldscher (@Kyle_Feldscher) June 16, 2020