Google’s advertising platform Google Ads has banned conservative websites ZeroHedge and The Federalist for allegedly “making unsubstantiated claims about Black Lives Matter.”
Following the company’s announcement, the pair of websites will no longer be able to profit from advertisements served by Google Ads.
In a report about the decision, NBC News writes, “Google blocked The Federalist from its advertising platform after the NBC News Verification Unit brought the project to its attention.”
The author of the article, Adele-Momoko Fraser, is a producer for NBC’s Verification Unit, according to her Twitter bio.
So, essentially NBC contacted Google to complain about a competitors content, got the sites banned from Google Ads, and then wrote a story bragging about it.
Fraser even tweeted a link to her own story, thanking Twitter accounts Stop Funding Fake News & Center for Countering Digital Hate for their collaboration.
That tweet has since been deleted, but a screenshot can be found below:
In the article, Fraser claims, “ZeroHedge published an article claiming that protests [BLM] were fake, while The Federalist published an article claiming the media had been lying about looting and violence during the protests.”
However, she doesn’t provide any proof of these allegations and doesn’t link to any articles.
Google also failed to point to any example of ZeroHedge or The Federalist violating their policies, but a company spokesperson told NBC News in an email, “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.”
While NBC’s article eludes to the two websites spreading false information, Google flagged them for “violations related to their comment sections that they did not do enough to mitigate.”
This has nothing to do with stopping hateful or false information and has everything to do with censoring dissenting voices and deplatforming competitive news outlets.