On February 6, Google revealed not only its dramatic bias against conservatism, but against reality. How else to explain an email received by WorldNetDaily’s Joseph Farah with regard to the Google AdSense policy?
The email announced that AdSense would be cancelling WorldNetDaily’s account thanks to a “policy violation email this morning regarding negative/hate speech particularly with the repeated references to ‘black mobs,’ although I don’t know that this is specifically what it’s limited to.” According to Farah, Google wrote, “The reviewers cited a number articles [sic] with usage of this term specifically and in general asks that no ad code is placed on articles containing hate/anti or sensitive content as this is against Adsense policies and does not provide a good experience for users and advertisers.”
So what, exactly, was WorldNetDaily’s heinous offense? WND reported on the so-called “knockout game” phenomenon in which mobs of black teens attacked white and Jewish passersby in a macho attempt to prove their testosterone-filled bona fides. Google did not reference any specific misuses of the term “black mob,” nor did they identify any articles that actually constituted hate speech. “Just the term ‘black mob’ was disallowed, both within the content of WND stories and any comment left from viewers within the forums on WND.com,” Farah explained.
According to Farah, the issue goes beyond simply WorldNetDaily. “[W]e heard from a reliable third-party source,” he stated, “that Google has a list of sites they actively monitor for policy violations. Apparently WND is on that list because other sites with same or similar content are not getting flagged.”
Perhaps most disturbing, Google’s decision to pull WND’s AdSense account did not restrict its scrutiny to the actual written material by WND staffers or writers; it also encompassed the comments section, which on many sites is lightly policed. Such a policy would heavily discourage websites from opening comments at all, stifling speech and shutting down debate and community formation.
It’s no surprise to see Google crack down on particular political viewpoints. Google has long been a leftist company. Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of the company, is a heavy supporter of President Obama financially, helping him with campaign advice in 2008 and 2012; Obama reportedly considered him repeatedly for slots within his administration before Schmidt was picked as Obama’s transition advisory board, as well as for a position on the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, or PCAST. Obama’s campaign manager, Jim Messina, received personal training from Schmidt. So did Obama for America Chief Technology Officer Harper Reed and Engineer Mark Trammell.
Even the company’s Google doodles are politically charged. Last Easter, Google featured Cesar Chavez instead of Easter, and has not had an Easter doodle since 2000. The site also has never had a specific Christmas doodle, even though it featured Martin Luther King Jr., Jackie Robinson, and iconic figure Frank Zamboni (creator of the Zamboni ice machine).
Furthermore, Google is in bed with the Obama administration when it comes to the greatest threat to internet freedom currently on the radar: net neutrality. That policy, under which the government would require “non-discrimination” with regard to bandwidth use for internet service providers, would dramatically regulate the market and prevent entrepreneurial exploitation of comparative advantage by competing internet service providers and websites. Google was in favor of net neutrality; that’s because, as Robert E. Litan and Hal J. Singer wrote in the Harvard Business Review, “Absent net neutrality restrictions, entrepreneurs in their garages would devote significant energies trying to topple Google with the next killer application.”
Google was in favor of net neutrality. Until, of course, Google got into the broadband business, at which point it became an opponent of net neutrality, at least for its own purposes, and at which point the Obama administration’s FCC simply ignored enforcement of consumer regulations against GoogleFiber.
But Google’s overall position has not changed. Schmidt still maintains that Google stands for internet freedom, which makes its new take on disapproved political language somewhat unwieldy.
Google is a private company. It has the capacity to utilize its massive power for whatever political agenda it chooses. But for it to pretend to be an advocate for internet freedom while simultaneously disadvantaging messages it finds politically incorrect is deeply hypocritical.
Ben Shapiro is Senior Editor-At-Large of Breitbart News and author of the New York Times bestseller “Bullies: How the Left’s Culture of Fear and Intimidation Silences America” (Threshold Editions, January 8, 2013). He is also Editor-in-Chief of TruthRevolt.org. Follow Ben Shapiro on Twitter @benshapiro.