Left-wingers at Google are engaged in a relentless effort to demonetize Breitbart News from its AdSense platform and are linking advertising clients to the anti-Breitbart, far-left pressure group Sleeping Giants.
Previously, Google employees have contacted Breitbart News to reveal an atmosphere of indoctrination and intimidation, driven by leftist zealots at the company.
Current and former employees at Google now tell us that those same zealots are trying to use the company’s immense power against Breitbart News. In addition to placing pressure on management to take action against the site, they are also working to undermine Breitbart’s reputation with advertisers.
Breitbart News has obtained a screenshot (withheld to protect our source) that shows Google ad account manager Aidan Wilks advising another company – a client of Google’s – that advertising on Breitbart may impact their “brand safety.”
In the screenshot, Wilks can be seen linking Google’s client to the website of Sleeping Giants, a far-left organization that has repeatedly targeted Breitbart and other conservative-leaning news sites with false claims of racism and bigotry.
The screenshot also shows Matthew Rivard, another employee at Google, advising colleagues that Wilks’ message was a “nice template” for those who wished to “call out” the issue to clients. Rivard recommends that the message should be repeated for “other key accounts.”
Until April 2017, Rivard held the position of head of industry for performance advertising at Google. This made Rivard one of the go-to people for Google’s advertising clients. Rivard’s Linkedin page currently lists him as head of industry for branded apparel and e-commerce.
Harmeet Dhillon, the Republican national committeewoman for the California GOP and attorney for James Damore, who has also seen the screenshot, said that other Google AdSense users should be concerned about secret blacklisting.
“This communication from Google’s advertising department raises troubling questions about whether the company’s ideological bias extends beyond the employment claims covered in our lawsuit, to Google’s business practices toward AdWords publisher users as well,” said Dhillon.
“If there are indeed concerted efforts at Google to undermine the advertising revenue of disfavored publishers (an allegation YouTube is already facing in court through its abrupt demonetization of Prager University videos), then this conduct may give rise to additional legal claims. At a minimum, AdSense users may question whether they are being targeted for secret blacklisting as described here.”
According to multiple sources, leftist employees sent an open letter to Google’s management calling on them to demonetize Breitbart, which amassed over seven hundred supporters across the company. Conservatives at Google launched a counter-petition, which attracted over two hundred supporters.
Breitbart News has seen a copy of the anti-Breitbart letter, confirming its existence. The letter called for the removal of Breitbart from AdSense, and for the “blocking of all Google-served ads” on Breitbart.com.
The open letter accuses Breitbart of “hate speech”:
Googlers hold a diverse set of political, social, and economic perspectives, but respect and openness bind us together. The hate & bullying Breitbart incites toward Muslims , LGBTQ people , and women is incompatible with those shared values.
Among the authors of the open letter was Google employee Jeff Lakusta, who runs the technical support team behind the company’s ad buying platform.
The other authors were comms employee William Fitzgerald, senior software engineer Pierre Fite-Georgel, and the now-former employee Tim Chevalier, who Breitbart News exposed as a supporter of political violence and the “Antifa” domestic terrorist organization. Support for Antifa is widespread at Google, who have so far refused to issue a statement to us condemning political violence.
Although Google’s management did not cave in to the open letter, leftists have reportedly not stopped their efforts to demonetize Breitbart. According to one source, anti-Breitbart employees at the company are “literally keeping a spreadsheet” about the site.
“They have people trawling each article on the site [Breitbart] to see if they can find comments that might violate their policies in order to justify not trafficking ads.”
Fake News Panic
Another former Google employee spoke of an all-hands meeting at Google’s Mountain View headquarters in May, in which senior management stated that “for the last 6 months” they had been “committed to solving the fake news problem.”
This insider found the poorly-concealed political bias amusing.
“Hmmm, what happened 6 months [from May] to cause Google to suddenly become focused on fake news?”
May, of course, was exactly 6 months from the election of Donald Trump.
The people who are running Google’s “fake news” detection algorithms are “strongly biased,” claims one other source.
This bias revealed itself recently, in Google’s botched attempt to place “fact-check” messages next to “disputed” stories from news outlets.
The feature was abruptly canceled after a Daily Caller report revealed that it almost exclusively targeted conservative news sites, including Breitbart News, often by incorrectly attributing claims to their stories.