Google Censors Document Tracking COVID Vaccine Stories

Sundar Pichai, senior vice president of Chrome, speaks at Google's annual developer conference, Google I/O, in San Francisco on 28 June 2012
KIMIHIRO HOSHINO/AFP/GettyImages

Google has censored a public Google document collecting stories in mainstream news media and posts on social media about adverse reaction to COVID-19 vaccines. The document was over 100 pages long when it was censored by Google. It has since been re-hosted at this website.

Former ITV and BBC journalist Anna Brees noticed that the document had been censored by Google in a post on Twitter.

“First time I’ve seen a cloud drive blocking a document,” said Brees. “It was a very long document re vaccination headlines from around the world. This was a document sent to me via email. I was able to view it three days ago but now it says this.”

Brees shared a screenshot showing a message from Google informing users that the document was “in violation of our terms of service.”

Brees herself has been the target of Big Tech censorship for her coverage of coronavirus. She recently interviewed Dr. Roger Hodkinson, a Canadian pathologist who was targeted by fact-checkers including the AFP in December after he declared COVID to be “just another bad flu.”

In retaliation for interviewing Hodkinson, Brees says YouTube deleted her video, while competing video platform Vimeo deleted not just the interview, but her entire account, including training materials for the video journalism school she owns and operates.

Brees says Google-owned YouTube took down the interview “within an hour.”

Google documents, part of the Google Drive service, does not have as well-known a track record of censorship as other Big Tech platforms, but its terms of service have long given Google the ability to censor a wide variety of documents. In 2017, Google Drive users referred to the company’s “creepy monitoring” of their documents as a potential source of censorship.

Google Drive’s extensive terms of service grant Google the power to remove “hate speech,” “harassment,” and “misleading content” among a range of other prohibited material.

In a comment to Breitbart News, a Google spokesman said the Google removes documents from public access if they violate its policies, but that document owners would still have access to the file.

“We prohibit Google Drive from being used to distribute content like pornography and explicit sexual content, dangerous or illegal activities, malware, and harmful misleading claims about COVID 19 vaccines, among others,” said the spokesman. “In cases where shared documents don’t comply with our policies, we may disable sharing of those files. File owners would still have access to their private files.”

Allum Bokhari is the senior technology correspondent at Breitbart News. He is the author of #DELETED: Big Tech’s Battle to Erase the Trump Movement and Steal The Election.

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