Google says they are banning the websites Zero Hedge and The Federalist from its Google Ads program for racists content and removed comments in the articles.
What We Know:
- Zero Hedge is a website that traffics conspiracy theories. There have been policy violations in the comments on the website about the Black Lives Matter protests. The website, The Federalist also has these policy violations in their comments. Zero Hedge published an article claiming the protests to be fake and The Federalist published an article claiming the media was lying about looting and violence during the protests.
- A spokesperson at Google said on Monday that they have demonetized the website after reviewing it engaged in content related to race. The spokesperson wrote, “We have strict publisher policies that govern the content ads 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.”
- Google clarified that The Federalist was warned about the content and had three days to remove the violations before the ban went into effect. As of Wednesday, the comments have been removed and Google will take no further action. Zero Hedge was notified last week of the violations and they did not respond, therefore, Google has banned them from its ad platform.
- Google was notified of this issue by a British nonprofit that combats online hate and misinformation. They’ve found that 10 U.S.-based sites have published racist articles about the protests and BLM movement and that these websites would make millions of dollars through Google Ads. Imran Ahmed, CEO of the Center for Countering Digital Hate says, “We found that lots of those companies are inadvertently funding through their advertising content that is outright racist in defense of white supremacism and contains conspiracy theories about George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter movement.”
Google has donated $12 million in funding to organizations working to address racial inequalities. The company has had to ban various websites over the years due to the issue of fake news operations.