NBC News and a British digital hate watchdog have succesfully pressured Google to remove The Federalist and ZeroHedge from their AdSense service.
In an article on their website, NBC bragged about their success in getting the two “far right” websites, The Federalist and ZeroHedge, removed from Google AdSense. They claimed that the sites had pushed “unsubstantiated claims” about the recent Black Lives Matter protests and riots, and that Google was subsequently profiting off of them.
The specific articles in question were not revealed, but NBC claimed that ZeroHedge had argued the protests were fake, and that The Federalist “published an article claiming the media had been lying about looting and violence during the protests.”
In an email to NBC, a spokesman for Google said that the Big Tech giant took action “after determining the websites violated its policies on content related to race”:
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.
Google completely banned ZeroHedge off of its AdSense platform last week, and notified The Federalist of their policy violations on Tuesday, giving them three days to remove the violating content.
The NBC “News Verification Unit” worked hand-in-hand with the Centre for Countering Digital Hate, a British-based digital hate watchdog, to get the sites removed. While ZeroHedge had already been picked up by Google, The Federalist had not been targeted by the Big Tech giant before the NBC News Verification Unit brought them to their attention.
The CCDH, and their sister project, “Stop Funding Fake News,” have targeted 10 US-based websites in total for removal of funds, including ZeroHedge and The Federalist, for publishing “racist articles about the protests”: American Greatness, Moonbattery, American Thinker, Big League Politics, WND, The Washington Standard, Gateway Pundit, and Breitbart.
The CCDH is run by Imran Ahmed, a member of the Steering Committee of the British government’s “Commission on Countering Extremism” – the organisation was created by then-Prime Minister Theresa May in the wake of the Manchester bombings in 2017 “to help fight hatred and extremism in the same way as we have fought racism.”
Delighted that @SFFakeNews, working with @NBC_VC and @AMFraserNBC, has successfully persuaded @Google to stop ads appearing on Zero Hedge and The Federalist. @CCDHate’s biggest ever win. https://t.co/ur0E50DwWF
— Imran Ahmed (@Imi_Ahmed) June 16, 2020
The NBC reporter involved in the campaign, Adele-Momoko Fraser, is a British journalist who has a history of leftist tweets.
Tweets from the NBC "reporter" behind this campaign pic.twitter.com/hNzrpCysQ7
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) June 16, 2020
The action by Google follows President Trump’s recent executive order that would strip Big Tech companies of their Section 230 liability protections of they engage in “censoring or any political conduct.”
UPDATE: In a series of tweets, Google said that “The Federalist was never demonetized,” and that the site “worked with them to address issues on their site related to the comments section.” Google stated that The Federalist have now removed their comments section, and as a result, Google now “consider this matter resolved and no action will be taken.”
This article has been updated to reflect The Federalist appeasing Google by removing its comments section.