U.S. Senator Ted Cruz said the new treatment of Google involving conservative publications The Federalist and ZeroHodge are raising concerns that the tech company is abusing its power to censor content it disagrees with, Fox News reported.
On Tuesday, June 16, NBC News also shared this report featuring Google’s ban on The Federalist and ZeroHodge, two right-leaning publications. The ban covered Google Ads and prohibited these publications from “pushing unsubstantiated claims” on the Black Lives Matter campaign.
Google, however, later claimed in the statement, “To be clear, The Federalist is not currently demonetized. We do have strict publisher policies that govern the content ads can run on, which includes comments on the site. This is a longstanding policy.”
The U.S. Senator also reportedly plans to send Sundar Pichai, the Google CEO, to speak about these actions. He said these are part of bigger issues involving the “culture of free speech” being challenged in the country, adding that the company was supposed to join the campaign in leading the change.
Cruz also added that Americans once understood the best responses to free speeches, pointing out that some of them, with the help of influential companies, are now pressing to censor and punish individuals who express views that do not “align with the prevailing and ever-shifting progressive orthodoxy.”
He said, “These individuals demand that people with different views lose their livelihoods if they step out of line. Companies like Google must — to use a most Orwellian term — ‘demonetize’ them.”
Cruz added: “As evidence by its actions yesterday, Google seems more than happy to play this censorship role by trying to break the financial back of a media publication it disagrees with.”
Google though, clarified that they are working to continue addressing these issues on the website related to the comments section.
Google is now sparking outrage over its banning of conservative websites ZeroHedge, and providing a warning for The Federalist over its ad systems, Daily Mail Online reported.
“What exactly Google complained to The Federalist over remains murky, and it’s unclear if they ever threatened to ban it from the ad platform,” Daily Mail’s Jennifer Smith wrote.
It also followed the NBC report suggesting that Google acted upon receiving a report from British think tank groups flagging that one of the publications, The Federalist, had utilized a black crime tag to categorize certain content.
They are also reportedly flagging stories wherein journalists pointed out that the media was “lying” in the reports that white supremacists are involved in the looting. The outlets specified were the New York Times and CNN.
The quest for balanced news gathering and reporting continues. Google was quoted saying it never demonetized the website, but rather was only addressing comments which violated guidelines.