The other day we received a notice from Google’s AdSense ad network that one of our articles violated its policies and, as a result, they wouldn’t allow any of their network’s ads to appear on that article until we “fixed” the violation.
What was the violation? According to Google, the article contained “unreliable and harmful information.” What does that mean? Dig deeper and here’s how Google describes this particular violation:
“We do not allow content that:
- makes claims that are demonstrably false and could significantly undermine participation or trust in an electoral or democratic process.
- promotes harmful health claims or relates to a current, major health crisis and contradicts authoritative scientific consensus.
- contradicts authoritative scientific consensus on climate change.”
Previously, we noted in this space that Google had stripped ads from two of our editorials about global warming, and we pointed out that this was likely part of a new post-COVID censorship campaign by the left.
But this new article wasn’t about climate change. It wasn’t about COVID. It also wasn’t about election fraud. It wasn’t about the Jan. 6 riots. It wasn’t about anything controversial.
It was an article about the results of our own monthly I&I/TIPP poll, which asked registered voters “who do you want to see run for president in 2024.” We broke out the findings by party affiliation, and reported on the results. Which were that while 60% of Republicans wanted Donald Trump to run in 2024, a mere 37% of Democrats wanted President Joe Biden to be on the ticket. Mind you, TIPP is a highly regarded polling firm that has been the most accurate in every presidential election since it started doing that polling.
The leftists running Google might not understand this, but poll results like that are what we in the news business call “news.” And reporting on news is what journalists do. The article even includes a chart showing details of the results of this poll, letting Google’s content police see for themselves that our reporting was accurate.
Since nothing in the article was “demonstrably false,” that leaves the accusation that the article “could significantly undermine participation or trust in an electoral or democratic process.”
That standard is so vague that it could justify demonetizing literally anything. But judge for yourself. If you can find anything in this article that would lead any reasonable person to conclude that we are attempting to undermine trust or participation in democracy and elections, let us know. You can find the article here.
Yet when we asked Google to review its ruling, they rejected our appeal. Which means the “violation” wasn’t just the result of an algorithm gone haywire.
RELATED: To see all of our I&I/TIPP Poll stories, click here.
The only conclusion we can draw is that Google is now attacking content for no other reason than that it doesn’t like the facts being reported. By stripping ads from this article, Google is not only unfairly costing us money, it’s sending a message that if we want to work with AdSense we have to kowtow to their leftist standards. How many sites that depend more heavily on Google for revenue will start to think twice about offending the liberal Google gods?
So, kudos, Google. You’ve just taken another step towards acting like a totalitarian dictator. Remind us again of what that motto was you used to parade around. Be evil? Be like Stalin? Help us out here.
Meanwhile, we can’t wait until you accuse this article of violating your idiotic standard for acceptable content. Go ahead, make our day.
— Written by the I&I Editorial Board