In March, we reported on the results of our monthly I&I/TIPP Poll, which found that nearly two-thirds of registered voters thought decisions about COVID restrictions were driven by politics, not science. Majorities in just about every demographic, political, and ideological group felt this way.
Nevertheless, Google’s AdSense network stripped its ads from this article because it contains what Google claims is “dangerous or derogatory content” and that we must “fix it” for Google to restore those ads.
Here’s Google’s definition of “dangerous and derogatory content,” copied directly from its AdSense policy page:
We requested that Google review its decision, and on April 10 it informed us that “our review request was rejected.”
Take a look at the story and judge for yourself whether any reasonable human being would say this article meets that definition.
The tech giant has outrageously slurred not just I&I, but also the prestigious TechnoMetrica Institute of Policy and Politics, which has been the most accurate pollster in each of the past five presidential elections.
Here’s what TIPP President Raghavan Mayur said when he learned of Google’s attack.
Google’s action is a clear suppression of free speech. More than 60% of Americans share the sentiment Google wants to suppress. It is tantamount to suppressing 60% of the American voice.
It is no surprise. Google is a political entity and promotes the Left. Look at the videos of Sergey Brin, Google founder, talking to his employees after Trump won in 2016. The content of this story which Google is objecting is less political than the leaked video.
What’s more, the public overwhelmingly opposes this kind of censorship. This chart shows the results of another TIPP poll, done for James Golden.
Google’s decision is also an attack on basic journalism, the kind of thing that used to raise howls of outrage from journalists.
Mayur went on to add a personal note: “This takes on a unique significance for me, having grown up in Chennai, India, the same town as Sundar Pichai, Google’s CEO, where there is more free speech.”
This isn’t the first time Google has slapped us with a “violation” of vague standards. In March it said that our poll asking registered voters who they’d prefer on the ticket in 2024 was “unreliable and harmful.” Why? Apparently, because Google’s content police didn’t like the fact that while 67% of Republicans wanted Donald Trump on the ballot, only 37% of Democrats wanted President Biden.
We only recently started showing up on Google’s hit list. But as of now, the tech giant is suppressing its ads on seven of our articles. They are (and the reason they gave):
- Global Warming Alarmists Keep Letting Their Mask Slip (“unreliable and harmful claims”)
- The Wreck of the Global Warming Narrative (“unreliable and harmful claims”)
- California Tyrants Self-Identify: Only The Vaxxed Can Work (“unreliable and harmful claims”)
- These Are the Courageous Doctors Who Fought the COVID Farce and Paid the Price (“unreliable and harmful claims” and “dangerous or derogatory content”)
- Gasoline Prices Are Headed Right Where Democrats Want Them (“unreliable and harmful claims” and “dangerous or derogatory content”)
- Are We Sure the 2020 Election Was Clean? (“unreliable and harmful claims”)
- I&I/TIPP Poll: 65% Say Lifting COVID Restrictions Is Driven By Politics, Not Science (“dangerous or derogatory content”)
Incredibly, Google still claims that its mission is “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.” But it now acts very much like a leftist totalitarian, attempting to intimidate, defund, and silence voices it doesn’t like.
We are fervent defenders of the free market. We know there are other ad networks out there, and we use some of them. Fortunately, we aren’t reliant on Google for our traffic or much of our (very modest) revenue. But what about those who are? And what happens when other ad networks follow Google’s lead? What happens when Google starts teaming up with the government to censor content? What happens if no one stands up to this increasingly emboldened tyrant?
At the very least, Google should be held to account for deceptive and fraudulent business practices when it acts like this, and for the costs it’s imposing on publishers.
Mayur is also right when he says that “the government must open a depository to document these incidents to hold Google accountable.”
Meanwhile, we will keep reporting on how the Google Goliath treats little Davids like us.
— Written by the I&I Editorial Board