Google threatened to ban The Federalist from its advertising platform — which would inhibit the conservative opinion website from monetizing ads served by Google — over the site’s comment section.
The tech company told Mediaite the comment section of The Federalist was in violation of its policy against “dangerous and derogatory content.” According to Google, the platform issued a warning to The Federalist, which then removed its comment section to comply with the policy.
They denied that any particular article run by the site prompted the threat — despite an inaccurate report from NBC News that the crackdown had to do with “articles pushing unsubstantiated claims about the Black Lives Matter protests.”
When Mediaite reached out to Google, the platform said the NBC News report was correct that action was being taken against The Federalist, but incorrect as to the rationale behind the move.
Despite a statement from Google in the NBC News report, the tech platform also said The Federalist is not currently demonetized, but was warned about the policy violation and given three days to take action.
“Our policies do not allow ads to run against dangerous or derogatory content, which includes comments on sites, and we offer guidance and best practices to publishers on how to comply,” Google Ads wrote in a statement on Twitter. “As the comment section has now been removed, we consider this matter resolved and no action will be taken.”
NBC reporter Adele-Momoko Fraser initially reported that, with the help of several progressive groups, Google was compelled to take action against the conservative website for its coverage of Black Lives Matter protests.
— Adele-Momoko Fraser (@AMFraserNBC) June 16, 2020
“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,” Google told NBC News in their initial statement about The Federalist and another conservative website, Zero Hedge. “When a page or site violates our policies, we take action. In this case, we’ve removed both sites’ ability to monetize with Google.”
Federalist co-founders Sean Davis and Ben Domenech did not respond to Mediaite’s request for comment.
In March, Twitter took action against a Federalist story sent out in a tweet that advocated for the deliberate spread of the coronavirus.
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