Politics

Google Undermines Its Legal Protections With Threat to Demonetize The Federalist, FCCs Carr Says

Google is making an argument against its own liability protection by threatening to ban a right-leaning media outlet, The Federalist, from its advertising platform, according to Brendan Carr, a commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission.

Google put The Federalist on notice over what it described as violations of its policy against “dangerous and derogatory” speech in the comment section of The Federalists website.

But by policing the user-created content of others, Google cut against its own argument that it cant be liable for user-created content on its own platforms, according to Carr.

Online services are largely shielded from liability for user-generated content under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996.

“Google makes one of the strongest arguments yet for Section 230 reform,” Carr said in a June 16 series of tweets.

“Big Tech has long argued that it needs Section 230s unique set of liability protections because websites simply couldnt operate if they were held liable for comments or user-generated posts. … Not so, according to Googles own ad policy! Google is now holding The Federalist responsible for comments and user-generated posts, and Google will be demonetizing the website as a result. …

“Google has no problem treating The Federalist as the publisher of comments and user-generated posts on that website for purposes of Googles own ad policy. Yet, Google expends significant resources to protect its own platforms from that type of treatment under Section 230.”

Google stopped short of demonetizing The Federalist after the website completely removed its comment section.

“We have been told that the Federalist removed comments. As the comment section has now been removed, we consider this matter resolved and no action will be taken,” Google spokeswoman Christa Muldoon told The Epoch Times via email.

The Federalist didnt respond to a request for comment.

Competitor Lobby?

Carr suggested Google was prompted to review The Federalists website by a media competitor.

“This also appears to be an example of established media gatekeepers attempting to regain control of the political narrative – not through persuasion but coercion,” Carr said. “A legacy media outlet lobbied Big Tech to punish a new media competitor.”

He apparently was referring to NBC News, which ran a story on June 16 claiming Google demonetized The Federalist and ZeroHedge, a libertarian blog and news site.

The article said Google took the steps after being informed by NBC News “Verification Unit” about a “project” by a British nonprofit that put The Federalist, ZeroHedge, Breitbart, and other right-leaning publications on a “blacklist” for supposedly being “racist Fake News.”

The nonprofit, the Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH), is tied to the British Labour Party and has been known to lobby tech companies to deplatform political opponents, whom it labels as “hate actors.”

Google declined to comment to The Epoch Times when asked whether the NBC News tip prompted the review of The Federalist.

The Federalist ended up on CCDHs “blacklist” for running an op-ed that said the media was lying when blaming white supremacists for instigating violence during recent protests sparked by the death of a black man, George Floyd, during his arrest in Minneapolis.

CCDH specifically took issue with the op-eds criticism of CNN and The New York Times.

The op-ed said CNN “went on and on—without a shred of evidence to back it up—about how white supremacists might be infiltrating the protests and stirring up trouble.”

Attorney General William Barr has blamed extremist groups of various political persuasions for instigating violence during the protests, singling out anarcho-communist group Antifa.

The op-ed also criticized a New York Times article for going “into a long aside about how far-right accelerationists were hoping the unrest would bring about a long-sought second civil war.”

While the New York Times piece says “far-right adherents” cheered on the protests on social media and some recorded themselves at the protests, it also quoted a Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) analyst as saying, “I have not seen any clear evidence that white supremacists or militiamen are masking up and going out to burn and loot.”

The SPLC has long been criticized by conservatives for overreaching as to whom it labels as “racist” or “hateful.”

Google Under Fire

Google controls about a third of the global online advertising market, according to eMarketer.

“For Google, the hypocrisy here is stunning,” Carr said in another tweet. “It has no problem providing a platform forRead More From Source

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