As reported by Zero Hedge, Scott Spencer, the director of product management for sustainable ads at Google, wrote in a blog post on Wednesday that the company has banned 200 publishers from accessing the AdSense advertising service because they (supposedly) post fake news stories.
Google said it had cracked down on sites that contained ads for: illegal products; misleading advertisements; bad ads on mobile; ads that it determined were attempting to cheat the system; and promoting and profiting from bad sites. That said, the emphasis for the action was on the “fake news” category, which of course has been a dominant narrative of the angry Left since Clinton lost her second bid for the White House. (RELATED: Find out all the news that Google and others don't want you to see at Censored.news)
“In 2016, we saw the rise of tabloid cloakers, a new type of scammer that tries to game our system by pretending to be news,” Spencer wrote. “Cloakers often take advantage of timely topics—a government election, a trending news story or a popular celebrity—and their ads can look like headlines on a news website. But when people click on that story about Ellen DeGeneres and aliens, they go to a site selling weight-loss products, not a news story.”
Okay, fair enough. But there’s more, and as always, the devil is in the details.
“We’ve had long-standing policies prohibiting AdSense publishers from running ads on sites that help people deceive others, like a site where you buy fake diplomas or plagiarized term papers,” Spencer continued. “In November, we expanded on these policies, introducing a new AdSense misrepresentative content policy, that helps us to take action against website owners misrepresenting who they are and that deceive people with their content.”
Are you beginning to get the picture? And this change, right after the November elections, no doubt?
As Zero Hedge and others have noted, Google, Facebook and Yahoo were heavily criticized by the angry Left, which accused the social media sites of publishing phony news, by which they meant news not from “trusted sources” like the Washington establishment media (Washington Post, CNN, New York Times, Politico, etc.).
“From November to December 2016, we reviewed 550 sites that were suspected of misrepresenting content to users, including impersonating news organizations,” Spencer wrote. “We took action against 340 of them for violating our policies, both misrepresentation and other offenses, and nearly 200 publishers were kicked out of our network permanently.” [Emphasis added]
Thus far, the company has not identified those 200 publishers.
Granted, there have been occasions where “fake news” has made it atop Google’s News Feed, which is some pretty valuable real estate on the Internet, including a story that claimed Trump actually won the popular vote (he didn’t; but all of Clinton’s popular vote advantage came from one state, California).
But there have been plenty of fake news stories published by the very same establishment media that Google would never dream of banning, even though stories from those publishers are often at the top of the news feed. Examples of some recent fake news stories by the "mainstream media" include:
-- The Russians did it – The Washington Post: The paper mainstreamed the narrative that “The Russians Hacked the Election” with a shoddy piece of journalism reporting that Russian intelligence gave hundreds of alternative media sites (including ours) “propaganda” in the form of “news” aimed at helping Trump and hurting Clinton. (Playing her role, Clinton would later blame it on some grudge Russian President Vladimir Putin held against her.)
-- Trump told his supporters to vote multiple times – CNN: Like him or not, there is no doubt that the MSM did its best to destroy Trump during the campaign, and that, of course, included ginning up fake news. CNN was, of course, in the thick of that. As Mediaite reported, the bottom-feeder “news” network made up a claim that Trump told his supporters to commit voter fraud by voting early and often. In fact, Trump was lamenting that, “If you go to university center, they’ll give you a new ballot, they’ll void your old ballot. They’ll give you a new ballot, and you can go out and make sure it get’s in. Now in some places, they do that four or five times, but we don’t do that. So by tomorrow, almost everyone will have their new ballots in.”
What we’ll eventually see out of Google are arbitrary decisions about what does, and does not, constitute publishers’ attempts to “deceive people with their content” – like politically incorrect facts about the political Left that Google and others favor.