MOUNTAIN VIEW, California, March 14, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Google, the world’s most popular internet tool, has removed revenue-generating ads from select LifeSiteNews reports after it deemed that some of the content on the pro-life and pro-family website violated Google standards.
Last week, Google sent an unusual number of “warning messages” to the world’s premiere pro-life, pro-family news outlet saying that a number of reports violated their “AdSense” policies. LifeSite has in the past occasionally received such warnings, but never so many at once. The warnings continued to pour in this week.
“This is a warning message to alert you that there is action required to bring your AdSense account into compliance with our AdSense program policies,” stated Google in the communications.
“Please make changes immediately to your site to follow AdSense program policies,” Google requested.
When no changes were made, Google then issued a penalty of “Restricted ad serving.” The LifeSite reports in question were immediately stripped of the revenue-generating Google ads, with resulting financial loss to LifeSite.
Google outlined the factors that were considered in penalizing certain LifeSite articles.
“Google does not allow the monetization of content that may be sensitive, tragic, or hurtful. … (W)e reserve the right to exercise discretion when reviewing sites and determining whether or not we are able to provide a positive user experience delivering contextually targeted ads to a site with this type of content,” it stated.
One of the most alarming examples of a report that Google flagged for violating its standards was “Daughter of famed sci-fi author reveals sexual horrors she suffered growing up in LGBT home.” The report, based on an Amazon bestseller autobiography, revealed the horrors one woman experienced growing up in a home raised by LGBT parents who repeatedly sexually abused her and her brothers. It was a straight report about the woman’s experience.
Google stripped ads from this page because it considered the content “dangerous or derogatory.”
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Other reports that violated Google’s standards included those containing images of babies born prematurely.
One offending report was “Parents release stunning video of living 18-week miscarried baby.” The piece highlights an incredibly moving, true story of a family’s love for their tiny son who was born prematurely and lived just long enough for the family to say goodbye. Images of the baby’s perfectly-formed hands and feet served as a visual testament to his humanity.
Google blocked ads on the article, calling the content “sensitive.”
Another one was “Viral video of a baby still in the amniotic sac is heart-breaking, but shows the humanity of the unborn.”
Google blocked ads on the article, calling it “Violent Content: Gore.”
Another one was “Before nurses arrived, woman watched her aborted baby ‘thrashing around’: doctor.” The report contained no images. It described a horrific story told by one doctor of seeing the pain on the face of an aborted baby who was accidentally born alive.
Google also blocked ads on the article, calling the content “sensitive.”
LifeSite requested a “review,” one of the possibilities other than deleting the offending content when a web page is flagged. Google responded within days, stating that the web pages in question were “found to be non-compliant with our policies at the time of the review. Ad serving continues to be restricted or disabled on those pages.”
LifeSiteNews co-founder Steve Jalsevac wondered if there was more to Google’s sudden spike in actions against LifeSite than simply following policy.
“Google is the biggest gateway to almost everything on the internet. It’s extremely alarming to see a spike in it using financial pressure in what appears to be an attempt to control how a pro-life and pro-family website is reporting the news,” he said.
“Is Google, along with other social media giants, now moving to seize control of the narrative? Is this their way of attempting to suppress what they don’t agree with? If so, it’s like the ‘Ministry of Truth’ out of George Orwell’s book 1984,” he added.
Jalsevac called such tactics an “attack” on democracy.
“Just imagine how this kind of tactic is playing out in relation to the upcoming, very crucial U.S. midterm elections. I believe that these totalitarian tactics by Google, as well as Facebook and Twitter, will be used to manipulate elections. News reporters will manipulate their content so as to not offend Google’s ‘standards.’ Those who speak the hard truths will face penalties. The internet will then have become the tool that essentially disables democracy,” he said.
Jalsevac speculated that the clampdowns, especially of conservative-based websites, are ramping up after big tech companies realized how effectively conservatives were using social media to bypass mainstream media’s control of information during the last U.S. election.
“The tech giants are horrified,” said Jalsevac, “that conservatives used their Internet services to win a Republican landslide.”
Jalsevac said that such clampdowns and manipulation by the tech oligarchs should be made illegal.
“People have to fight back against these kinds of strong-arm tactics, such as through government regulation.”
Steve Bannon, former chief strategist to President Trump, argued that tech companies like Google and Facebook should be regulated, as utility companies are.
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