Testing The Death Star

Many have spoken out over Google’s recent threat against conservative site The Federalist with democratization from the Google Ads program over what was considered “policy violations.” One of those voices was Texas Senator Ted Cruz who has actively been against Silicon Valley social media companies for a while now and he didn’t take this recent censorship lightly. This all began when NBC claimed it had a hand in having The Federalist demonetized, a report that wound up being false. Google then went to threaten the site if they didn’t change things on its website, like removing the comments section.

Ted Cruz put together a letter to Sundar Pichai, Google CEO, and called Google out for this clearly biased move, its hypocrisy, and the un-American way by which they go about silencing people they don’t agree with. They ordered Google to provide all communications between it and NBC and any pertaining to The Federalist.

“The recent actions of Google to “demonetize” a conservative media publisher, The Federalist, raise serious concerns that Google is abusing its monopoly power in an effort to censor political speech with which it disagrees,” the letter states. It goes on to explain that the culture of free speech is under attack and Google is helping lead the charge. Americans used to use speech to fight but are now being silenced and punished if they express views that do not align with the “prevailing and ever-shifting progressive orthodoxy.” People will lose their livelihoods if they step out of line and employees will get fired.

Google has seemed more than happy to play this censorship role alongside NBC News. Whether or not one agrees with destroying a publishers ability to reach willing readers, the so-called “Center for Countering Digital Hate” has now started fundraising off its success enlisting Google in its efforts to silence views that are contrary to their political agenda. Google claims the decision to “demonetize” is solely from the offensive reader comments, but not the article itself. They gave The Federalist three days to remove the comments section from their site or face immediate “demonetization.” 

The target against The Federalist is clearly politically motivated. Numerous “progressive” media outlets include comments and there are at least as many profane, racist, or indefensible user comments on these other sites that equally “violate Google standards.” Then there are the thousands of profane, sexist, and racist comments posted on YouTube, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Google. 

The irony of it all is that Google has defended and protected online speech in the past to allow platforms to set and enforce standards for appropriate speech on their services and to do so generally from the threat of “private litigation.” Too late now as they move forward in their market power to hold a conservative media platform financially responsible for “allowing disfavored speech” on its platform. 

“Google, today, has become like the Empire in Star Wars. What they’re doing with this step is testing the Death Star,” Ted Cruz tweeted. Google has now become the liberal mouthpiece the Dems always wanted. What’s next?