Google To Ban Ads On Stories They Say Spread COVID-19 'Conspiracy Theories'

P. Gardner Goldsmith | July 20, 2020
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CNBC’s Megan Graham reports that on August 18, tech titan Alphabet, which runs Google and YouTube, will stop allowing its AdSense and AdManager on websites that offer COVID19 information running “contrary to the scientific consensus.”

So, evidently, the heads of Google are not only disinterested in scientific inquiry and the scientific method itself, they think there is a “consensus” that has been achieved and won’t change.

That might not sit well with the UN’s World Health Organization (WHO), the head of which said in February that travel restrictions weren’t necessary to stop the spread of the Wuhan Coronavirus. A bit over a month later, the same bunch of international parasites at the WHO were telling everyone worldwide to “stay at home and play videogames.

In the early days of the Wuhan Coronavirus panic, mucky-mucks at the WHO told folks not to worry about “asymptomatic spread” of the virus. But on June 9, Newsweek reported the WHO backtrack on that claim.

Initially, National Institutes of Health superhero Dr. Anthony Fauci told Americans that it wasn’t essential to wear N95 masks. But, weeks later, he said they were important, then he told a politician that he’d only said they weren’t important because they really WERE important and they were in short supply for medical workers – basically saying he intentionally deceived people.

And, of course, we already know that the federal government pays medical centers more for falsely claiming patients have COVID19 when that has not been diagnostically tested and determined.

So, how will Google figure out its AdSense and AdManager presences for websites that include information from The WHO, Fauci, or the CDC? Will the ads appear and disappear in a manner similar to those trendy “Mood Rings” of the 1970s – here one hour, gone the next, as a new “consensus” is determined by all the state-connected tax-sucking medical leeches out there?

How about other sketchy sources of information, such as, oh, CNN, caught faking videos on more than one occasion, or MSNBC, where Brian Williams – an admitted deceiver (or “mis-rememberer”) – earns big bucks telling people “the news” even as he screws up basic math?

And what are we to make of a virus which sees politicians telling people to not attend church or outdoor funerals, but who JOIN protests pushed by Black Lives Matter, an acknowledged Marxist organization? Are Google’s geniuses going to divine a “consensus” on that mercurial standard?

Sadly, this stance is much like something that popped up in U.S. liability cases in the 1990s, a troubling court tradition called the Daubert Hearing process. Prior to its adoption in U.S. courts, tortious liability suits in which “expert witnesses” were to be called required that the judge review credentials of proposed witnesses to decide if they were trustworthy enough to testify. Even that standard was slippery, and the validity of testimony should have been left up to the juries to decide. But the Daubert Hearing process made things worse, as judges in tort cases began to take on the role of deciding if the testimony the specialists were presenting was in “the scientific consensus”.

In essence, this forced the judge to not only know the constitutions under which he was operating, and to know the statutes, but to know the science of every new case such that he could determine if the potential witness was offering information within the “established consensus.”

Which means that most judges would have prevented Galileo from testifying about pretty much anything, and would have prevented them from allowing Copernicus from testifying about the heliocentric solar model.

But, as some might note, Google isn’t a government agency, so it should be free to block ad usage when its heads want.

The trouble with that approach is its neglect of Google’s early days, days in which Google got a lot of help, financially (through venture capital), and technically, from the U.S. government. And, yeah, the corporation is a lot of years past that era, but there’s something unclean about the kind of arrangements it had with the U.S. feds and their tax-fueled assistance at its start.

Then there’s the Google Blacklist, revealed by whistleblower Zach Vorhies (a list that included MRCTV and NewsBusters), the interminable manner in which YouTube removes creators like libertarian Stefan Molyneux, giving people the impression he’s a “hate-filled white supremacist” even though he has repeatedly exposed that claim as false, and Google’s removal of AdSense from Zerohedge and The Federalist.

That last bit has seen some changes, as CNBC’s Graham writes:

The news comes the same week as CNBC first reported that Google had begun running ads again on financial market website Zero Hedge. In mid-June, Google said it had taken action against Zero Hedge because of the comments section of the site, which Google said consistently violated its policy against dangerous and derogatory material. Google said Zero Hedge appealed the demonetization after deciding to remove the content and implementing comment moderation.

But it looks like Google is ready to use it’s “accommodation” of Zerohedge as a screen, even as it prepares to hit Zerohedge again, and expand that to even more sites, making it very, very hard for those sites to survive unless they turn directly to donations from visitors.

Perhaps this is the model of the future. Perhaps readers and viewers will continue making this shift away from the old publishing paradigm and to the next – where they create and foster a flourishing market that matches their ideals and interest in debate.

It seems that Google is not interested in that, at all.