Jun 16, 2020 - Technology

Google bans ZeroHedge from ad platform due to protest coverage

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Photo: Olly Curtis/Future via Getty Images

The right-wing financial blog ZeroHedge has been banned from generating revenue through Google's advertising platform after apparently violating the tech giant's policies on content related to race, a Google spokesperson confirmed to NBC News. Conservative news site The Federalist has also reportedly received a warning over its comment section, Business Insider reports.

Why it matters: The move is sure to invite fury from Republicans who claim that Big Tech companies stifle conservatives. President Trump signed an executive order last month aimed at softening protections from legal liability that online platforms enjoy over content moderation and user-posted material.

What they're saying: Google told NBC that its advertising platform has "strict publisher policies that govern the content ads can run on and explicitly prohibit derogatory content that promotes hatred, intolerance, violence or discrimination based on race from monetizing."

  • "When a page or site violates our policies, we take action. In this case, we’ve removed both sites’ ability to monetize with Google."

The backdrop: A report by the Center for Countering Digital Hate found that articles by ZeroHedge claimed protests over the death of George Floyd were fake, according to NBC News. Comments on The Federalist were also reportedly in violation of Google's rules, according to Business Insider.

  • Google warned The Federalist about demonetization after being notified of the report by the NBC News Verification Unit, but said that ZeroHedge had already been demonetized.
  • ZeroHedge's Twitter account was reinstated this week after being banned earlier this year for suggesting that a Chinese scientist had created the coronavirus in a lab.

The big picture: Google banned over 200 publishers from generating profits through Google advertising in 2017, according to Vox.

Go deeper: What Trump's "Executive Order on Preventing Online Censorship" orders

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