Google has admitted to removing ads from an article by Piers Morgan on the website of the Daily Mail, one of Britain’s most widely-read newspapers, due to what the tech giant alleged were “racist” comments below the line of the article.
The article that was financially blacklisted by Google was a piece from British journalist Piers Morgan opining that there was “nothing heroic or brave” about Simone Biles’ decision to pull out of the women’s gymnastics floor routine finals at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
A Google spokesman confirmed the removal of ads in a comment to Breitbart News.
“Our systems detected racist content in the comments under a recent MailOnline article from Piers Morgan so we blocked ads from showing against the article in accordance with our policies,” said the Google spokesman.
“The article remains on MailOnline, but advertisers using our ad tech will not see their ads running alongside it while those comments remain.”
In a follow-up article for the Daily Mail, onetime CNN host Morgan denounced Google for undermining free speech.
Google’s punitive action also represents a disgraceful attack on free speech.
In a democracy, I’m allowed to say that Simone Biles wasn’t a hero for quitting.
But by banning advertising because I expressed that opinion, Google is effectively saying that the only opinion they will tolerate on their platform is that Simone Biles IS a hero for quitting.
This reminds me of my departure from Good Morning Britain back in March when I was asked by my employers ITV to apologise for disbelieving Meghan Markle despite spending most of her Oprah whine-athon spewing demonstrable falsehoods, and if I didn’t, I would lose my job. (I chose not to apologize.)
Free speech means free speech, or it’s not free speech.
Google needs to explain why it banned ads from being placed with my column about Simone Biles.
According to a screenshot shared by Morgan, the page was demonetized by the tech giant due to alleged “dangerous or derogatory content.”
Google used the same excuse — alleged “dangerous or derogatory content” in the comments section — when it threatened to demonetize two independent media outlets, the Federalist and ZeroHedge, in 2020. Google’s threats against the two publishers drew outrage from multiple U.S. Senators and members of congress.
At the time, Federalist co-founder Sean Davis alleged that a far-left British think tank, the Center for Countering Digital Hate, collaborated with competing media company NBC news to pressure Google to suspend ads.
Allum Bokhari is the senior technology correspondent at Breitbart News. He is the author of #DELETED: Big Tech’s Battle to Erase the Trump Movement and Steal The Election.