Media Criticism

NBC Said Google Is Demonetizing The Federalist for Spreading Fake News; Google Says the NBC Report Is Fake News

The NBC News Verification Unit sadly did not live up to its name.

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On Tuesday, NBC claimed that Google had made the decision to demonetize The Federalist after NBC's own News Verification Unit presented the search engine with evidence the conservative website was spreading misinformation related to recent anti-police brutality protests.

But it turned out that the news outlet spreading misinformation was actually NBC. In a statement, Google denied that it had stripped The Federalist of the ability to generate money from ads. "The Federalist was never demonetized," wrote Google Communications. "We worked with them to address issues on their site related to the comments section."

This directly contradicted the NBC story, which initially suggested that Google had found fault with The Federalist's articles. The actual problem, according to Google, was comments on the articles, not the articles themselves. The Federalist temporarily deleted its comments section, resolving the issue. (Disclaimer: I am friends with Ben Domenech, publisher of The Federalist, and have appeared on his radio show.)

The NBC story—penned by Adele-Momoko Fraser, a producer with the ironically named News Verification Unit—is a perfect example of activist journalism getting the facts wrong and obscuring the truth in order to arrive at an agenda-driven conclusion. Fraser wrote that Google had punished The Federalist "after the company was notified of research conducted by the Center for Countering Digital Hate, a British nonprofit that combats online hate and misinformation." Fraser further noted that "Google blocked The Federalist from its advertising platform after the NBC News Verification Unit brought the project to its attention."

The "project" was little more than a tweet thread by an activist group. The Center for Countering Digital Hate and its project, Stop Funding Fake News, are progressive workshops that engage in public advocacy campaigns to pressure companies to stop advertising on right-wing websites.

Their beef with The Federalist, according to the Stop Funding Fake News website, was that the conservative publication had falsely claimed "CNN/New York Times reports were 'lying' about white supremacist violence." The Federalist article in question was this one by John Daniel Davison, titled "The Media Are Lying To You About Everything, Including the Riots." The tone is hyperbolic—no, the media aren't lying about absolutely everything—and one could disagree with some of Davison's examples, but the article isn't a particularly compelling example of fake news, let alone racist fake news.

That a lefty social media campaign would target The Federalist isn't surprising. The truly bizarre aspect of all this is NBC's involvement. According to Fraser's own characterization of events, it was NBC that informed Google of the social media campaign. That makes it sound like Fraser was working in concert with the Center for Countering Digital Hate. Since the chief complaint against The Federalist was that Davison's article had criticized mainstream media groups, including NBC, it looks like a retaliatory strike.

Fraser subsequently clarified that she "obtained the research exclusively" but did not "collaborate" with Stop Funding Fake News. Her first tweet, now deleted, implies something quite different:

In any case, Fraser had to revise the article several times to add clarifications from Google that her central thesis was wrong. She also removed the section about NBC being the entity that informed Google about The Federalist's alleged failings. Not all of these changes are acknowledged. (Fraser did not respond to a request for comment.)

But the damage was already done: Conservatives exploded with outrage on social media, directing much of their ire at Google. It has become quite popular on the right to believe that Big Tech—Google, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube in particular—is silencing conservatives and that the government should do something about this. Increasingly, the "something" is to revise Section 230, the federal statute that gives tech platforms some liability protection. Getting rid of Section 230 would probably make social media companies more squeamish about publishing edgy or controversial content, thus undermining free speech protections for everyone—including and perhaps especially conservatives—but the right's anti-tech crusaders frequently overlook this.

Sure enough, Sen. Josh Hawley (R–Mo.), one of the leaders of the conservative effort to regulate Big Tech, took this opportunity to propose legislation that would allow The Federalist to sue Google for unequal treatment.

People have every right to complain about Google but, as a private company, Google is not obligated to treat all of its users equally. People on the right often grasp this intuitively when the issue is slightly different: Many conservative writers do not want a Christian bakery to be compelled to bake cakes for gay weddings, for instance. But if it's wrong for the government to force a private company to do business with an LGBT couple, it should also be wrong to force a private company to do business with The Federalist.

One can find hypocrisies in every direction. Anyone who wants to argue that an outlet like The Federalist should not be held responsible for its comment section is actually making a philosophical case for Section 230, which extends precisely this protection to large platforms. In general, the internet works best when the government takes a hands-off approach, allowing all sorts of viewpoints to flourish. Still, if Google would like to avoid losing its own protection, the company might think twice about arguing that outlets like The Federalist should be held to a harsher standard.

That said, this does not look like a fight that Google actually wanted. It's not an example of anti-conservative bias: The same thing happened to the website Techdirt last year. The underlying issue was a trivial and routine one, and it was blown completely out of proportion by NBC's sloppy hatchet job. A "news verification unit" not only failed to verify the news but took an active role in spreading disinformation—the very crime of which it had falsely accused others. At a time when newsrooms are deciding how to deal with their employees' increasingly vocal sympathy for progressive causes—often giving in to their demands—the NBC story should serve as a powerful reminder of the perils of swapping journalism for activism.

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  1. I’m not sure how all of this works. If Google demonitizes a website, (from my understanding Google sells ad space and splits the money with the website based on clicks) does Google still collect money for the ads, or do the ads go away completely?

    1. The ads go away. Notice the tweet from that leftist NGO that started this: They weren’t yelling at google, they were yelling to Microsoft and saying “Hey your ads are showing next to Racist content”.

      Google is in a bit of a pickle here. They want to syndicate their ads out to other publishers, but the ad buyers don’t want to be seen endorsing publishers that might anger their customers.

      1. “that might anger their customers”

        You mean activists. I highly doubt most consumers even know what The Federalist is and even less care about their ads.

        1. Look at the twitter that started this. People don’t see that the Federalist is even involved. It is just that “Ford* advertises on racist publications.” Which, you know, twitter, right? Except then MSNBC picks it up, which (for some reason) makes it news. And so then, the big three networks just have to report on it. And pretty soon, it is this general understanding that Ford advertises on racist websites. And to avoid that, Ford yells at google to stop syndicating ads to those sites.

          * = Henry Ford’s company being accused of racist behavior? Mon Deux!

          1. You’re right. I didn’t think about it that way.

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          3. What I hear is that Google promised Ford tailored advertising that it couldn’t deliver and rather than facing the consequences of that, it leaned on a smaller business.

            Not that I think Ford fretting that racists might see advertisements for their products is exceptionally reasonable but that issue is/should be between Ford and Google, not Google and The Federalist.

            1. It comes back to section 230. Either Google is responsible for where the ads get placed or it isn’t.

    2. “or do the ads go away completely?”

      I’ll start reporting everyone for racism if that’s the case…

      …funny thing is my motives would still be purer and accusations more honest than groups like Stop Funding Fake News.

      1. Bless you child for trying, but you need the tender considerations of journalists at NBC to amplify your message first.

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    3. My ad blocker makes the ads go away completely anyway.

      1. Progressive ads too? Because that’s racist, or something.

  2. “a perfect example of activist journalism getting the facts wrong and obscuring the truth in order to arrive at an agenda-driven conclusion”

    Maybe. But I can think of far worse examples.

    Like how right-wing websites spent years denying the obvious fact that Drumpf has been a Russian intelligence asset since 1987. Indeed, some of them (including The Federalist!) deny this fact even today — despite Robert Mueller proving it conclusively in his report.

    #TrumpRussia

    1. To be sure, Both Sides we’re wrong about Russiagate, one was just wrong about how well hidden in plain sight the obvious evidence was

      1. So obvious they still can’t find it, and changed their whole story.

        1. Huh, here you are linking defunded far right wing misinformation. Stick to reliable sources, like NBC, Buzzfeed, and Slate. And CNN, they literally have Reliable Sources, at least now that that hack Howie Kurtz was broomed

          1. Ah, yes, that most reliable of (former entertainment reporter) Twinks, Brian Stelter.

    2. “How are you not crazy?”
      “I get that all the time”

      “It’s probably not true, but it could be”
      “It’s probably a coincidence, but it might not be”
      Well that proves it, doesn’t it!!!
      Did you even watch this video?

  3. The baker isn’t a de facto monopoly. Google is a near monopoly on internet advertising.

    And they were going to demonitize Federalist over free speech that Section 230 was there to protect.

    1. And 230 continues to protect free speech.

      Google is not a monopoly. There are thousands upon thousands of advertising platforms that can be used. Is google the biggest? Yes (depending on type. They are not the biggest native ad platform, for example.)

      But so what? Nothing is keeping them there other than their ability to support high ad rates for their publishers. And if they refuse to work with enough publishers, then those publishers will go to other ad platforms, which will then demand higher rates for their circulation, and that will then eat into Google’s market share.

      1. There are thousands upon thousands of advertising platforms that can be used.

        How many of these are directly competitive with the product these sites are purchasing from Google? If they can’t take their business elsewhere in an arms-length transaction then they have no leverage over Google, though some observers might aggregate two similar products into the same grouping.

        It’s all semantics, but that’s antitrust for you.

        1. “How many of these are directly competitive with the product these sites are purchasing from Google?”

          Many. Reason for example, as near as I can tell does not rely on any google advertisements. Microsoft and Yahoo (Verizon) both offer large competition. Yahoo has a large native ad platform (that’s the very annoying product that slips ads in among lists of articles). And then there are tons of smaller ones that try to exploit niches, like local newspapers or classic forums.

          To be clear, none of these will probably drive the ROI that google can deliver, except in certain places. Since google aggregates multiple ad markets (e.g., Sponsored Search, Display, Content Ads) together, they can demand higher ad rates from advertisers and therefore pay a bigger amount to publishers. But total dollars is not the only thing that businesses shop on- overly restrictive placement guidelines and exactly this type of behavior can ultimately go towards the business decision.

          1. Since google aggregates multiple ad markets (e.g., Sponsored Search, Display, Content Ads) together, they can demand higher ad rates from advertisers and therefore pay a bigger amount to publishers.

            So why don’t their competitors copy this structure to try to grab share at a lower price point to the subscribers? Does the near-total monopoly on Search have anything to do with it? Is it just too expensive to merge together some niche players into a significant enough option?

            Sorry if these are stupid questions, but I know very little of this space. The companies I’ve worked for are buyers of ads, and I’ve nothing to do with that line of work.

          2. Google has a higher than 70% market share in the search ads space. That’s substantially greater than the market shares that have triggered antitrust actions in other sectors. Not saying that antitrust is proper ever, but I don’t see how one could favor it in other cases but not against Google.

      2. Markets only work for ads in tech. Somehow markets fail when it comes to cakes, adoptions, nuns not wanting to buy birth control, and pro-life pregnancy centers not wanting to post information about where to attain an abortion. Then Koch world hems and haws about how all this is just so complicated and its best to just defer to our white liberal betters

        Then the market has failed and the state needs to impose the right thought.

      3. “Google is not a monopoly. ”

        Google has a 73% share of the web advertising market within the US. The FTC’s threshold for holding monopoly power are greater than 50% in any market.

        So, yes, legally they have monopoly power according to the existing Federal standards.

        https://www.ftc.gov/tips-advice/competition-guidance/guide-antitrust-laws/single-firm-conduct/monopolization-defined#:~:text=Market%20Power&text=Courts%20look%20at%20the%20firm's,within%20a%20certain%20geographic%20area.

        1. “The FTC’s threshold for holding monopoly power are greater than 50% in any market.”

          Reread your link. They just say they will likely NOT find a business as having “monopoly power” if they are less than 50%. They do NOT define a monopoly as being over 50%. In fact, they literally say in the next sentence that “Some courts have required much higher percentages”.

          For a company to have a monopoly, they generally have to have a dominant market position for reasons other than ” having a better product, superior management or historic accident.” An example of that might be deals with the government, or laws from the government giving them monopoly status (e.g. cable and phone companies or broadcasters who have sole use of spectrum).

          1. Or buy and kills (or outright theft) which google is notorious for?

          2. “They generally have to have a dominant market position for reasons other than…” That does not mesh with the actual history of antitrust actions. What the FTC says and what it does are two completely different things.

      4. Google is a Monopsony, it isn’t the only player, but it does control the game.
        Even though it isn’t actually a monopoly, it is effectively a monopoly.

        And here’s why it isn’t just a “so what” for libertarians. Google has been very corporatist, manipulating governments and politicians to retain it position.

        1. Yes, these tech companies will engage in corporatist behavior. The answer is not to regulate them harder. That is just giving the government they are trying to influence the ability to persecute their competitors. c.f. Taxi companies and hotels using the government agencies regulating them to force out ride and house sharing companies.

          Facebook is calling for the government to get into the content-moderating game…because they know that they can meet those onerus, and highly technical or manual requirements while new companies cannot.

          1. Just for fun I wish they would turn this back on them, make it progressive. If your site has gross income in the bottom 30% you get a subsidy to defer the cost of implementing cost moderation, next 20% you have to pay for it, over that you pay a progressively higher tax on your gross that goes to the bottom 20%. Then I would like to see how much these mega tech companies are behind calls for them to implement these regulations. Hey let’s do this with all these regulations that benefit the large companies over the smaller one.
            I know this is only wishful thinking, they have the money to bribe ah I mean lobby congress to do their bidding but a guy can dream.

          2. There’s no upside to adding regulation for the sake of regulation, regardless of who is to pay the cost. Sponsored regulation [even if it costs the sponsor] is there for one reason, to create barriers to entry and increase the cost of operation to much smaller competitors.

            This is why it is legal to start a bank with $7M in assets, but nobody ever does. The cost of meeting federal regulations does not scale with size, and often the small guy ends up paying as much or more than the monolith companies, who often even end up getting themselves exempted from the regulations they lobbied for under the premise that they were being responsible.

            1. You obviously did not read my comment, I realize that federal regulations do not scale for size, I was saying wouldn’t it be nice if it was like the income tax code, the poor guys don’t pay and the rich pay the lions share. That would take away the incentive for the big guys to push for more regulation if they had to pay for the little guys and themselves. Of course this would never happen as the big guys have the congress in their pockets. I agree with you more regulations are horrible, just wishing out loud.

        2. >Google has been very corporatist, manipulating governments and politicians to retain it position.

          Even to the point of threatening the US government to withhold product it exclusively controls if the government doesn’t yield to its demands. Once this happens, the corporation essentially becomes the government and is not too dissimilar from how cartels manage national governments in some Latin/South American countries.

      5. 90% of new ad dollars is a monopoly.

      6. Google News as a division exists. YouTube delivers news. They can be considered competitors. Google does not hold their subdivisions to the same standards. That is anti monopolistic.

      7. Google is not a monopoly.

        A monopoly is not the only way to be anti-market and anti-competitive and you know this based on other political issues you support for supposedlly libertarian reasons.

        The baker leans on the banker not to give you a loan. Not monopolistic, but not free market, absolutely anti-competitive. The same baker uses government loans to buy up the majority share of the wheat fields? Not monopolistic but still not free market, absolutely anti-competitive. When there’s a problem with the baked goods the baker ships out, the baker (who owns a controlling share of the bank and local wheat crop) is legally a food distributor and not a baker. Not monopolistic because they aren’t even in the market! Still not free market and absolutely anti-competitive.

        It’s absolutely fucking predictable that the dumbshits who, three decades ago were shouting about how Nike and McDonalds were vanguards of the new evil American Corporate Imperialism now don’t give two shits when Google is doing everything Nike and McDonalds wishes they could’ve done and more.

    2. Google isn’t a monopoly on advertising.
      They ARE near enough a monopoly on searching that if they didn’t allow searches, you would have a case.

  4. Correction: Apparently, this was not an example of anti-conservative bias on the part of Google, though making the Federalist temporarily suspend its comments is troubling. It is an example of bias and advocacy by a division of NBC News, trying to get a rival news organization demonetized. Trying to limit the reach of a competitor on the basis of viewpoint would seem to be highly unethical for a news organization.

    1. Gee, if only there was a federal law protecting websites from liabilities of comments posted by others.
      OK then, what if a non-publisher, by definition of that law, calls another non-publisher, by definition of that law, a publisher, and takes a financially punitive action? Then who gets to sue who, and for what?

      1. Sounds like anti-competitive behavior to me.

      2. If this wasn’t so tragic, only the comedy would remain. A company’s ‘truth division’ that bullshits about what one company did to a competitor, after they tattled bullshit to that company about the competitor. It’s also hilarious that they actually have this “News Verification Unit”. Um…. isn’t that what journalists are supposed to do? Verify their own news before they report it? This is basically on the order of making up awards to give to yourself. Surely they operate completely independent from NBC.

        This is only barely more stupid and laughable as Hillary Clinton announcing her campaign’s live “fact checking unit” that will be live monitoring the debate. I’m just embarrassed for these folks, and twice as embarrassed that they take their own bullshit so seriously.

  5. I assume this logo with a flag historically connected to communism is a coincidence
    https://twitter.com/SaysSimonson/status/1273020860648034307

    1. it was the logo on the Stop Funding Fake News ‘About’ page with a literal red flag.

      1. And a faceless “working man” wearing drab clothing

  6. “NBC News Verification Unit”

    Big Brother is so proud.

    1. It does have a better ring than Ministry of Truth.

    2. “News Verification Unit”? You mean NVU? I see a new Law and Order franchise on the horizon!

    3. My first thought was…. isn’t this what journalists are supposed to do? Second thought…. I wonder if they “verify” NBC and MSNBC news [and issue corrections]. I bet they give themselves some great awards for getting like 99.99% verified “truth”.

      1. I bet they give themselves some great awards for getting like 99.99% verified “truth”.

        AYFKM? They give themselves great awards for getting 1000.00% verified “truth” until someone in accounting points out that you can only have, at most, 100% verified “truth”. Then they correct it to 999.99% (keep the awards, of course) and make a promis to themselves to do better next year.

  7. “People have every right to complain about Google but, as a private company, Google is not obligated to treat all of its users equally. ”

    Bullshit.

    Imagine, if you will, a world in which Google refused to allow any and all posts that contained the letters B, L, and M in that specific sequence.
    Imagine, if you will, a world in which Google refused to allow any and all posts that contained the letters L, B, G, T (and others in combination).

    What then?

    1. Then probably a bunch of SJWs would get pissy and call for boycotts of Google. They would probably call on the government to regulate them. And they would be just as wrong.

      Remember back when libertarians were saying it was dangerous to create a sweeping surveillance state that could be weaponized by those in power to target political opponents? Pay attention here.

      Libertarians are warning that empowering the state to adjudicate what is “fair” or “balanced” moderation and what is “fake” news will result in those in power silencing their political opponents.

      1. This is basically inception. The media gate keepers have been scared shitless about loosing there sacred status and have been slowly buttering up the public with the idea that the wise elites adjudicating truth is in everyone’s best interest and that it’s all the basically the public’s idea.

        1. And in the interim, creating their own “News Verification Unit”. I actually got a belly laugh over that one.

      2. Disagree, but part of the issue is with Longtobefree’s presentation. Google isn’t preventing ‘BLM’ from appearing anywhere within it’s domain (figuratively speaking), it’s forcing The Federalist to forbid its 3rd party contributors from using ‘BLM’. If Google didn’t want The Federalist‘s users from typing ‘BLM’ in the comments section, that shit should be in the contracts up front.

        Remember back when libertarians were saying it was dangerous to create a sweeping surveillance state that could be weaponized by those in power to target political opponents? Pay attention here.

        We are. Remember when Joe Lieberman phoned up Amazon, Visa, and a few other companies and got Wikileaks deplatformed and debanked? How much longer did you think that was going to happen under the banner of a Congressperson? When the surveillance state gets put in place, do you think it’s going to carry an official title of “US Surveillance and Speech Services Agency”? Or do you think it’s going to be a vague association of legislators and businesses operating under vague collective/collusive social guidelines?

        Do you watch old mafia movies and when the don nods to two of his hitmen lose track of the plot?

        Seriously, what part of Google’s overt “Section 230 for me but not for thee.” play leaves you unclear about who’s protected and who’s not.

        1. Google and the Obama administration shared over 400 employees

          1. What do you mean, “shared employees?”

            1. Well, as long as it was consensual – – – – – – –

              1. Yeah. Probably faster if you pick the most incredulous definition of ‘shared’ and work backwards from that.

      3. Remember back when libertarians were saying it was dangerous to create a sweeping surveillance state that could be weaponized by those in power to target political opponents?

        Nope, I sure as absolute fuck don’t, since libertarians were cheerleading for an enhanced surveillance state with warrantless spying and consequence-free unmasking of American citizens caught in NSA dragnets for the last 4 fucking years. Fuck yourself with a rake you phony fucking piece of shit.

    2. What Overt said. Your hypothetical policy would be stupid and self-destructive for Google but entirely legal.

      The only possible exception would be if there was something contrary in Google’s terms of service. You still couldn’t prosecute Google criminally but you might have a breach of contract claim.

      1. You still couldn’t prosecute Google criminally but you might have a breach of contract claim.

        Except that courts have already dismissed TOS violation lawsuits on section 230 grounds despite libertarians assuring us that such a thing could never ever ever possibly happen because section 230 is all sweetness and light.

        1. It’s just like the 1A. It protects the people from acts of Congress!

    3. Imagine, if you will, a world in which Google refused to allow any and all posts that contained the letters B, L, and M in that specific sequence.
      Imagine, if you will, a world in which Google refused to allow any and all posts that contained the letters L, B, G, T (and others in combination).

      Imagine, if you will, Google fired James Damore because he was a man.

    4. Imagine, if you will, a world in which Google refused to allow any and all posts that contained the letters B, L, and M in that specific sequence.

      Imagine, if you will, Google held billion-dollar government contracts.

    5. Imagine, if you will, a world in which Google refused to allow any and all posts that contained the letters B, L, and M in that specific sequence.

      Imagine, if you will, Google had irrefutably acted in concert with other corporations who also held billion-dollar government contracts.

  8. People who believe in “freedom of association” for tech companies, but applaud the expansion of civil rights legislation and shrug when religious hospitals and pro-life pregnancy centers have regulation imposed on them really have no leg to stand on in criticizing the stupid conservative effort to regulate tech. So basically, every writer at Reason other than Robby should probably shut-up, to be sure.

    1. Hey man, long time no see. Hope you are well. Just logged in to say it’s good to see your name 🙂

      1. Good to see you too. Hope you’re well.

        What do you think about Jo? Pretty big improvement for the LP, in my opinion.

        1. Yeah, she appears to be pretty good on most issues. Probably the most libertarian candidate since Harry Browne. Which, BTW, she was his VP nominee. However, I fear she will get no traction. There are rumors swirling that she might be coming on Joe Rogan sometime in the future, which would be great for her exposure.

          1. It was you bro. We all knew the entire time it was you.

          2. Harry Browne ruined the LP for me; It was during his runs that I figured out that he was just milking the party for some book publicity and free travel. And I put in a lot of work for his campaigns, I didn’t arrive at that conclusion lightly.

            Actually, having read his book, “How I Found Freedom in an Unfree World”, I should have seen it coming. He was just following his own advice!

  9. “It’s not an example of anti-conservative bias:”

    Ok, that’s a completely bullshit comment Robby. It’s clearly a case of anti-conservative bias. It’s just bias from NBC News rather than Google. That doesn’t make it acceptable.

    1. It’s just bias from NBC News rather than Google. That doesn’t make it acceptable.

      No, it’s still bias from Google when they literally shut down a user-generated comments section. And here I thought sacred section 230 was all about ensuring user-generated content was protected from liability or consequence to the publisher…

      1. “I thought sacred section 230 was all about ensuring user-generated content was protected from liability or consequence to the publisher”

        You haven’t been paying attention.

    2. We also need to talk about how many left wing comment sections include hate speech and literal calls for violence against majority groups for racist and sexist reasons and are not demonetized.

  10. A “news verification unit” not only failed to verify the news, but took an active role in spreading disinformation—the very crime of which they had falsely accused others.

    DOUBLE HATE CRIME!!

  11. The actual problem, according to Google, was comments on the articles, not the articles themselves. The Federalist temporarily deleted its comments section, resolving the issue.

    Uh-oh.

    1. Can you imagine how bad the comments on The Federalist must be? I read Zerohedge and I’ve only read the comments a few times and even I was appalled.

      1. Honestly, it’s been pretty bad here as well. No intelligent discussion anymore, just insults flying back and forth and a couple of straight up mental cases polluting up the comments. I haven’t been around much.

        1. There are still some people here actually willing to engage honestly. You just have to filter out all the trolls and their enablers.

        2. You’ve been here the entire time using socks you pathetic fucking liar lololol

        3. No intelligent discussion anymore, just insults flying back and forth

          Mostly from you and several of your sockpuppets.

          and a couple of straight up mental cases polluting up the comments.

          Mostly you and several of your sock puppets. Gotta hand it to you and Hihn, you’re both so unbelievably mentally fucked up it’s truly remarkable.

      2. Neither federalist nor zero hedge comments are any worse than the garbage people at WaPo.
        And I hesitate to even single out WaPo, as it’s just typical psychotic leftists

        1. Also: fucking CNN has “experts” on talking about how black people have a 50/50 chance of getting killed for being black every time they step outside their door, and how their only choice is to fight back and try to escape cops because otherwise they’ll be killed.
          A US senator says America created slavery.
          Every day corporate media comes out and does everything in their power to incite race wars… but apparently there is speech worse than that out there.
          Fuck Mao

      3. I tried the Federalist comment section once. It was overrun by idiot leftist trolls.

    2. Google dictating comment moderation policy to another organization and that is not at least a moral and ethical hazard, if not a legal one?

      Go to hell, Soave.

    3. Has anyone ever looked at a YouTube comment (owned by Google)? I can’t think of a more vicious place. Take a look at yourself first, Google.

  12. Fraser further noted that

    You misspelled “lied”

  13. It has become abundantly clear that you should be initially skeptical of anything you read online, no matter how seemingly minute or pointless, and no matter how much it aligns with your opinions. Over time, as you collect information on the subject from a variety of sources you can start to build confidence or disbelief in it, but initial skepticism is essential.

  14. legislation that would allow The Federalist to sue Google for unequal treatment

    Well, I learned yesterday that everyone has the right to “basic fairness.”

  15. The tone is hyperbolic—no, the media aren’t lying about absolutely everything…

    Soave’s article certainly doesn’t make a strong case for that.

  16. NBC is owned by Comcast.

    Comcast ‘became a subsidiary’ of the FCC in 2010. The culture changed DRAMATICALLY when Obama FCC guys took over the top jobs at Comcast.

    Customer service got even worse as federal subsidies increased.

    Now the Covid thing has the FCC calling Comcast ‘critical infrastructure’. The subsidies are getting larger and as a result customer service is further declining.

    Comcast is the largest communications provider in the US. It’s lobbyists are the most powerful in DC.

    If you want to fix the MSM, break up Comcast and stop the federal subsidies.

    1. No need to break it up. Just end the subsidies and force the FCC to drop it. The market will take care of the rest.

      1. I’m not a fan of breaking up companies that have just produced a better product on their own and haven’t taken their market by force of government protection and conspiracy. However, after you’ve created the monolith with the help of the government, there are limits to how much it will change the game or at least how quickly it can be resolved by just pulling back.

        They’ve already been put in a superior market position, able to quash all the efforts of potential competitors by burying them in legal costs, marketing, or just being able to financially back up a price war to drive competitors from the marketplace.

  17. Conservatives exploded with outrage on social media, directing much of their ire at Google.

    Conservatives pounce as NBC News implicates Google?

  18. Jim Geraghty said to keep in mind, Google owns YouTube. It’s not hard to find “Jews control the world along with the Illuminati” videos on YouTube.
    Is Google responsible for the content of those videos?

    Senator Josh Hawley of Missouri noticed that Google believes that they cannot be held responsible for what others post on sites like YouTube, but simultaneously declares they will hold other companies responsible for what others post on their sites.

    1. That’s what makes the hypocrisy so funny and blatant.

      1. For some value of “funny”. When you’re a radical left wing ideologue I guess that’s pretty fucking hilarious, yeah.

    2. I’ve a lot of shocking outright lies about history from the progressive left on youtube. They always stay up. I don’t know if they get demonetized but they don’t complain about it so I’m guessing they’re barely left alone. I think the average conservative/libertarian accepts this as part of being in a free society.

      They don’t look to flag and all that nonsense as whole.

      Which is precisely how it should be. The left DO NOT think or act that way. They want ALL wrong think scrubbed (except anti-semitic content of course). We KNOW this is how they roll.

      If the video or channel has an audience you’ll see how people react or think through the like/dislike ratio and the comments.

      Leave it at that. It’s human interaction. Youtube or Google sticking their noses into this is like playing with forces they will eventually not being able to control.

      The unseen. UNSEEN.

      1. “I’ve a lot of shocking outright lies …”

        Do you even read what you post, before you post it?

  19. Why shouldn’t conservatives be mad at Google? Sure, NBC asked that the Federalist be cut off, but then Google went ahead and did it.

    In my book that makes Google the worse of the two.

    1. Because Google didn’t cut them off.

      In a statement, Google denied that it had stripped The Federalist of the ability to generate money from ads. “The Federalist was never demonetized,” wrote Google Communications. “We worked with them to address issues on their site related to the comments section.”

      1. It’s a bit of a quibble; According to the account I’ve seen, Google scheduled The Federalist to be demonetized, then reversed course only when The Federalist caved to their demands.

        So it’s the difference between “Your money or your life!” and just shooting the person and taking their money. Technically different, but only because the person handed over the money without waiting to be shot.

        Google doesn’t deny that they would have demonetized the Federalist if they’d taken a hard line on free speech.

      2. ‘Nice website you got there.’

        Boy oh boy. Reason may find itself in another Preet moment soon because if there’s one place where the narratives have no home it’s here.

        Google and the jerkoffs who run it can suck my olive skin balls.

        Just getting ahead of it.

        1. Reason may find itself in another Preet moment soon

          LMFAO. For fucking what? All of the writers are to the left of Salon and 90% of the commenters (half of which are Hihn sockpuppets) are to the left of the writers.

      3. Actually, dumb fucking prick, they did cut them off. The reinstated their account after they deleted their entire fucking comment section. Remember, stupid fucking prick, how your sacred section 230 supposedly protects all manner of user-generated content on the worldwide web and we’d all be finger fucking our sisters without it?

  20. If you engage or encourage censorship of any kind at any level YOU’RE THE PROBLEM.

  21. “The Federalist temporarily deleted its comments section, resolving the issue. ”

    Strange thing to say on a libertarian website.

    1. Robby is probably entering negotiations with NBC to see if they can do the same to Reason.

      1. Look on the bright side. If he’d go work for NBC he’d be fired after one day if he dared to say anything remotely truthful running against the Narrative Creating Complex woke machine.

        He’d be flushed down a series of tubes ending up on the New Jersey turnpike.

        And only then will it hit him once and for all as he reached for the V-8.

        Progressive ideology as we’re watching it unfold (I can just imagine how incredibly insufferable it must be to be working for a corporation battered by bullies these days. Oh what to give to be a fly on the wall in the boardroom. I saw it in financial services for 10 years and it was bad then (1996-2006) listening to people take fart bubbles but these days? YEESH.) is an intellectual virus that won’t run its course on its own.

        It has to be stopped.

        This virus is just a bully. It’s Mean Girls. It’s not rooted in anything remotely true or just. It rests on a series of untenable narratives masking as an intellectual framework.

        All you have to do is blow on it and stand up to it.

        Never apologize and tell it to fuck off and then some if need be.

        1. If he’d go work for NBC he’d be fired after one day if he dared to say anything remotely truthful running against the Narrative Creating Complex woke machine.

          Which is to say he’d never be fired, since he’s a line toeing radical leftist.

      2. Bailey definitely is.

  22. Does Young Turks ever get spanked by youtube?

    ‘Cuz that group is cray-cray.

  23. “The Federalist temporarily deleted its comments section, resolving the issue. “

    Violating rights usually does.

  24. The actual problem, according to Google, was comments on the articles, not the articles themselves. The Federalist temporarily deleted its comments section, resolving the issue.

    What we really need is a section 230 for section 230, the 1A of the internet, so that Ad/Search Engines don’t hold News outlets responsible for commenter’s speech that they don’t control.

    Section 230 for me, but not for thee.

  25. I’m old enough to remember when it was social conservatives that wanted to impose censorship by banning books and movies.
    It’s sad that liberals now are the biggest threats to free speech.

    1. It’s sad that liberals now are the biggest threats to free speech.

      Why do you assume the ‘social conservatives’ then and liberals now are fundamentally/ideologically different people?

    2. since when was Tipper Gore conservative

  26. Disclaimer: I am friends with Ben Domenech, publisher of The Federalist, and have appeared on his radio show.

    Geezus Robby, don’t you know the difference between a ‘disclaimer’ and a ‘disclosure’? You look stupid getting it wrong like that.

    1. He looks stupid regardless, so it’s a moot point.

    2. Just as you say, Warren.

  27. The whole argument against section 230 is that tech companies do not apply this equally. As this case proves, they’ll hold the comments section of the Federalist against it, but not the comment section of left wing sites (or say, the whole of twitter).

  28. What is going to happen when the normies finally learn that you can block ads on the internet? Entire industries will collapse

    1. What is going to happen when the normies finally learn that you can block ads on the internet?

      Nothing. Only the most niche privacy and individuality-oriented browser is going to turn them off by default and everything else will require knowledge/work on behalf of normies to turn them off.

      Apparently, you didn’t live through the era when cable TV delivered obviously superior programming because nobody would pay for ads.

      1. Did you mean to say “inferior” programming?

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        2. Not exactly, part of the sales pitch was that it was premium, ad-free content and always would be because nobody would be stupid enough to pay for advertisements. Right up until everybody started paying for advertisements.

  29. A bakery doesn’t work like a platform. You can’t sign up for their services and demand that they make pizza or cakes with the Nazi symbol.

    Doesn’t Google (or youtube specifically) essentially operate as a publisher? Instead of a traditional model where editors choose from submissions that fit the style of the house, they let everyone publish their content first and then censor and demonetize content later when their algorithm catches violations.

    If twitter instantly fact checks everything Trump says but lets stand millions of other lies, is it neutral? They can lock down users for “learn to code” but let antifa and antisemtic ramblings slide? Then we buy their argument that they can’t be expected to monitor millions of posts and content? The big tech giants aren’t “anti conservative” as much as they are “pro liberal”. They’re much more likely to crack down offensive content that violates progressive sensibilities.

    Section 230 is just liability protection. If that’s removed and Youtube decides to upload only make up tutorials to limit liability, other content will naturally migrate to sites like LBRY or other places that behave more like a platform. How hard is it to just leave most content alone unless it’s explicitly criminal or adult content?

    1. There’s a decent argument that telecommunications companies such as Google and Twitter operate as common carriers and should therefore be subject to more onerous rules. Others have thoroughly mentioned the antitrust issues. Robby should be more careful before making inapt parallels between Google and a bakery.

  30. Just like a courtroom where everyone is lying. You gotta figure out who is telling the truth.

    1. The difference is that in a courtroom, all lying is a crime. This is a necessity for justice.

      Everywhere else it isn’t. Hence there can be no expectation of justice. It boils down to, “lying? So what?”

      Those who control the soapbox dictate the narrative outside of court.

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  32. So you know Ben Domenech, publisher of The Federalist? So why the fuck don’t you quote The Federalist then, and not Google? You aren’t very good at either opinions or journalism.

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  34. Trump has called out Fake News many times. He has put out Fake News himself. Now Google calling out NBC for Fake News.

    Rather than a problem this is fantastic. Teach everyone to be skeptical of these news sources. It’s the right thing to do.

    1. News sources have always been full of bias but today the bias is almost sadistic by the cultural marxists who have taken over social media and most of the media in general. Sad statement but true.

  35. Am I the only one seeing a parallel between the actions of Google here and the “redlining” that got the banks (private corporations by the way) into so much trouble and legislation? Change ‘zip code’ to ‘political view’, and away we go.

    1. Yeah, but that’s totally different. Google is a search engine/ad company that doesn’t control anyone else’s money. /self-induced retardation

  36. The solution is one that is obvious but since the CR act of 64, not spoken of. While govt can’t discriminate or pass laws forcing people to discriminate, why does the govt have any influence in economic transactions of two parties.. If one doesn’t want to sell to a buyer…should they have too? After all buyers can discriminate all they want. my point being it wouldn’t matter for a bakery or google to discriminate all they want if you agree in a free society buyers and sellers can do whatever they want…if you don’t..you tend to have political forces enter the economic transaction and get situations like this. Maybe that is the way it has to be but in that case Google can’t discriminate and sorry if they are a newspaper and offer classifieds (which is basically what they do), they can’t pick and chose who gets printed.

  37. Let Google work with whomever they want—right after we break up their monopoly in the online ad space.

  38. This is a perfect example of activist journalism getting the facts wrong and obscuring the truth in order to arrive at an agenda-driven conclusion electricians alexandria va

  39. Adele-Momoko Fraser?

    Fire her. She is too woke.

    What do you mean you can only be too unwoke, never too woke?

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  41. anyone who positions themselves as the “unbiased truth detector” is pretty much lying.
    1984 actually WAS an instruction manual for modern media!

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