Donald Trump, Jr. declared war on the world’s biggest search engine after it reportedly demonetized Zerohedge and The Federalist.
“The GOP Senate needs to wake up & IMMEDIATELY subpoena & haul in the CEO of @Google for questioning,” Don, Jr. tweeted on June 16. He condemned Google as an “out of control monopoly, with a leftwing political agenda, engaging in a clear campaign to silence dissent” and accused the platform of “election interference.” He called for conservative in power to actually make use of their political leverage for the American good, “TIME TO STEP UP!"
Google had reportedly demonetized skeptic news website ZeroHedge and sent a warning that it will take similar action against The Federalist in response to comments on articles theorizing about recent protests. NBC News alleged that “A Google spokesperson said in an email on Monday that it demonetized the websites after determining they violated its policies on content related to race.” Demonetization basically destroys a website’s viability by removing its capacity to make money from advertising.
Google has since claimed that “The Federalist was never demonetized” and that it “worked with them to address issues on their site related to the comments section”:
Our policies do not allow ads to run against dangerous or derogatory content, which includes comments on sites, and we offer guidance and best practices to publishers on how to comply.
Confusingly, this would imply that websites are now accountable not merely for their content, but for the comments of their viewers. Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO) responded to Google’s claim that the alleged demonetization was over the comments section by mocking them: “Wait, wait - you want to treat the @FDRLST comment section, which they don’t curate, as THEIR speech but simultaneously say the content you directly host and modify IS NOT your speech under Section 230? Wow, this is getting really interesting.”
Don, Jr. observed about the Big Tech hypocrisy: “As usual big tech wants to have it both ways where they can censor one side and not face any consequences on the other.”
In contradiction to Google’s denial, NPR Washington Investigative Correspondent Tim Mak pointed out that a Google spokesperson was directly quoted by NBC as having claimed that "When a page or site violates our policies, we take action. In this case, we’ve removed both sites’ ability to monetize with Google.”
Don, Jr. also retweeted Ryan Petty, the father of a Parkland school shooting victim Alaina Petty, who said the following: “If @google & @youtube cared about comments on their own sites as much they do on others, the #Parkland killer would have been reported to law enforcement and my daughter Alaina and 16 others would be alive.”