Google is threatening to cut ad revenue from ZeroHedge and The Federalist for violating its policies on race-related content (GOOGL, GOOG)


FILE PHOTO: The Google logo is pictured at the entrance to the Google offices in London, Britain January 18, 2019. REUTERS/Hannah McKay/File Photo

  • Google is cracking down on two far-right outlets, ZeroHedge and The Federalist, for violating its policies on race-related content.
  • ZeroHedge has been blacklisted from making ad revenue through Google, and Google is threatening to do the same to The Federalist if it doesn’t comply. 
  • A Google spokesperson said that the sites are facing a crackdown because they failed to moderate their comment sections to remove hateful content that violates Google’s policies.
  • The sites were first flagged by a nonprofit after ZeroHedge published articles that implied Black Lives Matter protesters were funded by the CIA and George Soros, and The Federalist published an article that claimed news outlets were “lying to you” about white supremacists’ involvement in riots.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Google is cracking down on two right-wing outlets that were flagged for publishing misleading articles about Black Lives Matter protests, and could permanently revoke the outlets’ ability to make ad revenue.

The two unaffiliated sites, ZeroHedge and The Federalist, were banned after Google determined that they violated its policies on content related to race, NBC News first reported.

A Google spokesperson told Business Insider that the two sites violated Google’s policies that require that sites moderate comment sections to remove hateful or bigoted comments. Google has pulled ad revenue from ZeroHedge for failing to comply after being notified of the violation, the spokesperson said, but The Federalist is still within the window to comply with Google’s policy before being blacklisted from ad revenue.

The Center for Countering Digital Hate, a British nonprofit, flagged the sites and called on Google to pull ad revenue after ZeroHedge published an article claiming without evidence that Black Lives Matter is “practically a revolutionary operative of the CIA via Soros.” Meanwhile, The Federalist ran an op-ed claiming that news outlets were “lying” about the fact that some white supremacists tried to use George Floyd protests to incite violence. 

Representatives for ZeroHedge and The Federalist did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

ZeroHedge is a financial blog that has built a devoted following on Wall Street for publishing breaking markets news and anti-establishment hot takes that often include fringe conspiracy theories. The site’s authors publish under pseudonyms, but Bloomberg revealed the identities of three former analysts who ran the site in 2016.

The official ZeroHedge Twitter account was banned from the platform in January for sharing an article that questioned a Chinese scientist’s role in the spread of COVID-19, but Twitter reinstated the account last week after determining that it “made an error in our enforcement action.”

The Federalist is a more mainstream conservative site, but has similarly mysterious backers — its authors publish under their real names, but the outlet is run by a private company that has declined to reveal its owners or funding structure.

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