Google Tells Conservative News Website to Take a Hike

Michael Schaus
Posted: May 09, 2014 1:15 AM
Google Tells Conservative News Website to Take a Hike

The Conservative oriented website dedicated to aggregating news from around the world-wide-interwebs, Weasel Zippers, has just lost its primary funding source because… Well… It’s kinda hard to say. According to the site, Google AdSense (an add generator produced by the infamously liberal corporation in Silicon Valley) has cancelled its agreement with the website because of apparent violations to their terms of use.

According to Google, the conservative news site has failed to produce an adequate amount of “original content” to continue utilizing the internet advertising tool provided by Google. Of course, the claim seems mildly curious given the fact that news aggregators around the world use AdSense for their primary, or supplemental, income.

Naturally, Weasel Zippers has attempted to fight back… But, really, what can they do? Despite providing commentary, manual aggregation of news stories, and original analysis, Google has determined that the site is out of compliance with their overly vague requirements for terms of use. Google, in all fairness, has said the site was not “singled out” for its politics… Kinda like 501(c)4 conservative groups. (Ahem… Sarcasm font?) And, let’s face it, this wouldn’t be Google’s first venture into political discrimination:

In fact, Google was the subject of criticism and ridicule several years ago when they decided to “take a stand” against guns by altering their AdSense agreements and web-search algorithms to exclude tools of self-defense. In their “prohibited” content section any website that sells or advertises “weapons or ammunition (e.g., firearms, firearm components, fighting knives, or stun guns)”… Right. Because selling a tool that is enumerated as a “right” under America’s founding document is clearly antithetical to good business practices.

Weasel Zippers is a site that “scours the bowels of the internet” for stories that relate to conservative values, liberal bias, or other politically objectionable tidbits from around the interwebs. Highlights from the stories are then posted on the site (with a link) and are usually accompanied by original observations, comments, or analysis… And despite this being a relatively normal practice for news aggregation websites, this particular conservative site has found itself singled out by Google’s compliance department.

Aside from the fact that Google’s vague terms of use seem to be arbitrarily enforced (just start looking at who provides all those nifty ads on the side of various news aggregator’s pages), the lack of competitive advertisement software puts the conservative blog in a rather difficult position. But, then again, this is part of what free markets are all about. If Weasel Zippers provides a service that is wanted, needed, or desired, they will survive a momentary setback in funding.

Google, as it turns out, will likely be able to continue to thrive as a software innovator while discriminating against those pesky conservatives and gun owners.