Google appeared to test its ability to blacklist conservative media Tuesday from its monopolized search engine which garners at least 3.5 billion online searches everyday making up 94 percent of the internet’s search share.
Websites targeted, according to NewsBusters which itself was temporarily de-platformed, included the Washington Free Beacon, The Blaze, Townhall, The Daily Wire, PragerU, LifeNews, Project Veritas, Judicial Watch, The Resurgent, Breitbart, the Media Research Center, and CNSNews among others.
Chuck Ross, a reporter with the Daily Caller News Foundation discovered that his outlet was also included in Google’s Tuesday blackout when searching for stories related to Stefan Halper, an FBI informant who spied on the Trump campaign over the course of Crossfire Hurricane and was unmasked by Ross at the Caller.
An experiment on whether Google is blocking search results for conservative sites. Randomly picked Stefan Halper as a search term. NYT and WaPo have 96 returns combined. No results on @DailyCaller, though we've probably published his name 100 times. pic.twitter.com/5xUZaiZQeH
— Chuck Ross (@ChuckRossDC) July 21, 2020
According to NewsBusters, websites impacted by Google’s apparent suspension test were still organically available on Bing, Yahoo, and DuckDuckGo.
The latest bout of censorship comes just weeks after the California tech giant threatened to demonetize The Federalist following NBC collusion with a foreign left-wing think tank which filed a complaint over the conservative website’s reporting on media malpractice in its coverage of recent violent inner-city riots. While NBC News first celebrated Google’s decision to de-platform a competitor, the search company clarified that the website had not been banned and instead, it merely threatened to demonetize The Federalist for content in the comments sections. YouTube meanwhile, which is owned by Google, remains notorious for hosting the most nefarious comments sections on the entire internet.
In a statement to The Federalist, Google claimed it was a simple technical error, not a deliberate attempt to censor certain content or sites. It’s not possible to independently confirm whether Google’s explanation is accurate.
“Today we became aware of an issue that impacted some navigational and site: operator queries. We investigated and have since fixed the issue,” said a Google spokesperson. “This affected a number of sites representing a range of different content and viewpoints. This issue was a technical error unrelated to the content or ideology of the sites affected.”
Read a full recap of Google’s attempts to de-platform The Federalist here.