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Google blocks The Federalist, ZeroHedge from advertising on platform over comment sections

Audrey Conklin

Google blocked advertisements from two right-leaning publications, online magazine The Federalist and financial blog ZeroHedge.

The tech giant confirmed the ban on Tuesday to FOX Business but the company pointed out that its rationale behind blocking ads from the two publications was misconstrued by NBC News.

Google said it banned ads from the publications after the company's review teams found that statements posted in the websites' respective comment sections comments consistently violated Google's dangerous and derogatory policy.

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NBC connected Google's ban to research from the Center for Countering Digital Hate, a U.K.-based think-tank, which reportedly found 10 U.S. publications projected to make millions through Google Ads that have published content the Center labeled as racist in light of George Floyd's killing and the protests that have followed. Those publications apparently included The Federalist and ZeroHedge.

The Center for Countering Digital Hate did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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Imran Ahmed, CEO of the Center for Countering Digital Hate, told NBC that his research organization found that "lots" of companies are "inadvertently funding" the 10 publications the Center identified as publishing "content that is outright racist in defense of white supremacism and contains conspiracy theories about George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter movement." Neither Ahmed nor NBC specified the names of the other eight outlets included in the Center's research.

Google added that it notifies all of its ad partners when they have violated the company's policies, adding that The Federalist was just notified and has not been demonetized yet. Publishers have several days to amend policy violations if they wish to continue publishing content using Google Ads, the tech giant said.

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Google has banned a number of publications and websites from posting ads to the platform if they violate Google's policies.

ZeroHedge and The Federalist did not respond to inquiries from FOX Business.

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