ECONOMIC CENSORSHIP

On Google’s AdSense platform it says “Due to the war in Ukraine, we will pause monetization of content that exploits, dismisses, or condones the war”.

 

The blackout of the publisher name at the top of this image is to prevent Google from attacking this publisher for exposing them.

WHAT IS GOOGLE AD-SENSE?

Google AdSense is an advertising program you can use to make money on content such as blogs, websites, or YouTube videos. Clients pay to advertise through it, and you get a piece of that revenue by hosting ads on your site or channel.

Basically, Google AdSense is where YouTubers and website owners make their ad money. So basically, if you post a video on YouTube that relates to the Ukraine War that they don’t like or make a post about Ukraine War on your blog that pisses them off, you are BANNED from making money.

GOOGLE’S LONG REACH

Also, they have massive control over private ad-network companies that deliver ad bidding to publishers.  When Google Adsense joins the bidding process, publishers’ income goes up big time, usually by 10x.   Without Google Adsense clients bidding for space, there are fewer bidders, and revenue drops.  In short, where a publisher was making $ 10,000 a month because Google Adsense was bidding for space, now, they are making $ 1000.

Clearly, all-powerful Google is censoring using “economic” pressure on publishers.

IS THIS ECONOMIC CENSORSHIP NEW?

Here is some history on this toxic issue

In February 2003, Google stopped showing advertisements from Oceana, a non-profit organization protesting against a major cruise ship operation’s sewage treatment practices. Google, citing its editorial policy, stated that “Google does not accept advertising if the ad or site advocates against other individuals, groups, or organizations.” The policy was later changed.

In April 2014, Google accepted ads from the pro-choice abortion lobbying group NARAL but removed ads for some anti-abortion crisis pregnancy centers. Google removed the web search ads after an investigation by NARAL found evidence that the ads violated Google’s policy against deceptive advertising. According to NARAL, people using Google to search for abortion clinics found advertisements for anti-abortion pregnancy crisis centers. Google stated that it had followed company procedures in applying its ad policy standards related to ad relevance, clarity, and accuracy.

In September 2018, Google removed a paid advertisement from YouTube made by supporters of the Russian opposition who urged Russians to participate in a protest set on September 9.

Russia’s Central Election Commission earlier sent a request to Google to remove the advertisement, saying it violated election laws that call for a “day of silence” on election matters ahead of voting, but the advertisement was blocked even in regions with no voting set on September 9 and in regions where authorities had authorized the pension-reform protests.

VT has been working online as a publisher since 2004; that’s over 18 years!  It’s been a place for freedom of expression.  We simply do NOT censor authors even when we find their positions on the issues offensive or abhorrent.  We have taken the position that the free market will decide their relevance; not Google or the government.

And in fact, from 2004-2015, the above issues notwithstanding, the internet was a good space for freedom of expression and a place for alternative voices to be heard.  But from 2016 onwards, the pressure was stepped by Former U.S. President Donald Trump’s campaign to label everything that he did NOT agree with as “fake news”.  So after, all the biggies got “The Fear” and started slamming alternative publishers left and right.

And now, here we are. Fair or Not, this is the reality in 2022.

VT AND GOOGLE ADSENSE

For the record, VT has NO relationship with Google Adsense.  Google Adsense banned everything VT in April 2017; over 5 years ago.  So after the banned, VT started getting banned from social media ie… Facebook.  Clearly, many players take their cues from Google.  VT still survives because it’s run by volunteers and does NOT require big bucks to operate, like most publishers.  So it lives in an online world dominated by Google.  But that’s NOT easy as they are always putting new obstacles in the way.  But VT keeps dodging, bobbing and weaving to avoid their punches.  So far, where are we’re still standing.

CAN CONTENT CREATORS STILL PUBLISH on ISSUES GOOGLE DOES NOT LIKE?

YES! So far, the answer is yes. But the reality is, there will be no monetary gain and, more than likely, that content will get pushed down the search to make it as close to invisible as possible.

So technically, Google is NOT stopping publishers from publishing, they are just making them virtually invisible relative to the big influencers and taking their power to influence away.  In other words, if a tree falls in a forest where relatively no one lives, does the general mass market public hear it?  No, they don’t. And that’s the cause and effect here!

CAN FREEDOM BE RESTORED?

In China, the central government controls what the general public sees on the internet.  In the USA, it’s the big internet corporations.

So it seems to us that for true freedom of thought and expression to be restored on the internet in a fair equitable way, there needs to be a government-forced anti-trust breakup of the industry, similar to breaking up Standard Oil in the early 20th century. But there is NO such thing on the horizon; no light at the end of this tunnel down the road. So you either play their game or get shut out.

Today, it’s Ukraine. Next year?  Whose side will they take? In 5 years where will we be?  In 10 years?  So far, it’s whatever they decide! Freedom? Not so much anymore! Hum?

SOURCEVT

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8 COMMENTS

  1. And then not long ago, Paypal joined in on the economic blocking of VT authors. I believe it was right around when the Russo-Ukrainian War started in Feb. of this year. Thanks for nothing, Paypal. So I stopped using Paypal, period. Obviously, a lot of other people did the same thing recently, and Paypal just this month had to walk back a new restrictive policy they were going to implement.

    • VT was investigated for 1 year by BLOOMBERG NEWS. They accused us of being an agent for the Kremlin. After I laughed and told them they were nuts., I invited them to my home on a dirt road with chickens. I said I would be proud to share with them my US Tax Returns and US Bank Statements. I am really just an average guy running a good effective network of sites; nothing nefarious whatsoever. This was in 2017. After a while, he found nothing, got bored, and went on to his next victim. WHAT A CROCK of complete shit! Bottomline, when one takes a position that may be opposed to the current party in power, expect to be investigated by MSM and government agencies. Nothing New! Same Ole Story! Remember when John Lennon was investigated by Nixon? So stupid! So just be ready for it and ready to call them out.

    • John Lennon himself was OK. But his wife Yoko Ono was a spy for Japan, and was a legitimate target for investigation by 5eyes.