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Thursday, August 1, 2019
MRC Doesn't Understand Google Is Not A Store
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Corinne Weaver misleadingly rants in a July 16 post:

Google users can’t buy and sell guns on the platform. But they can buy and sell violent propaganda from the dangerous street thugs known as “Antifa.” 

Fox News reported that an armed member of Antifa, specifically, the Puget Sound John Brown Club,  threw “fire bombs” on July 15 at an immigration center in Tacoma, Washington. Willem von Spronsen opened fire on police officers and shot “several times,” and was shot down by the officers. 

Disturbingly, the search query “antifa bomber” results in merchandise geared toward the violent far-left movement. Among the hats and flags marked with the international Antifa symbol, a bag and a phone case were being sold with the product description, “Riot Fuck Cops Tattoo Freedom Antifa Hooligan Nato Bombing Acab Blood Hardcore.” 

Simply type in the word “antifa” in the search bar, and the first result is a T-shirt with the description, “LeftFist John Brown LEFTISTS Own Guns Too Shirt | Socialist Rifle Gun Club Communist Anarchist Antifa AntiFascist.” 

Google also sells, under the same search result, a T-shirt that has a guillotine on it. The product description states: “LeftFist Guillotine Shirt | Eat The Rich, anticapitalist, Antifa AntiFascist Action T-Shirt Tee Shirt Leftist Leftism Marxist Socialist Communist.

In addition, under the search results for the query, “milkshake antifa,” Google provides T-shirts and hats with the labels, “Auntie Fa’s finest milkshakes,” “join the milkshake revolution,” or a hand-stitched embroidered item with a molotov cocktail.

Weaver is falsely claiming that Google "sells" or "provides" these items. It does not. For instance, the link she provides for the "LeftFist" item goes to someone's Etsy shop, not to Google, while the "Riot" link goes to a store called Tops Tee -- again, not Google.

This is all under the headline "Google Shopping Sells Antifa ‘Riot F**k Cops’ Merchandise." To repeat: Google "sells" none of this, nor does it play any role in providing these goods that offend Weaver so much -- it provides links to them sold at other places that show up in Google searches.

Weaver also seems to have failed to see if Google "sells" similar far-right-friendly goods, so she could offer a balanced view of the issue instead of a partisan hit piece.

Either this is very sloppy and badly edited writing, or Weaver doesn't know how tech works, despite her job being "staff writer for MRC TechWatch."

Posted by Terry K. at 8:57 PM EDT

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