WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah has been ranting a lot about the "digital cartel" that is supposedly running WND out of business. That's because he's begging for money and he needs a victim. Farah rantted in a June 14 column:
For almost 25 years, WND has blazed trails in the new media world as the first independent online news site. We were challenged, vilified and made sport of by the state-run media, but it was not until 2017 that Google and Facebook – along with Twitter, Apple and Amazon – joined forces against us.
And then I suffered a series of strokes in 2019 – talk about a double-whammy!At least it's no secret now. But WND has continued to tumble – Google and Facebook denying us revenues and readers, Amazon killing WND books and movies.
While in normal times WND regularly showed up among the top of Google News results, it now never does. Even worse are the words it uses to characterize our stories – "dangerous," "derogatory," even "shocking content." These are all applied to TRUE stories – all of which have panned out. But few got to read them, because Facebook censored them and Google made sure they weren't read by most people.
I don't want reform. I want real justice for those harmed by these companies. What they have done to the American landscape with these tactics is a disgrace!
Under no circumstances should these corporations be permitted to engage in political lobbying, soliciting, accepting government contracts or participating in any political activities, operating as they currently do under special government protections against liability claims.
By law, Google and Facebook must be ideologically neutral in all they do, since, under the law, they are not "publishers" but "carriers" of information – the same goes for Twitter, Amazon and Apple.
Farah is lying when he says that every single story WND has published is "TRUE" -- we've documented numerous examples of false and misleading information WND has published, not to mention the defamation lawsuit from a Tennessee car dealer it abruptly settled out of court before trial after dragging things out for years by, in part, admitting that the stories it published calling him a drug dealer were false.
Also, Google and Facebook are private companies who have terms of service by which they have every right to remove or restrict those who violate it. WND publishes conspiracy theories and many stories of dubious factual content, and because one of the services Google and Facebook provide is accurate information to their subscribers and users, they have under no obligation to promote information that's not true masquerading as "news."
Farah also invoked Google critic Robert Epstein to attack the company for is allegedly "demonstrable pro-Democrat activism" in the 2016 election. But as we've documented, Epstein's research, as clickbait-y as it is for right-wingers like WND and Farah, leaves something to be desired.
After more ranting, Farah gets to the sales pitch:
WND has been forcibly downsized by these leftists by 80% since January 2017. There's a direct correlation between the percentage of Google-Facebook advertising revenue control and the decline in advertising revenue at WND in the same time period.
Thus, there's nowhere else for WND to turn than to direct financial contributions. What we collect in donations for the WND News Center all goes to reporters, editors and contributors – every dime.
That's why beginning Tuesday, June 15, we're launching our drive to raise $100,000 by July 15. And with your help, and God's help, we will rise like a phoenix again to help America straighten out this mess.
Please support us with your prayers and by making a generous tax-deductible donation to the WND News Center, the nonprofit, charitable, 501(c)3 sister organization to the for-profit WND. And consider sending a monthly contribution of any amount.If we go down, soon the independent free press will be a thing of the past, and with it, our uniquely blessed nation.
Nah, that's not gonna happen. bad-quality "news" operations like WND will go down, but those who publish quality news will not be affected. Farah is once again trying to blame the "digital cartel" for his own failings in how he has run WND for the past two decades. Sensationalism and conspiracy theories sell -- but only to a certain extent. If WND published content that was truthful and of high quality, he would not be as affected as he is by the shift away from advertising that nearly all online media operations face. The fact that Farah is begging for money tells us that the WND News Center and ad-free subscription plans -- which didn't launch until late 2019, nearly two years after WND's current round of existential crises -- aren't bringing the money they need and were too little too late. Apparently, not as many other operations want to republish WND's dubious content as it was counting on.
More importantly, WND never deviated from the content that played a major role in driving WND into the ditch -- it's still obsessed with conspiracy theories and publishing less-than-truthful content. It didn't change, and hasn't shown that it deserves to live.
Since then, most of Farah's columns have been tirades against "big tech," with similar pleas for money and the occasional update. On June 23, Farah wrote that the drive had raised $12,517.38, which he insisted was "a good start, but we have three weeks left to raise the remaining $87,483."
Weirdly, this campaign is being promoted only in Farah's column and not anywhere else on the WND website, even though higher visibility might help raise more money. That findamental mismanagement may be another sign WND doesn't deserve to live.
But in his June 30 column, Farah moved the deadline, giving himself a couple more weeks to raise the money: "As of today, we've raised $23,564. Thank you sincerely for that, all who donated. Now we need to raise the remaining $76,436 by the end of July." Farah did not explain why his deadline moved.
Looks like another WND fundraising campaign lacking transparency -- even after Farah bashes the "digital cartel" for an alleged lack of transparency.