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Monday, November 8, 2021
WND's Losing Battle Against Google Is Its Latest Extinction-Level Event
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily has been squabbling with Google for years, from an early battle over Google wanting to pull its ads from WND over all the race-baiting it was doing to blaming Google for "censoring" WND content in its searches (when all Google wants to do is improve its product by deprecating factually dubious, conspiracy-driven content). The war between WND and Google's ad services flared up again a few months ago when Google once again refused to host its ads on WND because of the aforementioned low-quality content, and now Google has made its final decision, as a panic-stricken Nov. 2 WND article detailed (though not so panic-stricken that it didn't forget to portray WND as a victim):

Over the last few years, Big Tech has unleashed many different attacks on WND, the pioneering Christian journalism organization now in its 25th year. From classifying WND as an "extremist group," to writing WND out of its search algorithms, to de-monetizing WND's YouTube channel, to confining WND to "Facebook jail" for over a year, the attacks never end.

However, as of this week, Big Tech has upped its game: Google has now officially de-monetized WND – permanently.

That could end up cutting WND's online ad revenue roughly in half, since not only does de-monetization mean the removal of all Google ads, but the removal of ads from alternate advertising services as well, since many of these companies utilize Google Ad Manager to serve their ads. So, what did WND do to merit such a punishment?

According to Google's "Violation Explanation," WND is loaded down with "dangerous or derogatory content," as well as "misrepresentative content" and "unreliable and harmful claims."

WND is misleading here by claiming that Google Ads "demonitized" WND. That's not what happened -- Google and WND had a business agreement, and WND violated the terms of that agreement. Typically, if one party violates the terms of a business deal, the other party has every right to terminate that deal. That's what happened here.

Unspririsingly, WND served up its own factually deficient interpretation of the terms of Google's cutoff:

We do not allow content," explains Google, "that incites hatred against, promotes discrimination of, or disparages an individual or group on the basis of their race or ethnic origin, religion, disability, age, nationality, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, or other characteristic that is associated with systemic discrimination or marginalization." Or which "harasses, intimidates, or bullies an individual or group of individuals."

WND's longtime vice president and managing editor, David Kupelian, translated: "That means, dare to report honestly on the transgender agenda – where men can give birth to babies, where boys in dresses raping teenage girls in school restrooms is ignored by the school board, where ‘biological men' can compete in and destroy women's athletics, and where a man who identifies as a woman is proclaimed to be ‘the first female 4-star admiral in history' – and you're ‘inciting hatred' and ‘promoting discrimination.'"

With regard to WND's supposedly "unreliable and harmful claims," Google says that it does "not allow content that makes claims that are demonstrably false and could significantly undermine participation or trust in an electoral or democratic process." Or which "promotes harmful health claims, or relates to a current, major health crisis and contradicts authoritative scientific consensus."

"That," explains Kupelian, "means reporting truthfully and accurately on the Biden administration's insane mismanagement of the COVID pandemic – from imposing vaccine mandates that are shutting down the country right now, to suppressing early outpatient treatment of COVID with inexpensive, proven-safe-and-effective medications that could have prevented hundreds of thousands of COVID deaths in America, to pretending ‘natural immunity' isn't real even though 92 studies prove it's superior to vaccine immunity – is not allowed. Only the official narrative – the one that is failing at every turn to end the pandemic, while introducing a level of tyranny never before seen in America – is allowed."

Thanks, Mr. Kupelian, for demonstrating the transphobic hate that justified Google's monetary cutoff (though that's probably not what he was going for). He's also lying about reporting "truthfully and accurately" on COVID; we've documented example after example of WND peddling misinformation and outright lies on the subject.

WND finally got around to admitting one key component of Google's ceasing of its business agreement:

Strangely, one key component of WND's supposedly "dangerous, derogatory, unreliable and harmful" content, Google contends, has to do with comments posted by WND readers. If, for example, a reader posts his or her personal views in WND's commenting section, and if those comments are interpreted by Google to be racist or derogatory or unreliable, WND is held responsible.

As a result of being de-monetized by Google, WND has temporarily suspended all commenting on WND stories to give its tech team the time to investigate how best to bring back WND commenting while, hopefully, not losing all the advertising that helps support the site.

"To be clear," comments Kupelian: "Once we bring commenting back online, we will not be censoring comments (unless of course they're pornographic, obscene, openly racist, promoting violence, etc.), but rather, we're working on a technological fix that will allow us to restore commenting while also allowing WND to continue to exist."

Does this purported commitment to non-censorship of comments mean WND will stop blocking us from posting comments? Not likely -- WND doesn't want us telling the truth about it directly to its readers. Meanwhile, the article repeated Kupelian's lie that WND reports "truthfully":

Of course, it is not merely reader comments to which Google objects. A good measure of WND's news reporting published daily currently focuses on the three big topics Google cites as most troubling: "COVID misinformation," allegations of voter fraud, and the transgender issue.

"For the record, WND will not cease, nor slow down in any way, from reporting truthfully on these issues," says Kupelian. "We cannot betray our very reason for existing as a news organization – reporting on the crucial developments that matter most to our readers, and which are currently ripping our country apart and destroying the next generation. We intend to keep on doing what we've done for 25 years, and doing it boldly, accurately and professionally – and with a Christian spirit."

We've also busted WND for spreading lies and misinformation on "allegations of voter fraud." Unsurprisingly, the article ended with begging for money for the "WND News Center," which was begun way too late to make a significant dent in WND's current financial situation.

Editor Joseph Farah somewhat lazily repeated much of this in his Nov. 4 column, with additional counterfactual whining: "What they've done to WND is tyranny – nothing short of it. No business – certainly none with unprecedented profits – has any claim to such powers." (He also begs for money.)

As a private business like WND, Google has every right to run it the way it wants -- which includes giving low priority to WND's low-quality "news" in its searches and terminating business agreements with companies that repeatedly violate its terms. Nobody is obligated to do business with WND, as should be painfully obvious by now to Farah, Kupelian and Co.Only at WND would normal business practices that don't go its way be depicted as "tyranny."

WND created the financial hole it has found itself in for the past few years. It has no one to blame but itself for what may be the endgame it now faces.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:30 AM EST
Updated: Monday, January 31, 2022 10:02 PM EST

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