Google AdSense has apparently terminated its relationship with at least two websites that promote anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial.
Media Matters previously reported that four websites trafficking in anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial -- Counter-Currents Publishing, American Free Press, The Right Stuff, and Veterans Today -- were using Google’s online advertising program to generate revenue. Their use of the advertising program appeared to be in direct violation of Google’s policies, which state:
Google ads may not be placed on pages that contain harassing or bullying content, or on content that incites hatred or promotes violence against individuals or groups based on race or ethnic origin, religion, disability, gender, age, veteran status, or sexual orientation/gender identity. Additionally, Google ads may not appear on content that incites or advocates for harm against an individual or group.
However, pages containing educational, documentary, historical, scientific, or artistic content related to such subjects are permitted to participate in AdSense.
After Media Matters’ January 30 article was published, American Free Press and Counter-Currents Publishing both announced that Google had dropped them due to objectionable content.
American Free Press is an anti-Semitic print and online publication that has repeatedly claimed the Holocaust is a “hoax.”
The publication wrote a February 8 post stating that “AFP’s web staff received a notice that Google had arbitrarily disabled our ad account for AFP’s website due to several pages that reportedly contained content that violated Google’s terms of service.”
AFP posted a conversation in which a Google representative said that the ads were “removed for being against our policy on content that advocates against an individual, group, or organization” and that the decision is final. AFP responded to the ban by commenting: “Thankfully, AFP has built multiple revenue streams. However, any lost revenue makes it difficult to pay the bills.”
Counter-Currents Publishing is a virulently anti-Semitic website and publisher that distributes material praising Hitler and advocating for Jewish people to be kicked out of America.
Editor-in-Chief Greg Johnson, who has hailed Hitler for fighting and dying “for our race as a whole,” wrote in a recent newsletter, “In February of 2017, Google stopped advertising at Counter-Currents, again for politically correct reasons.”
Media Matters on February 14 reviewed The Right Stuff and could not find any Google ads on the site. (The Right Stuff has not publicly commented on whether Google AdSense has ended its participation in the program.) Media Matters found a Google ad on Veterans Today on February 13.
Media Matters has also criticized Google AdSense for allowing hyperpartisan websites that post fake news to use its services. Outlets including The Washington Post and BuzzFeed have documented the financial incentive AdSense has created for those websites to publish sensationalist fake news stories to generate clicks and ad revenue.