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Ceci Freed / Media Matters

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Google News is elevating websites that push white supremacist rhetoric

Google News, a platform that curates the news section of Google search results, is allowing racist and junk news sites to pass as legitimate sources. Media Matters searched for various far-right domains on Google News and found multiple websites appearing on the platform that push white supremacist and otherwise bigoted talking points about immigrants.

  • Google News has limited content policies that restrict hate speech. It does not appear to have any policies prohibiting false news.

  • Google News has come under scrutiny in the past for its vague criteria for reviewing websites and for permitting sites with little credibility and “bottom-tier content” on its platform. Google News’ method for ranking news results has also been questioned as it favors links that get more clicks and as a result, potentially rewards clickbait over legitimate news stories.

    Domains have to apply and undergo a review process in order to appear on Google News. According to Google, only websites that meet technical specifications and adhere to content policies are accepted into Google News’ aggregation platform. Although Google News’ content policies are few and somewhat nondescript, Google does prohibit any content that “promotes violence or harassment against an individual or group based on ethnic origin, religion, disability, gender, age, veteran status, sexual orientation, or gender identity.” Google News does not appear to have any policies prohibiting websites that push false news or conspiracy theories.

  • Google News has accepted multiple sites that push extremist rhetoric about immigrants of color.

  • The white supremacist site VDare, which features a roster of white nationalist, racist pseudoscientist, and anti-Semitic authors, can be found on Google News. An article from VDare promoting the white supremacist “great replacement” theory has appeared on Google News, along with pieces making racist and anti-Muslim claims about immigrants.

    • From an article titled “An Astonishing Discovery in the History of Social Theory: Contraceptive Implants Help Minorities!”: “The American establishment decided it was racist to help poor blacks and Hispanics not have so many babies. That’s basically Nazi eugenics. So, here we are a generation later only now rediscovering that when white America dares promote reproductive responsibility among poor, ill-educated Hispanic females, [the American establishment] responds.” [7/5/15]

    • “The ‘Great Replacement’ Is Killing The EU—Long Live A Europe Of Nations!” [9/7/15]

    • From an article titled “Demography Is Destiny: Bulgarian Demographer Describes European Population Replacement Dynamic”: “Open borders are bad enough, but when the im-vaders are Muslim unfriendlies, they have the added force multiplier of polygamy which can create enormous families, thereby causing rapid demographic change.” [12/8/16]

    • From an article titled “Europeans Will Fight Back Against Invasion—No Matter What The NEW YORK TIMES Wants”: “Liberals may admonish us that all races, creeds, cultures are equal, that anyone from any continent, country or civilization can come to the West and assimilate. That discrimination against one group of immigrants in favor of another—preferring, say, Lebanese Christians to Syrian Muslims—is illiberal and undemocratic. But people don't believe that. Europe and America have moved beyond the verities of 20th-century liberalism." [12/22/16]

    • “Steve King Tells Truth, Gets Attacked: ‘We Can't Restore Our Civilization With Someone Else's Babies.’” [3/12/17]

  • Google News search result featuring links to VDare
  • Google News has permitted many anti-Muslim articles from the publication FrontPage Magazine into its news aggregation feed, including op-eds from anti-Muslim bigot Milo Yiannopoulos and multiple articles connecting the 2019 fire at Notre Dame with the “Islamic invasion” of the West.

    • From an article titled “Brainwash Your Babies”: “We've been given a small library of propaganda for everybody from toddlers to pre-teens – a groaning shelfful of brightly illustrated agitprop. Ever since 9/11, Muslims and their appeasers have been conducting a full frontal assault on the truth about Islam.” [9/28/18]

    • From an op-ed by Yiannopoulos titled “Why I’m Seeking Asylum in America”: “I left London, disturbed by the state of my capital city and hoping that with a megaphone in America I could sound the alarm about European Islamization. But the cancer has further metastasized. … Muslims in the UK have the most bigoted and barbaric values of any Islamic community anywhere in the West.” [1/14/19]

    • From an article about the Notre Dame fire titled “Holy Smoke”: “Among the consequences of the Islamic invasion of Europe has been the widespread vandalism of churches.” [4/17/19]

    • From an op-ed by Yiannopoulos titled “The Notre Dame Fire: Our Fault, Our Most Grievous Fault”: “This is the time for Jews and Christians to band together against a common threat to our existence and in respect of our shared history. We can unite with one another as neither of us can with Islam. As a matrilineally Jewish Catholic I am a living example of this union. Islam and social justice are an existential threat to both of us.” [4/19/19]

    • From an article by Dennis Prager titled “Notre Dame: An Omen”: “Generally speaking, Islam has not been nearly as kind, tolerant, open, medically or scientifically innovative or intellectually curious as Western civilization (and yes, Nazism and communism were born in the West, but they were anti-Western). Even without tens of millions of Muslims, post-Christian Europe has not produced a pretty picture. This was predicted in 1834, 100 years before Hitler's rise, by the great German poet Heinrich Heine, a secular Jew (who later converted to Protestantism, ‘the ticket of admission into European culture’).” [4/25/19]

  • Google News search results featuring links to Front Page Magazine
  • Google News has articles pushing white supremacy from WorldNetDaily, a website riddled with conspiracy theories and bigotry. These include one op-ed seemingly by Ann Coulter that blames Latinx immigrants for the El Paso, TX, mass shooting.

    • “Plot to replace Europeans with refugees exposed.” [7/20/17]

    • From an article by Pat Buchanan, who has a long history of bigotry and hostility toward people of color, that was first published on his personal website titled “Can Trump stop the Third World invasion?”: “The resolution and determination of Third World peoples to come to America, even if they have to break our laws to get in and stay, is proven. And if there is no matching national will to halt the invasion, and no truly effective means that would be acceptable to our elites, the migrants are never going to stop coming. And why should they?” [3/7/19]

    • From an op-ed titled “What the El Paso shooter learned from immigrants,” originally published in Townhall: “The shooter’s primary motive was, as he put it, to ‘(defend) my country from cultural and ethnic replacement brought on by an invasion.’ So he had an ethnic reason and a territorial reason. Who is constantly bragging about their ethnic group? Who makes territorial claims on America on behalf of their ethnic group? Immigrants!” [8/14/19]

  • Google News search results featuring links to World Net Daily
  • The anti-Muslim outlet The New American has also made it onto Google News with anti-Muslim talking points.

    • From an article titled “Muslim Refugee Warns: This Is the ‘Islamic Conquest of the West’”: “Of course, many Westerners welcome the Muslims in the name of ‘diversity.’ … The irony of the diversity argument, however, is that diversity doesn’t long exist where Islam takes hold, and much of Europe’s history involved defensive warfare to keep Muslims out.” [10/16/15]

    • From an article titled “The West Can No Longer Ignore the Long History of Islamic Rape Culture”: “The Muslim grooming gangs that are going around Europe, stalking, drugging, and raping young women and even female children are merely the latest incarnation of Islam’s long and sordid history of dehumanization and sexual abuse of women — fair-skinned women of European descent in particular.” [8/21/18]

    • From an article titled “Two Journalists Warn That ‘Weak Christianity’ Is Killing the West”: “Say what you want about it, Islam’s messages aren’t relativistic; its minions don’t prattle on about tolerance, inclusiveness, ‘perspectives,’ and shades of gray as they endeavor to put boys in girls’ bathrooms, sex ed in schools, or plan to value-signal at the next homosexual parade. Islam’s purveyors are definitive, while the West’s Christian clergymen dish up plain-vanilla sermons about social justice, afraid to speak the hard truths and behaving like politicians trying to win the next election.” [5/29/19]

  • Google News search results featuring links to The New American
  • Google News has allowed the right-wing site The Patriot Post on its platform. The Patriot Post regularly publishes anti-Muslim articles and conspiracy theories.

    • “Forget Peace, Islam Wants Death.” [1/9/15]

    • From an article titled “Obama's Islamic Trojan Horse”: “The terrorist attacks in France this weekend demonstrate the stark reality that radical Islamic terrorism has no borders. (That’s why we coined the term Jihadistan — a borderless nation of Islamofascists with global reach.) Every civilized Western nation has borders for the main purpose of keeping its citizens secure from outsiders who seek to do harm. Yet when a nation’s government decides to accept refugees from another nation, a vulnerability is created, which in the case of Paris was exploited by those seeking to terrorize the population. So what’s Barack Obama’s real agenda with Syrian refugees?” [11/17/15]

    • From an article titled “The Left's Strange Alliance With Islam”: “What is the endgame for leftists who so willingly embrace Islam, which itself promotes a value systems that runs counter to almost everything the Left claims to value? The modern Left has become so obsessed in its commitment to destroy capitalism and the Western ‘patriarchy’ that it has willingly and eagerly aligned itself with a medieval-era monster that will turn and eat it at the first opportunity.” [1/3/19]

  • Google News search results featuring a link to Patriot Post
  • Articles from Glenn Beck’s The Blaze referring to caravans of migrants and asylum-seekers from Central America as an “invasion” have appeared on Google News multiple times.

    • “This is not a caravan, it's an INVASION.” [10/23/18]

    • From an article titled “Glenn Beck on who's really funding the massive migrant caravan — and what's in it for them”: “Glenn noted that the 7,000-person-strong migrant caravan seems to be both a political message and a weapon. ‘We know that this migrant invasion force was organized in Honduras by the leftist political party looking to embarrass the current right-wing government,’ Glenn said. ‘We know that. But you're not going to hear that on television. You're not going to hear that from the leftist mainstream news. You won't hear it because that hurts their case. They want everybody to look like they're just weak, and helpless, and children making a 2,500-mile march. Wow! That seems pretty strong to me. This entire charade has indeed been one giant political stunt.’” [10/24/18]

  • Google News search results link to The Blaze
  • Conservative Review, a right-wing publication founded by Mark Levin and recently acquired by Blaze Media, regularly fearmongers about immigrants from Latin American and African countries. That content has made it onto Google News.

    • From an article titled “The illegal immigrant health crisis by itself is enough reason to shut down border migration”: “Now, the only concern of our government is to build more health care facilities at the border to further invite in illegal aliens with dangerous diseases to suck the American taxpayer dry while exposing our country to all sorts of infectious diseases we’ve long eliminated. This is not progressive; it’s the most regressive policy imaginable, back to a time long before the Enlightenment.” [3/7/19]

    • From an article titled “Levin: It is impossible ‘to have a civil society with this kind of invasion’”: “‘It is impossible for a country to be a civil society — to have a civil society — with this kind of invasion, whether the media like to talk about it or not, whether the media attempt to call us names or not. The fact of the matter is, a country exists for its citizens. Citizens don’t exist to accommodate politicians, to accommodate the media, to accommodate foreign governments and aliens who seek to come into this country illegally,’ Levin said.” [4/3/19]

    • From an article titled “550 African migrants were just caught in Texas. DHS head says they aren’t being screened for Ebola.” “Asylum does not trump the medically inadmissible statutes of 8 U.S.C. 1182. In other words, if the criminal smuggling conspiracy is so successful that it results in catastrophic numbers jamming our border, why should that strengthen the claim of the aliens to be released without following medical quarantine rather than strengthen the claim of the American sovereign to keep them out?” [6/12/19]

  • Google News search results link to the Conservative Review
  • Other right-wing junk news sites, such as GOP USA, One News Now, Conservative Daily News, and the American Thinker have all made it through Google News’ review process and are spreading anti-immigrant bigotry on the platform.

    • “Reports: Soros funding border caravan invasion.” [One News Now, 5/1/18]

    • “America is our collective home and we have a right to protect our home from foreign and domestic threats. It is not for lack of compassion we seek an end to the invasion. It is an act of self-preservation.” [American Thinker, 7/10/18]

    • “Invasion U.S.A: Thousands of Immigrants From Honduras and Guatemala On the Way.” [Conservative Daily News, 10/19/18]

    • “Under current rates of entry, the United States will be inundated over the course of 12 months by nearly 1 million illegal aliens by the end of the 2019 fiscal year. And you thought the caravans with a few thousand illegals were shocking a couple of years ago? This is a well-executed and mysteriously funded invasion.” [GOP USA, 7/11/19]