WASHINGTON – The world’s most powerful Internet search engine has accused WND of using “hate speech” and has threatened to block ads on the news site over its use of the term “black mobs” in news stories and columns reporting on a two-year epidemic of racial attacks in the U.S.
In response, WND is preemptively blocking Google ads in content in which that phrase appears in past and current stories, including this one. Other ad providers have agreed to step in and fill the gap.
Joseph Farah, editor and CEO of WND, said the Google policy is flawed because it “attempts to censor words and phrases that are truthful and accurate from First Amendment-protected media on the basis of political correctness and faulty algorithmic methodology.”
Google notified WND of the plan to begin blocking ads Feb. 7.
Two years ago, WND began investigating and reporting on a spree of unprovoked attacks by groups of blacks on non-black victims, spearheaded by accounts compiled by journalist Colin Flaherty, author of “White Girl Bleed A Lot.” The book has been endorsed prominently and repeatedly by celebrated black scholar Thomas Sowell for connecting the dots between hundreds of incidents taking place in cities across the country. Flaherty’s reporting also first identified the phenomenon known as “the knockout game,” in which groups or individual black people have targeted non-black victims for unprovoked attacks designed to knock them unconscious with a surprise blow to the head.
“The answer to violence, whether motivated by race or some other rationalization, is not to turn away from it and hide it from the public, but to expose it to the light of day,” Farah said.
“WND made a determination to do that after examining the overwhelming evidence presented by Flaherty in his research. In response to that kind of reporting, police departments and public officials – both black and white – across the country have acknowledged the pernicious ramifications of what’s happening and taken action to prevent others from being hurt. What Google is doing, after the fact, is ignoring hard facts and assigning insidious racial motivations for this kind of courageous reporting.”
As Sowell writes: “Most of the media see no evil, hear no evil and speak no evil. In such an atmosphere, the evil not only persists but grows.”
A Google representative explained that its policy protects against statements based on race or ethnic origin, religion, disability, gender, age, sexual orientation, gender identity or veteran status.
The Google policy specifically states: “HATE/ANTI: While Google believes strongly in the freedom of expression, we also recognize the need to protect the quality of the AdSense network for users, advertisers, and publishers. As such, Google does not allow the monetization of hate speech or any other content that is intended to insult, offend or intimidate an individual or group based on race or ethnic origin, religion, disability, gender, age, sexual orientation, gender identity or veteran status.”
Google further explains that its policy pertains to content that uses “derogatory racial or ethnic slurs to refer to an individual or group, encourages violence against women or men, or contains racist or homophobic drawings or cartoons.”
Google also cites what it characterizes as articles “making sweeping generalizations about a group,” offensive and insulting user comments, and disclaimers on stories that warn of the use of offensive language used in the reporting of some incidents.
“As we’ve discussed in times past, it’s not our intent to alter the way the editorial team covers the news, but, in accordance with our policies, we don’t allow publishers to run our ads against content found to be hate speech or intended to insult,” the Google representative wrote in an email to WND. “I’d advise removing Google ads from any pages where this is an issue including the user comments section.”
Google normally allows only 72 hours to resolve an issue after it issues a determination.
So WND disconnected Google ads from the disputed content.
“Google is clearly assigning motives to our reporting on the basis of the linking of two words – ‘black mobs,'” explained Farah. “Euphemisms for two perfectly accurate words must now be found because Google has determined that the linking of these two words is hate speech. When one of the most powerful media companies in the world starts banning words and phrases and imposing its speech police standards on all those it does business with, we are headed down a dangerous, Orwellian slippery slope.”
The term “black mobs” as used in the more than 670 WND reports is not a pejorative term, explained Farah.
Defining black is self-explanatory, and the dictionary defines mob as a disorderly or riotous crowd of people, a crowd bent on or engaged in lawless violence, a group of persons, the common people; the masses; populace or multitude or a criminal gang, especially one involved in drug trafficking, extortion, etc.
Thomas Sowell, writing in National Review Online, explained: “Are race riots not news? Ignoring racial violence only guarantees that it will get worse. … The dangers to the nation as a whole are an even bigger program. The truth has a way of eventually coming out, in spite of media silence and politicians’ spin. If the truth becomes widely known, and a white backlash follows – turning one-way race riots into two-way race riots – then a cycle of revenge and counter-revenge can spiral out of control.”
The idea that WND somehow has racist motivations is bizarre, said Farah, especially when fully 20 percent of the site’s regular weekly columnists are black – including Sowell, Star Parker, Walter Williams, Erik Rush, Mychal Massey, Ellis Washington, Selena Owens, Ben Kinchlow, Alan Keyes and Larry Elder, not to mention other black WND columnists like Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson and Albert Thompson.
“Everyone in America today knows about the ugliness of the ‘knockout game’ as a result of this reporting,” Farah said. “It all originated in WND. We cannot and should not be forced to sanitize our compelling reporting on a subject of national importance because it is labeled thoughtlessly and falsely as ‘hate speech.'”
Farah said WND’s reporting on the phenomenon “is neither motivated by hatred nor does it foster hatred.”
“Ironically, the real hate speech and hate actions are what we are reporting on, what we are exposing,” he said. “If Google takes this censorious action, it would be an act that would have a chilling effect not only on free speech, but on responsible reporting about a crime wave affecting the entire nation.”