White it may seem shocking, it didn’t surprise me, given that the SPLC has labeled some of the most distinguished conservatives in the most vile and vicious, not to mention wholly inaccurate terms, including Dr. Ben Carson as a dangerous “anti-gay” extremist.
I reported last September that YouTube’s parent company, Google, relies on the SPLC to do something even more important than flagging extremist content on YouTube. Google, in fact, boasts of using the group to set the standards for acceptable media speech codes.
Keep in mind, the media today rise or fall based largely on Google’s search results. If Google finds your standards don’t meet those set the SPLC, you fall in search rankings.
Now, that is reason for real concern. In fact, it’s a travesty.
Let me use my own SPLC profile as an illustration. In 1997, I launched the first-ever independent online news service, WorldNetDaily, now known as WND.com, after a distinguished career in what we euphemistically still call the “mainstream media.” Besides working as an investigative reporter, foreign correspondent and senior newsroom executive, I also served as editor-in-chief of two big market daily newspapers. I served as an expert witness on newsroom standards and practices in high-profile defamation cases. I won awards for honesty and integrity in journalism, for writing, for editing and for newspaper design.
I took those standards and practices that I learned in a 20-year career in the so-called “mainstream media” and parlayed it into the first independent online news service in the world – an extremely popular one, I might add.
Would you like to know what the SPLC says about me? I don’t mind. I wear the description as a badge of honor, if you don’t take their outrageous caricatures to heart.
Here it is: “Joseph Farah runs WorldNetDaily, one of the most unhinged far-right ‘news’ sites on the Internet .WND specializes in anti-Obama ‘birtherism,’ wild accusations against LGBT people, anti-Muslim rhetoric and a huge dose of just plain lunacy. …”
Now, I ask you sincerely, with the SPLC serving as part of the media speech code police at Google, how do you suppose that affects the search results at WND.com?
I’ll tell you how.
Five or six years ago, if you went to Google News, you would almost certainly find at least one WND story among the top stories of the day. You would often find that WND was breaking big stories before any other news site. Today, you will never find one. In fact, though Google searches WND, you might not even find stories published that day. They often don’t acknowledge them, even in their Google news alerts, until 24 hours later.
You might also note that Google revised its general guidelines statement on July 27, 2017. That is when the mega-corporation that poses a greater threat to personal privacy in the U.S than the National Security Agency by collecting more data on more American citizens for the purpose of making obscene profits, first acknowledged its reliance on the SPLC as an unbiased media speech code cop.
Do you get the picture?
Let me put it to you straight: Google has become the king of media distribution in the world. The free press doesn’t have a chance until this company is investigated and prosecuted as a monopoly – one that threatens the free and open flow of information from all viewpoints as the First Amendment of the Constitution guarantees.
If you want to protect the independent, non-fake news media in this country, I urge you to support WND financially with your voluntary contributions (Google controls virtually all advertising revenues on the Internet), and lobby your elected representatives in Washington to investigate Google.