Google Says It ‘Mistakenly Disapproved’ A Conservative Think Tank’s Video About Climate Change
This article originally appeared in the Daily Caller on October 31, 2019.
- Google said it mistakenly disapproved a video advertisement about radical climate-change ideals by Capital Research Center.
- “This ad was mistakenly disapproved because it linked to an article about the terrorist Ted Kacyzinski,” a Google spokesperson told the Daily Caller News Foundation.
- The ad has since been approved.
Google said it “mistakenly disapproved” a video advertisement about radical climate-change ideology by Capital Research Center (CRC), a conservative think tank.
CRC President Scott Walter told the Daily Caller News Foundation that on Oct. 3, Google disapproved CRC’s request for its video, uploaded Sept. 23, to be advertised on the platform.
CRC eventually decided to remove its article link from the video so it could be advertised. Google told the DCNF the video was “mistakenly disapproved” as an advertisement because of the Unabomber link.
“This ad was mistakenly disapproved because it linked to an article about the terrorist Ted Kaczynski. The ad is now approved, and an ad using the same video but linking to a different site has been running for several weeks without issue,” a Google spokesperson said in a statement.
Google defines “dangerous or derogatory content” as material that incites hatred against, promotes discrimination of, disparages, harasses, intimidates, bullies, threatens, exploits or advocates for physical or mental harm of certain individuals or groups of people, according to its advertisement policies.
While the article linked to the CRC video is critical of Kaczynski’s ideals, it stated, “Kaczynski is many unpleasant things, but insane isn’t one of them.” It adds, however, that radical climate activists like Kaczynski “preach non-violence, but their mostly identical desire to vandalize and ultimately obliterate the global economy is no less sincere.”
The video also mentions the Unabomber, though Google did not take issue with what was said in the video.
“The Unabomber Ted Kaczynski argued that industry is destroying humanity and only a return to a pre-industrial state of nature will save us. Today’s activists aren’t mailing bombs the way Kaczynski did, but they seem to believe the same far-fetched idea,” the video stated.
After requesting that Google review its decision to disapprove of the video, CRC’s video producer, Jake Klein, said he spoke with a Google representative who told him Google objected to the linked article’s use of the term “eco-radical” and its criticism of Kaczynski.
The Google representative specifically pointed out the “eco-radicals” phrase and a summary description of the article during the phone call.
“The word that is ‘eco-radicals,’ and there is a summary that says another environmentalist group is hard at work [inaudible] … as well as there was an image on the landing page, which has a sub-headline that says, ‘Industrial capitalism is destroying humanity,’ and that ‘only a return to a pre-industrial state of nature will save us.’ This content has been highlighted as the reason for [the ‘dangerous’ label],” the spokesperson explained, according to audio Klein provided to the DCNF.
“So it’s not the video itself — it’s the article it links to it, and the summary section that says ‘another environmentalism group is hard at work disturbing the peace and proselytizing a new world order destined to save the environment … ‘ That’s the part that is the problem?” Klein asked.
The representative confirmed the article was the reason behind Google’s label and added that “any person that you’re criticizing would be falling under this category — any person — even if it’s about a criminal or something like that.”
“So, even if they’re a serial killer, we can’t criticize their views. That’s the position?” Klein asked, which the representative confirmed, according to the call Klein provided.
In an attempt to see if any other nonprofit companies published advertisements with linked articles that were critical of people, CRC created a Google profile under the identity of a 60-year-old woman who visited the websites of Democratic presidential candidates Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. She also searched the term “climate justice” in her YouTube search bar.
By using this profile, CRC discovered an advertisement that linked to a Politico article about how the left-leaning immigration group America’s Voice is pressuring conservative donor Fred Stanbeck not to send money to right-leaning immigration groups.
He also added that “of course” criticisms of Republicans or Republican ideals should not be censored, either, just as criticisms of left-leaning “eco-radicals” should not be censored.
He also said YouTube automatically adds the Wikipedia definition of climate change beneath every video related to climate change.
“Global warming is the long-term rise in the average temperature of the Earth’s climate system. It is a major aspect of current climate change, and has been demonstrated by direct temperature measurements and by measurements of various effects of the warming,” the Wikipedia definition reads.
Walter said CRC has “certainly” had other occasional issues with getting video advertisements published on YouTube.
“They’ll put it in restricted format, or they won’t let us advertise a video because it had … violence in it. We had a video on Antifa, and we showed violent Antifa stuff, and that was a problem. Another time, we showed someone being criticized by the left, and we included Twitter screenshots of those criticisms against this person from the left, and that’s bad language even though they were only screenshots, not actual language being spoken in the video,” he said.
“In some of those cases, if we took it to a journalist at Fox News or something, five or 10 minutes later, the problem disappeared,” Walter added.