I just mentioned two posts ago (macro-post on climate change stuff) that one topic I would not talk about anymore on this blog that WND publishes frequently on is the “black mob violence.” I did one post on it back in September regarding how WND was cherry-picking random stories with at least a weekly cadence to try to show that “black mobs” were attacking “whites” and hence there is an epidemic of racial violence against the poor innocent whiteys.
This post is not about a WND article about it. It’s about a few WND articles about a development late last week where they are being warned by Google to back off on the rhetoric:
- “When the Truth Is No Defense” – Joseph Farah (52 comments)
- “Google Accuses WND of ‘Hate Speech'” – unattributed (305 comments)
- “How Google Can Stop WND’s ‘Black Mob’ Offense” – Willie Shields (71 comments)
- “The Irony of Google’s Censorship” – Colin Flaherty (65 comments)
To quote Joseph Farah:
Recently, WND, my news organization, was accused by Google of spreading hate speech through the use of a two-word term – “black mob” in stories about, well, black mobs.
But this wasn’t just an accusation. It was also a threat to punish WND materially by the removal of Google ads and, more importantly, the suspension of an account that allows us to use Google’s technology to serve ads from other clients.
It all began two years ago when WND made the decision to begin tracking what appeared to be a rise in unprovoked black on non-black violence. Through the reporting, WND first alerted the nation to “the knockout game,” in which perpetrators seek to render unconscious innocent and unsuspecting victims usually with a single blow to the head. We reported on coordinated riots and seemingly spontaneous uprisings occurring in major cities and small towns from coast to coast.
[…] On Feb. 7, 2014, Google notified WND of its intent to begin blocking ads on the site. WND decided to take the pre-emptive action of removing Google ad tags on all stories and columns in which the phrase “black mobs” appeared, pending an appeal of the misguided decision.
But there’s an issue here that should be noted by all who value free expression and honest journalism that some may find offensive. Google’s policy 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 is clearly assigning motives to our reporting on the basis of the linking of two words – black mobs. 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 WND is not a pejorative term.
It is not hate speech. In fact, it is the reporting of facts – facts that have been substantiated and reported by many other news sources since WND began reporting on the trend two years ago. WND Books’ “White Girl Bleed A Lot” is carried in bookstores across the nation and on Amazon.com. What’s next – burning the books?
I don’t think this is worth commenting on. I think the denial speaks for itself. And, while on this blog I have many times respected the First Amendment’s freedom of speech and freedom of the press, both of those come with responsibilities and come with consequences. Google is a company, not a government-owned organization. I may be wrong (I’m not a First Amendment lawyer), but I’m fairly sure they are allowed to make decisions about whether they choose to advertise on a certain site or not based on whatever criteria they want to set, including censorship of certain words.
It’s really not worth going into the ~500 comments across these stories. Nor is it really important to get into the denial in the other three. Perhaps relevant – or by way of summary – is to say that WND did a poll on the last one, asking, “Do you find the term ‘black mob’ unfair, racist or offensive?” With 301 responding, 52% said, “No, I find black mobs unfair, racist and offensive,” while 32% said “No, it would be racist to refuse to report the race of perpetrators in mob attacks across the country.” The token two people said it was unfair/racist/offensive or insensitive.