Sunday, April 17, 2022

Statement from Google on my Blog and Ukraine

This week I received this message from Google about my blog: 

Dear Publisher,
Due to the war in Ukraine, we will pause monetization of content that exploits, dismisses, or condones the war.
Please note, we have already been enforcing on claims related to the war in Ukraine when they violated existing policies (for instance, the Dangerous or Derogatory content policy prohibits monetizing content that incites violence or denies tragic events). This update is meant to clarify, and in some cases expand, our publisher guidance as it relates to this conflict.
This pause includes, but is not limited to, claims that imply victims are responsible for their own tragedy or similar instances of victim blaming, such as claims that Ukraine is committing genocide or deliberately attacking its own citizens.

The money I would have received from Google ads is only pennies. In no way was I denigrating the people of Ukraine or justifying what is happening to them. You can read my posts and decide for yourself here. I was arguing that there are parallels between Russia's invasion of Ukraine and the U.S. invasion of Iraq. I was also arguing that NATO expansion up to Russia's borders was totally unacceptable for them. When Russia annexed Crimea, in 2014, I suggested having Russia into NATO as a way of offering them an olive branch to avoid another cold war. That is definitely not going to happen.  


More than likely my posts were flagged by a natural language processing algorithm by Google rather than by a human censor. Chris Hedges' program On Contact was deleted by YouTube (which is owned by Google as is Blogger). He discusses this issue above.

I did have a post on LinkedIn flagged once as inappropriate. I appealed it and it was reinstated. I do not seem to have any similar recourse with Google. You can read a discussion of Google's censorship here.

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