Google tries to financially strangle leading conservative think-tank and then backs off
Calling it a "mistake," Google has reversed its decision not to allow the Claremont Institute to advertise its 40th Anniversary Gala honoring secretary of state Mike Pompeo.
Many nonprofits rely on selling tickets to galas honoring important public figures for the bulk of their fundraising, both from tickets and from donations that come from people attracted to attend the gala.
In other words, limiting Claremont's ability to attract ticket-buyers and donors to its important event was an attack on its financial survivability.
If you do not know the Claremont Institute and do not read its superb Claremont Review of Books, take it from me that you are missing the most intellectually honest and deep conservative thinking available today. And there is nothing racist about it.
Claremont explained the effort to censor it in a Twitter thread that Steven Hayward of Powerline unspooled:
A thread on Google suppression of free thought:
The Claremont Institute has launched a campaign to engage our fellow citizens in discussion and debate about what it means to be an American. (@jeffgiesea @realDonaldTrump@RaheemKassam @DonaldJTrumpJr)
As part of that effort, we have begun to point out the increasingly existential danger of identity politics and political correctness to our republic. As if to prove our point, Google has judged our argument as wrongthink that should be forbidden.
They are now punishing us for our political thought by refusing to let us advertise to our own readers.
We wanted to show adverts for our May 11 40th Anniversary Gala, at which we're honoring Sec. of State Mike Pompeo, to readers of our own online publication, American Mind.
But Google refuses to allow us to do so. (If you're interested, buy tickets here: claremont.org/gala — Monday is the deadline!)
Google had a look at my essay launching our new campaign for a unifying Americanism, "Defend America — Defeat Multiculturalism," decided it in violation of their policy on "race and ethnicity in personalized advertising," and shut down our advert efforts to American Mind readers.
We weren't "advertising" anything in the essay, of course, but the relevant section of their policy lists as examples of violations: "racially or ethnically oriented publications, racially or ethnically oriented universities, racial or ethnic dating."
Somebody must have decided we were offering "racially or ethnically oriented pubs." This is news to us. @ClaremontInst has spent 40 yrs teaching all who are willing to listen that the meaning of the proposition that all humans are created equal is America's central principle.
After the censorship attracted major attention and complaints, Google relented. Hank Berrien of the Daily Wire:
Google has now acknowledged that it made a mistake when it refused to allow The Claremont Institute to advertise on their own online publication to their readers about the 40th Anniversary Gala at which they are honoring Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Claremont had wanted to advertise on their own online publication, The American Mind. ...
After note had been taken of Google's action against Claremont, Google apologized. Williams noted in an update, "Google's Acting Director of Political and Stakeholder Outreach got in touch with the Claremont Institute to notify us that the labeling of The American Mind as a 'racially oriented publication' was a mistake. Our re-marketing ad campaign to americanmind.org readers for our annual dinner is now active once again."
So far as I know, Google and Facebook and Twitter always make "mistakes" that censor conservatives. And, for every organization that fights back and gets enough attention to obtain a reversal, there are smaller fry whose voices simply disappear.
Good that Google reversed itself on a clearly unjust action. But frightening that it took an outcry to get a reversal.