Whistleblower: American Thinker was on Google’s blacklist of news sites

Buried deep in the extensive trove of internal documents documenting Google’s onerous censorship policies is this gem: American Thinker was on the dominant tech giant’s list of “blacklisted” news websites.

The source of the leak is identified as “Google Insider Zachary Vorhies.” On August 14, Vorhies outed himself as the leaker in a video posted ay Project Veritas, which published the documents. Among the hundreds of documents is one identified as a news “blacklist” -- titled “Manual list of sites excluded from appearing as Google Now stories.” Sure enough, among the list of 400 or so sites (mostly from the conservative right but some on the left) -- under the subhead “sites with high user block rate” -- is americanthinker.com. (near the lower right corner in the photo below)

Vorhies had been providing Project Veritas with documents he downloaded as a Google engineer for more than a year. He decided to go public this week “after he says Google allegedly called the police to perform a ‘wellness check’ on him.” The story, including a 20-minute long video of Vorhies, is a compelling one and is documented in the August 14 release from Project Veritas.

According to Vorhies:

I gave the documents to Project Veritas, I had been collecting the documents for over a year. And the reason why I collected these documents was because I saw something dark and nefarious going on with the company and I realized that there were going to not only tamper with the elections, but use that tampering with the elections to essentially overthrow the United States.

Zachary Vorhies in the Project Veritas video

In addition to providing the documents to Project Veritas, Vorhies said he also sent them to the Department of Justice Antitrust Division.

According to the Project Veritas news release:

Among those documents [that Vorhies purloined] is a file called “news black list site for google now.” The document, according to Vorhies, is a “black list,” which restricts certain websites from appearing on news feeds for an Android Google product. The list includes conservative and progressive websites, such as newsbusters.org and mediamatters.org. The document says that some sites are listed with or because of a “high user block rate.”

The complete set of documents, which can be downloaded from Project Veritas’s web site, and Vorhies’s testimony comprise an insider’s complement to the work of noted research psychologist Robert Epstein, Ph.D., who I had the privilege of interviewing for an hour on September 4, 2018 on The Hagmann Report in a conversation titled “Big Tech can shift 12 million votes in November [2018].” Epstein has emerged as a leading critic of Big Tech from a scientifically-grounded research viewpoint. In sworn testimony before the United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary Subcommittee hearing on “Google and Censorship through Search Engines” on July 16, 2019, Epstein testified that “In 2016, biased search results generated by Google’s search algorithm likely impacted undecided voters in a way that gave at least 2.6 million votes to Hillary Clinton (whom I supported).” Epstein went on to note that the potential for Google to influence millions of voters’ election results in 2020 is even greater.

Peter Barry Chowka writes about politics, media, popular culture, and health care for American Thinker and other publications.  Peter's website is http://peter.media.  Follow him on Twitter at @pchowka.

Buried deep in the extensive trove of internal documents documenting Google’s onerous censorship policies is this gem: American Thinker was on the dominant tech giant’s list of “blacklisted” news websites.

The source of the leak is identified as “Google Insider Zachary Vorhies.” On August 14, Vorhies outed himself as the leaker in a video posted ay Project Veritas, which published the documents. Among the hundreds of documents is one identified as a news “blacklist” -- titled “Manual list of sites excluded from appearing as Google Now stories.” Sure enough, among the list of 400 or so sites (mostly from the conservative right but some on the left) -- under the subhead “sites with high user block rate” -- is americanthinker.com. (near the lower right corner in the photo below)

Photo courtesy Steve McCann

Vorhies had been providing Project Veritas with documents he downloaded as a Google engineer for more than a year. He decided to go public this week “after he says Google allegedly called the police to perform a ‘wellness check’ on him.” The story, including a 20-minute long video of Vorhies, is a compelling one and is documented in the August 14 release from Project Veritas.

According to Vorhies:

I gave the documents to Project Veritas, I had been collecting the documents for over a year. And the reason why I collected these documents was because I saw something dark and nefarious going on with the company and I realized that there were going to not only tamper with the elections, but use that tampering with the elections to essentially overthrow the United States.

Zachary Vorhies in the Project Veritas video

In addition to providing the documents to Project Veritas, Vorhies said he also sent them to the Department of Justice Antitrust Division.

According to the Project Veritas news release:

Among those documents [that Vorhies purloined] is a file called “news black list site for google now.” The document, according to Vorhies, is a “black list,” which restricts certain websites from appearing on news feeds for an Android Google product. The list includes conservative and progressive websites, such as newsbusters.org and mediamatters.org. The document says that some sites are listed with or because of a “high user block rate.”

The complete set of documents, which can be downloaded from Project Veritas’s web site, and Vorhies’s testimony comprise an insider’s complement to the work of noted research psychologist Robert Epstein, Ph.D., who I had the privilege of interviewing for an hour on September 4, 2018 on The Hagmann Report in a conversation titled “Big Tech can shift 12 million votes in November [2018].” Epstein has emerged as a leading critic of Big Tech from a scientifically-grounded research viewpoint. In sworn testimony before the United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary Subcommittee hearing on “Google and Censorship through Search Engines” on July 16, 2019, Epstein testified that “In 2016, biased search results generated by Google’s search algorithm likely impacted undecided voters in a way that gave at least 2.6 million votes to Hillary Clinton (whom I supported).” Epstein went on to note that the potential for Google to influence millions of voters’ election results in 2020 is even greater.

Peter Barry Chowka writes about politics, media, popular culture, and health care for American Thinker and other publications.  Peter's website is http://peter.media.  Follow him on Twitter at @pchowka.