British Group Leads Attack on American Conservative Voices


The obscure British group that nearly forced Google to drop ads from The Federalist is continuing its efforts to demonetize American conservative media outlets.

The Center for Countering Digital Hate, founded in 2019 by Labour Party organizers, put out a call for donations on Tuesday after NBC News reported that Google was poised to ban The Federalist and Zero Hedge, a libertarian-leaning website, from its advertising platform Google Ads.

Google ultimately backed down from its decision to kick The Federalist off of Google Ads, but CCDH appears emboldened nonetheless.

Imran Ahmed, the CEO of CCDH, called Google’s initial decision the “biggest ever win” for his organization.

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CCDH and its affiliate, Stop Funding Fake News, have also set their sights on conservative outlets like American Greatness, WorldNetDaily, and the American Thinker

CCDH’s efforts follow a trend of activist groups attacking media companies.

The targets of the campaigns have largely been conservative media outlets. Groups similar to CCDH have gone after Fox News, Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity. Fox News host Tucker Carlson has also landed in the activist groups’ crosshairs.

Is CCDH infringing on conservatives' free speech?

On Tuesday, NBC News reported that Google had banned Zero Hedge and The Federalist from its Google Ads platform after receiving information from CCDH. According to NBC, Google took issue with content on both sites regarding the protests following the death of George Floyd.

The NBC News article was vague regarding the offensive material, but Stop Funding Fake News pointed to a June 3 article from The Federalist entitled “The Media Are Lying To You About Everything, Including The Riots.”

The article, by Federalist political editor John Daniel Davidson, disputed a claim that white supremacist groups were behind much of the violence that occurred during the Floyd protests.

Google initially told NBC News that it had blocked both sites from earning revenue from Google Ads. But the tech giant later backtracked, issuing a statement that The Federalist had been given three days to remove its comments section, which the company claimed was the source of the inflammatory content.

Google has not responded to multiple follow-up inquires from The Daily Caller News Foundation. NBC News also did not respond to a request for comment.

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The reporter who wrote the NBC piece, Adele-Momoko Fraser, thanked CCDH for their “hard work and collaboration” on the project targeting The Federalist. That prompted criticism from conservatives and some journalists who questioned why a reporter would work with an organization with the goal of targeting a rival media outlet.

Fraser deleted her tweet and then reposted it. She responded to criticism on Twitter by saying that she obtained the research from CCDH but did not collaborate with the group on the research itself.

While Fraser denied collaborating with CCDH, her article initially said that Google took action against The Federalist “after the NBC News Verification Unit brought the project to its attention.” An updated version of the story does not include that detail.

Sean Davis, co-founder of The Federalist, blasted NBC News in an interview on “Tucker Carlson Tonight” on Tuesday, accusing the network of partnering with “a foreign left-wing group in Europe.”

“It’s being done by people who claim to be journalists, who claim to believe in free speech and freedom of expression, and it’s not just that somebody came after us and try to de-platform us, the whiny cry-bullies of the left to do this all the time to their enemies, they can’t win arguments so they try and shut them down,” Davis said.

Stop Funding Fake News renewed its call for Google to take further action against eight other websites it has deemed unfit to run Google Ads.

CCDH claimed success in pressuring Google and sought donations through PayPal.

On Wednesday, the group claimed that its work has led Ford, the auto maker, to review whether it will continue running ads at Breitbart News.

CCDH was virtually unknown in the U.S. until the NBC News story.

In the UK, the group has mounted pressure campaigns targeting David Icke, a British conspiracy theorist. CCDH has also sought to force social media companies to remove content it claims spread misinformation regarding the coronavirus pandemic.

CCDH’s board of directors includes several Labour Party organizers and staffers.

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