News Release: Google News Blacklist Leaks to Public as Google Sales Drop a Billion Dollars



Google News Blacklist Leaks to Public as Google Sales Drop a Billion Dollars

By The Western Journal

May 6, 2019

For Immediate Release: All Media Sources

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Phoenix, AZ – For the tech giant Google, April showered both continued controversy, as well as a downturn in sales. Yet another embarrassing blacklist leak and an underwhelming financial report may indicate a slip in relevance for a big tech company that has enjoyed a number of years at the top.

On April 9, a news site blacklist from Google’s Trust & Safety Team was leaked to The Daily Caller. Although the company has repeatedly denied manually manipulating search results, or having any political bias in the system, the team has the charge of choosing news sources to filter out based on what they call their “Good Neighbor Policy” and their “Misrepresentation Policy.” One of the team’s members, Paul Haahr, describes his responsibilities in his bio as including “fringe ranking: not showing fake news, hate speech, conspiracy theories, or science/medical/history denial unless we’re sure that’s what the user wants,” all of which have been highly politicized and religiously-charged topics.

Included in the news blacklist were a range of groups on both sides of issues, an inside source on the leak, some of which use sponsored or deceptive practices that go against Google’s policies. Other groups on the list, including a number of right-leaning news outlets, do not violate these policies, but were included in the blacklist seemingly for other reasons. “The problem is in some of these cases Google does not seem to be applying their stated policies,” said the source.

The Western Journal and its commentary section, Conservative Tribune, were two names included in the blacklist. A verified Google News publisher since 2016, the news outlet has 1.2 million page views a day, and formerly received up to hundreds of thousands of hits a month from Google News. On Oct. 24, 2018, all content was removed from their publisher page without warning or explanation. Forty attempts over four months to find out why this news wasn’t showing in people’s feeds resulted in nine statements from Google that they were investigating the matter, one statement that the articles had tags that prevented indexing in Google, one statement that there was too much non-original or republished content on the site, and three statements that they were unable to provide assistance with examples or information on how to comply with the policies.

“The Western Journal works to meet and exceed the standards Google has for us,” said Deputy Editor-in-Chief George Upper. “The tags that have suddenly prevented them from indexing all our past and current content are not visible on our end, but appear to be an internal Google thing. The Western Journal publishes 50 or 60 articles daily and has removed any syndicated material, such as Associated Press articles, from Google News. So all we’re left with now is that they can’t give us examples or advice on how to comply with their policies.”

Google is no stranger to controversy or accusations of manipulating feeds to show viewers what they want them to see. And with additional allegations of sexual assault by executives, to a livestream on YouTube of a shooter gunning down worshipers in a mosque, Google remains under ongoing and intense scrutiny for many reasons.

But its financial report, a former bright spot for the big tech company, now shows first quarter earnings coming in at a billion dollars less than projected. Earnings per share were $9.50, rather than the $10.61 expected by analysts. Google’s parent company, Alphabet was also fined $1.7 billion by the European Commission in March for “abusive” advertising practices.

Overall, April has shown Google putting out fires on multiple fronts. Investors and users alike are watching to see if they will get what they want from the service provider, or if it will go the way of the giants before it.


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The Western Journal is an online news publication consisting of news, commentary and analysis. Sections of The Western Journal include Conservative Tribune (political and cultural commentary), Liftable (lifestyle and uplifting stories) and The Wildcard (sports news and commentary).

Contact: The Western Journal

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