Google says it’s ban­ning the sites Zero Hedge and The Fed­er­al­ist from its Google Ads pro­gram for racist con­tent. “We have strict pub­lish­er poli­cies that gov­ern the con­tent ads can run on and explic­it­ly pro­hib­it deroga­to­ry con­tent that pro­motes hatred, intol­er­ance, vio­lence or dis­crim­i­na­tion based on race from mon­e­tiz­ing,” the com­pa­ny said in a state­ment to NBC News. “When a page or site vio­lates our poli­cies, we take action. In this case, we’ve removed both sites’ abil­i­ty to mon­e­tize with Google.”

NBC News report­ed the change ear­li­er today, and it fol­lowed a report from the Cen­ter for Coun­ter­ing Dig­i­tal Hate, which called out a num­ber of com­pa­nies for host­ing ads on sites pro­mot­ing unsub­stan­ti­at­ed or false claims about recent Black Lives Mat­ter protests. It cit­ed a Zero Hedge arti­cle call­ing Black Lives Mat­ter “prac­ti­cal­ly a rev­o­lu­tion­ary oper­a­tive of the CIA via [George] Soros,” as well as a Fed­er­al­ist sto­ry blam­ing vio­lence and loot­ing at protests on “left-wing anar­chists and antifa groups.” The Fed­er­al­ist has pre­vi­ous­ly been crit­i­cized after orga­niz­ing posts with the tag “black crime” and pro­mot­ing “chick­en­pox par­ties” for catch­ing the nov­el coro­n­avirus.

But a Google spokesper­son told The Verge that the out­lets weren’t being demon­e­tized because of these arti­cles, and The Fed­er­al­ist isn’t for­mal­ly banned yet. Instead, they’re sup­pos­ed­ly being blocked because of endem­ic racist com­menters across their sites. The com­pa­ny says Zero Hedge was warned last week and failed to address the prob­lem, while The Fed­er­al­ist was just warned and is still able to run Google ads, but it’s set to be demon­e­tized in the com­ing days unless it tamps down the racist com­ments.

Google — like oth­er large tech com­pa­nies — has pub­licly com­mit­ted to fund­ing racial jus­tice pro­grams in the wake of George Floyd’s killing in Min­neapo­lis. It’s also launched an ini­tia­tive to “ampli­fy” the voic­es of black cre­ators on YouTube.

Zero Hedge was recent­ly unbanned by Twit­ter after being sus­pend­ed in Jan­u­ary for pro­mot­ing a con­spir­a­cy the­o­ry about a Chi­nese sci­en­tist; Twit­ter con­clud­ed the deci­sion was “an error.”

Pho­to by Matthew Horwood/Getty Images

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