Global advertisers will withdraw $750 million scheduled to run on Google this year for deleterious placement of client ads near jihadist recruitment videos, among other distasteful programming.
The action reminds me of farmers with torches and pitchforks storming Victor Frankenstein’s castle in Germany. To Google, the upset advertisers and their money are parking meter change to the Internet leviathan.
Google is beyond human metaphors. It’s Godzilla, and the rest of us don’t count. For one pitiful example, it took two years to convince Google to remove a blatant post designed to harm my reputation. Perhaps being a conservative placed me in the line of fire.
Imagine clicking on your Google listings and discovering they are gone, except for the search bar that says “I’m Feeling Lucky”! One click, and a full screen in a lurid color pops up, featuring a giant headline labeling me a racist.
The attack referred to a statement I allegedly wrote in an editorial column. However, it was clear the words weren’t mine but a quotation I used, and carefully cited. To prove my guilt, the vandals cited the quote from someone else to libel me.
Stop and think a second. If you were me, would you not be furious, aware the reference to you was like a giant billboard that may not come down? Would you feel desolate everything in your life and history are airbrushed, for all I knew, permanently? And what financial harm to my publication was coming?
I felt as if I was gazing from a tiny star across light years of time to a giant, sealed, and impenetrable space ship, peopled by technobots who speak a different language.
I tracked down the left-wing political activists. But Google was complicit by altering their global format to allow the attack, and to rub out my life’s achievements. I have yet to discover if anyone else, a company or an institution, has been attacked by Google’s nefarious acts to try to ruin a person or entity they don’t even know.
An email to Spaceship Google was diving into the void, like falling through a wormhole. A telephone call is retro tech but it might work. It did, and progress ensued. But only after two years of letters, emails, phone calls, and lawyers.
What got me was Google’s first reaction, obviously the party line to flick off nuisances like me: well, we are posting the reference to you as a single-entry one-time racist tirade, completely different from any Google posting, because it received the most hits.
Hold the phone and reboot your computer! There were thousands of listings for me before this crime, with no entry about the alleged racism. Was he really saying the race entry received the most hits, although it wasn’t listed before Google’s ferocious attack on me?
Are you actually lying with a straight face, everything about my career is ignored by visitors to my Google listings, except this previously non-existent racial libel? And how did it somehow rise from not being listed at all to number one?
This went on until my attorney suggested we write a final letter before running up more fees to research old and new law related to Spaceship Google, and the lawless frontier of the Internet. It struck me as astoundingly ironic that, despite the advances in communications, a good old letter did the trick.
We had won, but at what cost? If I had not dedicated body and soul and time, the racist accusation could still be there, all by itself, representing my entire life. That’s scary, and evil.
Bernie Reeves founded five regional publications and the Raleigh Spy Conference. His writing has appeared in National Review and American Thinker. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.
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