The American Spectator is on a list of sites “blacklisted” in Google search results, according to documents obtained by the Daily Caller.
Google created an “XPA news blacklist” to suppress “fake news, hate speech [and] conspiracy theories” in its search results, the Daily Caller’s J. Arthur Bloom reported in an exclusive Tuesday. This practice, approved by Google’s Trust & Safety team, contradicts congressional testimony by Google CEO Sundar Pichai, who denied that the company manipulates its search results. Bloom quotes the internal Google document as saying the blacklist would be used to “filter problematic sites that violate the good neighbor and misrepresentation policies.” According to the document:
The beginning of the workflow starts when a website is placed on a watchlist which is used for monitoring of sites to determine if they violate the Good Neighbor Policy. This watchlist is maintained and stored by Ares with access restricted to policy & enforcement specialists working on the Good Neighbor Policy. … The investigation of the watchlist is done in the tool Athena, the Ares manual review tool, and intakes signals from Search, Webspan, and Ares in order to complete reviews. … Once a domain is determined to be violating the misrepresentation policy or the Good Neighbor Policy, such patterns are then added to deceptive_news_blacklist_domains.txt by the Trust & Safety team.
Sites targeted by the Google blacklist include not only The American Spectator, but also Jim Hoft’s popular Gateway Pundit site and the Conservative Tribune. Google made no explanation of how it was determined that these sites were determined to be “deceptive” or engaged in “misrepresentation,” as compared to, say, CNN, which has spent the past two years promoting a false “Russian collusion” conspiracy theory.