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Google Threatens Censorship of Content Questioning Ukraine’s Propaganda

'I do not remember applying the same policy as you do with Ukraine now when US invaded Syria, Libya, Afghanistan, Iraq... '

(Joshua Paladino, Headline USA) On April 13, Google announced a new censorship and demonetization policy related to the Russo-Ukrainian War, warning users that the company will not tolerate content that “exploits, dismisses, or condones the war.”

The pause on monetization will affect content with “claims that imply victims are responsible for their own tragedy or similar instances of victim blaming, such as claims that Ukraine is committing genocide or deliberately attacking its own citizens,” Google AdSense stated.

Google said that the new policy clarifies but also expands the company’s existing policies about “Dangerous or Derogatory content.”

The policy may mean that applications, like Twitter and Facebook, will have to update their own guidelines so that Google does not remove them from the App Store.

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Twitter, for example, banned the account Russians with Attitude, which posts pro-Russian perspectives on the war. But the social media platform reinstated the account and apologized for the “inconvenience” and “error.”

Under Google’s new rules, however, Twitter may need to ban accounts like RWA because it consistently posts information claiming that Ukraine has committed war crimes by attacking its own citizens, placing military bases and equipment in schools and hospitals, and spreading propaganda about Russian war crimes.

One recent post claims that the Armed Forces of Ukraine shot rockets into civilian territory in Russia, an act of terror. The account is linked, so the post cannot be embedded or retweeted.

Google’s new policy seems to condone one-sided propaganda: pro-Ukrainian information and propaganda can earn ad revenue, but pro-Russian information and propaganda cannot.

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Google likewise will not tolerate content claiming that Russia has a just reason to pursue the war or that Ukraine has terrorized the Russian-speaking majority in the Donetsk People’s Republic and the Luhansk People’s Republic.

Under the guidelines, pro-Ukrainian posts may continue to call the DPR and LPR terrorist organizations.

One post on Google’s AdSense showed the absurdity of banning one side’s views during a war.

“Do not forget to ban monetization on websites abusing, denying or excus[ing] [the] next US military invasion!!,” a commenter wrote. “I do not remember applying the same policy as you do with Ukraine now when US invaded Syria, Libya, Afghanistan, Iraq.”

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