Google employees sought to block Breitbart from Google AdSense less than one month after President Donald Trump took office, leaked emails from the company reveal.
Google employees sought to use alleged “hate speech” as a pretense for banning Breitbart from taking part in the advertising program, the emails show.
Barring Breitbart from the advertising program would have a devastating effect on the site’s ad revenue as Google accounts for roughly 37 percent of all digital advertising revenue. (RELATED: Top Ad Writer Behind Boycott Campaign Targeting Breitbart, Ingraham)
Breitbart obtained the emails and published them Monday night, one day before Google CEO Sundar Pichai is set to testify before the House Judiciary Committee. A Google spokeswoman confirmed the emails’s authenticity to The Daily Caller News Foundation.
Google employees crowd-sourced a spreadsheet of examples meant to show Breitbart engaging in “hate speech” as part of a internal lobbying campaign meant to pressure their higher-ups into removing Breitbart from AdSense.
“My team has been reviewing the site on a frequent (at least weekly) from the [original] fake news kick-off discussion,” Google’s director of monetization at the time, Jim Gray, assured employees concerned about Breitbart. Gray now is now Google’s director of trust and safety.
Richard Zippel, a Google publisher quality manager at the time, similarly noted that Breitbart was being watched closely. “When sufficient violations have been found we’ll take action at the site level,” Zippel wrote. It’s unclear whether Zippel is still a Google employee.