Democrat Tulsi Gabbard had a great debate and her name was the most searched afterward. When that happened, Google shut down her ad to keep her from gaining momentum.
She has decided not to take it lying down and has now sued Google for $50 million dollars. This could become a trend. If so, the Republican party could file a class action suit. Attorney Brian Dunne, who represents Gabbard, told Politico that just as Gabbard’s popularity was spiking, Google removed Gabbard’s ad account, without explanation or accountability.
Now, there may be accountability. I just hope Gabbard does not agree to a settlement.
When further pressed by the campaign, Google then said Tulsi Now, Inc.’s account had committed “a violation of the terms of service.”
Google spokeswoman Riva Sciuto defended her company’s actions, saying, “We have automated systems that flag unusual activity on all advertiser accounts — including large spending changes — in order to prevent fraud and protect our systems. In this case, our system triggered a suspension and the account was reinstated shorty thereafter. We are proud to offer ad products that help campaigns connect directly with voters, and we do so without bias toward any party or political ideology.”
Gabbard shared a statement from her campaign on Twitter explaining the suit, which laid out the reasoning behind the case before arguing “Google’s discrimination against our campaign reveals the danger of their dominance & how the dominance of big tech over public discourse threatens core American values.”
2/3 – #Google controls 88% of internet search in the US — giving it control over our access to information. Google’s arbitrary suspension of the account of a presidential candidate should be of concern to all Americans. https://t.co/n7Y7y2dQZ9
3/3 – Google’s discrimination against our campaign reveals the danger of their dominance & how the dominance of big tech over public discourse threatens core American values. They threaten our democracy & #Tulsi will fight back on behalf of all Americans. https://t.co/n7Y7y2dQZ9
“You have a candidate who’s been outwardly adverse towards Google, and is not necessarily seen as a champion of their favorite policy interests, who is reaching never before seen popularity,” Dunne told Politico. “The timing is too coincidental.”