Leaked Document Exposes How Google Manipulates YouTube Search Results to Censor Pro-Life Videos

National   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Jan 16, 2019   |   10:51AM   |   Washington, DC

Documents leaked to Breitbart this week suggest that the media giant Google is quietly censoring pro-life content on YouTube.

The documents indicated that Google has a “blacklist” file for “controversial YouTube queries” and the term “abortion” is on it, according to the report. Terms related to the Irish abortion referendum and pro-abortion U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters also are on the list, the report indicated.

Evidence of the censorship comes from a leaked discussion thread from within Google, which owns YouTube. An unnamed source also gave Breitbart a partial copy of the blacklist.

“If you look at the other entries recently added to the youtube_controversial_query_blacklist(e.g., entries related to the Strasbourg terrorist attack), the addition of abortion seems…out-of-place,” a Google software engineer wrote on the thread, according to the report.

Here’s more from the report:

According to the source, the software engineer who started the discussion called the manipulation of search results related to abortion a “smoking gun.”

The software engineer noted that the change had occurred following an inquiry from a left-wing Slate journalist about the prominence of pro-life videos on YouTube, and that pro-life videos were replaced with pro-abortion videos in the top ten results for the search terms following Google’s manual intervention. …

According to the source, a software engineer in the thread also noted that “a bunch of terms related to the abortion referendum in Ireland” had been added to the blacklist – another change with potentially dramatic consequences on the national policies of a western democracy.

Concerns about censorship are not new. In December, LifeNews reported how YouTube downgraded pro-life videos in its search results after a pro-abortion writer at Slate complained. The videos included a former abortionist testifying to Congress about the gruesome, violent ways in which unborn babies are aborted, Live Action’s abortion procedure videos, a video of conservative speaker/writer Ben Shapiro defending the pro-life position, and another of a woman speaking about how deeply she regretted aborting her unborn baby.

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These videos were extremely popular, each with millions of views on YouTube, but “YouTube changed the results after I asked,” Slate writer April Glaser bragged.

Last week, YouTube faced censorship accusations again when it removed one of Live Action’s videos exposing how Planned Parenthood aids sex traffickers. Eventually, YouTube did apologize, saying the removal was a mistake.

A lawsuit challenging Google’s alleged censorship also is underway. Conservative nonprofit PragerU filed the lawsuit earlier this month in California, arguing that Google unlawfully restricted its free speech and discriminated against its religious and political views.

Responding to the new leak, a Google spokesperson told Breitbart that it does not manipulate search results to promote a certain ideology.

“Google has never manipulated or modified the search results or content in any of its products to promote a particular political ideology,” the spokesperson said.

During testimony to U.S. Congress, Google CEO Sundar Pichai also claimed that his company does not “manually intervene on any search result” – a claim that the leaked documents appear to contradict.

Censorship and media blackouts are nothing new to the pro-life movement. Social media giants like Facebook and Twitter also have been accused of censoring pro-life content. Last fall, makers of the “Gosnell” film said Facebook censored their ads. The Susan B. Anthony List also accused Facebook of censoring its election ads just prior to the November mid-terms.

Live Action has said Twitter repeatedly censored its ads. Founder Lila Rose said the social media site blocked their ability to advertise and told them to change information on their websites if they want to start advertising again. In 2015, Facebook also refused to allow Live Action to advertise one of its stories because “the image or video thumbnail may shock or evoke a negative response from viewers.” The image was of baby Eli Thompson who was born without a nose.

Facebook became a subject of national controversy in 2016 after some of its workers admitted that they suppressed conservative news stories in favor of liberal ones. LifeNews.com, which is the leading pro-life news website on the Internet and the only one specifically devoted to pro-life issues, has long believed that Facebook has been suppressing its traffic.