Jump to content

MEPs send open letter to Google to stop serving ads on Breitbart.com

News item

Monday 24 Apr 2017

MEPs are calling on Google to stop serving ads to the hate site Breitbart.com and comply to their own rules. 

Addressed to Tom Siegel, Google Vice President of Trust & Safety / Sridhar Ramaswamy, Google Senior Vice President of Ads & Commerce

Brussels, 24th April 2017

Open Letter to Google to stop serving ads on Breitbart.com

Dear Mr Siegel, Dear Mr Ramaswamy,

As elected representatives from across Europe, we are calling on you to implement Google’s own guidelines on harassment and bullying content, and stop serving ads to the hate site Breitbart.com. Breitbart purports to be a source of news, but has consistently distorted the truth to pursue a divisive and hateful agenda. In January, Breitbart accused 1000 refugees of ‘attacking police’ and ‘setting Germany’s oldest church on fire’. Both claims subsequently turned out to be falsehoods designed to whip up anti-refugee sentiment, fitting a long and established pattern of inciting harassment of Muslims, women and minorities.

Fake news is a complex problem, but there is one simple thing you can do to tackle it in this instance. Breitbart (and Google) makes money from displaying Google Ads on the site, often without the knowledge of the brands involved. More than a thousand brands have stopped their ads appearing on the site, and workers have resigned over their employer’s unwillingness to sever ties with Breitbart

At Google, it is company policy to “do the right thing”, but by allowing Google Ads to be displayed on Breitbart, you are directly profiting from the spread of hatred in our societies. More than 60,000 people in Germany have signed a petition calling for Google to stop placing ads on Breitbart. We echo their call, and look forward to your response on this important issue.

Sincerely yours,

Harms Rebecca,

Albrecht Jan Phillip,

Andersson Max,

Boni Michal,

Childers Nessa,

Fajon Tanja,

Freund Eugen,

Gomes Ana Maria,

Goulard Sylvie,

Hautala Heidi,

Heubuch Maria,

Joly Eva,

Kalniete Sandra,

Kelam Tunne,

Kohn Arndt,

Kyenge Cécile Kashetu,

Lunacek Ulrike,

Niedermueller Peter,

Rivasi Michèle,

Scott Cato Molly,

Staes Bart,

Stihler Catherine,

Tarand Indrek,

Tremosa i Balcells Ramon,

Trüpel Helga,

Von Weizsäcker Jakob