Google and Facebook are the two dominant powers when it comes to online ads revenue—both tech behemoths control close to 80 percent of the market. So, it is easy to see why they keep running into trouble each time someone screams the word “monopoly” whenever they wield their big sticks. Google has allegedly wielded its big stick in a controversial column written by celebrity journalist Piers Morgan.
In his column, Piers had criticized super-gymnast Simone Biles for withdrawing from the Vault event she was due to partake in. Biles, along with her team were to represent the US in this year’s Olympic Games in Tokyo. The multiple Olympic Gold winner had pulled out of the event citing “twisties,” a term used by gymnasts to describe the experience they sometimes go through when they feel like they lose control of themselves midair.
Piers would have none of it—his reason being that Biles should have channeled her inner strength rather than quitting. Matters were made worse when Biles received more applause from around the world for her withdrawal. This, according to Piers, was not the proper way to do things.
With the power of social media as represented by Twitter, and his pen, Piers virtually took Biles to the “cleaners;” challenging her to have a change of heart. Perhaps, his choice of words, or his history of being controversial, or Google just playing “god;” his column on Biles was demonetized.
Eight hours after the post, an advertising block was allegedly placed on his column. All ads appearing alongside the column were banned from appearing—with this action, The Mail got no dime from traffic generated by the article. In his words, Piers quoted Google as saying that the column contained “dangerous or derogatory content.”
While Piers admitted that the column on Biles was indeed a harsh one, he was adamant that “it was also an entirely sincere one” at that.
“But I said what I said from a place of tough love, to counter all the absurdly over-the-top proclamations of heroism raining down on Biles’ head, and I ended the column with this plea: ‘Get back out there Simone, and don’t get sucked into all the weak woke failure-loving Twitter nonsense – you’re too great a champion to be labelled a quitter,” Piers said in the Daily Mail
Back in April, MailOnline filed a lawsuit against Google for allegedly downgrading links to its content. MailOnline claimed that the search engine giant hid links to its articles on topics such as “Meghan Markle” and “Piers Morgan.”
Mail claimed that Google had too much control over the online ads market, and systematically downgraded links to its stories. This, according to the publication, was done in favor of other websites, with reference to the coverage of the British royal family.
According to MailOnline, users searching for Piers Morgan’s comments on the Duchess of Sussex in March were substantially more likely to see articles about the popular journalist produced by smaller outlets including the Manchester Evening News and Newcastle Chronicle.
This is contrary to several articles written and published daily by MailOnline about Piers Morgan. Piers generated a lot of controversies when he claimed that he “didn’t believe a word” Meghan said in the interview she granted Oprah Winfrey.