Google continues to expand its monopoly on information, as the most powerful company in Silicon Valley decided Friday that it will ban advertisements for experimental medical treatments.
The company said that ads for medical remedies with “insufficient formal clinical testing to justify widespread clinical use—giving examples such as gene therapy, cellular therapy, and most stem cell therapy” will be banned because “often times, these treatments can lead to dangerous health outcomes and we feel they have no place on our platforms.”
It also lamented the fact that some people fall prey to scam promotions promising cure-alls.
Now, at the outset, let’s be clear. This reporter is not taking a stance on experimental medical treatments. I’m sure many of them are bogus, and I likely wouldn’t purchase one of them unless I was desperate. On the other side of the coin, it’s certain that American governmental organization that approves treatments for diseases, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), has not provided an approved remedy for every illness, and perhaps there’s a libertarian argument to be had about whether drugs labeled “experimental” ought to be consumable if one so chooses. In fact, in May of 2018, President Donald J. Trump signed into law the Right to Try Act allowing those diagnosed with terminal illnesses to participate in medical trials of remedies not yet approved by the FDA.
Where this reporter is taking a stance is on the fact that Google should not be able to censor consumable information arbitrarily, based on what it thinks is good for the American people. We didn’t elect Google to rule over us. (We didn’t elect the FDA, either, but that’s a separate can of worms). Allowing Google to ban ads for unapproved medical treatments is an obvious slippery slope to banning other ads – like “unapproved political opinions.”
Google cannot be trusted with the immense amount of power that it has, given its already-tenuous relationship with conservatism. In fact, tenuous is a generous label. If I were a “conspiracy theorist,” I might say that Google hates conservatives.
Google donates vast sums to leftist candidates, and one of its former engineers is on the record saying that the company is rooting against Trump in 2020. The company’s executives and employees actually cried the day after Trump won in 2016, and said that Trump supporters were filled with “fear, xenophobia, hatred.” But don’t worry, I’m sure they can be trusted to work with the same law enforcement entity whose highest level employees said they would be sure to “stop” Trump from winning in 2016.
It’s not far-fetched to believe that it might soon ban an ad purchased by your local GOP, or an organization that promotes conservative values. In fact, Vice News just published an article complaining that search results for pro-life clinics are returned on Google Maps when someone searches for an abortion clinic, calling it “misleading medical advice.”
The question is not whether Google should ban ads for experimental medical treatment, but whether it should have the power to ban advertisements in the first place.
Still, the company plans to move forward with its new plan, granting itself decision-making power about what should and should not be seen.
“According to the [Washington Post], the ban will affect all of Google’s ad services, which includes YouTube ads and ads that the company serves to third-party sites,” Gizmodo said.
What ads will Google ban next?
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