"Free speech is dying:" Google censors Piers Morgan article on Dailymail.com

Tara Blair Ball

Photo by Mitchell Luo on Unsplash

Piers Morgan, a broadcaster and journalist, made waves last week when he came down on Olympic gymnast Simone Biles. After she chose to quit the U.S. team in the Tokyo Olympics, Piers Morgan took to the DailyMail to write a column titled, "Sorry Simone Biles, but there’s nothing heroic or brave about quitting because you’re not having ‘fun’ – you let down your team-mates, your fans and your country."

His critique was simple: Morgan believed Simone Biles was being "praised more for quitting than she would have been had she dug deep, battled on and helped her team win Gold rather than the silver medal they ended up with in Biles' absence."

Biles' choice to step down was a complicated one. On a clip, she wrote of having the "twisties." She defines this as a feeling of not having control of her body once it's in the air, which can be incredibly dangerous.

She wrote, "For anyone saying I quit, I didn't quit. My mind and body are simply not in sync...I don't think you realize how dangerous this is on hard/competition surface. Nor do I have to explain why I put health first. 

"Physical health is mental health."

Many praised Biles for her decision to not put her health, and even her life, on the line for the Olympics.

But Morgan disagreed, and he was "was abused, vilified and shamed for having an opinion that differed from the weak, woke Twitter mob." He goes on to say that, this "was to be expected as they despise the whole idea of mental strength. To them, only weakness and victimhood can be celebrated."

He explains that Simone Biles stepping down was "weak" and praising her decision to do so was "celebrating victimhood."

Whether or not you agree with Morgan, Google surely didn't.

Piers Morgan wrote today that Google had put an "advertising block" on his column. This essentially means that no advertisements were allowed to be showed on his article, so the DailyMail (where it was posted) would receive no advertising revenue for that particular column. This was likely a considerable amount of revenue lost since that article has been shared more than 51,000 times with over 9000 comments on it.

Morgan went on to say that he received the following error message from Google: "We've found some issues that are policy violations that you must fix. No ads are being served."

Morgan described this error message "like something a North Korean official might send a newspaper to silence them on pain of execution."

Later, he discovered that Google removed the ads because his article contained "dangerous or derogatory content."

Morgan went on to say, "Free speech means free speech, or it's not free speech."

Some would disagree though.

Just because you can say whatever you want doesn't mean you don't have the suffer the consequences of what you say. You can say whatever you want about a business, for example, but if it's an utter lie, you could find yourself sued for slander.

In many ways, Morgan still has his free speech protected. His original article is still up. It still appears in Google search results. It can still be read and shared. It hasn't been censored in anyway.

But the DailyMail can't receive revenue from it because Google deemed the content to be "dangerous or derogatory." Google can choose where ads can be sold or not, and because they believe Morgan's article violated their policy guidelines, they could choose not to allow it to do so.

Is free speech "really dying?" What do you think? Tell me in the comments.

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Certified Relationship Coach and Writer. E-mail: tarablairball@gmail.com

Memphis, TN

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