Google, Disney Break Ties With Anti-Semitic Media, Social Influencers

Google has taken sweeping steps to rid the Internet of anti-Semitism and break ties with any media company or social influencer that demonstrates an anti-Semitic view. 

On Monday the Walt Disney Co. took steps to break ties with YouTube influencer Felix Kjellberg, also known as PewDiePie, after he posted a video clip with a pair of South Asian men wearing costume loincloths holding up a banner in the video that read "Death To All Jews." It was supposed to be a joke, but neither Disney executives nor Google saw any humor.

Kjellberg has been dubbed "the most popular YouTube star on the planet," until this week, with videos viewed in aggregate of more than 14 billion times. 

YouTube and Disney reported made the decision after The Wall Street Journalpublished a story in January highlighting the video, as well as eight others that included anti-Jewish jokes or Nazi imagery. Millions of people watched that January 11, 2017, video, per the WSJ, but it's unclear why the companies waited more than a month to respond.

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One video clip began with swastika and Nazi imagery in which Kjellberg wore a hat from President Donald Trump's campaigns that read "Make America Great Again" and used a photo of Hitler to segue between clips.

Some believe the openness of the Internet has enabled a variety of people to abuse free speech. In February, Google also took steps to stop several sites from using its Web site advertising platform AdSense, disallowing sites such as Counter-Currents Publishing, American Free Press, The Right Stuff, and Veterans Today.

Media Matters, a U.S. political media watchdog, reports that Counter-Currents Publishing and AFP have separately confirmed that they received notice from Google regarding their inability to use Google's ad platform, AdSense. 

Media Matters has been monitoring Web sites for Google ads. "On February 14, Media Matters reviewed The Right Stuff and could not find any Google ads on the site. (The Right Stuff has not publicly commented on whether Google AdSense has ended its participation in the program.)," according to an email. The watchdog did find a Google ad on Veterans Today that ran Feb. 13.

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