Democratic presidential hopeful Tulsi Gabbard is suing Google, charging the monopolist tech giant with “election interference” and violating her First Amendment rights.
In a federal complaint filed Thursday in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, Tulsi alleged Google censored her campaign by suspending their Google Ads account immediately after the first Democratic presidential primary debate.
“Google’s discriminatory actions against my campaign are reflective of how dangerous their complete dominance over internet search is, and how the increasing dominance of big tech companies over our public discourse threatens our core American values,” Gabbard said in a statement. “This is a threat to free speech, fair elections and to our democracy, and I intend to fight back on behalf of all Americans.”
According to Gabbard’s campaign, multiples news reports revealed she was the most searched candidate following the debate, prompting Google to employ censorship.
“Without any explanation, Google suspended Tulsi’s Google Ads account,” her office said in a statement, characterizing the move as “arbitrary and capricious.”
Google admits it suspended Gabbard’s account, but blames the termination on it’s internal “automated system.”
“We have automated systems that flag unusual activity on all advertiser accounts — including large spending changes — in order to prevent fraud and protect our customers,” a Google spokesperson said in a statement to Fox News. “In this case, our system triggered a suspension and the account was reinstated shortly thereafter. We are proud to offer ad products that help campaigns connect directly with voters, and we do so without bias toward any party or political ideology.”
President Trump has criticized the tech companies by name in recent months, asserting companies such as Google and Facebook are biased against him.
A leaked video published by Project Veritas, featuring top Google executives conducting a company-wide meeting after the 2016 election incessantly lamenting over Trump’s victory.
Amid long-standing allegations from conservatives claiming Google discriminates against Republicans and Trump supporters, the Justice Department launched a sweeping antitrust investigation into large big technology companies on Tuesday.
The review will demonstrably ascertain whether the online platforms are hurting competition, suppressing innovation or harming consumers.
“Without the discipline of meaningful market-based competition, digital platforms may act in ways that are not responsive to consumer demands,” DOJ antitrust head Makan Delrahim said in a statement. “The department’s antitrust review will explore these important issues.”
The DOJ said it will seek to assess “the competitive conditions in the online marketplace in an objective and fair-minded manner and to ensure Americans have access to free markets in which companies compete on the merits to provide services that users want.
“If violations of law are identified, the department will proceed appropriately to seek redress,” the statement concluded.
Gabbard’s lawsuit marks the first time a presidential contender has sued a large technology company over censorship claims.
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