Google Blocks California News Sites Over State Lawsuit

Dominant search engine giant Google is utilizing its enormous power to prevent Californians from seeing local news sites. This action is in response to a state proposal to mandate that Big Tech compensates publishers for online content.

There are other notable instances of tech companies blocking news over similar bills in Australia and Canada. These countries require tech platforms to pay news producers for content displayed online.

Google is not bothering to hide its local censorship.

Jaffer Zaidi heads the company’s worldwide news partnership. According to Politico, he wrote on a blog that the proposed law would create “significant changes” to how the company provides information to consumers in California as well as how traffic is directed to publishing websites.

Zaidi revealed the company’s position when he added that this legislation represents “the wrong approach to supporting journalism.”

Proponents of the California law believe that tech giants such as Google and Meta strip revenues from traditional newsrooms. They argue that news publishers should be paid for their products that users acquire freely online.

Google’s tactic is intended to warn Golden State residents of the consequences of passing such a law.

After a protracted battle with the Canadian government, Google reached an agreement with officials on content compensation. Meta did not come to an understanding with regulators and permanently took down news features from its Canadian users.

It warned of the same consequence if California enacted its proposal.

Industry giants launched an ad campaign in the state criticizing the offering as a “link tax.”

Meanwhile, supporters of the bill believe that the industry opposition merely demonstrates the level of control that Big Tech has over the flow of information.

Danielle Coffee of the News/Media Alliance trade group declared that the industry “will not allow California newsrooms to be censored, silenced and threatened. The need for the California Journalism Preservation Act could not be more clear — Google is not above the law.”

The war between traditional media sources and Big Tech is one that will play out for years to come. Both seek to manipulate the marketplace of ideas, and each should focus on allowing all voices to be heard — not simply those of left-wing global leaders.