Google (severely encouraged by what has in the meantime been described as low-grade “snitch journalism”) recently decided to declare “ad platform war” on several independent websites – one of them being the Zero Hedge site, and the other The Federalist.
The method was to threaten to demonetize these websites by banning them from Google’s mighty online ad program – often understood as the be-all and end-all of any hope to monetize free web content.
The goal was to force these sites to toe the line of what’s acceptable or not in the realm of user-generated content, in this case, the comments section.
But what if these sites decided to forgo Google and its lucrative ad dollar pull, and rely on donations from the community they might have built around them?
It turns out that if Zero Hedge’s payment service of choice for donations is PayPal – the blog is out of luck, since PayPal has recently banned it.
Zero Hedge announced that unlike The Federalist – which temporarily removed its comments section altogether – it was going to “apply filters” to make the comments more palatable to Google, and whoever may be acting up behind it.
A blog post on the Zero Hedge site said the filter would be limited to “a number of keywords that started this whole fiasco.”
You’d think Zero Hedge would have known for a long time now “which way the winds are blowing” – but apparently they’re just finding out, and adjusting their operations accordingly, in order to introduce a premium, i.e., paid version of the site that would be free both of ads, and of outside forces.
But for now, Zero Hedge is working to keep the comments and the site alive, the post said, and also seemed to accuse “targeted provocation” as the reason why the site got in the cross-hairs of the “snitch-journalist” class and Google in the first place.