In a long overdue move last week, Google wisely removed links to Natural News in search results. This was the right thing to do since Mike Adams, the owner of Natural News, uses the website to promote unscientific nonsense which is both a scam and dangerous to his customers.
Naturally, Adams published a blog complaining that he was a victim of censorship by Google. You know, because a private company deciding who they give ad revenue to is a violation of the First Amendment, right?
His rant was similar to another one from December in which his blog railed against the demonization of “fake news” and claimed that Hitler had executed journalists who alerted the world to the Holocaust. We’ll get to that in a little bit, but here’s a snippet of his kvetching session.
Natural News is, of course, one of the world’s top educational and activism sources exposing the lies of dangerous medicine, toxic mercury in vaccines, the corporate-quack science behind GMOs, cancer industry fraud and so on. By providing truthful, empowering and passionate information to the public, we harm the profit model of the corrupt medical cartels that fund the media, lobby the government and influence internet gatekeepers with advertising money. (Google has already declared war on natural medicine and nutritional supplements, all but banning them from being advertised on Google Adsense.)
The removal of Natural News from Google’s index means that millions of people may now be unnecessarily harmed by toxic medicines, herbicides and brain-damaging mercury in vaccines because they are being denied the “other side of the story” that’s censored by the corporate-controlled media. By censoring Natural News, Google is, in effect, siding with the criminal pharmaceutical industry that has been charged with multiple felony crimes and caught bribing doctors, fraudulently altering scientific studies, conducting medical experiments on children and price fixing their drugs to maximize profits.
Mike Adams is really, really pissed off. For all of these years, he has made quite a bit of money peddling bullshit supplements and fearmongering. Being blacklisted by Google in search results could also be a step towards losing his prized AdSense account, which would be a major blow to his cash flow.
Adams is so committed to keeping his “natural health” and conspiracy game going that he has even gone so far as to name people in the science field that he suggested should be killed for exposing his lucrative con game.
Via The Ness:
A few years ago Adams put up a post in which he listed people who support the science of GMOs to the public, comparing them to Nazis and arguing that it would be ethical (even a moral obligation) to kill them. So he essentially made a kill-list for his conspiracy-addled followers. Mine was one of the names on that list, as were other journalists and science-communicators.
In short Adams is a dangerous loon spreading misinformation and harmful conspiracy theories in order to sell snake oil, and will smear and threaten those who call him out. He is an active menace to the health of the public.
Adams is a good example of the dark underbelly of social media. It makes it possible to build a massive empire out of click-bait and sensationalism. (Source)
Ok, so far we’ve determined that Mike Adams and Natural News is a for-profit entity making a ton of money off conspiracy nuts, and is a right-wing site that also cleverly caters to the conspiracy-minded folks on the far-left.
Now here’s where things get a bit weird. The website AlternativeMediaSyndicate which regularly appears on liberal Facebook pages like FreakOutNation appears to have copied and pasted the entire article from Natural News originally published in December and published it on their own site without attribution on February 24th. While the apparently plagiarized article or the Facebook post does not specifically mention Google’s sanctions of Natural News, the timing of the post cannot be a mere coincidence, considering the fact that it seems to be lifted word-for-word from Mike Adams’ site.
Alternative Media Syndicate appears on its face to be a left-leaning news website, but upon closer scrutiny, it is actually a conspiracy blog posing as a news outlet. Furthermore, articles like this one that aren’t allegedly plagiarized from other sources have a poor record of standing up to fact-checking.
I believe there are two plausible explanations here. The first is that the owners of Alternative News Syndicate blatantly plagiarized a Natural News blog in order to get an easy check from Google. The other possibility is that the site, especially with its own conspiracy bent, copied Natural News with permission from Mike Adams.
Both reasons are highly unethical and downright creepy. It shows that some people on the left will publish anything for a quick buck, even if it means getting in bed with Trump supporters, or just stealing content. Or maybe they’re conspiracy nuts posing as liberals, which is all the more reason to fact-check something before you share it.