American Family Radio’s Bryan Fischer alleged on his “Focal Point” radio program today that Google is personally targeting him for censorship because of his view that Muslims should be banned from serving in Congress.
“It looks suspicious to us, like Google is trying to shut me down,” Fischer said. “And I suspect that Google is trying to shut me down because, as far as I know, I am the only public voice that has stood in support of Roy Moore and his view on Muslims in Congress.”
Fischer said that he and the members of his radio show staff have been unable to use Google Docs to prepare for their show because they repeatedly get a message saying that they have violated Google’s terms of service. He said that he suspects it is because he “has crossed Google’s tripwire for hate speech or Islamophobia or whatever.”
“Telling the truth about Islam is offensive content to the people at Google,” he said. “Google, heavy into censorship and now, apparently, for some reason—whether it’s their machine, their algorithm, whatever—they have singled me out in an effort, I think in some way or another, to shut my voice down.”
Fischer, of course, was not being personally targeted by Google as the issued was caused by a glitch that affected many users:
Imagine you’re working on a Google Doc when, seemingly out of nowhere, your ability to edit the online file gets revoked. What you see instead is an error message indicating that you’ve violated Google’s terms of service.
For anyone who stores work in the cloud, suddenly being unable to access your data — especially due to a terms of service violation — may sound scary. And it’s really happening to some people, according to reports on Twitter. Rachael Bale, a wildlife crime reporter for National Geographic, said Tuesday that a draft of her story was “frozen” by Google.
Others have reported similar errors.
In response to some of these reports, a Google employee has tweeted that the team handling Google Docs is looking into the matter. In a statement, Google said it was investigating. “We will provide more information when appropriate,” the company said.
(Update: On Tuesday afternoon Google issued a new statement, saying “we made a code push that incorrectly flagged a small percentage of Google Docs as abusive, which caused those documents to be automatically blocked. A fix is in place and all users should have full access to their docs.”)
UPDATE: Later in the broadcast, after doing a little research and discovering that this issue was being caused by a glitch, Fischer said that they would have to wait to find out more in hopes of learning that “people are not being targeted, people such as myself.”