Skip to content

Google censoring the BIBLE? Censorship by Google and Facebook growing in the US

Free World Class Education
FREE Catholic Classes

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)
9/1/2017 (1 year ago)
Catholic Online (

Google censored Catholic Online's Daily Readings.

Censorship is a growing problem in cyberspace. Media outlets and content producers across the web are learning the hard way that if Goolge and Facebook disagree with your opinion, you will be silenced and run out of business. It is time to regulate social media to protect free speech.

Censorship by Google and Facebook is stifling free speech in America.

Censorship by Google and Facebook is stifling free speech in America.


By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)
Catholic Online (
9/1/2017 (1 year ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: Google, censorship, Bible, Facebook, social media, regulation

LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) -- In some countries, posting a meme that is critical of the government will get you arrested and put in jail. What happens after that depends on where you live. You could walk free after a short time, or you could be put to death.

As Americans, we have always cherished our right to freedom of expression. It is such an important right, we enshrined it in our Constitution as the First Amendment.

The First Amendment lets us say and do a lot of things. Yes, it allows Nazis and Klansmen to march in public in full regalia. Most people find that offensive. It also allows us to counter-protest these events, and to criticize people who participate in those marches. It allows us to worship, pray and preach our many faiths. It allows us to publish books of all kinds. It permits scholars to write essays. It sparks political reforms, and changes in the way we do things. It allows us to petition our government, make music, art, movies, and much more.

For over two hundred years, the public forum created by the First Amendment has been jealously guarded against all infringement.

But in the past few decades, the public forum has changed. It has moved into cyberspace where private corporations rule. Today, Google dominates the realm of internet searches as well as the advertising market, and YouTube, which it owns. Facebook dominates social media.

Whereas a few decades ago, most people got their news and information via the newspaper and television, today most people consume media on their mobile devices. They use the internet to access Google, YouTube, and Facebook, and this is where they get their news and information.

The problem is that Google and Facebook have started to aggressively censor content across the web. And they're turning to questionable organizations like the Southern Poverty Law Center to tell them how to do it. The result is overbearing censorship, particularly of conservative media.

In 2014, as the Islamic State conquered a swathe of territory across Syria and Iraq, the terrorists released a series of gruesome propaganda videos to terrorize the rest of the world. These videos were swiftly censored. Google, YouTube and a host of smaller media providers often removed these videos within minutes to hours of their posting. The justification was that the blood and gore violated their terms of service. They often added they did not want to provide the terrorists with a channel of communication that could be used to promote terrorism.

For some time, censorship was restricted to that kind of content, but within the past two years, it has steadily grown.

Soon, any content critical of Islam or that dealt with terrorism was subject to censorship. The restrictions have since spread further. Today, any kind of content that is considered offensive, hateful, or that could inspire hatred or violence is subject to censorship.

Most of the content facing censorship comes from the right wing of the political spectrum. Neo-Nazi organizations like Stormfront have been booted entirely off the web. But the censorship does not end with Nazis.

Last week, a conservative group, The Liberty Conservative, was ordered to remove a piece that explained the difference between the Alt-Right movement and actual Nazis. Google deemed the piece offensive, and demanded they take it down.

The Liberty Conservative relented and removed the piece. Had they refused, Google would have kept all of their advertising revenue from their Ad Sense account. Ad Sense is Google's advertising platform that pays content providers, such as The Liberty Conservative for displaying ads on their webpages. Many media outlets rely on this money to stay in business.

This is how Google gets away with claiming they are not censoring content. The Liberty Conservative could have kept their piece published, but Google would not have paid them, and in turn, they would not have the money to pay their staff. This would have put The Liberty Conservative out of business. But technically, they could have kept the piece published.

This kind of censorship is known as "soft censorship."

Google also has the power to bury websites it doesn't like in search results.

A similar occurrence took place in the last month on Catholic Online. Google demanded the removal of several daily reading videos from YouTube because they were somehow deemed offensive. These videos were mere Bible readings from the Catholic lectionary. They contained no commentary or editorial. There was no homily or sermon. They were simply passages from the Bible.

Catholic Online was able to compromise and remove advertising from those videos, but the alternative was to either have their entire channel shut down, or be paid nothing from ad revenue as long as the videos were up. This has driven Catholic Online to develop an alternative media strategy for itself, which will be announced shortly.

The problem with these cases is that Google, a private corporation, is deciding what speech is acceptable in the public forum. That's because the public forum has moved from the newspaper and television and into cyberspace, but we have few laws which regulate cyberspace.

It is time for the U.S. federal government to enter cyberspace and set boundaries for Google and Facebook. This is common in other parts of the world where Google and Facebook already censor their content to order. People in countries like China use Google too, but Google censors their results to satisfy the demands of Chinese law.

Google could do the same in the U.S., but in reverse. They could be compelled to censor less content hosted in the United States as long as that content would otherwise be protected by the First Amendment. They could be banned from soft censorship.

Google and Facebook are monopolies, much like cable and electric companies. As such, they should be regulated to ensure the service they provide meets the expectations of a free and just society.

Few people like Nazis. Few people care to click into webpages emblazoned with swastikas. However, the same First Amendment that protects hateful content also protects content like daily Bible readings.

We the people ought to decide what is permissible in the public forum of ideas, not some private corporation. It's time to end soft censorship and intimidation by private firms, lest we find ourselves in some kind of Orwellian future where the only acceptable content are cat videos and Google-Southern Poverty Law Center approved propaganda.


More U.S.

California bishops call Catholics to 'ecological spirituality' Watch

Image of

On the fourth anniversary of Laudato Si', the bishops of California challenged the community to grow in an "ecological conversion" that ... continue reading

US Supreme Court will soon decide 'Peace Cross' First Amendment case Watch

Image of

Before the month is out, the US Supreme Court is expected to issue its decision in an establishment clause case with the potential to ... continue reading

Mom, target of doxing state rep, calls for Sims' censure Watch

Image of

State Rep. Brian Sims is facing possible censure in the Pennsylvania legislature following his harassment and attempts to dox women and ... continue reading

Supreme Court gives second chance to Oregon cake bakers who declined same-sex wedding Watch

Image of

An Oregon bakery whose owners declined to make a cake celebrating a same-sex commitment ceremony will get another chance in court, after ... continue reading

Analysis: How will the USCCB vote in first elections since McCarrick scandal? Watch

Image of

While the spring meeting of the U.S. bishops' conference has only just concluded, some bishops are already looking to the election of new ... continue reading

Deacon Keith Fournier Hi readers, it seems you use Catholic Online a lot; that's great! It's a little awkward to ask, but we need your help. If you have already donated, we sincerely thank you. We're not salespeople, but we depend on donations averaging $14.76 and fewer than 1% of readers give. If you donate just $5.00, the price of your coffee, Catholic Online School could keep thriving. Thank you. Help Now >

Never Miss any Updates!

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers.

Learn about Catholic world

Catholic Online
Inform - Inspire - Ignite

Catholic Online Saints
Your saints explained

Catholic Online Prayers
Prayers for every need

Catholic Online Bible
Complete bible online

Catholic Online News
Your news Catholic eye

Daily Reading
Today's bible reading

Lent / Easter
Death & resurrection of Jesus

Advent / Christmas
Birth of Jesus

Rest of Catholic Online
All Catholic world we offer

Products and services we offer

Catholic Online Shopping
Catholic medals, gifts & books

Advertise on Catholic Online
Your ads on

Catholic Online Email
Email with Catholic feel

Learn the Catholic way

Catholic Online School
Free Catholic education for all

Student Classes
K-12 & Adult Education Classes

Support Free Education
Tax deductible support Free education

Connect with us online

Catholic Online on Facebook
Catholic social network

Catholic Online on Twitter
Catholic Tweets

Catholic Online on YouTube
Enjoy our videos

Catholic Online on Instagram
Shared Catholic moments

Catholic Online on Pinterest
Catholic ideas style inspiration

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2019 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2019 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.

Catholic Online is a Project of Your Catholic Voice Foundation, a Not-for-Profit Corporation. Your Catholic Voice Foundation has been granted a recognition of tax exemption under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Federal Tax Identification Number: 81-0596847. Your gift is tax-deductible as allowed by law.