Tulsi Gabbard sure has been making the rounds recently. With her anti-war status, economically liberal polices, and support for many things that anger “true believer” Democrats, for every supporter she’s gained a detractor.
After the first debate, she had a massive surge in the polls. This was followed by her becoming the most searched candidate on Google in most of the country. Although, some could argue this was because she was more obscure than any of the others, it’s still really impressive.
At the time, I wrote the following:
It was made clear in all the news after yesterday that Tulsi Gabbard has a chance. Not as big of a chance as supporters of her would like, but still a chance none-the-less that can be capitalized.
She was found to have won a pull done on Drudge. (Although I should note most of those pulls were won by Bernie in 2016) Google searches for her increased more than any other candidate. Basically, while she’s still a long shot, don’t get me wrong, she’s no longer in the category of “unwinnable.”
It turns out the establishment has two ways of stopping another anti-establishment candidate from taking over. We saw NBC muting Andrew Yang during the 2nd debate and not giving him a single question, however, behind the scenes we found something even more insidious.
It turns out that while millions of Americans were trying to find out about Tulsi Gabbard, her campaign was simply unable to advertise as there Google account for such a thing was offline.
Gabbard is calming that this cost her campaign $50,000,000, a number I don’t believe. While it certainly cost her possible millions of dollars in advertisements, I’m unsure how much of an effect it would have in the long run considering at that time most people were searching for her.
As Gabbard put it on her campaign website:
For hours, Tulsi’s campaign advertising account remained offline while Americans everywhere were searching for information about her. During this time, Google obfuscated and dissembled with a series of inconsistent and incoherent reasons for its actions. In the end, Google never explained to us why Tulsi’s account was suspended.
As a supporter of the free market, I believe Google has the right to do this with whoever the want. However, that also means they have to refuse the money the campaign paid to advertise at that particular time. If Gabbard paid Google to advertise at a particular time, then they have agreed to provide this service. Otherwise, Google must refund the Gabbard campaign or not have a claim to that money.
Basically, if I’m your landlord, I can’t make you pay rent for a house you don’t live in. That’s just the basics of property rights. You can’t make someone pay for something they aren’t using, unless, of course, you’re in government.
So this has more of a case to it then most people claiming Google is censoring them. I’ll be interested in seeing how this turns out.
Also, fun fact, when I went to publish this article Medium by default put “Bernie Sanders” in my tag, not Tulsi Gabbard though.