Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) entered the Democratic race as somewhat of a controversial candidate. She is well known to progressives for her support of Bernie Sanders during the 2016 nomination process. Her detractors, however, are critical of her stances on foreign policy as well as ties to anti-LGBT groups earlier in her political career.
Gabbard managed to garner enough polling support to appear on stage during the first of the Democratic debates. Her campaign alleges that Google had suspended her Google ads shortly after the debate and is, in turn, suing the web service.
According the the candidate’s campaign the ads were pulled down on June 28th, two days after the event. A campaign spokesperson says, “For hours, as millions of Americans searched Google for information about Tulsi, and as Tulsi was trying, through Google, to speak to them, her Google Ads account was arbitrarily and forcibly taken offline.”
The campaign also says that according to their numbers, the Hawaii lawmaker was the most searched candidate during the debate.
Google’s Riva Sciuto states, “In this case, our system triggered a suspension and the account was reinstated shortly thereafter. We are proud to offer ad products that help campaigns connect directly with voters, and we do so without bias toward any party or political ideology.”
The Gabbard campaign isn’t buying this answer and claims the web giant is attempting to censor the lawmaker’s message. They allege in the lawsuit, “Google (or someone at Google) didn’t want Americans to hear Tulsi Gabbard’s speech, so it silenced her.”