Axis vs Taboola – Anonymous players endanger freedom of expression – THE AXIS OF GOOD. ACHGUT.COM

You can read the bad story of the attempt to seriously damage the financing of the “Axis of Good” through the complaint in a text by Henryk M. Broder. This debate here, which we legally and financially support with “Freedom of Speech on the Internet”, deals with the background figures, largely unknown to the public, who control the flow of money on the Internet and the financing of journalism and media. One such largely unknown company is Table and this comparison takes place with Taboola Germany. The main actor is a Thomas Koch, here is his LinkedIn profile.

On June 28, 2022, Taboola terminated the contract stipulated with the Axis from 2018 – obviously illegally – thus cutting the urgent advertising revenue of the Axis overnight. How did it happen? Taboola has customers and plays their advertising on numerous online platforms. There is no doubt that among the customers there are also very large media, as well as major players in the German economy. Like Volkswagen and Audi.

Many news content providers make their living from advertising revenue distributed by Taboola and the big media companies also depend on it. The gray men in the background play a very important role in the flow of money in our digitized world for the survival of journalism. Only they are largely unknown to the general public, which is in complete contrast to their considerable power.

The specific case, which you can read about here, is presented briefly in such a way that an anonymous informant writes to Audi on Twitter, denounces the “axis”, Audi reacts in a servile and spineless and cowardly manner, turns to the marketer Taboola and he terminate the marketing contract with the axis without notice and illegally. And overnight, the “axis” loses much of its income. We know something similar from the Gunnar Kaiser v. YouTube case (“YouTube stops offering money to Gunnar Kaiser – and granted a court setback”), which is pending before the Cologne regional court.

In this way, large and anonymous actors can enormously damage press freedom and guarantee servile journalism. If possible also for the comments of the press that do not hinder the marketing of the companies, because numerically insignificant minorities but who act loudly cannot find articles about which they have something to complain about.

We consider Taboola’s firing illegal and wrote to the company yesterday. It’s until next Tuesday – Monday is Independence Day in the United States, where the legal department is likely to be located (“Life, freedom and the pursuit of happiness …” wrote Thomas Jefferson and the First Amendment. guarantees freedom of expression) – no withdrawal of the previous resolution, we will clarify the matter in court.

It is also important that companies like Taboola, which have operated in the background but have a big impact on freedom of expression and freedom of the press, are brought to the fore and have to justify themselves there.

You can support “Free Speech Online” in this and other cases here.

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