Google Blasted For Labeling Anti-Abortion Film Unplanned’ As ‘Propaganda’
Google is being blasted for labeling the new pro-life film “Unplanned” as “propaganda.”
The Daily Signal’s Kelsey Bolar posted a note on Twitter on Thursday that showed a screenshot of a Google search for the film, adding the caption: “Who knew that ‘propaganda’ was a movie genre? Google once again exposing its gross political bias.”
— Kelsey Bolar (Harkness) (@kelseybolar) April 11, 2019
“Unplanned” takes a critical look at Planned Parenthood. “As one of the youngest Planned Parenthood clinic directors in the nation, Abby Johnson was involved in upwards of 22,000 abortions and counseled countless women on their reproductive choices,” Rotten Tomatoes says in a brief description of the film. “Her passion surrounding a woman’s right to choose led her to become a spokesperson for Planned Parenthood, fighting to enact legislation for the cause she so deeply believed in. Until the day she saw something that changed everything.”
Fox News got in touch with Google to ask about the label.
A Google spokesperson explained to Fox News that its “Knowledge Graph” analyzed web content on “Unplanned” and that a large volume of it described the film as propaganda and placed the label without a universal consensus.
“When we’re made aware of disputed facts in our Knowledge Graph, we work to fix the issues, as we’ve done in this case,” the spokesperson told Fox News. Google has updated the search results so that “propaganda” no longer appears as the genre.
After Bolar made her post, other responded.
Unplanned is labeled as propaganda.
— Ryan B. Leslie (@RyanBLeslie) April 12, 2019
wow… if anything it just goes to show we are fighting the right fight. even though @twitter and @Google and other media outlets try their best to shut it down, the truth gets out and the truth catches fire. be afraid. a light has dawned, and people are waking up and staying up.
— Alexis (@MsERalexis) April 12, 2019
so basically because a bunch of people who never saw the film talked about it as being propaganda the algorithm/system labeled it as such? That seems like it could be fixed pretty easily.
— William Ward (@BucMan55) April 12, 2019
Shortly before the movie came out, Twitter briefly suspended its page.
Still waiting for an explanation as to why @Twitter inexplicably suspended our account. I think we all know why. Perhaps it's because we are moving the needle, making a difference and changing hearts and minds with #UnPlannedMovie@LiveAction https://t.co/RvobjpflcF
— UnplannedMovie (@UnplannedMovie) March 30, 2019
“According to Twitter, Unplanned was not suspended on purpose, but rather was linked to another account that had violated Twitter’s rules,” the Hollywood Reporter wrote. The account was restored.
The movie was hit with an R rating, which generally reduces viewership, especially for a movie about abortion. Some networks have used that rating as a excuse not to run ads. “Up TV cited the R rating when it also rejected the commercial, as did several Christian radio channels that also refused to air ads for Unplanned,” the Reporter said, noting that Lifetime, Hallmark Channel, HGTV and “several other cable networks” also refused to run ads for the movie, the Hollywood Reporter wrote last month.
Lifetime, for example, told the film’s marketers that they declined to air the commercial due to the “sensitive nature of the film,” the ad buyers tell The Hollywood Reporter. The marketers though, note that the network — which is owned by A&E Networks, a joint venture of Walt Disney and Hearst Communications — previously promoted an interview with Scarlett Johansson where she pitches Planned Parenthood.
The Travel Channel, Cooking Channel, HGTV and Food Network, each of which are owned by Discovery, also refused to sell ad time for Unplanned due to the “sensitive nature” of the movie, say those who tried buying air time.
Other networks that refused to advertise the movie include the Hallmark Channel and USA Network, the latter of which is owned by NBCUniversal.
“We were looking to spend money, but they didn’t want to get involved,” said John Sullivan, a producer of Unplanned. THR reached out to all of the networks; Lifetime declined to comment while the rest did not respond.
“Most of the networks didn’t go into detail beyond citing the subject matter of the film and that they didn’t want to get into politics. But we don’t believe we’re in the political category,” said Joe Knopp, an Unplanned producer.
Meanwhile, the Twitter account of “Unplanned” has exploded. It had a mere 6,000 followers before it was suspended by Twitter, but quickly rocketed up to 352,000 followers on the social media platform — while Planned Parenthood has 260,000.
"The pro-life film “Unplanned” has now surpassed Planned Parenthood in followers on Twitter despite the platform censoring and restricting them" – Mindy
— UnplannedMovie (@UnplannedMovie) April 1, 2019