Arizona GOP Secretary Of State Candidate Insists ‘Deep State’ Google Is Blocking His Website; Turns Out He Requested It Not Be Indexed

from the stupidity-or-incompetence dept

These days, the conspiracy-minded GOP candidates (who seem to be an increasing majority of the party right now) seem to believe that there needs to be a conspiracy against them or they’re just not that important. It can be the deep state, big tech, or the “woke banks” or whatever, but someone must be coming to get them. It’s all nonsense. Mark Finchem is the GOP candidate in Arizona for Secretary of State. If he wins, he’ll be one of a distressingly high number of politicians in charge of future elections who believes — against all facts and evidence — that the 2020 election was fraudulent. Such people can do an awful lot of damage.

Anyway, this week Finchem insisted that Google and its “deeps state algorithm” was blocking his campaign website to try to stymie his campaign:

And it is true that if you search for his campaign website on Google, you come up empty (though you do find lots of other stuff about him, including his lies about the 2020 election). However as Grid News figured out, the reality is not just different, but (for yet another reason) raises serious questions about Finchem’s competence. It turns out that Finchem’s campaign inserted a “noindex” meta tag… telling Google not to index it or show it in search. I mean, it’s right there for anyone to see:

If you can’t see that image, it’s a screenshot of the source code on his website, showing some of the meta tags, and it looks like they used the AIOSEO plugins to setup their SEO tags. In this case, they chose to block search engines, as seen in the meta tag:

<meta name="robots" content="noindex, nofollow, max-image-preview:large">

This leads to one of two possible conclusions. Option one is that Finchem is so desperate to be seen as being oppressed that he literally (if hamfistedly) had his campaign block Google from indexing his site so he could claim to be deplatformed from Google.

Or, option two is that the guy who might soon be in charge of Arizona state elections is so incompetent and so stupid that he accidentally blocked Google from searching his website:

I honestly can’t decide which possibility is more damning. As Grid notes, it looks like this deliberate change to Finchem’s website was made somewhere in mid-July, because that meta tag wasn’t there before that.

They also got an appropriately dry comment from Google basically saying if Finchem wants to be “replatformed” he should, uh, remove his own tag telling Google to deplatform him:

“The webmaster for this site has instructed Google and other search engines not to include the site’s homepage in our search results by using a ‘noindex’ directive,” the spokesman said in an email to Grid. “If a site wishes to appear in search results, they can remove the ‘noindex’ directive.”

Of course, this won’t actually matter to many of his supporters and many in the nonsense-peddling parts of the Trumpist world. I imagine we’re going to be hearing for months about how Google “censored” this guy, when the truth is he appears to have chosen to deliberately “censor” himself and then blame others for it.

Filed Under: , , , , , , , ,
Companies: google

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “Arizona GOP Secretary Of State Candidate Insists ‘Deep State’ Google Is Blocking His Website; Turns Out He Requested It Not Be Indexed”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
This comment has been deemed insightful by the community.
David says:

This is just recruitment of gullible vigilants

We’ve seen how it works on January 6th to let gullible idiots do the dirty and illegal work for you and pay the price.

This is just the setup for a massive distributed liability spam mail campaign.

People don’t like receiving spam mail, but for one thing, there is no directly traceable justiciable link to Finchem, and for another, the recipients immediately get a potential target for redirecting their grievance: it’s all the fault of the Big Tech/Democracy conspiracy.

It’s grabbing your constituency by their grass roots and squeezing.

This comment has been deemed insightful by the community.
Anonymous Coward says:

And this is one of the same tricks newspapers can’t manage to use to keep ST: Deep State Google from sending traffic to their sites.

Funny how he didn’t notice other search engines… er, “deplatforming” him. Guess you gotta use the one you hate the most, or something.

This comment has been deemed insightful by the community.
John85851 (profile) says:

Persecution complex

It seems Republicans love their persecution complex, even if they have to create it themselves.
Remember, everyone: if Google will deplatform his site when he changes the robot.txt file, then they’ll do the same thing to you if you change your robots.txt file.
Yes, I know that doesn’t make sense, but it makes as much sense as Trump claiming that if the FBI is going after him, they’ll go after his followers next. Well, yes, I would expect the FBI to go after anyone who has top secret/ SCI documents in their house.

But somehow, these people miss the point that Fichem and Trump create these issues themselves.

This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it.

ECA (profile) says:

Quora has your answer(LMAO)

Just a snippet.

12.15.2019 a total of 6 patients had symptoms of Covid-19 in Wuhan China
12.16.2019 The first documented hospitalization of a patient with Covid-19 in China.
12.27.2019 China’s first documented “novel new disease” report was made available to the world
12.30.2019 China issued first international medical alert for Covid-19
12.31.2019 China reported
27 total cases all in Wuhan
7 serious cases
2 recovering
no fatalities, no risk to healthcare workers, no evidence of human to human transmission
1.1.2020 at 1 a.m. China closed the Wuhan street food market after assuming the source was that market
1.3.2020 the Chinese government officially notified the United States of the outbreak. 44 cases all in Wuhan at this time
1.4.2020 the WHO reported China had 44 cases of pneumonia, government actions to control it were implemented and the situation would be watched
1.5.2020. China reported 59 cases of pneumonia of which 7 were critical. all in Wuhan. (not all were confirmed as Covid-19)
1.7.2020. The virus was declared a novel new coronavirus
1.8.2020. First case of Covid-19 outside of Wuhan reported in South Korea. In a patient that had just traveled from Wuhan to S.K.
1.9.2020. First reported death from Covid-19 in 61 yr old male who frequented Wuhan street market
1.11.2020. 2 patients with pneumonia symptoms (not related to Covid-19) reported outside Wuhan
1.14.2020. Chinese government restated NO evidence of human to human transmission. All cases believed to be related to Wuhan street/meat market
1.15.2020. 2nd death reported. 1st case in U.S. when Chinese woman traveled from Wuhan to U.S. and was hospitalized
1.16.2020. 1st case reported in Japan in visitor from Wuhan

U.S. Began impeachment trial of President Trump

That is Part of a long post, does anyone SEE a Problem?

My replay to the main question(AS 90% of this type of post has ‘No Comments’ selected, was/is the Date’s.
They are off by almost 2 years. And beyond that they are missing tons of info if not declaring that this took Less than 1-2 months to happen.

The real problem tends to be, Who the hell is posting CRAP. You have to care, when its so far WRONG that even idiots can see it. I would hope.

KineticGothicTank says:


Trump wasn’t president when?
I think you had pinball machine parts in your your time machine. His term was Jan 2017-Jan 2021, which includes the dates listed above. The articles of Impeachment are pretty clearly dated Dec 2019, although the Trial didn’t start for another month.

First reports on COVID are similarly

This comment has been deemed insightful by the community.
PaulT (profile) says:


“That is Part of a long post, does anyone SEE a Problem?”

Yes, the electoral college enabled a corrupt gameshow host/con artist to be in power at a time when actual leadership was required.


When wasn’t he president? Every date you mentioned was during his term.

Is this one of those “why didn’t Obama stop 9/11” type posts that serve to weed out who has a friendly relationship to reality, or is this one of those situations where your posting style prevents people from understanding what you’re saying?

This comment has been deemed insightful by the community.
That One Guy (profile) says:

Shooting your own foot and then crying about the 'attack'

Ah the Eternal Victims that are the GOP… If they aren’t the victims(and they never are) just claim to be and the gullible voters will lap it right up since they’ve got to scratch that persecution complex/fetish somehow.

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re:

As I believe republican Jesus said in one of his sermons, ‘Love thy neighbor as you love yourself. Unless they’re poor in which case throw ’em in a cell and leave them to rot because eww, how dare they befoul the air you breathe with the crime of not having money, have they even tried to find some bootstraps?’

PaulT (profile) says:


Yes, the main takeaway here should be that this story isn’t for those of us who understand reality, it’s to get certain other people angry. Those people vote, and tend to turn out in larger numbers during mid-terms.

As a concerned outsider, all I can say is if you’re annoyed by this kind of story please get out there and speak against this kind of thing. Even if you don’t have to get out there to stop an MTG/Walker/Oz type directly, just speak out and cast a vote to state that you’re not for this kind of thing.

ve3oat (user link) says:

A possible alternative explanation

Is it possible that when Finchem’s website first went live, the designers still weren’t sure if the format and layout were what the boss wanted. So they used “no-index, no-follow” until the boss approved the whole thing. Then, when it was approved, somebody (?) forgot to take out the “no-index, no-follow”. It happens sometimes, and maybe this was another time.

That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:


“As Grid notes, it looks like this deliberate change to Finchem’s website was made somewhere in mid-July, because that meta tag wasn’t there before that.”

It was accessible to the public this entire time.
Rather than ask if someone messed up, he went immediately to deep state claims…
It is far easier to believe he ordered the change, waited for his site to expire from Googles cache, and then launched into his latest round of fund raising.

That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

looks around
Perhaps armageddon is the best option at this point.
Humanity is on like season 17 and the writers have just given up on anything remotely realistic.

Idiot orders Google to not index his website.
Idiot claims deep state conspiracy.
Idiot pulls in even more cash from other idiots.

gets his parka out of storage
Nuclear Winter, take humanity away…

David says:


Nobody writes a political web page by hand (well, possibly some freak from a Pirate Party). This is a matter of someone toggling some checkbox they did or did not understand. It probably doesn’t even mention “robot.txt” except in some extended help.

At any rate, it is reasonable to supect the same people who are stealing elections to also be stealing websites.

jimb (profile) says:

When asked for comment...

Mr. Finchem responded “Hey – this tech stuff is tough!”

This is the guy who doesn’t trust voting machines, thinks they were hacked by satellite from Italy. Right.

The really, really scary part is that Republican voters in Arizona would rather elect someone incompetent supporting Trump than hire someone who knows what they are doing.

I try to be optimistic, but I’m starting to come to a serious rational conclusion that the United States is doomed. No external enemy could defeat us, but we will destroy ourselves voluntarily, it sure looks likely.

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...