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The recent furor over a Google-funded think tank firing an anti-Google scholar has inspired Gizmodo journalist Kashmir Hill to tell a story about the time Google used its power to squash a story that was embarrassing to the company.
The incident occurred in 2011. Hill was a cub reporter at Forbes, where she covered technology and privacy.

At the time, Google was actively promoting Google Plus and was sending representatives to media organizations to encourage them to add “+1” buttons to their sites. Hill was pulled into one of these meetings, where the Google representative suggested that Forbes would be penalized in Google search results if it didn’t add +1 buttons to the site.
Hill thought that seemed like a big story, so she contacted Google’s PR shop for confirmation.

Google essentially confirmed the story, and so Hill ran with it under the headline: “Stick Google Plus Buttons On Your Pages, Or Your Search Traffic Suffers.”
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