Extremists make money off taxpayer funded YouTube ads

Extremists make money off taxpayer funded YouTube ads


The investigation published by The Times showed that ads from the BBC, Transport for London, Visit Scotland, L'Oreal, the Financial Conduct Authority, Honda, supermarket chain Sainsbury's and The Guardian all appeared next to objectionable content on YouTube.

Ads for the Guardian's membership scheme are understood to have been placed alongside a range of extremist material after an agency acting on the media group's behalf used Google's AdX ad exchange, which uses programmatic trading.

Analysis by The Times showed that blacklists which are created to prevent digital adverts from popping up next to extremist content, are not working.

The U.K. government has removed its advertisements from YouTube after concerns the ads were appearing next to "inappropriate material", including videos with extremist views and of former KKK leader David Duke, the BBC, which was also affected, reported Friday.

Google, the primary revenue driver for Alphabet Inc., announced it will change its advertising policies after several major brands pulled ads from the platform because they appeared alongside offensive content, such as videos promoting terrorism or anti-Semitism.

Google said it would change both its technology and its policies to give more control to advertisers on its platforms.

The report cites content showing up in YouTube alongside videos of white nationalists and terrorists.

The advertising giant said it had taken the decision on behalf of its United Kingdom clients which include O2, Royal Mail, the BBC and Dominos.

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In a statement provided to Business Insider on Thursday, following the Guardian pulling its ads, Google said it has "strict guidelines" that define where ads should appear and in the majority of cases, those policies work as intended.

The Times suggests the misplaced advertising is generating "tens of thousands of pounds a month for extremists" and blamed ad agencies for "pushing brands into online advertising to boost their own profits".

Google's announcement came after the United Kingdom government and the Guardian newspaper stepped up pressure on YouTube to police content on its platform, Bloomberg reported.

Google is the world's single largest digital advertising platform and eMarketer research suggests it will command 40.7% of all USA digital ad revenue this year as its dominance in areas including search and display advertising continues to grow.

"Today we call on all Vietnamese firms that are advertising not to abet them to take advertising money from firms to use against the Vietnamese government", said Tuan at the meeting, according to Reuters.

The company said that given the volume of content on its sites, "we recognize that we don't always get it right".

"Therefore there is a massive responsibility not just on Google, but on all adtech companies to help fix this", he said.

  • Kyle Warner