YouTube accused of still airing adverts on extremist videos

YouTube accused of still airing adverts on extremist videos

An investigation by CNN discovered ads from multiple brands and government agencies showing up on YouTube channels dedicated to white nationalist, pro-Nazi and North Korean propaganda content.

Adverts for 300 brands and companies, including Amazon, Facebook, Netflix, Adidas and Under Armour, appeared alongside the extremist content, CNN reported.

All the government agencies have said they were trying to find out how the ads got placed on those channels. NYT and the Washington Post had ads appear on far-right and conspiracy channels.

In a statement to CNN, YouTube said: "We have partnered with our advertisers to make significant changes to how we approach monetization on YouTube with stricter policies, better controls and greater transparency". It's a hard decision to stop advertising on YouTube altogether since it has over a billion users, who watch over a billion hours of videos every day. Last year, hundreds of companies cut back on their YouTube ad-buys after they learned their advertisements were being displayed on controversial content. Companies can target their ads based on demographics and viewers' behavior and trust YouTube to decide which type of content is inappropriate for their ads. We know that even when videos meet our advertiser-friendly guidelines, not all videos will be appropriate for all brands. "We now feel the right measures are in place for P&G brands to have the option to advertise on YouTube". They can also block specific channels and choose a "sensitive subject exclusion" filter, according to CNN, which should prevent ads from appearing on certain channels. The Mountain View, California-based unit has aimed at curbing the issue through restrictions on which channels are able to run ads and make revenues which are then shared with parent Google. Earlier this year, YouTube Kids app sparked controversy after violent content and conspiracy theory videos were found in its related content section. The company explained how it was using machine learning technology to help remove such content from the site. At IAB's annual leadership conference in February, Unilever CMO Keith Weed threatened to take action against ad platforms that couldn't guarantee brand safety.


How strong is advertiser confidence in YouTube?

The report comes after a rocky year for the relationship between YouTube and its advertisers.

P&G added that the report from CNN would not impact its decision. From 2009 to 2012, she was an award-winning syndicated columnist for a number of daily newspapers from NY to Texas.

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