Google pledges ad policy change after backlash over adverts shown near extremist content

Google pledges ad policy change after backlash over adverts shown near extremist content

Published time: 18 Mar, 2017 13:09

Google is promising to change its advertisement placement policies after several high-profile customers, including London authorities, discovered that their ads had appeared alongside extremist content and pulled them.

“We’ve heard from our advertisers and agencies loud and clear that we can provide simpler, more robust ways to stop their ads from showing against controversial content,” Google’s UK managing director, Ronan Harris, wrote on a corporate blog on Friday.

“While we have a wide variety of tools to give advertisers and agencies control over where their ads appear… we can do a better job of addressing the small number of inappropriately monetized videos and content. We’ve begun a thorough review of our ads policies and brand controls, and we will be making changes in the coming weeks to give brands more control over where their ads appear across YouTube and the Google Display Network,” he promised

The pledge comes after several prominent advertisers announced that they would suspend online advertising with Google because of the risk that their ads could appear alongside inappropriate content.

The biggest is Havas of France, the world’s sixth largest marketing services group, which said Google had been “unable to provide specific reassurances, policy and guarantees that their video or display content is classified either quickly enough or with the correct filters.” The BBC, the Guardian, and Transport for London took similar steps.

The pullout comes after an expose in the Times revealed that Google had displayed the ads on some extremist sites, as well as alongside extremist videos posted on YouTube, the tech giant’s video service. The British government has summoned Google executives to explain why taxpayer money ended up funding publishers of inappropriate content via the ads.

In his blog post, Harris argued that Google’s automated algorithms fail to prevent such incidents only in rare cases.

“With millions of sites in our network and 400 hours of video uploaded to YouTube every minute, we recognize that we don’t always get it right,” he said, while noting “in a very small percentage of cases, ads appear against content that violates our monetization policies. We promptly remove the ads in those instances, but we know we can and must do more.”

Britain is not the only nation where tech giants face criticism for inadequately policing their content. Germany announced plans this week to pass a law that would require social networks to publish quarterly accountability reports on how they are fighting hate speech and fake news. Companies could also be fined up to €50 million ($53 million) for failing to remove inappropriate content within 24 hours after a complaint has been filed.

One comment

  • uhm

    First of all this is just the next phase of attack against truth websites who were stupid enough to end up relying on outside funding by the system they were claiming to attack. When we all started these websites on the web we used some of the free website tools and found they could remove us in a blink of en eye and I was one who was removed five times. After those experiences we decided to fund and start our own domains and websites which made things harder to hinder. There’s no way to take you down so easy unless domains are attacked and websites hacked etc. People started to use the GoogleAds rubbish and became too conditioned and ended up to reliant upon it. Now these same people forget the past and forget they were independent before and they could be again. It’s not a lot of money to run a normal website especially if you find the right hosting. Now whilst people are panicking (really no need) we do have a way around all this by using the P2P and blockchain technologies where we can once again have a free internet and move away from Zionist centralized net distributions. When we move to these networks there’s virtually no cost to owning a website. Never rely on the system when you’re fighting the system, I keep saying this with Donald Trump and others who continue to play its game and getting stung by its weak stinger. Trump needs to Glass Steagall then create a credit currency or use a cryptocurrency system then you’re no longer playing in the game. Stop the interdependence on others and you can bring all these things about.

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