Google vows to pull ads from extreme videos and sites

Electronic screens post prices of Alphabet stock at the Nasdaq MarketSite in NY.

The Alphabet Inc. unit also expanded its definition of hate speech under its advertising policy to include vulnerable groups, which includes those discriminated against due to their identify, socioeconomic class or country of origin.

"Recently, we had a number of cases where brands' ads appeared on content that was not aligned with their values".

On Monday, Google apologised for the placement of ads on extremist content and pledged it would address the concerns.

Earlier this week, Google vowed to step up its efforts to block ads on "hateful, offensive and derogatory" videos.

YouTube's community guidelines already broadly forbid users from posting hate speech, as well as other content like pornography.

The new policies mark a sharp turn for Google, which has historically largely hewed to its position as a neutral host of outside sources of online content. "They can not masquerade as technology companies, particularly when they place advertisements", said Martin Sorrell, the founder and head of the British firm.

Google stated that it will offer advertisers and agencies more transparency and visibility on where their ads are running, and in the coming months it will expand availability of video-level reporting to all advertisers. We have strict policies that define where Google ads should appear, and in the vast majority of cases, our policies and tools work as intended. But the changes, which will be introduced in the coming weeks, highlight the hard balance between protecting Google's advertising business while also allowing free speech. When they sign up, Google will automatically exclude websites and videos deemed "potentially objectionable". But many advertisers were waiting to see further details or results, before placing ads again. Brands can opt in to advertise on broader types of content if they choose. The rise of automated, or programmatic, ad-serving has complicated this process.

Vietnam last Thursday called on all companies doing business in the country to stop advertising on YouTube, Facebook and other social media until they find a way to halt the publication of "toxic" anti-government information.

The company said it would hire more employees to police its advertising standards, adding that it would also use artificial intelligence and other technology to remove harmful content.

The more dramatic Google decision, however, involves online speech. YouTube's policies define hate speech as content "that promotes or condones violence against individuals or groups based on race or ethnic origin, religion, disability, gender, age, nationality, veteran status, or sexual orientation/gender identity", or whose primary objective is "inciting hatred" on the basis of those attributes. "There is no doubt there are serious flaws that need to be addressed", she said in a statement.

A representative for Google declined to comment on individual customers.

Search represents the lion's share of Google's advertising revenue, which totaled US$79.4 billion past year. Google faces multiple antitrust investigations in the European Union, with several publishers and advertisers in the region complaining about its power. In 2016, Google earned $7.8 Billion from Britain.

"Brand safety is an ongoing commitment for us, and we'll continue to listen to your feedback".

"We believe the combination of these new policies and controls will significantly strengthen our ability to help advertisers", Schindler said. This change will enable it to take action, where appropriate, on a larger set of ads and sites. "No brand wants to get the Scarlet Letter".

  • Leroy Wright