Google Promised to Rethink its Advertising Policies

Posted March 25, 2017

Though Google does have some measures in place to prevent advertising from appearing beside "hateful, offensive, and derogatory content", such as that promoting terrorism, a growing number of businesses feel Google isn't doing enough to monitor where its ads appear.

The video was also paired with brands in Asia - Castrol lubricants in India and Cow & Gate infant formula in Hong Kong. YouTube's community guidelines already broadly forbid users from posting hate speech, as well as other content like pornography, but enforcement of those policies often requires human intervention.

He said Google had "heard from our advertisers loud and clear that we can provide simpler, more robust ways to stop their ads from showing against controversial content". Google will implement stronger control tools for advertisers, allowing companies to further cherry-pick the content they want to be associated with and avoid content they deem offensive.

The "backlash" could broaden into a rebellion against the market practice of software programming ad placements, slowing not only Google's revenue but also that of other internet firms, according to Jackdaw chief analyst Jan Dawson.

As the Times reports, paid advertisements are automatically placed on websites, often without a precursory check of that website's content.

The process that Google and other online advertisers use to place a company's ad on a particular page is largely automated and takes milliseconds.

YouTube's current ad problem, however, bolsters the advertisers' longstanding argument for better data.

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The end result is that YouTube enjoys 400 hours of video uploaded every minute and 1 billion hours of video consumed every day, with around $11 billion in revenue a year ago. It also means no one knows all the instances the ad appeared.

On its part, Google has acknowledged the problem and its ramifications.

"The sheer amount of video that is being uploaded to YouTube is mindboggling", Borchard said.

He added that the sums paid to extremists involved had been "pennies, not pounds", but admitted "clearly we need to do more on that". That disclosure started many organizations in the United Kingdom to expel their promotions from Google stages, driving Google to inspect its advertisement strategies and execute new apparatuses to give publicists more control over where their promotions go.

Although Google told the select committee at the time that it has a team that manually searches for extremist content online and makes assessments on what to remove and which accounts to suspend, it declined to say how many people it had dedicated to the effort.

The company's role in funding extreme content has come under scrutiny, in part prompted by the victory of Donald Trump in 2016's U.S. election. "But because we source the ads from everywhere, every once in a while somebody gets underneath the algorithm and they put in something that doesn't match". ISBA, a United Kingdom advertising association with over 400 corporate members, urged Google shortly thereafter to review its policies and withdraw any ad inventory it could not guarantee wouldn't appear next to offending material.