back to article Google promises policy review after several big brands pull YouTube ads

Google has promised a review of its ad policy on YouTube after a backlash from blue-chip advertisers. It follows a series of reports by The Times demonstrating big brand ads running over content that breaches YouTube guidelines, such as jihadist videos and other inflammatory or racist material. French advertising giant Havas " …

Anonymous Coward

One of the many, many, many, many...

..reasons to ad block, or just skip YouTube altogether.

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Re: One of the many, many, many, many...

Huh, I'd entirely forgotten YouTube even HAD ads.

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It looks like the ad industry is doing something that can be perceived as "moralistic". Seeing as that directly contradicts what the ad industry is really like, I smell a rat.

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You miss the point

It has nothing to do with morals and everything to do with brand damage from having heir ad associated with something that makes people angry.

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Maybe its not 'the ad industry' but simply Google?

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Mushroom

Re: You miss the point

"We don't believe that censoring the existence of ISIS on Google, YouTube or social media will dampen their impact really," said Google's chief counsel David Drummond.

Reading the above, that's honestly the coldest thing I've ever read.

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Re: You miss the point

But then his next statement is a direct turn-around.... ""We have to reach at-risk youth all over the world and divert them from hate and radicalisation," Drummond told an ad conference in Cannes in 2015." And then there's money being paid to the jihadis.... which is what it all boils down to. Google will say anything to protect it's revenue stream.

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Alert

Re: You miss the point

@Mark 85 wrote And then there's money being paid to the jihadis....

Exactly. More to the point, YouTube is directly funding terrorism, which puts them in direct conflict with the laws of the U.K., U.S., and E.U.

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Anonymous Coward

I wonder if they'll also pull advertising from right wing nationalist groups, you know, as per the screenshot in the article.

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Im not sure why the downvotes, that screenshot with the guardian advert (from the times story) is perhaps one of the most disingenuous I have ever seen, framing the story as ohhh evil terrirists making money on adverts while accompanying it with a screenshot of a Britain First video.

Dont get me wrong I totally consider Britain First to be vile racist knuckle dragging idiots, but if your going to frame a story as oh no funding terror, then utterly fail to find a screen grab and have to resort to being selective about when you screen shot a home grown uk racists video to make it look like that, then i have to question how big of a problem is this, surely with youtube being awash with this shit and the end of days being upon us it wouldnt have been hard to find an actual example.

Of course there is also the attribution issue, is it actually terrorists uploading stuff or enterprising Macedonian teenagers making money by uploading any old shit people will click on :P

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-38168281

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Linux

"...after several big brands pull YouTube ads"

YouTube has ads?

<Thinks> Maybe I should turn my adblockers off to see what I'm missing....

<Thinks again> On 2nd thoughts, maybe not.

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Anonymous Coward

block All Ads

you know it makes sense.

When was the last time you saw an ad and bought the thing on the spot? Don't lie now. Be honest.

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Re: block All Ads

When it is done right it works fine and yes I have bought stuff as a result of seeing the advert right there and then. The Reg is the perfect example, I'm a Digital Ocean customer because of their adverts on the Reg. Not all ads are bad and they pay for stuff people including me use. On the flip side, I uninstalled the Hungry House app from my phone as I got sick of it popping up a notification every so often just to say it was there, no value to it at all. I kept notifications on for actual promotions I might want to use. Blocking all ads is a bit sledgehammer and slightly irrational.

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Re: block All Ads

Blocking all ads is a bit sledgehammer and slightly irrational.

For you, maybe. For myself and probably others, not irrational at all. I have never seen an ad via the Internet that was relevant to me nor did any of them ever make me want to go buy the product. I guess I'm just a bad consumer. Shame on me.

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Re: block All Ads

Blocking all ads is a bit sledgehammer and slightly irrational.

Not when you consider how often cyber crims use ad networks as a malware delivery vehicle.

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What a suprise.

...the only way to get them to do anything is to deny them money.

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Megaphone

Re: What a suprise.

Amazing how nothing could be done for years until people started pulling adverts.

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Anonymous Coward

Irony??

Jihadist videos where members deride western culture and democracy, overlaid with adverts for popular western newspapers and retail giants.

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Re: Irony??

"Jihadist videos where members deride western culture and democracy,"

..and use the technology it created to do so.

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Anonymous Coward

"Association", or "funding"?

Which is the bigger problem, being "associated" with these groups, or indirectly funding them? Because these are different things. For example, I could fund my racist/jihadi group by uploading fluffy cat videos, or I could raise extra beer money by uploading inflammatory racist/jihadi stuff.

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Def
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"We don't believe that censoring the existence of ISIS on Google, YouTube or social media will dampen their impact really," said Google's chief counsel David Drummond. "We have to reach at-risk youth all over the world and divert them from hate and radicalisation."

Why does he think those two things are mutually exclusive?

Isn't it better to censor* and reach out to at-risk youths?

*You can argue that censorship is bad, but so is getting hit by flying body parts.

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Surely a great opportunity for some anti-extremism adverts though?

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Anonymous Coward

That's the price of allowing a monopoly to grow..

It's funny that, I would have thought they'd learned their lesson by now with Microsoft.

Oh well.

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Anonymous Coward

Perhaps...

It would be easier to convince ISIS to start doing ASMR or unboxing videos? Will that please the marketing firms? Or am I missing the point?

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Does Google Adwords not have a "Advertise on jihadi websites" checkbox?

Seriously though, I do wonder how Google categorises those sites ( eg: no point advertising handbags on a football website, or bacon on a jihadi website, is there? )

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Why even link to a paywall article?

No seriously, what's the point.

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Re: Why even link to a paywall article?

Those who have a subscription can follow the link?

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Re: Why even link to a paywall article?

It's a hat-tip to a journalist who breaks a story/has uncovered a point of fact you've mentioned in your story. Sometimes that story is behind a paywall.

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Be careful what you wish for..

So, the people with money are demanding that anyone who uploads to Youtube must be automatically morally prejudged by a machine.

I never thought I'd say this, but with all the recent events, I'm sick of popcorn now..

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Comparative Evils

I suppose joining ISIS is slightly worse than being a Guardian subscriber ... ?

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Anonymous Coward

The interesting part is the matching algo

Curious minds would like to know, what idiot coded an algorithm which matched an ISIS rant and Guardian membership advert in anything but in jest.

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Re: The interesting part is the matching algo

I think they work more so on matching ads with eyeballs full stop. They still think it's OK for my young kids to see 18 rated ads with the kind of videos they watch. Admittedly they're using my account (yes I know but one account on the TV only and restricted mode doesn't appear to make a difference) so Google think it's fair game, but shows ads matching content is not top priority.

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Re: The interesting part is the matching algo

I was thinking Google aimed ads based on the user's preferences.

Wouldn't they get Guardian ads no matter what video they looked at?

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Re: The interesting part is the matching algo

> Curious minds would like to know, what idiot coded an algorithm which matched an ISIS rant and Guardian membership advert in anything but in jest

You forget that all advertising algorithms, no matter how clever, ultimately fall back on "as a last resort we'll push any old ad rather than none at all" when they can't target more accurately.

[Missing a dollar signs icon]

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Re: The interesting part is the matching algo

If they read the Graun, they're probably big fans of Al Jazera [sp], I guess

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FAIL

Google promises

In reality

1) They like any content that gets page views, they'll only take it down if likely to be sued or prosecuted.

2) They only do PR, nothing else.

Google statements only designed to placate customers. Note that YouTube viewers are not customers.

Why was Google allowed to buy YouTube?

Or Amazon allowed to buy Goodreads, IMDB, BookDepositry and others?

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Stop

Ah, Shrodingers advert ...

you know, when it's for something bad (like ISIS) then

"oh, advertising doesn't affect peoples behaviour|"

but when it's for something you want to make money from ..

"people respond to adverts"

Remember how cigarette companies tried to claim - for decades - that cigarette advertising was only intended to encourage people to switch brands ....

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Distraction from the real issue

This is not really a Google problem. The ad agencies (like Havas) jumped at an easy, cheap placement method. They didn't do anything until it became a minor scandal and you can bet it was their customers that prompted the pulling of ads not the agency. Either they didn't understand what they were buying on behalf of their customers or they were blinded by all those shiny dollar signs.

If I were a Havas customer I'd be asking some very pointed questions starting with "exactly what the fuck are we paying you fuckers for?"

Now look what you've done: I'm defending Google. I need to go take a shower...

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Strange priorities

Jihadis and white supremacists spreading hate, totally OK.

A lesbian geek posting videos about things you can do with Arduino boards, make the entire channel adult-only because she occasionally mentions her girlfriend.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Strange priorities

there's nothing more subversive than Making Things Yourself and sharing code without Corporate Middlemen making some money somehow!

It's not lesbian geeks they're really afraid of. it's geeks in general. Just gotta start with the smaller groups. But a tactical mistake going after the popular ones. Best to find "hate speech" first THEN expand the takedown of free knowledge.

Unless they're confident they've reached that point already.

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Anonymous Coward

Ads

What are these ads you speak of?

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Anonymous Coward

so why the Outrage right now?

Youtube hosting ISIS beheading videos and other radicalist hate has been reported and tacitly allowed for well over a decade that Ive heard complaints and screaming about. Wasn't long ago that the Trendy Tech SIte Opinion was "it's free speech so we have to allow it!" Is Al Jazeerah upset about its content being monetized without its permission or something and sending takedown notices backed by actual physical takedowns or something?

Or is jihadism in youtube only a problem since November because Suddenly Everything Changed(TM)?

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