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Google Introduces New Advertising Safeguards, Pledges To Pull Ads From Racist, Sexist, And Offensive Videos, Sites

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Google has come out with a new set of advertising safeguards and policies that aim to prevent ad presence on video content which contain "hateful, offensive and derogatory content."

Google Will Pull Ads Away From Offensive Content

The move comes after several brands yanked down their ads from YouTube earlier this week. According to a blog post posted on March 21, Google is going to provide brands better control over the avenues wherein their ads will appear, while also pledging to crack down on malicious, ill-intentioned video content and sites.

Google's announcement follows an investigation from The Times of London, which discovered that ads from the UK government and major brands were accompanying extremist videos on YouTube, appearing alongside content that aimed to herald white nationalism and homophobia. After the investigation came out, the UK government promptly pulled its ads from both Google and YouTube and even called Google forth.

Consumer brands such as Audi, Havas, RBS, L'Oreal, and others also pulled their ads later on, which compelled Google's head of European operations to offer a public apology on Monday, March 20, over Google's apparent lack, or weak implementations of where to properly serve ads.

Philipp Schindler, chief business officer of Google, stated on Tuesday via a blog post that Google will be more aggressive in weeding out content that aims to spread ill speech based on people's race, religion, gender, and other aspects, as per a report by Bloomberg.

"We know that this is unacceptable to the advertisers and agencies who put their trust in us," Schindler said.

Objectionable Material

In addition, Google's new ad policies will also police "potentially objectionable" material by default, and brands and advertisers will have the ability to draw a line from particular sites and channels from their advertising campaigns. Google also said that it is planning to employ a number of people to review the objectionable content, and it will continue sprucing up its proprietary machine learning and artificial intelligence tools to make the whole process faster.

"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," Schindler said. "But at times we don't get it right."

Advertising In The Digital Age

Because Google, Facebook, and other major tech companies are seeing significant growth in the digital ad era, the behavior with which these ads are displayed have come under intense scrutiny, especially in recent months over controversies related to Google and Facebook allowing ads to run on fake news and extremist sites.

With the tweaks Google has introduced, the company hopes that it'll be able to provide brands more responsibility over which avenues their ads are displayed online. As Bloomberg reports, the rise of automated ad-serving algorithms have hurt the efficacy of the process.

The timing and the implementation of Google's new policies is still presently being set, as Bloomberg reports, citing a spokeswoman as the source. Google aims to disable ads on specific web pages and not entire publications based on the preset criteria. The new tweaks hopefully influence everyone involved to take more keenly on responsible ad practice in the fast-paced digital age.

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