Google vows to crackdown on 'hateful' content after Brit brand boycott

Google vows to crackdown on 'hateful' content after Brit brand boycott

It follows a United Kingdom government decision to remove its adverts from YouTube - which is owned by Google - after it emerged they had appeared alongside content from supporters of extremist groups, the BBC reported.

Following outcry from British brands angered that their advertising was being placed alongside hateful YouTube videos, parent company Google has promised to better patrol its websites and will be changing corporate policies.

Advertisers are to be granted greater control over where their ads appear, and new default settings mean that ads will not appear next to "potentially objectionable" content, unless an advertiser explicitly broadens its parameters.

It said it was aiming to block any content that attacked people based on their race, religion, sexual orientation or gender.

Google claimed on Friday during a meeting with advertising industry leaders and government officials that it removed ads appearing on channels or videos that contain hate speech, violent or offensive content.

"I wanted to share that we've already begun ramping up changes around three areas: our ad policies, our enforcement of these policies and new controls for advertisers..."

"Google is responsible for ensuring the high standards applied to government advertising are adhered to and that adverts do not appear alongside inappropriate content", the United Kingdom government said in an e-mailed statement.

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"While Google has apologized for the incidents, and while the scale of the underlying problem may be relatively small in absolute terms, for large marketers, any one instance of an inappropriate brand placement may be enough to seriously harm a brand's business value", he wrote.

Google issued an apology on Monday after it transpired that advertisements for major United Kingdom companies and the government had been shown before offensive content on YouTube. Brands can opt in to advertise on broader types of content if they choose.

The companies are said to be embittered about their ads appearing side-by-side videos being posted by extremists like the Islamic State, ISIS on YouTube.

Besides well-known British brands pulling the plug, some of the world's biggest advertising agencies responsible for placing vast amounts of marketing material for clients said they were reviewing how they worked with Google. As reported in Reuters, the giant internet company generated nearly $7.8 billion from advertising past year.

This comes after Google came under fire when its highest-grossing YouTube entertainer included Nazi imagery on his videos. "We want to be thoughtful", he said, adding that Google would reveal more details soon.

Unspecified new ways for brands to "fine-tune" where they want ads to appear.

Pledging to speed up its review process, Schindler wrote, "We'll be hiring significant numbers of people and developing new tools powered by our latest advancements in AI and machine learning to increase our capacity to review questionable content for advertising".

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