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AT&T Pulls Ads From YouTube & Other Google Sites

"Transparency and trust have always been fundamental to Google's measurement offerings which is why we have a long history of partnership with the [Media Rating Council] for accreditation and audits through Ernst and Young", a Google spokesperson told Recode. More than 250 brands in the United Kingdom and USA froze their ads on Google following The Times' investigation into ads appearing alongside offensive content. That revelation sparked many companies in the United Kingdom to remove their ads from Google platforms, forcing Google to examine its ad policies and implement new tools to give advertisers more control over where their ads go.

Though digital ads are more targeted and can reach more people than TV commercials, Google and other ad tech companies use computer programs rather than people to decide where to place ads, because media buyers are purchasing type of person not a specific website.

The exodus comes on the heels of a boycott major United Kingdom companies launched against YouTube last week.

An investigation by The Times last month revealed "hundreds" of big-name companies were unwittingly funding groups including "Islamic extremists, white supremacists and pornographers".

A separate sermon by preacher Ahmad Musa Jibril, who according to United States prosecutors once took credit for a terrorist bombing in Saudi Arabia, can be viewed alongside advertisements from Nissan in Sweden and wireless carrier MTN Group in South Africa.

After the backlash the managing director of Google UK, Ronan Harris gave a statement defending the company.

First, Google itself is going to tighten its policies around what can live on its platforms, and what subset of that content can support advertising on it. "Starting today, we're taking a tougher stance on hateful, offensive and derogatory content", Schindler says. The Times in the United Kingdom found that hundreds of companies had ads appearing next to videos created by hate groups or their supporters.

Major brands abandoned the video sharing website YouTube, a Google property, after their ads were situated adjacent to what Google Chief Business Officer Philipp Schindler called "questionable content".

Google outlined several steps created to raise the bar for its ad policies. This includes removing ads more effectively from content that is attacking or harassing people based on their race, religion, gender or similar categories.

An advertising boycott of YouTube is broadening, a sign that big-spending companies doubt Google's ability to prevent marketing campaigns from appearing alongside repugnant videos. Bloomberg reports that Google plans on implementing these new tools and changes as soon as this Sunday, according to an internal company memo.

"What we do is, we match ads and the content, 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", Schmidt said on FOX Business Network, in a discussion with Maria Bartiromo. Even when it does veer into hosting illegal content, like copyrighted material or terrorist propaganda, the site is shielded by federal law from being legally held responsible.

Facebook in particular had to step up to the plate when it became clear it was primarily responsible for the distribution and dissemination of fake news in the wake of last year's presidential election.

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