Google under pressure: AT&T and Verizon pull their ads from YouTube and other websites over hate speech


U.S. wireless carriers Verizon and AT&T announced that they are pulling their ads from YouTube and millions of other Google-partnered websites. The concerns of the the two largest telecoms in America stem from reports which indicate that Google's automated systems could be displaying their adverts next to websites or videos containing hate speech or various forms of extremism. 

AT&T justified their reasoning with a statement released on Wednesday:


Verizon soon followed suit, stating that it took "immediate action" after it was notified that its ads were showing up in "non-sanctioned websites". 

The two carriers are among the largest advertisers in the US, so this move is bound to provoke a swift reaction from Google. Furthermore, AT&T and Verizon might be some of the first businesses to take such actions in the States, but the "trend" actually started in the UK. Last week, a number of British companies took down their ads from YouTube, following an investigation by The Times of London. Since then, other big companies such as Sainsbury's, Toyota, Volkswagen, Audi, and McDonald's have also joined the boycott. 

Speaking to TechCrunch, a Google spokesperson declined to comment on individual clients, but stated that the search giant is going to give advertisers more control over where their promotional content appears, and that an "extensive review" of the company's  ad policies has already begun. 

The short term losses for Google are more than obvious, but it will be interesting to see how will this affect Mountain View over the long haul. As they say, "trust once lost is hard to regain", so we might actually see some businesses allocating their marketing funds to other platforms.

source: TechCrunch 

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24 Comments

1. clevelandiskindacool

Posts: 37; Member since: Jul 03, 2012

Kind of ironic reading this article on PA which is filled with fan boy hate speech and extremism while I add my comment above an AT&T ad

14. Highside

Posts: 197; Member since: Jan 31, 2017

It's called common sense. If you can't recognize who is the cancer in society, you choose to be blind. Crime, welfare, and terror statistics can't be denied.

17. kiko007

Posts: 7493; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

Wtf are you smoking? Can I have some?

2. sonisoe

Posts: 440; Member since: May 06, 2009

while it is impossible to "watch every new upload", hopefully google has a policy that similar or graphic contents should be removed....

3. _PHug_

Posts: 482; Member since: Oct 11, 2011

Who gets to decide what will be considered hate speech? Anyone that feels strongly on a subject can accuse everyone that disagrees with them of hate speech. Freedom of speech and dissenting opinions are far too important to allow them to be silenced when someone's feeling get hurt.

6. threed61

Posts: 259; Member since: May 27, 2011

The people who pay the bills, such as AT&T and Verizon. Or users, if a website charges for their product.

13. TechSingularity

Posts: 67; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

Couldn't of said it better myself.

4. piyath

Posts: 2445; Member since: Mar 23, 2012

This is the freedom of speech rights we are talking about. Hate or Love, It's up to the people who make such videos if YouTube accepts those videos.

5. dadip68

Posts: 20; Member since: Jun 30, 2016

I see hate speech from liberals every day but I deal with it. That's what America is about. Ignore the loons and move on.

10. Ordinary

Posts: 2454; Member since: Apr 23, 2015

12. toukale

Posts: 624; Member since: Jun 10, 2015

That used to work in the past, but now those folks are getting paid which is the difference. People are free to say their hate and post it all their want, what those companies do not want is to not have their brand help fund those hate speech. Google should let those things up, just make sure they are not able to monetize it, that's all.

15. Highside

Posts: 197; Member since: Jan 31, 2017

Dadip- Well said and so true.

24. mikehunta727 unregistered

Yeah because the right also doesn't have their s**t slinging nutheads.... Let's not act like it only goes one way, ignorance and hate speech is prevalent on both sides

7. j_grouchy

Posts: 173; Member since: Nov 08, 2016

People have the freedom to say whatever they want (in the US, at least), but Google is under no obligation to provide the means for them to advertise it. Just like they can prevent ads from Porn Tube from showing up, they can prevent ISIS or Westboro Baptist from advertising on their services.

19. belovedson

Posts: 1060; Member since: Nov 30, 2010

the facts are the media is highly selective on what they want to advertise or portray. for example the latest attacks in london were done by so called terrorists. most of these damn terrorists activity has to do with extreme form of muslim. yet they (media) never seems to point that out anymore. despite the attacks the media acts as if muslims are all peaceful and good. when it clearly isn't the case. did everyone forget about Boston marathon already. wtf

8. phonehome

Posts: 812; Member since: Dec 19, 2014

Just don't make any content critical of any blacks, j*ws, gays, Muslims, Hispanics, illegal immigration, refugees from the Southern Hemisphere, Barack Obama, Rachel Maddow, Israel and hollowcost museums - and one will be fine.

11. mikehunta727 unregistered

You forgot a big one, our current POTUS

22. lyndon420

Posts: 6743; Member since: Jul 11, 2012

You can basically say whatever you want...so long as you aren't a normal functioning heterosexual white male - it's the way things work in 2017.

9. SleeperOne

Posts: 370; Member since: Feb 25, 2017

Web 3.0: Outrage Edition

16. whqhdrbs

Posts: 36; Member since: Feb 12, 2017

I'm sick of Youtube clowns saying nothing but positive on Pixel phones too

18. belovedson

Posts: 1060; Member since: Nov 30, 2010

what are some of these so called hate statements

20. SleeperOne

Posts: 370; Member since: Feb 25, 2017

"Agree with me on every talking point or you're white and not a person"

21. trojan_horse

Posts: 5868; Member since: May 06, 2016

Google should ban the accounts of those uploading such videos... This is unacceptable.

23. JGuinan007

Posts: 699; Member since: May 19, 2011

This is just a way for the big mobile companies to pressure Google and Android to change things their way. Google gives free what AT&T and Verizon are trying to charge their customers for. Why pay for verizon or AT&T services when Google does them better and gives them for free? EX GOOgle Maps vs AT&T Navigator. The Mobile companies need Android since customers demand those phones running google apps and Android OS. This really has little to do with what AT&T and Verizon claim it is. They have millions of ads on google apps and maybe less than 1% appear on content promoting terrorism and hate.

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