After a commitment last week, there was a follow up to address advertiser concern about where their ads where showing up, by Google Chief Business Officer Philipp Schindler.  He outlined and reiterated the steps that Google is taking on brand safety measures in a blog post Wednesday.

This has come after hundreds of advertisers have pulled their advertising from Google and YouTube over continuing to display extremist content.  The boycott first began in the UK  after the British government pulled its own ads and summoned Google to appear before the British Cabinet Office.  The concern over ads being displaying over the offensive content quickly spread to the US, where major brands pulled ad spend from YouTube and Google Display Network.

Schindler reiterated that thousands of sites are added daily to the GDN and over 400 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute.  He provided some new details on the effors that had been announced last Thursday.

New brand safety tools were outlined in Schindler’s previous post, but new controls will include these measures:

New default setting: Ad settings will now default to exclude “potentially objectionable content.” It’s not clear yet what those categories will be. Advertisers can choose to opt back in to the default exclusions.

Account-level exclusions: Instead of having to add exclusions at the campaign level, advertisers will be able to exclude site placements and YouTube channels accountwide.

New controls: It’s vague at this point, but Google says it will add controls to exclude content and fine-tune where their ads can appear.

Regarding hate speech, Google says that they will remove ads “more effectively” from content that attacks or harasses people based on race, religion, gender or similar categories.  This isn’t going to be a change in policy, but apparently a change in stridency.  The post wouldn’t explain the kinds of added measures that were going to be taken, or why they weren’t in place already.

With what sort of content that can appear on YouTube, the video site may be getting stricter on the sort of content that can show up on the platform, much less having ads showing before them. The team is reviewing the existing community guidelines around the sort of content that’s currently allowed on the platform, and not  “what content can be monetized.”

But for now, measures are being taken to ensure that ads show on YouTube Partner program creator content, and not on videos that impersonate other channels or violate community guidelines.

In the coming months, Google will make video-level reporting available to all advertisers.

Google will be hiring “significant numbers of people,” as well as developing tools that will be able to increase capacity for reviewing ad-enabled content.  They will also provide a faster process for advertisers to escalate complaints about ads being served next to objectionable content.  Ultimately, the idea will be to resolve issues in “less than a few hours.”


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